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#1 Jan-08-19 3:37PM

drxfish
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Sterling
Registered: Jan-04-14
Posts: 1146

Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

I had to get a day in before our forecasted colder weather hits.  With high temps near 60 degrees and winds 5-10mph, I was determined to catch some fish.  My original plan was to hit a wintering hole on the Occoquan River with George.  Unfortunately, George is battling the remnants of the flu, so I was solo.  I looked at the gauges for the UP, and the river did not jump as much as forecasted and was projected to be about 6 foot at Point of Rocks today.  I decided to scout the water conditions yesterday and saw the river was green, but swift.  The ramp was covered in mud.  I decided to go for smallies closer to home and came prepared with a shovel to clear the ramp some.  After shoveling, I got on the water just after 9:00am.  I tried a spot near the ramp,but got no bites.  Next, I hit some island blow down eddies we had luck on in the Fall.  I was fishing tubes and jigs mostly.  I caught my first smallie of 2019 on one of George's jigs with an Erie Darter style trailer.  It was a nice 17" chunk.
https://i.imgur.com/5FHJKTS.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/vVm4Y4G.jpg
I did not catch any more at that spot, so decided to move upriver.  I went up to the next island and caught one smaller fish about 12" or so on a tube.
https://i.imgur.com/LzF5hIu.jpg

After that, I decided to head upriver to a permanent current break.  It was a flooded island and I worked it over good with no bites.  I decided to hit blowdowns on the islands while floating back.  I was using a bitsy bug jig with an Erie Darter style trailer and hooked a fish.  It did not feel big at first and I was reaching for the net when it woke up and started fighting and diving under the boat.  After a short fight, I was able to net what turned out to be my longest smallie yet, at 21".
https://i.imgur.com/DcEhkCr.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ELGGmhL.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/iQaAG7n.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/AHoGi4D.jpg
I just kept floating and putting my anchor down (which would drag) when I got to a blowdown that caused an eddy.  I caught another smaller fish and then a 17"er.
https://i.imgur.com/AoB9h4l.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/V9Gqg8M.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ylmk5Af.jpg
I was switching between the jigs and a tube and then the tube bite picked up, so I stuck with the tube mostly.
I ended up catching a couple more smaller fish and one that was 15.5"
https://i.imgur.com/CrRBFfh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/hk3QKrK.jpg
I lost a couple fish due to poor hooksets, but I ended up catching three in the last spot I hit before heading back in.  The bite was either a thunk, or just weight on the line.  I really enjoyed the warmer day and was fortunate to catch some nice fish (8 total).  I was off the water a little before 5:00pm.

Last edited by drxfish (Jan-08-19 3:43PM)


Always wishin' I was fishin'

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#2 Jan-08-19 4:02PM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

Not sure it was warm in the morning....I walked right before noon at it was chilly but once the sun came out, it got nice!

Congrats on an excellent winter (real winter comes tomorrow) day....

That 21 incher is a great fish!!


Time to go fishin' again!

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#3 Jan-09-19 6:15AM

firemunkee
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Ashburn, VA
Registered: May-23-13
Posts: 1384

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

Well done!


Together we'll fight the long defeat.

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#4 Jan-09-19 7:44AM

hookup
Patagonian Toothfish
Registered: Jan-31-12
Posts: 948

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

I was thinking about you yesterday and hoping the warm weather would bring up big fish

Glad to see it did

Well done!

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#5 Jan-09-19 8:04AM

drxfish
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Sterling
Registered: Jan-04-14
Posts: 1146

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

Seeing that the water temps have been in the mid forties for a while (just dipped a bit) plus the warmer temps had me optimistic.  I am getting to like the higher water as it seems to make the fish more predictable.


Always wishin' I was fishin'

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#6 Jan-09-19 8:30AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

drxfish wrote:

I am getting to like the higher water as it seems to make the fish more predictable.

Lots of veteran river guys like it as well...now we know why. It's not like we had these events in the past (as many).


Time to go fishin' again!

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#7 Jan-09-19 8:53AM

drxfish
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Sterling
Registered: Jan-04-14
Posts: 1146

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

The hardest part is holding boat position.


Always wishin' I was fishin'

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#8 Jan-09-19 9:19AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

drxfish wrote:

The hardest part is holding boat position.

I'm sure it was. I was very tempted to take my sled out but had too much to do in the PM. Glad you scored!


Time to go fishin' again!

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#9 Jan-09-19 9:44AM

Junger
Northern Snakehead
From: Potomac, MD
Registered: Aug-14-17
Posts: 237

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

Nice fishines!

drxfish wrote:

The hardest part is holding boat position.

Would spotlock trolling motors help with that?

I'm actually thinking of upgrading my TM, currently a 40lb thrust conventional TM, to one of the fancier GPS spot lock 80lb thrust TM's. If I'm not going for SH at Mattawoman, I'm fishing at Black Hills which is trolling motor only, and it's huge. I probably haven't fished 60% of it because I just don't have much time to motor around in a 3-4 hour window.

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#10 Jan-09-19 10:29AM

hookup
Patagonian Toothfish
Registered: Jan-31-12
Posts: 948

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

Junger wrote:

Would spotlock trolling motors help with that?

Sure, for an extra couple grand .....

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#11 Jan-09-19 10:37AM

drxfish
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Sterling
Registered: Jan-04-14
Posts: 1146

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

With that flow, a 115 would struggle to keep position and your batteries would be dead in no time.


Always wishin' I was fishin'

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#12 Jan-09-19 10:41AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

A 36v 100+lb Spot Lock system would do the trick...for a bit.

I have a 24v system and it works well but gets tired as time goes by during the day. In the summer, I now use a drift anchor and that helps a lot but heavy flow hinders drift anchor use and makes it hard to even have a regular anchor hold.


Time to go fishin' again!

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#13 Jan-09-19 1:13PM

Bryan
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Bealeton, VA
Registered: Mar-18-11
Posts: 865

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

Beautiful fish! I'm so jealous.


tight lines

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#14 Jan-10-19 5:50AM

captmikestarrett
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Potomac River
Registered: May-06-08
Posts: 1698
Website

Re: Upper Potomac 1/8/19 Best Winter Day Yet

I really like the water clarity in those pics. The fish are nice also but I envision that tube hopping down the river bottom and how a smallie would hit that in that clearish water. Really nice report. Thanks
Capt Mike


Light Tackle Fishing Guide on the Potomac

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