Potomac River Fishing Report 12/18/16 THE SLAUGHTER


My long time friend Kenny Rogers and I had a tremendous day on the Occoquan River launching out of Occoquan Regional on Sunday 12/20/16.  The previous day we sat at the top of the hill at Occoquan Regional and it's a good thing I stopped the truck, parked, and walked down the road.  It was a sheet of ice.  For the record, and for the best interest of YOU and my fellow anglers/followers, I must express/warn the following.  The park should not have been opened Saturday 12/17 during the ice storm.   These roads were NOT maintained at all, nor was there proper sinage of the dangers,  There was no ice melt down and NOVA Parks was negligent  in opening this gate without the proper treatment of the roads.  Had I driven down that road......my truck, trailer, boat, and myself and Kenny Rogers would have sustained damage in an accident.  There is no doubting this.  I would have rather seen the park closed than nearly kill myself driving to the ramp.   I will repete this to NOVA parks in writing and over the phone this week.  To make matters worse, we went to Burke Lake Park prior and experienced the same conditions, and Kevin Ward (all the way from Delaware) and I had some heart thumping moments on our way to the ramp which was also a sheet of ice.  We had ZERO issues on the main roads. There was no proper sinage, no salt down, and the gate was open....... Be careful out there and walk the road all the way down or have a spotter (your lucky fishing partner) walk the road infront of the truck for recon while on the phone with you.  (bluetooth ofcourse)  

We launched my Ranger at 7am on Sunday the 20th and got to work quickly.  Water temps were 39.5 to 42, and the water was green clear with 4' visibility.  Skies were cloudy and it rained on us slightly.  My first 5 fish limit was caught within the first hour.  We caught fish consistently all day throughout both tides, ending with 50+ bass, one crappie, one nice yellow perch, and one sunfish.  Our fish ate suspending jerkbaits fished in the 7-10' range.  P-Line 6lb CXX spooled on an Okuma RTX-30S strapped to a Tom's Custom G-Loomis 6'6" blank was the combo of choice and I broke off zero fish, even while unwrapping several of them out of deep wood.  We found several areas now holding some better fish and we were able to catch some chunkier ones, with the largest at 3lb 6oz.

Look at my sonar below, and you'll see activity on the bottom and suspended just above it.  These fish are willing to rise up and eat the jerkbait a few feet over their heads in 14'.  



FISH GROUPS - no fish is duplicated

Our largest fish came from old grass edges in 6-9'.  The Occoquan is a clearwater fishery with great flow nearly all year round EXCEPT for the early spring, when it receives loads of run-off from the Occoquan Reservoir.  Because of this, the grass grows very well and the bass are STILL relating to it.  The better quality bass are crusing the old somewhat green grass that remains along the rivers drop-offs.  Here we fished the suspending jerkbaits and we had to run them perfectly over the old grass.  Nearly 50% of our casts resulted in fouled up hooks (grass) but the ones that didn't got nailed.  A few fish were caught as shallow as 5' with water temps at 40.5.  We kept our fish in Glory Bags culling sacks until it was time for pics.  The fish layed still sideways and even upside down, but they were just asleep.  These bags work magic on these fish.  It's really weird, but it works, and it really cuts down on banged up, overstressed, and dead fish.  



We hammered them....and this can be done all over the Northern VA and MD area right now.  This is not specific to the Occoquan.  Mattowoman Creek, Neabsco Creek, Belle Haven, Blue Plains, Four Mile Run, Washington Channel, Spoils, Fox Ferry, and DC bridges and wrecks are also PRIME areas right now which are close to me in Fairfax/Loudoun Counties.  Mallows Bay has a ;particular location which is on fire right now also.  Keep in mind the tide will pull or push warm water around.  Fishing superclose to the discharge is not always the best way to go.......very important. 

If you don't own a pack of Mann's Stringray grubs, and some open 1/8oz jigheads, I highly recommend you give it a shot.  If you use spinning tackle, I can't speak highly enough of the P-Line CXX 6lb Moss Green.  This stuff is BRUTALLY STRONG breaking at 14.3lb!!  Anything over 1/8oz is good to go with this line and you couldn't pay me a yearly six figure salary to switch my line company.  The confidence and performance this line provides is priceless.  For light crappie/bass in clear water water with finesse techniques, go with the 4lb CXX Moss Green.  It breaks at around 9lb.  I'll be using the 4lb this week just to prove a point.  ;)  These fish can't detect the line at all and this is resulting in twice the amount of bites.  

The yellow perch run is just two weeks away and some of them are showing up now, but the bigger females are still on the way.