Potomic--Ft Washington

Discussion in 'MARYLAND RIVER TALK' started by bill55, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. bill55

    bill55 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Pa
    Hey guys I need some help/advice. I fish the Susquehanna York Haven area but just gotta catch some of them big blues. Where is the best place to launch in this area from the Md side? (17' seaarc 40 hp prop) Any places to buy bait or catch bait? Any advice on fishing tidal river? Im 54 yrs old but this is all new to me--kinda feel like a kid really excited bout the possibi:big_smile:lities. Bout a 2 hr drive so I kinda wanna have my ducks in something that resembles a row before going. Any info is really welcome. thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  2. MrFlathead

    MrFlathead New Member

    Messages:
    171
    State:
    Il
    There is a dock to the left right before you enter the Ft. Washington State park, I think it is less than a half mile before you get to the park. When you take that left it is straight down that winding road about 2 miles. In that shallow cove there are alot of shad that you can get with a cast net. Also as I said SHALLOW, watch out man cause some places are like a foot deep and you will ground yourself. Go slow and watch the depth. As far as fishing goes just exit the cove hang a right and go to the other side of that little penninsula with the lighthouse on it. There is an eddie there and the water goes from 70 feet to 10 feet in just like 20 yards and there are HUGE fish there all the time. At night you can hear them floping and some of them are just HUGE! I would reccomend not anchoring in that eddie though cause I have seen trees and huge logs coming down it and if you catch one with your anchor you are in some trouble. Another thing, if you anchor in there your boat will be all over your line cause the water swirls there. Good luck!
     

  3. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Bill you have a couple options. you can put in a Fort Washington or Belle Haven Marina on the va side. About a mile below the Woodrow Wilson bridge on the VA. side. I use both, but prefer Belle Haven Marina. Launch fee's are $10 at the Fort and $5 at Belle Haven. Belle Haven is way less congested. Marshall Hall is another ramp on the Maryland side, but further down from the Fort, but less congested.

    There really isn't any bait shops close by. Your bait of choice will be Gizzard Shad. Eels work good certain times of the year, also. Far as shad you can get them right there in the river. either by Castnet or Gillnet (gillnet in the Va waters only).

    If you go to the Fort, you can castnet shad right at the marina and around the docks. Belle Haven you can also castnet just out in front of the marina. By far gillnet is the best way to go for getting shad, but if your only looking to go once or twice, then castnet is best and cheaper. Leave the chicken livers and shrimp at home. Bluegills will work, but historically not near as good as shad will. If you want the bigger boys, then shad is the way to go, hands down. fresher the better.

    If you plan on heading down there, That is tidal waters and you will need a Maryland tidal license(not freshwater license), Bay Sport license or a Va Saltwater license. make sure your ducks are in a row, as you have 4 authorites down there patrolling and doing random checks. And neither one is on the same page with the other. Not to mention the Coast Guard and they got the big guns on there patrol boats. LOL.

    Fishing the mudflats, and the channel dropoffs will be your best bet on hooking up with Bubba. Tidal fishing is a bit different then fishing the rivers and lakes inland, Once you figure out fishing the tides, thats a big piece of the puzzle right there. Certain holes do better on certain tides.

    Right now there is a lot of grass(Hydrilla) to deal with, getting your bait above the grass will usually pay off. But you can expect to pull your hair out trying to keep it off your lines.

    Far as tackle, depending on the size of bait you plan to use 4oz to 8oz sinkers(just to keep your bait down on the bottom with the tidal current) with 8/0 and above for hooks. Carolina rigs seem to be a good popular setup for down there.
     
  4. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    Name:
    Unspecified
    You might want to double check the Virginia freshwater/saltwater licensing requirements. The VDGIF Fishing Regulations contains the following statement:

    Freshwater/Saltwater License Lines on Tidal Waters

    Persons fishing upstream of the designated lines on the following waters must have a valid freshwater fishing license while those fishing below the lines must have a valid saltwater fishing license:

    Potomac River; Rt. 301 Bridge

    Below these designated lines a freshwater or saltwater license will be valid on any tidal portion of any tributary entering the above mainstem waters.
     
  5. Anythinggoes

    Anythinggoes New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    Maryland
    That's great info MrFlathead and Pip!
    We fished during the day on the incoming tide yesterday from Ft. Washington to just out from the National Harbor. I haven't fished out there in years. I live near the Patuxent river, so I caught lots of white perch prior to going. We used carolina rigs and my homemade giant slip bobbers, which were set anywhere from 15 to 30ft. All lines had 7/0 circles. We had a lot of gar hitting the float lines. Found that eddie you were talking about, which produced the bigest fish (About 15lbs). How shallow do you fish the mud flats? When we were by the harbor, we were about 200yds away from the red marker leading into the harbor and just on the channel edge, anchored in 30ft. Not much luck there, but marked tons of fish. It looked in theory to be a good spot, since we were near both channels. Were we warm? : )

    Mike
     
  6. bill55

    bill55 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Pa
    This is amazing---it took me 2 yrs of driving 5 hrs to Erie for steelhead to gather the kind of info you guys just gave me in one day! As soon as I get the license thing sorted out Im gonna give it a wack--sure don't want to test those big guns on the CG boats Pip--lol Again thanks so much gentlemen, be safe. Oh--this site is like no other--just great!!!
     
  7. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    This time of year, I'll fish the flats at night. anywhere from 2' to 8'. Winter time i'll fish them in the daylight. The shad will be there getting the warmth from the sun. there is a channel you can use to go in through Smoots(National Harbor) that channel is 9' to 12', depending on tide. The water taxi's use it between the day markers. Then they come out up along the WW bridge, making a big circle. Best not to setup in that channel because of traffic, but you can anchor off of it then fish it and also through some lines up in the shallow parts, depending on tides.

    Be careful at night. the drunks leaving have a harbor of not using the channel. Have had a couple close calls where they were headed for me.... and I'm usually anchored in roughly 2' of water.

    Jones point is another good place that will produce. 15# is kind of small for what is in there. Try getting some fresh gizzard shad and fish it halve or whole or 3rds. scale the shad, it really lets the scent out. Most of the time i rarely see anything under 20#,But the bigger ones are definitely in there.

    ps. Bill, those kids running the 50's don't joke around, thats for sure. had them pointed at me last new years before Obama took the oath. I only asked them if they had seen any biggun's caught.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  8. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Mike, also at times right at the 88 buoy, you can set up and darn near fish there all day and consistantly pull fish. But it is hit or miss, depending on the time of year.

    On the Virginia side the whole way down to the fort is some good spots, this is all mudflats way off the channel, but don't be thinking that because your so far away from the main channel, that you won't find any bubba's. The fort gets heavily fished at times, but for good reason. Sometimes it can be tough to fish those eddies there, but setting up correctly on the eddies is paramount. If you set up wrong on them, you will go around in circles, while anchored.

    On down river, just off the main channel on the drop-off's is always a good bet. the further you head south, the less boat traffic you will be getting, also. Still a lot of mudflats all the way down that will produce. there is some deep holes that are worth the time, as well. Sometimes boat traffic and wind will dictate if your able to fish them also.

    Anytime you setup along the main channel, specially at night. Be very careful. some barge traffic and water taxi's can sneak up on you before you know it as they are pretty quiet. Fishing all the way down to past Mattawoman creek will produce some pretty darn nice cats.

    Best thing I can tell ya is put your time in, get yourself a notebook and record time of tides at places you fish, among other information you might feel pertinent. I gaurantee you it will pay off. What might look like a good hole, but you don't catch squat, maybe your just not hitting it at the right time of the tide, incoming or outgoing. try it at various times. Listen to what your elctronics is telling you. Electronics is definitely important down there, But will do you little good up on the mudflats where you might only be in 2 to 5' of water.

    Always keep in mind, find the bait, find the fish.
     
  9. Anythinggoes

    Anythinggoes New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    Maryland
    Wow Pip, that's a lot of good info! We actually tried fishing 88, but the weeds were flying through non stop. I decided to head back down to the eddie at the fort, but it took a while to figure out how to set up in that swirl. It seemed like we were stuck out in 45ft, just outside of the eddie. I later figured out how to set it up with a two anchor system. I dropped the bow anchor and then backed it up current and away a bit and dropped the back anchor. That seemed to do the trick, but I'll have to try it again when the current is ripping through. I'm currently w/o a working boat for the river, so I'm relying on a friend and his boat which isn't really a fishing boat. I'll be shopping for a center console or Carolina Skiff here soon.

    Mike