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NOVAbasskid

Bad idea?

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Alright so I was talking to my buddy the other day and he said he was fishing a federation tournament in which one guy brought three 6 pounders back from the same creek on the Potomac. This creek is an hour and 45 minutes by car but if I were to put my Jon boat in on the other side of the potomac it's about a 9 mile run to the creek and with my jon boat running 15 mph which i'm pretty sure it does i could get there in 36 minutes which even with the 45 minutes from my house to get to this launch would be shorter by a 25 minutes shorter each way than driving (plus wouldn't have to deal with traffic). Anyhow if it was a nice day out would I not be too crazy to make that run? And do I need any additional safety equipment in myboat to avoid getting a ticket than I would if I were just on my smaller lake body of waters?

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another sitekid: I would suggest having your boat outfitted at the minimum- 2 life vests, tool kit, fire extinguisher, a paddle of sorts.  The game and fish authority will randomly inspect your boat for these items.  As far as making the journey, make the most of it, you may find a great fishing spot on the way, better yet, meet new friends.  Fishing is catching fish, but living is enjoying every moment of being on the water.  Be safe and good luck with your travels!

-G-

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It all depends on the size of your jon boat. I have a 17ft Nitro and some days I don't even come out of the creeks. I don't like messing around out on the Potomac unless the water is calm and will remain calm until I can get back to a smaller body. I was stuck out on the Potomac around bouie 33 during a h*ll of a storm and trust me its no fun. The wind brought abot 3-5ft waves coming over the top of the boat and it takes alot for me to worry but I was. Just becareful if you go and good luck, make sure ALL of your equipment is up to date!!!

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I just recently bought my first bass boat, a used 17' (well, 16'8") Stratos that I'm keeping in storage at Aquia Creek. At this point, being very new to fishing the lower Potomac, I can only tell you what I've heard, and that is just to be careful and use common sense. What many folks have told me is that you can find yourself in trouble when you weren't expecting it--e.g., launch in the morning in calm, glass-like conditions; hours later after a day of spectacular fishing you find yourself many miles from where you put in, and a weather system comes in with winds blowing against the tide. That glassy water then becomes 3-4' whitecaps. I myself haven't experienced this, and I hope not to...but I want to be as prepared as I can be if/when the time comes. Like Nitro said--

some days I don't even come out of the creeks
--the preparation part of that might just mean equipping myself with the knowledge to make good decisions, like staying off the main river if need be.

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I don't think it is a bad idea.  But like everyone said, be prepared.  Ask your local authorities what safety equipment is required by law.  

Sooner or later you will get caught by a storm.  Stow an extra bag with a rain jacket, snacks and water so that you can wait out a storm.  In a jon boat I don't think you will have the option of fighting your way through it.  You will have to hide and wait.

I am not familiar with the Potomac, but I am familiar with 1 mile of water and being caught in a storm with just a trolling motor.  The rain jacket kept it from being a miserable experience. It was only a 2 hour experience with no actual discomfort.

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If you are going to take a jon boat on the Potomac I would have the following things with you in the boat.  I would also check the forecast right before you are ready to go out on the water because taking a jon boat on the Potomac can be extremely dangerous.  You want to pay close attention to the small craft advisories.

These are the must have items (the VDGIF/Game Warden will expect you to have these)

A PFD for each person, plus a throwable PFD

A working bilge pump in case you start taking on water.

A flare gun to signal for help

A fire extingusher

These are my extra items I bring:

A two way radio with the ability to receive the NOAA information

Rain gear

Water

Snacks

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hmmm where'd yo u get that list of things i need? I just went to walmart today and picked up a bunch of stuff since my buddy got a ticket today on the reservoir. I just went off what was listed at VDGIFs website here:

http://www.dgif.state.va.us/boating/wog/equipment-regulations.asp#REQUIRED_EQUIPMENT

According to that i don't need the bilge pump or flair gun although the flair gun is recommended.

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I guess I put the bilge pump under the wrong category, sorry. I would not go out on the Potomac if I didn't have a working bilge pump in my boat. That water conditions can change very fast out there and you should take precautions to get water back out of the boat if need to.

You also may want to check with the Maryland DNR if you plan on trying to get across the river.  

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1.  Get a copy of the watercraft guidelines from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

2. Take a safe boating course and get your certificate.

3. Remember that the Potomac is a very unforgiving river and the weather can put you in an extremely hazardous situation in the blink of an eye.

Since you now have a boat it is time to learn what is needed on it and how to safely operate it, especially if I am on the water with you.

I hate towing people back to the ramp.  :)

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Can't find anything requiring the safety course, although does sound like a great idea don't have the time for it. I guess i need a Chesapeake bay fishing license to fish the Potomac down there? Am i right on that or should my va license be all i need.

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Hey check these websites out on info for everything you will need to take you boat on the water so you do not end up with a ticket.

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/boating/wog/equipment-regulations.asp#Visual_Distress_Signals

http://www.boatus.org/onlinecourse/statelaws/Virginia.html

http://www.boat-ed.com/va/handbook/index.htm

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I'll second rondef's bilge pump recommendation.  A jon boat doesn't weigh much.  If conditions turn rough and you start taking splashing water over the bow 10 galloons could come in quickly.  That's about 80 lbs.  This will affect the performance of the boat and cause you to take on more water quicker.  You will need to get rid of that water.  Stopping to bail water may not be an option if you are struggling to keep your nose into the wind.

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