Potomac at Williamsport

Discussion in 'MARYLAND RIVER TALK' started by jeremiad, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    Does anyone fish the Potomac River from the Williamsport boat ramp?

    If so, how are the currents in this part of the river? Where do you head for the best catfishing?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    i fish the Upper Potomac a good bit around this area. Around the boat ramp is shallow water with good current. Right now it is getting to summer levels with the break from all the rain. a couple small streams and springs feed into it. If your able to launch, you can run up a good ways almost to dam #5 is you have a jet or shallow running prop. Most guys use a jet though. There is a quite a few small islands along the way. an old train crossing with the pillars still in the water. Deep holes pushing 20'. rock ledges along the way at places. It is an interestingly nice stretch. a lot of nice channels and some other breeds like musky, walleye, smallmouth, plenty of bait.

    You don't see many recreational boaters. A good place to get out and do some fishing all day and night. It is unique. Some moderate fishing pressure, but a lot of people kind of skip it in favor of dam's #4 & #5. Personal opinion is, if you can get a boat in, you will have some good fishing. I have a 2072 seaArk with a jet and can launch with little to no trouble. Deep V's and high trailers can be a problem at times. When the river levels are really low you might have to almost get your vehicle totally in the water at times, all depends on your trailer height and boat.

    Hope this helps. Any other questions feel free to ask away. Pretty familiar with the stretch of the upper Potomac from below Dam#4 to up around McCoy's Ferry.
     

  3. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    Thanks, Mike!

    I have been considering fishing that area of the river. I usually keep my West Virginia non-resident license active since I often fish WV more than Virginia! Adding the fact that my parents own a house in Falling Waters and my grandfather lives just down the street... Anyway, I figure that there is a reciprocal license agreement between the states; I'm just not sure whether Maryland would frown on me launching from their shore to fish with a WV license!

    The only problem is that my ride right now is a fishing kayak...I'm not sure if the current is so strong here that it might throw me for a loop. I wouldn't want to get caught up in the current toward the rapids and dam! :crazy:
     
  4. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    You will have no problem launching from the Maryland side. Maryland owns the waters, but as long as you have a current WV license you will have no problem at all.

    Far as using a Kayak, Right now with the waters low, the current won't be that strong. Probably talking under 1000fps.I can use an oar and paddle up stream in that current with my boat. People will put canoes in and head up stream. It will be moving, but nothing that is going to take you for a ride. Far as a dam, there really in only maybe a 1' drop at the most and that is more or less a gradual drop, a 1/4 mile down stream from the launch. It is a man made breast with just a bunch of rocks. When the water is higher, I can go run over it with my boat and not do any harm. Try googling a map view of it and you will see what I'm talking about. Going over the dam's at #4 & #5 will cause some major brown stains. 20'+ drops at those dams. 2 boats(1 fishing boat & 1 jetski on purpose) went over last year and lived without getting hurt.

    Since you mentioned a Kayak, That would probably make for a nice day. Not a lot of recreational boaters trying to see if they can mess with ya. you could even head up the Conococheaque creek just above the ramp and head up there a couple miles. maybe 100' wide at a couple places and not really deep either.

    Here is a link to a hydrological chart and information for Williamsport. the actual monitoring site is roughly a mile above the launch with daily visual readings. might be a good idea to check it out first before launching just to just to get an idea of what the water is doing. The scond link is for up at hancock, md. You can get a good idea of water levels, flow rates, and a 60 day history for making a decision on what it will be like.

    http://newweb.erh.noaa.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lwx&gage=wllm2

    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?01613000
     
  5. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Another nice place for a kayak would be down at Taylors landing, below Dam #4(Big Slackwater). A lot of shallow water, not much recreational boater and GREAT fishing!!! The nice thing about Below Dam #4 and up there at Williamsport is, the dingalings with jetski's and the $60,000 numbskull recreational boaters don't frequent these places alot. Pretty much only sharing the river with the fishermen with shallow running boats and in your case kayakers and conoe's. This is one big reason I got a jet, to get away from the dingalings.

    Also up at McCoy's Ferry the whole way to Cumberland, Md. is prime Kayak waters. You will see a lot of people up in that stretch. very scenic with the mountains and real good fishing. there is organized kayak and canoe trips for people to enjoy. If you have 2 people, one person park down stream about 10 or 15 miles and drive up with the other vehicle to put in and just float the river the whole way.
     
  6. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    Wow, thanks Mike! You have provided some outstanding information. Reps to you, and reps again when I am allowed!

    Now, when can I get up there...
     
  7. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    I saw this and was going to reply but I can think of much more to add to what Pip has already told you. Thats solid info there! Below Dam 4 there is really good fishing all through there. We alway put on chicken livers or any bait you like and let it drift away from you through the rip rap with out any weight in the real shallow areas. As Pip said current isnt bad unless we get some rain. Just remember shallow is good here in this section of the Potomac. Good luck!
     
  8. CatfishKent

    CatfishKent New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    Maryland
    Hey there im trying to catch as many catfish in my area as possible . I live in Columbia MD . I need Help!
     
  9. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    Welcome to the BOC, Kent! Look around...you've just located an invaluable source of information to help you do just that! :0a25:
     
  10. CatfishKent

    CatfishKent New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    Maryland
    Ok thanks. This website will really help.
     
  11. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    Welcome to the BOC Kent! There are a few of us that fish your area. I will help you if I can. Also check out the MD threads there is some info there too.
     
  12. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Kent, couple questions....

    How far you want to drive?
    Bank fishing or do you have a boat?
    looking for catfish to eat or just catch?
    You looking to hook up with Bubba or just want numbers?
    which license to you have? tidal waters and/or freshwater license or both?
     
  13. CatfishKent

    CatfishKent New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    Maryland
    I dont want to drive so far , like an hour or two .
    i have a little 16 foot canoe with a small trolling motor.
    I would love to catch Big bubba and numbers.
    I will eat the catfish i catch i would just like to catch more than i do.
     
  14. Michael Bishop

    Michael Bishop New Member

    Messages:
    3
    State:
    Virginia
    Hi guys,
    I'm from Hopewell, Virginia, so you know I know about the big blue bruisers down here :) Since I've moved to Charlottesville, I've kept a toe in, fishing the upper James, catching mostly smallmouth and a few big boy flatheads.

    Anyway,
    My fiancee brought me up here to see her new nephew, and I'm in Williamsport/Falling Waters for Saturday and Sunday August 15 and 16. I know its late notice, but I sort of forgot until I put rods in the car. I didn't bring my boat, so I'm shorebound, but I love wade fishing, and I'm probably gonna get out on the water for smallies Sat and Sun, but I would LOVE to go for some cats too day or night.

    Any word on spots to try? I read a bit about down beneath dam 5, and the bridge and all. I also called the folks at Wolfe Fish Hunt and talked to a real nice lady there. So, I might stop by unless y'all got some better ideas. i don't need much gear, got my bass and cat rods, a little bait rod and all the stuff I use on the upper james for flatheads and smallies.

    Just thought i'd holler out and see if any of yall would be out and about or had a good word for techniques, baits and places to try, shoot, I'll take a tip on smallies too. Its been so dry down here the river just isn't much fun, so I'm excited for numbers mainly, and I'm throwing it all back. Don't think theyd like me cooking em up here in the Homewood Hilton !!!

    Thanks folks,

    mb
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  15. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    Dam 4 and 5 are good spots. You could also take route 11 south to a park the one before you go across the bridge into Wv. There are alot of spots to bank fish there also.
     
  16. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    yep, like CL said. you have several places to choose from for sure.


    If you stop in to Wolfe's, they can point you to the ramp there at Williamsport. less then a mile from them. Easy access for bank and wading. The water is in pretty good shape right now. not a lot of current and there at williamsport, you could wade out to the middle and be in 4' of water.

    If I'd have had more notice I could have taken you out for some cats. Already have obligations for helping out at a small local tourney for the bank fishermen Sat. night up at Dam 5. But the fishing isn't too bad down at Williamsport. Cattitude who frequents the site here fishes there a lot and has caught some decent channels, and has been hooked up with a couple nice ones that got off. So you should be able to have some success.

    PS. Wolfe's will be able to hook you up with bait. I have been stopping in there over the years. Just a small mom&pop store, but they are great people. You won't find another store quite like it, i don't believe.
     
  17. Michael Bishop

    Michael Bishop New Member

    Messages:
    3
    State:
    Virginia
    Hey thanks guys, Looks like I'm on track at least! I appreciate the tips. I might be coming back before too long too. I'll let you know how it goes and i'll check back for more comments just before I head out.

    mb
     
  18. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    mike, if ya come up again in the future. If you want to head out for a day give me notice. If I don't already have something on the go, I can easily hitch the boat and we'll hit the waters. I really don't bass fish, but the cats, thats a different story.
     
  19. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    I just might take you up on that offer, Mike! You sure seem like a great fellow to fish with. I do know one thing about you...you sure are willing to provide some great help to all those who ask for it.

    Thanks.
     
  20. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Well shoot Joel, I appreciate the kind words. Offering help to others and taking people out fishing is something that I was taught at an early age. It is something I enjoy doing. Whether it is for the channels up home here or down on the lower Potomac for the blues. I get a kick out of seeing somebody hook up, specially for the blues. I'm sure not gods gift to fishing, but we manage to catch a couple and have fun doing it in the process.

    Sometimes just taking a little interest in offering some tips to somebody and shortening that learning curve can make a difference. Specially with the troubled youth programs, the kids, the wounded warriors, or just somebody in general. Fishing is one of the most simplist things, that can have the most rewards.

    Unfortunately, I have trouble sometimes trying to schedule time for trips for everybody but try to when I can. This is what sets the catfishermen apart from a lot of other organized fishing groups. As long as I can get around, and get out. I'll keep doing it. I've made a lot of friends on this journey and hopfully will make many more.

    If you get the time and are up here, let me know in advance, and we might be able to get together, if you don't mind hanging out with a countryboy/redneck/hillybilly type.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009