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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope this is the right spot to post.

I've been fishing the resevoir for the past month, nearly every day off I've spent in there. We have fished from north of Bull Run to around the dam, and some of the Davis Ford area. We've tried chicken livers, chicken breast, minnows, blue gill, cut blue gil, stink bait, and shad. We've only managed to catch 1 or 2 per trip, each ranging from 7 to 10 hours. We've also tried flats to deep holes. Nothing has been over 5 lbs, yet we see folks at the docks coming in with us that we've recognized showing us honkers they caught with little too no information where.

I'm not asking for hot spots but just some tips on where the hell all these big cats are I keep hearing about. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Welcome Cajun,
I am not acquainted with your area but I am sure some on here are.
 

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Cajun, I also am not familiar with your area but wanted to welcome you to the USCA forum. When I am in an unfamiliar area, I look for three things. ledges or drop-offs in shallow water, 25 ft or less. Drop-offs in deep water. over 25 feet. The boys in Tennessee have been catching cats in deep water lately. I don't know if that would extend up into your area. Dragging or drifting will cover a lot of water to help find where the cats are holding.

the last thing I always look for is a narrowing of a channel that goes into a cove or creek. Cats will head into a cove or tributary to feed on bait in the shallower water. If the channel going in gets narrow anywhere along the way, that is a place I would setup. The problem there is you are stationary so you have to wait and hope the cats get hungry and go thru where you are. Sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Early morning or late evening is usually best.

But these are only guesses. Good luck.

That Potomac is good water also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the welcoming folks!

Fairly new to the area and new to freshwater honestly, I grew up in sourthern LA so the gulf and saltwater bayous were my thing. Fortunately we live right off this reservoir and the word on the street, is some of the best fishing but the sheer size of it is a bit intimitading and the little to no current throws me.

Twaskom, what you are describing sounds almost like the whole thing haha, it's located in a valley so most of it is a drop off type area. Banks go straight down in most area with a few flats and creeks. Tried using navionics for some details but it isn't mapped on the site so using a state map (i-Boating : Free Marine Navigation Charts & Fishing Maps) but not sure how accurate it is as most of the depths aren't correct.

We'll keep plugging away as the wife loves bluegill and crappie fishing and you can catch those almost anywhere in there.
 

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The Navionics app for your smart phone (paid subscription version) has very detailed charts of bottom contours. Check out the Catfish & Carp YouTube channel. I think that reservoir might be his home waters where the bulk of his videos were shot.
 

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Thanks for the welcoming folks!

Fairly new to the area and new to freshwater honestly, I grew up in sourthern LA so the gulf and saltwater bayous were my thing. Fortunately we live right off this reservoir and the word on the street, is some of the best fishing but the sheer size of it is a bit intimitading and the little to no current throws me.

Twaskom, what you are describing sounds almost like the whole thing haha, it's located in a valley so most of it is a drop off type area. Banks go straight down in most area with a few flats and creeks. Tried using navionics for some details but it isn't mapped on the site so using a state map (i-Boating : Free Marine Navigation Charts & Fishing Maps) but not sure how accurate it is as most of the depths aren't correct.

We'll keep plugging away as the wife loves bluegill and crappie fishing and you can catch those almost anywhere in there.
Navionics has mapped it. I type in "webapp" and it will bring up Navionics with good detail. Be sure to go to the lower right corner and select Sonar to get the detailed contours. Now one creek that narrows significantly is down by the Dam. Just before you get to the dam, the waterway turns south. After turning south, go into that first cove on the right. Navionics shows there is good deep water just out in the main lake and as you go into the cove following the deepest channel, the channel narrows down to about 25 feet and then open back up slightly. I would anchor on that narrow spot in early mornings or late evenings.

As far as all the lake having ledges, some lakes have more than others. But there are ledges close to inlets where they might go to feed. There are ledges in deep water and ledges in shallow water. Try different ones until you find them. Then, use that pattern to help you find similar locations.

That is about all I can recommend and never having fished there it is just some guidance like you requested.
 

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You may want to just head to the Potomac river for catfish. I used to see a lot of people catch catfish in Quantico when I was bass fishing. You can catch some nice bass there as well. The Rappahanock river in Fredericksburg may work out better as well. Then again, you could always drive down here to the James River which is about 2 hours away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Navionics has mapped it. I type in "webapp" and it will bring up Navionics with good detail. Be sure to go to the lower right corner and select Sonar to get the detailed contours. Now one creek that narrows significantly is down by the Dam. Just before you get to the dam, the waterway turns south. After turning south, go into that first cove on the right. Navionics shows there is good deep water just out in the main lake and as you go into the cove following the deepest channel, the channel narrows down to about 25 feet and then open back up slightly. I would anchor on that narrow spot in early mornings or late evenings.

As far as all the lake having ledges, some lakes have more than others. But there are ledges close to inlets where they might go to feed. There are ledges in deep water and ledges in shallow water. Try different ones until you find them. Then, use that pattern to help you find similar locations.

That is about all I can recommend and never having fished there it is just some guidance like you requested.
Thanks! Didn't notice the sonar feather before. We did explore that south cove but mostly near the opening, will target that area more this weekend!

Edit: that does lead to a boat launch area so maybe better during the week depending on traffic in and out of there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You may want to just head to the Potomac river for catfish. I used to see a lot of people catch catfish in Quantico when I was bass fishing. You can catch some nice bass there as well. The Rappahanock river in Fredericksburg may work out better as well. Then again, you could always drive down here to the James River which is about 2 hours away.
Definately will head down to the James when it cools off, we'd like to do some camping/fishing there!
 

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Glad you found some Cajun, or some found you. Glad you posted a picture.

tight lines.
 

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i dont know ur area but ive been having a lot of success on chicken and watermelon koolaid they seem to like it better than the cherry
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nice fish, Cajun, was that caught on the James?
In the resevoir, finally finding a few holes. Hooked into a huge flathead right after but he straightened the hook right at the boat. Wife recorded the last 2 minutes of the fight. Pic is a snapshot right before he flipped off.

Water Shoe Shorts Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Fishing reel
 
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