Author Topic: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)  (Read 14711 times)

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MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« on: November 29, 2013, 09:16:07 PM »
I posted this last year on BayBass.com, and it's time to roll it out again....I've updated some and made some appropriate changes.

Winter has finally set in, and water temps in the MD, DC, VA area are 34-41 depending on where you are.  Today 11/29/13 a buddie and I went to the Back River MD Sea Pickle Plant, (WWD- Warm Water Discharge) and caught so many we were sore after the first hour, but they were not the species we were looking for.  If "Cabin Fever" is beginning to settle in, and you want to get out, check out the following hot spots, many of which are warm water discharges.  If your boating, bring an anchor, or pick ax, or sledgehammer with you so you can break up the ice at the ramp so you can get to the areas you need to be in.  I've fished all of the below areas with extreme success (at times) in the middle of winter and water temps should be anywhere from 48 to 65 in some of these areas notated as Warm Water Discharges.  There is information on these areas all over the web (some more than others), so I'd suggest you use a seach engine for more specific info or else I'd have to write 2 pages per each spot.  BEFORE YOU GO, DO YOUR RESEARCH, NOTHING STINKS MORE THAN GETTING TO THE AREA, ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT THE BOAT RAMP IS CLOSED, ICED OVER, OR THERE ARE NEW "NO TRESSPASSING" SIGNS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE FISHING FROM SHORE.

 

My best winter baits, regardless of where I'm fishing are suspending jerkbaits over deep water, Mann's Stingray grubs on 1/4-3/8oz jigheads, Double D compact jigs with deer hair mix, Strike King Bitsy Bug or other similar smaller jigs (dark colors)  tipped with twin tail grub or crawfish trailers, and blade baits or spoons, like the Cincy Fisher 3/8oz or 1/2oz, and maybe 3/4oz in water 20'+.  I prefer the Cincy Fisher blade bait made with great componets.  Chrome, gold or colored spoons made by Castmaster in 1/4 and 1/2oz, 3/4oz and 1oz for the deep fish in 25-35' such as the fish on Lake Anna, including stripers.  I like the OSP Jerkbaits, Megabass 110, Lucky Craft Pointer 100sp, and the Rapala Husky Jerk and HJ-10 for the super clear and often highly pressured warm water discharge areas.  Don't overwork them.  Tap them a few times, and let them sit for at least 5-10 seconds.  Watch your line.......


On really windy days I'll throw a rattletrap (yo yo retrieve) as well as a large spinnerbait slow rolled and "popped" in 5-15' especially in the warm water discharge areas.  Mann's "Little George" will also do some damage, as will the "Fish Head Spin" and Swim shads or "swiming flukes" like the Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper, or Zoom swimming fluke in baitfish or white colors such as "White Trash" (Reaction Innovations)  As for the crappie, a float n' fly or float n' jig is best.  This is not a floating fly like what you'd use on a fly rod.....I saw someone at the local lake had this confused last winter...... :(  Gamakatsu jigheads 1/16 to 1/32oz suspended 3-8' below a foam weighted bobber or similar "long distance casting bobbers"  are best, attached via swivel or "slip bobber" style  (bait and bobber cast out together as one, then the bobber slides up the line until it hits the bobber stop)  This technique is deadly on suspended finicky fish.  Use a larger tube jig or grub for larger fish or bass.  For moving water, try a heavier 1/8oz jighead.  For superclear cold water, and finicky fish, I use a "Trout Magnet small jig" suspended below a small weighted bobber usually 3-8' down.  When casting this rig, a long 7'+ medium light spinning rod does the job much better than a shorter spinning rod.  Remember Crappie have super thin mouths that are like hooking a piece of paper.  The mouth will tear very easily if your using too stiff of a rod, or placing too much pressure on the fish. The line I've got 100% faith in especially after some true "battles" these past years is P-Line CXX and P-Line PF Original. I use the 6lb on my spinning rods, 4lb on my crappie rods, and 8-10lb on my rattletrap, jerkbait, crankbait, and even spinnerbait rods.  8lb line on a baitcaster sounds crazy, but this is no normal fishing line.  Absolutely amazing is all I can say and I don't get a single free yard of this stuff for saying so.
Edit (This has since changed)

Reston VA Lakes....if you live within 15 minutes from Anne, Newport, Audubon, and Thoreau, it's worth a shot for a few hours.  The dam areas are public and you have a shot at some large 5lb+ bass here in the winter/early spring months.  Spinnerbaits in 5-15' on windy days at the dams continues to be the big fish pattern here, even in December, January, February.  Silver Buddies and jigs come second.  Deep water here and brushpiles especially at Anne, which seems to hold the most bass over 5lbs in the dam area during the winter months.  Park right off Whelie Ave next to the path.  Say hello, I'm there often.  Over the past 2/3 years there have been 20 bass over 4.5/5lbs taken here (Reston Lakes) by myself, Dennis N. and Tibor F during the winter months, including several 6lb fish and one around 10lbs pictured in VA waters PICS and the other post on this forum with some Reston hawg pics....link here http://www.baybass.com/forum/index.php?topic=18.0
 

Loudoun Warm Water Discharge Ponds- For those of us that know where the "jacuzzi" is........you gotta laugh at this place.  Those poor fish.....I've caught them with hooks from other anglers in their mouth, fishing line and rusted worm and bait hooks coming out of their anus...it's crazy.   I've actually named a few.  "Mole" the LM is about 4lb 3oz right now and has a dark brown spot on his lateral line left hand side, "Hazy" the Smallmouth, is 3lbs 6oz right now and has a hazy left eye, and the list goes on.  I'm shocked the place is not closed off yet.  When the rest of the lakes/rivers are frozen over or flooded/muddy I like to hit this place up and it's a great spot to take a beginner to get them hooked.  I'm not going to give away it's location, as the place is already ridiculously pressured, but if you live in the Fairfax or Loudoun Counties and ask around about it, someone will tell you.

Dickerson Power Plant- Upper Potomac River MD  http://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.193668,-77.473088&num=1&t=h&sll=39.22,-77.424444&sspn=0.01729,0.032015&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=39.193715,-77.473065&spn=0.004008,0.010568&z=17  Really good smallmouth action here.  Very limited shore access, much better in a boat.
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-02-18/sports/1996049187_1_smallmouth-bass-fishing-susquehanna-river

 

Conowingo Peach Bottom Power Plant   http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-11-07/sports/1993311240_1_largemouth-bass-water-power-plant  (old article but good info)

 

Patuxent River Power Plant (Chalk Point)  http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=patuxant+river+power+plant&FORM=IQFRBA&view=detail&id=1A27C03E3322431EC4D2FA40884094ED0196399F

 

Brandon Shores Power Plant on the Patapsco River MD  (East of the Key Bridge)

 

Calvert Cliffs Power Plant- Lower Chesapeake Bay http://www.dnr.state.md.us/naturalresource/winter2002/powerplant.html   Best action around if you have a boat, and don't mind the drive.

 

Back River MD Sea Pickle Plant  (Upper Chesapeake Bay - my true "home water") - closest launch is Cox Point Park and further down river is Rocky Point Park, open year round. This is the "sewage treatment" plant in Back River, which is why I've named it the "sea pickle plant".  If you don't get the joke.....let's just leave it that way.  Bring a large net, your going to need it.  Not too many Stripers and LM Bass, but so many Carp, Catfish, and Shad, that you'll hit them with your Trolling Motor and Outboard.  From November to March, it's close to impossible to get a lure back to the boat here if your in the right area, from the concrete pier (outflow) north east to the first small sand point.  This sea pickle plant is located just north east (downriver) of the Back River Bridge. The water is deep around 10-12' up against the pier and due to the holes in the warm water pipe, there are "holes" on the bottom.  1/2oz rattletraps and 1/2oz silverbuddies.  Your best bet of a striper in here may come on a spinnerbait, because it's nearly the only bait you can get back to the boat.  The carp in here are mean, and they will demolish your rattletrap (eat it).  Today 11/29/13 the water at the Rocky Point ramp was slightly frozen and 34/35 degrees.  Water at the sea pickle plant was 52.  Every fish left in that river is there at the plant.  Fish the surrounding water until you travel outside/below the 42 degree water temp mark.

 

Saltpeter Creek Warm Water Discharge MD (Upper Chesapeake Bay - my true "home water")  http://www.chesapeake-angler.com/storyfeb07-powerplantprowess.htm   WARNING- you WERE able to fish this area from shore parking at "the bridge" (the Carroll Island BGE Power Plant)  This was and is still property of Aberdeen Proving Grounds.  You do not want to tresspass here.  Boat access only now from nearby creeks/rivers.  Dundee Creek Marina is very close but closes for the winter and re-opens in March.   I grew up fishing here during the winter months.  Due to the amout of trash and "other" activity that went on here, they shut it down around 2000 I believe it was.  The closest ramps are Mariner Point Park on the Gunpowder, and any marina on the "Seneca Creek" like Beacon Light.  I'd suggest you call some marinas on the Seneca and make sure they'll let you launch there in the winter months.  Some have locked gates.  There are several marinas here.  I used to have my Skeeter/Yahama serviced at Beacon Light Marina in the back of the Seneca.  If you don't mind a 12-15 minute boat ride doing 40-70mph you can always launch at Wilson Point Park on the Middle River, enter the main bay, hook to the left, wrap around Carroll Island at the mouth of the Seneca, or use the "cut through" ONLY if you have enough water and you know how to run this dangerous short-cut and then enter the Saltpeter (another left turn after the cut through or Carroll Island.  Wilson Point Park is very protected and will have thin ice on it sometimes.  Bring an oar incase you need to break it up.  If for some odd reason your motor does not start, no worries, just put down the trolling motor and fish this creek (Dark Head)  This is not the back of Middle River main stem, however the water back in this "lagoon" is some of the deepest water in the entire Middle River.  Fish the concrete and rock and creek channel near the broken down dock. (you'll see shore fisherman here every day in the winter, especially in Feb/March).


 

Four Mile Run Power Plant (Potomac River)-  "Urban combat fishing" to the fullest. Lots of angler traffic and trash (mostly not fishing related though), but the fish DO stack up in here.  Lots of Yellow Perch, bass, crappie, huge monster cats, giant carp, and snakehead with an occasional Striper this time of year.  You may catch a pair of underware, socks, and other weird items here as well, not kidding.  Do NOT drop off your kids here to fish alone, and I'd be really careful fishing here at night.....if you have your CWP, "bring her along".  Light tackle is best as the water is SUPER clear at times meaning 3-6' visibility.  Blue cats upwards of 60lbs cruise around in here, so if you do decide to bottom fish, use 80lb braid minimum, and alot of it....."river monsters style".  Updated: I fished here 1/1/13 with my buddy and we both started the new year with 4 nice bass each,  a handful of 15-25lb carp, a few shad, 3 pairs of undeez, (Hanes seemed to be popular) one pair of socks (no feet attached), a wool hat, three trash bags, and "ONE" item I won't even list on this site.  I soaked myself with disinfectant and showered immediately after returning home....I also have the CDC on standby.  Photo Gallery "VA Waters" #109...more coming.  Check/scan through the 10 pages of fishing reports on main baybass.com page and scan for the Four Mile Run reports.  It will take you a while to figure the place out, but if you read the reports, you'll save yourself a few years of the learning curve, as I get very detailed and give excellent positioning and angling info you will find NO where else.  DO NOT FISH FROM THE AIRPORT ROCKS ON THE AIRPORT SIDE....IT'S TRESPASSING AND THE COPS WILL KICK YOU OUT QUICKLY. 

 

Blue Plains Water Treatment Plant (Potomac just above the WWB)  Closest boat ramp on the VA side is Bell Haven.  This place on the weekend has boats in it all year long regardless of weather.  It receives more pressure in November, December, January, February than in the summertime.  Great fishing here all winter, but you will not be the only ones.  No shore access.  Must have a DC fishing license. (I think you can order on-line) One of the best areas in the MD, DC, VA area if you have boat access.

 


Occoquan River VA- This is one of the best rivers to fish on the Potomac during the winter months.  I actually prefer the river to be stained and cold, as it forces the bass to be tight to cover and not as deep.  Big yellow perch, crappie, bass and some smaller 15-25" stripers all winter long.  During the winter the Occoquan Regional Park is open at 8am.  Fish the marina pilings and bridge pilings up and down the river.  The back of the river is dangerous, so don't take your fiberglass rig back past the walk bridge, unless your just plain crazy and don't care if you get stuck on a 10' wide boulder in the middle of the 12-14' channel, and crack your hull.  This is where you'll catch some nice walleye and some stripers though in the winter months.  Rattletraps and small jigs or sassy shads will do the trick back here.  It will take a while for you to figure it out if your new here. 

 

Lake Brittle- I absolutely hate this place at times, (actually the majority of the time) however if you want to catch some walleye and crappie in the middle of the winter and maybe a nice bass, this is not too bad of a spot.  The things I DO like about it is the access 24/7/365 with free boat ramp, (can't use your outboard) and the large fishing pier which is in the deepest area of the lake with TONS of brushpiles below it in 10-17'.  If you choose to bottom fish, do so out away from the dock or else I promise you you'll loose your rig.  Small crappie jigs on 2-6lb line around the dock and dam area either suspended on a bobber or casted out to fall and jig slowly will do the job.  Large crappie are hard to find here though, although there are a bunch of smaller crappie here.  Yellow perch are also in this lake.  Rememeber that it's further west so the water here will freeze over faster, and if its more than a 45 min. drive for you, I'd suggest going somewhere else.  http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/display.asp?id=22

 

 

Burke Lake VA- (no outboard motors can be used) Until I figured this place out some, I really disliked it to be on the gentle side of my feelings......Forget about everything on the shore during the winter months and fish the creek channels with stumps and brush as well as deep points.  This is a deep water fishery with a large shad population.  Find the bait and you'll find the bass.  Out of all the lakes in VA, this body of water has the highest electroshocking sampling rates and is rated #1 last time I checked.  This does NOT mean it's easy to catch fish here though.  If you specialize in fishing deep clear bodies of water with large baitfish populations, you'll learn it quickly.....I do not specialize in deep clear bodies of water so I did not do well here the first 20 trips.  I had to learn the hard way.  The dam area (from shore) is great during the winter months and there are blue cats in Burke as well as GIANT Muskie, infact I'd bet every piece of tackle I own that there is a state record Muskie in this lake.  4 to 5 lb bass are common here at least for the VGDIF electroshocking crew....and a few deep water fisherman friends I know.  To fish downlake park at the VDGIF boat ramp (not the main enterance to the park).  This will put you 200 yards from the dam and spillway.  Live bait such as minnows fished along the bottom will produce all winter, if your not into the artificials.  http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/display.asp?id=26

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/burkelakepark/directions.htm  Overhead view


Lake Anna VA (not lake Anne in Reston)-  This is a huge body of water with a HOT Side and a COLD side, with a very large Striped Bass population.  It's on a nuclear power plant 1.5hrs from Northern VA.  Too much info to list, tons of guides available.  Ton's of info out there.  Anna Point Marina, Sturgen Creek Marina, High Point Marina, Hotels, and more.  Spend a Sat and Sun here and hire a guide if it's your first time.  Do your research or contact me for recommended guides, some are not what they hype themselves up to be, especially here.  I'd recommend a Striper Trip here during the winter months, this is when they turn on.
 

Tight Lines and dress warm, and wear a PFD at all times this time of year.  The newer ones like the Mustang auto or manual inflate fit like a light vest, you'll not even realize your wearing it.  If you fall in with all those heavy clothes on, the chances of you climbing back into the boat are VERY slim, let alone even keeping your head above water.  Once you fall into 38 degree water on a 40 degree day, you've got 10 minutes to get dry and warm or your dead.  PLEASE take this seriously.
 

-Baybass

upperbaybassin@gmail.com

« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 07:41:30 PM by Admin »
Fishing is not my hobby, and a bass boat is not a “toy”. Fishing is a way of life in which I can’t do without. I fish in Ranger Boats. If those close to you don’t support your way of life, remove them. Life is short and kayaks are shorter. God is good, so get to know him. Hillary smells like sulfer.

petersarnold

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 10:09:35 PM »
Bryan,

Thanks for this jewel of a report!  To help people find information on your site I recommend trying the following.  This example finds four mile run fishing reports on baybass.com:
  • Go to www.google.com
  • In the search bar type:  site:baybass.com four mile run fishing report
Play around with different arguments to find all sorts of good information!

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 12:33:28 AM »
Thanks Peter!  Yea that search phrase works really well....I think it may have listed all of them!  I go into some really good detail about where to park, what side is deeper, where the holes are.......how the tide changes water clarity and fish movements and everything.  Hope it helps a lot of people out!  Thanks for the added advice for those searching.  We'll go down there and I'll show you around to my prime holes :D
Fishing is not my hobby, and a bass boat is not a “toy”. Fishing is a way of life in which I can’t do without. I fish in Ranger Boats. If those close to you don’t support your way of life, remove them. Life is short and kayaks are shorter. God is good, so get to know him. Hillary smells like sulfer.

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 12:46:16 AM »
Bryan, great report.  I ventured over to Lake Fairfax this summer, and frankly the water looked dead.  Maybe it was the goose crap everywhere, or the fact that you can't fish from the rental boats, but it looked like a tough place to fish.  Have you actually had success fishing this place from the shore?  Also you talked about alot of the trout surviving during the year after being stocked in the winter.  Have you caught large trout there later in the year.  Knowing how trout really need cool and clean water, it is hard for me to believe that many fish can survive our hot summers in that place.  Any ideas on the depth of the lake, as it doesn't look deep enough to me for the fish to have a chance to find the cool, well oxygenated water that they need.  How about the chance at a double of a 5 lb bass and trout in one day with Anne and Fairfax being practically next door?  :)   

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 08:29:53 AM »
I spoke to a old guy once there years and years back who used to work for the Parks Authority or something like that.  He said they'd never seen any die off over there of the trout.  I've never seen a dead one either.  The lake has very clean water due to all the SAV filtering.  There is also very little runoff coming into the lake from neighborhoods, fertilizer from lawns, and hardly any trash.  The deepest part of the lake is around 15-17' out from the dam and slightly to the north.  When the fish find the thermoclines in this water, it would be cool enough for them to survive in.  The carp in the lake have a tough job keeping up with the SAV growth, and there are not a lot of small bass in the lake.  There are some very large bass in here though as I've seen them in the spring.  Crappie fishing can also be excellent at times out from the concrete walkway on the north side of the pier directly behind the pool area at the mouth of the creek.  I've caught lots of trout here in the winter months on a float n' fly rig (small jig head tube or grub suspended 4/5' under a bobber attached via swivel with leader line.

There are a few older guys who know how to get them in here throughout the winter and early spring, and I've seen some impressive stringers of Crappie and trout here.  During the summer months, the trout must move further out into the deeper water.  This is the non-sense I saw on the state/county website about the lake, although there are no signs posting such at the lake:

Fishing from personal boats is not permitted Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and weekends only from Labor Day through the last weekend in October. Fishing from rental boats is not permitted.

Here is more info....some of which does not limit the season for personal boats, only says not allowed from Memorial Day through Labor Day
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/lakefairfax/wp-marina.htm

who thinks up this non-sense....what a bunch of morons.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 09:11:08 AM by Admin »
Fishing is not my hobby, and a bass boat is not a “toy”. Fishing is a way of life in which I can’t do without. I fish in Ranger Boats. If those close to you don’t support your way of life, remove them. Life is short and kayaks are shorter. God is good, so get to know him. Hillary smells like sulfer.

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 08:45:49 PM »
I added the "Jacuzzi" to the original article   :o

Loudoun Warm Water Discharge Ponds- For those of us that know where the "jacuzzi" is........you gotta laugh at this place.  Those poor fish.....I've caught them with hooks from other anglers in their mouth, fishing line and rusted worm and bait hooks coming out of their anus...it's crazy.   I've actually named a few.  "Mole" the LM is about 4lb 3oz right now and has a dark brown spot on his lateral line left hand side, "Hazy" the Smallmouth, is 3lbs 6oz right now and has a hazy left eye, and the list goes on.  I'm shocked the place is not closed off yet.  When the rest of the lakes/rivers are frozen over or flooded/muddy I like to hit this place up and it's a great spot to take a beginner to get them hooked.  I'm not going to give away it's location, as the place is already ridiculously pressured, but if you live in the Fairfax or Loudoun Counties and ask around about it, someone will tell you.
Fishing is not my hobby, and a bass boat is not a “toy”. Fishing is a way of life in which I can’t do without. I fish in Ranger Boats. If those close to you don’t support your way of life, remove them. Life is short and kayaks are shorter. God is good, so get to know him. Hillary smells like sulfer.

nojackjigndoublewide

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 11:16:06 PM »
Roaches Run is another Virginia warm water discharge.

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 06:34:52 AM »
Bump bump ......a great read!!
Fishing is not my hobby, and a bass boat is not a “toy”. Fishing is a way of life in which I can’t do without. I fish in Ranger Boats. If those close to you don’t support your way of life, remove them. Life is short and kayaks are shorter. God is good, so get to know him. Hillary smells like sulfer.

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Re: MD, DC, VA WINTER FISHING SPOTS (WHERE TO GO + DETAILS)
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2018, 08:07:27 PM »
Gotta af the Shenandoah River also!!!  Awesome wintertime smallmouth and largemouth bass action and you can run fiberglass bass boats in a few locations/ramps. 
Fishing is not my hobby, and a bass boat is not a “toy”. Fishing is a way of life in which I can’t do without. I fish in Ranger Boats. If those close to you don’t support your way of life, remove them. Life is short and kayaks are shorter. God is good, so get to know him. Hillary smells like sulfer.