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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I'm thinking about heading out to the Potomac this weekend to do some wade fishing for smallmouths (or whatever else is biting). Does anyone know how the flow is right now? Will it be safe/pratical to wade fish in chest waders? Also, and most importantly, I guess, is: are the fishing biting up there right now?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Matt
 

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USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 01613000 POTOMAC RIVER AT HANCOCK, MD

USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 01646500 POTOMAC RIVER NEAR WASH, DC LITTLE FALLS PUMP STA

THe water is rising at little falls, which is down on the DC/MD border but holding steady up river near Hanco.k. If you know the river, you should do well. Right now is a better time for walleye as they move up river to the first natural or unnatural barriers like dams and ledges.

I'd head up river to dam 4 or harpers ferry area. Be careful when wading, it's getting cold out there now. Muskie are another option and now is the time. FInd the walleye, you'll find the muskie.
 

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VTFish,

The flow is low but nice for fishing right now, the weekend rain only slightly raised the level and it did not get muddy, and its a great time of year to fish that part of the river. I have been on the river a lot lately paddling kayaks, but I have not fished recently. The MD DNR fishing report indicates very good Potomac fishing recently, see:
Fresh Water Fishing Report - Maryland Department of Natural Resources

I live 4 miles from Lander, if you find a boat and need a shuttle ride so you can do a float trip we may be able to work something out. The water temp is about 50 right now so be careful out there.

Yes you can use Chest waders if you are careful, wearing a pfd (float vest) on top is an extremely good idea when wading the Potomac in cold weaher. A good area to wade is above the Rt 15 bridge at Point of Rocks (at junction of 28 and Rt 15)--I saw a couple fly fishermen wading along the MD side above Point of Rocks (access via the C&O canal) a few weeks ago.
 

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Matt,
I think Adam went up there this weekend. I have not talked to him, but if you want I will shoot you his number of you do't still have it.
 

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If you get up to Harpers, the bite is going to be in deeper pools. Quality if not Quantity is what the Shenadoah has been the past few weeks. This cold snap will drive the smallies into deep holes though.

Jim
 

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Whites ferry good Sunday

Although not a good wading area Whites ferry gave up some nice smallmouth drifting the chunk rock twent-thirty yards out from the Va bank from the creek down to the ferry. Water temp was in the low to mid 50's tends to be a little warmer south of PEPCO power plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys! I am planning on crossing the Rt. 15 bridge, parking at the launch on the VA side and fishing upstream from there.

Anything special to use for lures for walleye? I have caught them in VT on inline spinners and bass assassins fished weightless, but havent fished for them down here at all. I will have an assortment of stuff w/ me including inline spinners, spinnerbaits, topwaters, jigs and rapala type lures. Would I be better off using bait this time of year?

Thanks,

Matt
 

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Walleye: Gulp swimming minnow, or basically just a 3" or 4" grub, I think they are called swimming minnows and put them on a good quality jig head 1/16 to 1/4 oz. The gulp shaky worms and in 4 inch work. I like white for the grubs and brown for the worms.

Other people swear on the rapala jerk baits xrap in different sizes and the rapala husky jerk #13. But I think they are more for warmer water temps. November can be excellent smallmouth fishing too with tubes. A steady temp is better than a sudden cold front but if it's been cold for a while, the fish should have adjusted. Find the deeper water and you'll find the fish when it's cold.

Other things to look for are springs flowing into the river in the winter. They can be seen easily because green vegetation like grasses will still be growing in and around them on shore.

Muskie.... large bucktail spinner baits with good quality ball bearing swivel and snap. Get the heaviest ones you can and spend a lot of money on the snap connection. The cheap ones often fail when casting large lures for extended period of time. Typically the larger baits are used in the fall and smaller in the spring. You couldn't find a bait too large for a muskie, even the largest of striper baits should work.

The junction pool of the shannendoha and the Potomac on the MD side is a great place to start. Don't bother wading there though.
 

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Just today I had my Subaru serviced in Hagerstown and after dropping off the car I drove the loaner to Dam4... no fishing, just looking around. The river low and clear. Flow data shows it flowing below average. Dunno about the dying grass situation down by Landers though. It can be a royal PITA when that stuff starts dying and breaking loose.

As far as baits go, I'd take along the aboved mentioned baits plus a selection of 2"-3" twister tails, pearl, chartreuse, with 1/16, 1/8, 1/4oz heads. A tag of worm added to the jig will help with he wallies. This cool weather plus low flow will chase bass/walleye/sunfish out of the shallows and into the deeper pools. Any big submerged rock in deeper water with an underwater overhang will be a bigtime hot spot. Lander is full of these rocks, especially down river of the powerlines. Not sure if you can reach them while wadding. A canoe/kayak would really increase your odds. At this flow its easy to launch at Landers, float down a 1/2 mile to a rapids, then paddle back up. BTW, dress twice as warm and wear longjohns.
 
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