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JCrzy4Bass

What mode on the Potomac?

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Hey guys, specifically I'm talking "Mattawoman Creek" in Md across from Leesylvania. Has anyone been out about there lately? My dad and I are going on Saturday and I'm just curious as to what I should be expecting as far as water temps with most days this week being in the mid 60s close to 70 degrees.

Also are they still in pre spawn mode, are they staging, or are they moving to the back of the main creeks, or are they breaking off into the feeder creeks?

Also where are you guys finding most of the bait fish?

If you can help at all we'd appreciate it. Haven't got a clue because both days we've wanted to go there have been small craft advisories. Other wise I would have at least an idea of what they are doing right now. I took in Vekols report earlier last week but things change with these fronts and as we have more days of 60 degree weather mixed with warmer evenings and nights we should be getting closer and closer to bed time!

Oh yea, to get the best fishing we will be launching three hours before high tide (or as early as we can pending gate opening) and staying til' 2 or 3 hours after peak high tide.

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J,

Fish should be going into full blown pre-spawn mode from now until probably the end of the month. Common wisdom says that bass spawn on the first full or new moon after the water temps reach 64f. I'm sure the spawn takes awhile, because not all fish can spawn at the same time--simply not enough good spawning water in the Potomac for that to happen. To much mud. Water temps are currently 50f in Mattwoman Creek according to the USGS site that I occasionally check.  It would take at least a week of temps getting into the mid-70s, or a lot of blue bird days with warm nights to get the water temperature up to 64, so we should have at least a couple of weeks of pre-spawn left. I don't have any Mattawoman specific information--never fished there.

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Vekol, thanks a lot for the temperature info.  My dad and I don't have a depth finder that gives us temps so all we have to work on are the structure, bait fish pods, and fish themselves.  Cool.  Well I will be following your previous report and looking for similar areas.

We will probably focus most of our efforts on main river points and secondary points looking for drop offs and more than likely fish deeper most of the day.

What kind of depths were you finding your fish at on that last trip to Aquia?

Thanks alot again Vekol.  Informative as always.  We'll let you know how we fare.  Hope we do better than we did at Occoquan at the end of March... what a waste of a day that was lol (though my dad and I had fun).

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oooh mattawoman what a nice place when it isnt a seaport full of boats LOL. That is a good place i have fished there a good amount last year but later spring and mid summer. i would always try a spro frog there even if the grass hasnt gotten super thick. But if the grass isnt crazy yet i would weightless t-rig a senko or worm(dark) or with a little weight and if your into cranking then crank shallow divers over the grass worked as slow as you can go. Also if you can make a little longer run i would recomend chicamuxen i love that place.

I would also look for the edge of grass beds and fish along there

good luck

:)

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Jay,

My boss went out again today to Gunston Cove near Belvoir and caught 11 Bass ranging from 1-4lbs.  2 on wacky worm and the rest on red crawdad cranks.  All were caught around 2 pm.  He said nothing was biting morning time but as soon as the tide started coming in the bite was on.  He's going out tomorrow again and I'm going out fishing with him on Wednesday.   I'll provide more information on patterns.  

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Thanks Andy, I'll be placing those baits aside in my tackle to give em' a try.  Sounds like spinners and rat l traps have been working well out there too from other reports (on the Potomac).  Good luck out there.  You busy Saturday?

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Vekol, thanks a lot for the temperature info. My dad and I don't have a depth finder that gives us temps so all we have to work on are the structure, bait fish pods, and fish themselves. Cool. Well I will be following your previous report and looking for similar areas.

We will probably focus most of our efforts on main river points and secondary points looking for drop offs and more than likely fish deeper most of the day.

What kind of depths were you finding your fish at on that last trip to Aquia?

Thanks alot again Vekol. Informative as always. We'll let you know how we fare. Hope we do better than we did at Occoquan at the end of March... what a waste of a day that was lol (though my dad and I had fun).

I was fishing shallow--in 2-4' of water. I never fish water deeper than 5' because there is no grass in water deeper than 5' that I've ever been able to find. The keys to bass on the Potomac:

1. Fish in or near (within 25') of grass. If you can find wood in conjunction with grass, then that is even better.

2. Understand how current positions fish. Since the Potomac is tidal, the current changes several times a day. You need to position yourself to take advantage of it. I'm still figuring that out, but the general rule is to fish closer to the bank as the tide is rising, and farther away when when it is falling. You also need to determine how/where the bass will position themselves to take advantage of the goodies being moved along with the current while expending the least amount of energy possible.

The falling tide is generally best (but not always), particularly the first three hours. I always try to be in my best areas at high tide, ready to take advantage of the beginning of the cycle.

Remember you are fishing a river, and not a lake. The important structure, particularly in the Potomac are subtle things. I always look for the deepest water in shallow bays. "Deeper" generally means a 1-2 foot difference. In Aquia creek, the area of the river I'm most familiar with, these areas are found on the main river side of the bays in the creek. My guess is because water follows the past of least resistance, and where possible a straight line, the current is faster in these spots, and it sweeps the sediment from the bottom. I seldom fish the main river this time of year because I'm looking for the warmest water I can find, and that is not the main river (I've also found that the east side of the river is cooler than the west, don't know why, or if that holds true for the entire river.) Often times I've found that these deeper areas have hard gravel or shell bottoms--which is a plus.

I've heard that there are areas, such as the "Spoils" up by Smoot Bay where guys throw deep diving cranks with considerable success at certain times of year--but by and large I recommend you stay shallow. Also recommend that if you have not done it yet, get a copy of Ken Penrod's "Tidal Potomac River Fishing Bible" which you can get at his site: http://www.penrodsguides.com/  

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Thanks for the link Vekol, I'll try and pick up a copy when I get paid next week.  That is some sweet info.  Printing it out and adding it to my fishing folder.  Soon I'll have enough for a book lol.

I take all the info you guys give me and add it to a file so I have essentially another book to study along with my magazines.  Learned a lot doing it.  You guys here in Nova rock.

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