Fishing on the Potomac: Getting into gear

Fishing on the Potomac: Getting into gear
January 10, 2011, 3:15 pm
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Monday, January 10, 2011, 10:15 a.m.

By Captain Steve Chaconas

Getting into Gear!

We cant get a fishing break! Ice is once again becoming a hindrance to getting on the water. Key locations are frozen over and boat ramps are dangerous! Water temperatures have dropped to the mid 30s! NBC Ch. 4 meteorologist "Weather Kim" Martucci says, "Some snow sneaks in late Tuesday. Daytime highs will only be in the 30s all week with lows in the lower 20s... no January thaw here! If you go out, be VERY careful!

For cold-water locations, the Spoils Cove, National Harbor Cove, and Occoquan Bay are out of the current with steep drops. Fish are very reluctant to move far to get baits, so vertical jigging or techniques that keep baits in one location are best. Silver Buddy lures cover water faster finding depths at which fish are holding. Once located, use shaky head, drop shot, and grubs.

Blue Plains and Four Mile Run have sewage treatment plants pumping out warm clear water day and night. Theyre great winter spots and attract fishof all speciesand a lot of fishermen! The crowded nature of the relatively small spot demands using light line, like 6-pound test on spinning reels, with finesse baits including bulky Punisher Hair jigs.

Fluorocarbon line is a must for invisibility under water. Try watermelon with red flake soft plastics and other lighter natural colors on drop shots, shaky heads and split shot rigs. Spray and soak baits in attractants like Jacks Juice to get heavily pressured Blue Plains fish and true cold-water fish to hold on longer. Fish very slowly! Smaller Lucky Craft Pointer 78 jerkbaits cover water here! Jerk and pause!

Cant get out? Service reels! Remove bearings, clean and oil! Replace centrifugal breaks on casting reels. Remove line to be ready to re-spool for the break in the weather!