Potomac River Fishing Reports

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Reports from the past 60 days:


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jul 28, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Bass fishing is spotty at best. On days when weather and tide conditions are ideal, fishing can be good. An early morning top water bite can last several hours if there is a good cloud cover or a light drizzle. Our second best bait under these conditions has been a small, hard jerk bait worked over grasses or along the edge of grass. When conditions are lest than ideal, cool nights and a high blue sky, fishing can be challenging. We recommend staying in an area that you find bass in and work it over with numerous bait combinations. Moving to other locations may just result in a boat ride. The snake head bite is fair in the shallow waters in the creeks. They like a top water popper or a Manns Baby 1 Minus. Some yellow perch are active in the grasses and may get to the popper or jerk bait before a bass does."

Water Temperature: 81 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jul 14, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Bass fishing has slowed down in both size and numbers. We still have an early morning top water bite that last for a couple of hours. Depending on the type of vegetation we fish we use either a top water popper or a grass frog. Once the top water bite slows we switch to a wacky rigged stick worm in green colors and fish it weightless over submersed grass or along visible grass lines. Then at mid morning we run to hard cover, such as lay downs, and throw creature baits rigged Texas style with light slip sinkers. Finesse worms or jig worms worked in front of marsh run offs is still productive, although most bass are small."

Water Temperature: 83 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jul 07, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Switching patterns throughout the day will keep you on the bass.
Start the morning off with a top water popper over grass beds or around marsh grasses until about 8 AM. Afterwards, switch to a wacky rigged Senko type bait and work over the same areas. At about 10 AM switch to hard cover like lay down trees or boat docks and use creature baits like a three inch Berkley chigger craw in green pumpkin color. Finesse worms fished along creek ledges or in front of marsh runs during a falling tide will collect numbers of keeper bass."

Water Temperature: 86 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by National Bass Guide Service on Jul 01, 2014
Phone: 7033807119
Email: info@nationalbass.com

"JULY 2014

Water is clearer and grass well established in the southern part of the river, basically south of Dogue. The wrecks and concrete in Spoils, Fox Ferry, the point known as North Point on Smoot Bay (National Harbor) and South Point are always loaded with fish. Groups of bass are on docks in Dogue Creek, Broad Creek, Mount Vernon, and Swan. Otherwise fish grass patterns Greenway Flats and south. Go to main river grass early before big boats come through. Look for clear water.

One of the keys is to focus on scattered grass away from the hard grass edge. Pitch Mizmo green pumpkin tubes with copper flake or Arkansas Craw Texas rigged on a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point tube. Shake slowly, watching your line, feeling for weight. Hard cover: docks, laydowns, riprap etc. are also good targets. Stop for long periods&five seconds or more&fish have been hitting when sitting still&or coming over cover. As baits drop, get ready for bites. Skip Mizmo tubes soaked in Jacks Juice garlic attractant under docks and over shallow cover.

Crank hard cover drops with Manns 15+. Split shot rigs work in the same deeper areas. Stay with 10-pound test GAMMA Copoly. A 3/16-ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot bulletshaped split shot comes through cover. GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon lines help you feel bites and get baits down faster. Rig stickworms like Manns HardNose Freefall worm soaked in garlic Jacks Juice on a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega Lite hook. Slowly drag and stop! When you hit cover, leave as long as you can! Use on bare banks or in front of grass lines at low tide, or inside grass at higher tides.

Work jigs like Manns black/blue or black/brown Stone Jigs in stained water and green pumpkin where water is clearer. For trailers, use HardNose Craws. Black/Blue or green pumpkin orange. Swim jigs and 5 inch Mizmo tubes in white, black/blue, black/brown at various depths, just below the surface to out of sight on grass edges and drop. The new 3/0 MUSTAD swimbait hooks are great for swimming tubes. But swimbaits like the Manns HardNose in shad/white patterns are awesome big fish baits when paired with the new Mustad Ultra Point weighted swimbait hook. Use 1/8 ounce weighted hooks&slide the weight to achieve the proper balance. The bayonet barb on the hook eye will impale the nose of the HardNose keeping it in place. Use heavier weights if needed.

Target pads and wood in creeks with dark colors in stained water. Fish are drawn to edges of cover like pads and wood on outgoing tides. Follow tides, moving up and over cover at high and out on edges when tides fall. Longer casts at higher tides cover water, at lower tides short casts with crankbaits like Manns Baby 1-Minus. Vary retrieves. Chop or cloud cover favor spinnerbaits. At higher tides with clear water, try double willow nickel/gold with firetiger skirts&faster retrieve. White skirts in stained and white/chartreuse in clearer water. Manns Classic with Colorado/Indiana tandem gold blades in stained, nickel and gold or both nickel in clearer water. Go faster and deeper with Colorado/willow when water is nearly clear. Make shorter casts at lower tides, targeting individual clumps of milfoil and longer casts to cover water at higher tides. Another bait I like now is the EGG, Lucky Crafts very buoyant B.D.S. 4 in shad patterns. It will come over grass and snap free very easily.

The topwater bite is strong around grass and wood: four baits/two sizes/ two color patterns. Small: one light pattern and one dark pattern. Same for larger baits. Use topwaters with low water, clear water, or low light conditions. Clear/calm: small baits in natural patterns like the Lucky Craft G-Splash chartreuse shad. Work faster. If water is a bit stained, go to black/gold patterns, Lucky Craft Aurora Gold. Clear choppy water; go to natural patterns in larger size G-Splash-80. If water is stained and choppy, go to larger baits in black/gold pattern. When fish miss, use the reel to move baits to allow feathers to contract and open when sitting still. Shorter casts in muddy water and longer casts when water is calm and clear. Let fish tell you the speed&in general, clearer water, work baits faster&slow down ALL presentations in stained water. Use a 6 1/2 foot medium action graphite rod to avoid losing fish. The rear hook, use a Mustad Ultra Point feathered treble. Belly hooks get RED Mustad round bend Ultra Point Trebles. Use Manns HardNose Freefall worm weightless and on a weedless Mustad red wacky hook as a follow up.

Walking baits like Lucky Crafts Gunfish are great when water is clear and you have cloud cover. Gunfish rattle and walk better than anything on the market! Buzzbaits with black skirts have been working when water is lower over grass and around shallow wood and rock cover. Try 1/4-ounce size with a clacker like Manns Classic Buzzbait. The hollow frog bite is awesome whenever the water is low&better with some light!

Stick worms are also producing over grass beds in high tides, pitch when the tide is lower. Green pumpkin Manns 5" HardNose Freefall worm in stained water, watermelon in clearer water&rigged Texas on 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega Bite worm hooks (Wacky rigged with a red 2/0 Mustad weedless wacky rig hook or Mustad Octopus hook 2/0) Toss and drop&no other action required. Let it sit on the bottom, gently twitch. Pull to the surface and drop again&repeat back to the boat, if in the strike zone&otherwise, cast again. Let stickworms sit about 2 seconds for every foot deep youre fishing. Also try soft plastic Manns HardNose jerkbaits, varying the speed.

Punch through grass with a Round Valley Tungsten ¾ -1 ounce weight on 65-pound test Spiderwire and a stout 76 rod like the Quantum Tommy Biffle Signature series has power to pull them out. Look for hydrilla with stalks of milfoil growing in it. Pitch, shake and let drop. Most fish hit on the drop. Manns HardNose craws stay on the hook and a drop of PROS Soft Bait glue secures the Round Valley Tungsten weight to the bait, so I dont have to peg. Works best on sunny calm days!

Capt. Steve Chaconas, Potomac bass fishing guide, BoatUS Ask the Expert (http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/bassfishing/) Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@NationalBass.com."

Water Temperature: 85 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jun 30, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"The early morning, low light top water bite remains strong over flooded grass beds in creek bays. A top water popper has been our most productive bait for this pattern. Once the sun gets high we switch to hard cover like downed trees, wrecks or rocks where creature baits will produce bass of good quality. The marsh run offs during an out flowing tide are still a good place to collect a few bass with jig worms and finesse worms or a small deep diving crank bait. Blue gills are off the beds but are still located in the spawning areas. They like a small fly rod popper in white or black."

Water Temperature: 83 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jun 17, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Couple a low light condition with an out going tide, add overcast and a little drizzle and the top water frog bite can be spectacular. We have been using small grass frogs along marsh banks and over grass beds to catch good numbers of bass under such conditions. On days of high blue skies the fishing becomes much harder. Then we target grass beds or wood with a white spinner bait, small crank baits or plastics, such as a Berkley Power Hawg or finesse worms. Ledges in front of a marsh run off are good places to collect a limit of bass near the end of the outgoing tide.
The snakehead bite continues to be good. White spinner baits and shallow running crank baits fished tight against the shore in very shallow water will draw strikes. The draw back to catching this invasive species is that they will destroy a high dollar lure."

Water Temperature: 81 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jun 09, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"We connect with quality bass by fishing the inside edge of grass beds during the high end of the tide with square bill crank baits and chatter baits. Areas with scattered wood inside the grasses are the most productive. On the lower end of the tide we move to the creeks and fish the ledges in front of spatter dock fields with June bug color finesse worms.
Catfish are hitting plastic creature baits in main river grass beds in water three to four feet deep. Most are small."

Water Temperature: 78 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


This report was submitted by National Bass Guide Service on Jun 04, 2014
Phone: 7033807119
Email: info@nationalbass.com

"June 2014

The north end of the river is being ignored, as grass once again did not come up! Post spawn areas are over hard cover and moving baits prevail. Dock fishing is tops! For the areas from Greenway, Pohick and south, bass will be returning to main river grass and are in summer pattern. Check out shallow main river and creek mouth grass: Greenway Flats, Occoquan, Pohick, Mattawoman, Potomac and Aquia and hard cover like Wilson Bridge pilings, the Pentagon lagoon wall, and Washington Channel. DC police dont want you along Fort McNair. You need a DC fishing license and a Coast Guard approved safe boating course to fish or navigate in DC waters!

Manns Baby 1-Minus has been the all-time favorite bait on the Potomac River over wood and around and over grass ever since Dan Morehead won the 1996 BASSMASTER Top 100. It provides action at high speeds or slowly crawled through cover. A 7-foot medium action composite rod like the Quantum KVD cranking rod allows long casts easy to rip from grass. Try it on Burner series Quantum reels to be able to speed up or catch up!
BTW, NEW KVD Mustad Ultra Point Triple Grip Trebles are an awesome replacement hook! They dont hang up on each other as much!

Under cloudy skies, early morning or with low water, try topwaters. Search for the clearest water and work top down. Post spawners fall for walking baits like the Lucky Craft GUNFISH 115, keep it moving after misses! Otherwise, you wont get them to come back very often! Warmer afternoons produce topwater action with poppers like Lucky Crafts G-Splash and larger G-Splash 80. Low water is best no matter water clarity. In clear calm low light use small light colored poppers. With more chop and stained water, try darker and bigger baits like the Aurora Gold G-Splash 80. Bigger baits create commotion in choppy water. When grass is matted, use HardNose Swim Toads and hollow Super Frogs from Manns! For the toads I like a NEW 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point swimbait hook with adjustable weight to cast farther and to go faster, depending on the thickness of the grass! Use 60-pound test GAMMA Torque braid!

Buzzbaits bring up bigger fish. Add a 2/0 or 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Stinger hook. In general, if water is clear, speed up retrieve. Slow down in stained water and go to a buzzbait like the Manns Classic buzzbait with a clacker. Have a follow-up bait ready on a spinning reel to cast to misses, like soft jerkbaits or stick worms like Manns HardNose Freefall worm.

Target grass clumps and edges, pads, and docks with jigs and plastics. Try 1/2 and 3/8-ounce Stone Jigs with HardNose craws. A good pair of polarized sunglasses like Maui Jim Polarized Plus in Maui HT protects from UV A&B rays enabling you to spot wood, grass, etc. even in stained water. Mizmo tubes in Green pumpkin copper and blue craw and Mizmos new jig colors Texas rigged on a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hooks with a 3/16 BULLSHOT weight work in heavy cover. Also, Mustads new swimbait hooks make Mizmos come to life for swimming! In other cover, use R&R Custom Baits insert tube heads with a Mustad hook. Swim tubes over grass, around wood and through pads. Skip Mizmo tubes under docks and over shallow cover&skipping is more natural. Fish slower in stained water. On bright sunny days, fish hold tight to cover. On cloudy days, fish might not stray too far from the cover, so work deeper docks and nearby grass edges. Docks with grass are usually better at higher tides on sunny days. Texas rigged bulky, thumping; Mizmo Swamp Monsters are a big fish bait!

Swimming jigs around docks and over grass is also working. I like the black/brown ½ ounce Manns Stone jig. Trim weed guards and use HardNose Flippin Craws. This bait stays on really well. Punch through grass mats with 60-pound GAMMA Torque on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook with HardNose Flippin Craws soaked in Jacks Juice garlic spray. Use a ¾ or 1 ounce Round Valley-Tungsten weight. Look for mats with a mix of hydrilla and milfoil. Milfoil makes an archway exit/entrance to the mats.

In Spoils and Smoots Carolina rigs, split shot rigs and drop shot rigs are great with Manns 5-inch Freefall worms on Mega Lite Mustad hooks. For split shot rigs use bullet-shaped BULLSHOT split shot from Water Gremlin. In stained water drop shot darker baits on a 6-12 inch leader keeping baits in the strike zone around drops and near grass edges as long as you need it. Pitch to the bottom and gently shake. If you feel cover with your weight, leave to aggravate fish into biting. The Drop Shot can be flipped or pitched with heavy line.

Cast stick worms like Manns green pumpkin 5" Freefall HardNose worm weightless Texas or wacky on 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega Bite worm hooks and let drop&no other action required. Let it sit and gently twitch. Pull to the surface and drop again&back to the boat. If fish are chasing on the retrieve, go to moving baits or soft plastic jerkbaits.

As water rises, stay in contact with grass: the outside edge, the inside edge, and the TOP edge. Work the top and inside edge as clear water rises and cover a lot of water with bladed jigs. I use a Manns HardNose Jerkbait as a trailer! This is a huge target that stays on the hook! Try craw patterns as well as traditional black/blue and white combos.

Go 4-10 feet deep with crankbaits on drops with Manns 15+ around the Spoils, Smoots, South Point, Fort Washington Lighthouse, and Hogg Island. With 12-pound test GAMMA Copoly make longer casts to cover water. Try darker patterns, like firetiger and craw patterns.

Try Manns Classic, 1/4-ounce spinnerbaits at low tide and 3/8 at high. The smaller bait comes through grass easier on short-targeted casts. Larger baits work well at higher tides to cover water and work best under cloudy conditions, with a chop on the water. In clearer water, go to willow/Colorado nickel blades with a white/chartreuse skirt. Stained water, white skirt and tandem Colorado/Indiana gold blades. Cast into pockets and across edges, maintaining contact. 16-20 pound test Gamma Fluorocarbon keeps baits higher over grass.

Capt. Steve Chaconas, Potomac bass fishing guide, BoatUS Ask the Expert (http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/bassfishing/) Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@NationalBass.com."

Water Temperature: 76 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jun 03, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Bass fishing has been slower than expected but some good bass can be caught by switching patterns on different parts of the tide. Our most productive pattern on the high half of the tide has been to fish the inside edge of grass beds with finesse worms. We cast beyond the grass toward the shore and work the worms back into the grasses. Most hits occur as the worm contacts the inside edge. On the low half of the tide we go to spatterdock pads and fish the same baits along the edges to just a few feet into the pads. Bites have been subtle in both instances."

Water Temperature: 78 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


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