Potomac River 

 

 

 

March 2nd, 2011

"MARCH 2011 POTOMAC RIVER FISHING FORECAST

This month brings the widest swing…early it fishes like late winter. By month’s end, it’s early spring! It’s transition time. Fish are moving. A bitter winter might make it tougher to find grass beginning to “green up”, so look for hard cover, drops, points and inside creek bends in creek mouths and river points! Fish stage in creek mouths like Swan, Piscataway, Broad and Little Hunting before going to spawning areas. Bryan’s Cove across from Mount Vernon is a good early spring spot.  Areas warmed by sun will be best!  Better close to deep water. Spoils, Smoot Bay, Blue Plains and other DC areas are heating up as fish move to the upper edges of drops! Water temperature is critical.  Into low 40’s, find fish on steep drops near banks and deep water.  Into mid 40’s fish flats near drops.  Temperatures around 50, fish are still near drops, but venture further onto flats becoming candidates for aggressive baits. Open the tackle box!

Blue Plains water is near 60!  Fish with split shots, Carolina rigs and Drop shots.  Jerkbaits like Lucky Craft’s Pointer 78 or the Bevy Shad pause briefly to find the right cadence! Use the suspending Lucky Craft baits where you find CLEAR water! In the same areas, use Mann’s Classic 1/4-ounce double willow nickel blade spinnerbait with white/chartreuse skirts to pick off aggressive fish. In deeper water, jigs produce. Slower presentations with Punisher hair jigs in brown/orange, green/ orange, and black/blue with matching plastic chunks and rattles on 8-pound test land nice fish. Let Blue Plains current move baits.  Try warm water discharge in Four Mile Run too!

With colder temperatures, 38-42, fish will be depth-oriented on steep drops 8-15 feet deep!  There’s a hole in front of Spoils over 20 feet deep.  Locate the ditch running outside the Spoils to the Bridge, perfect Silver Buddy vertically jigged or worked down drops.  Use 1/2 or 1/4 ounce baits…12-pound test when water is this cold, allowing baits to vibrate with very little movement. Silver: sunny days or fairly clear water.  Gold: cloudy days or slightly stained water. Feel a tick on the drop? Set the hook! Be ready if you feel pressure or weight.  Don’t overwork! I really like a medium/heavy fast tipped 6’6” Quantum rod. 

Once water gets to 42 and stabilizes, toss spinnerbaits, Pointers, and crankbaits to 6-foot depths.  Keep them deep and slow and in clearest water possible.  Outside the Spoils use the Blue Plains outflow and sun soaked cover and banks to warm your spot. A few degrees change the mood of fish, adjust your in depth and speed.  Tight wiggle baits like Lucky Craft’s Bevy Shad cast well into the wind and suspend.  Let sit to entice strikes.  Try Black gold, mat pumpkin, and chartreuse blue. Fish aren’t hitting any bait very hard, so very sharp crankbait hooks become more critical. Upgrade with new KVD Elite short shank Mustad Ultra Point trebles. These are a great replacement hook with an angled point, not quite as aggressive as a triple grip.

For spinnerbaits, wait for water to stabilize at 42, then look for 45 degree water.  Fish are on flats near drops.  Keeping your rod tip low, slowly retrieve 3/8-ounce willow/Colorado gold blade Mann’s Classics, maintaining bottom contact. The Classic’s thin wire generates a lot of vibration. The round head deflects off cover providing a keel to right the bait after contact.  For light bites, try a medium/heavy fast graphite rod; otherwise use a medium heavy. Look for strikes as baits near drops. Slower retrieve reels (5.3:1) help.

Plastics bites are light. BE PATIENT!  Fish light line very slowly, stopping frequently.  Attractants like Jack’s Juice encourage fish to hold on! A quick spray of Jack’s Juice into plastics bag soaks in. Stick with Mann’s 3-inch avocado Stingray grubs, Mizmo 4 inch tubes in green pumpkin colors, and 5-inch Mann’s HardNose Finesse worms.  Lifting the rod you might feel weight, so keep the rod tip a bit lower to set the hook, just reel and lift. The R&R CUSTOM Baits ¼ ounce round jig head and the ¼ ounce tube head have open Mustad Ultra Point hooks making it easier to get hooks into sluggish fish! On 6 or 8-pound test on spinning gear, work very slowly on the bottom stopping often.  Fish aren’t moving a long way to eat.  Rather than hopping, lift, let glide and stop with a shake every once in a while.  Sitting Mizmos tantalize fish into striking when barely moved. Shakey heads are also effective.

Drop shot all depths using 8-10 pound test with leaders about 8 inches or less and 3/16-ounce BULLSHOT bullet shaped split shot weights. Rig Stingray grubs on 2/0 Mustad Mega Lite hooks with 5-inch Mann’s HardNose Finesse worms. Settle on bottom, gently shake. Feel cover with weights? Leave to aggravate fish into strikes, feeling like a rubber band.

In warmer water split shot and Carolina Rigs cover water, producing good catches. Spiderwire Stealth braid and Tru-Tungsten weights increase feel with Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon 10-12 pound test leaders. Mann’s NEW HardNose (these really stay in place!) lizards on 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point hooks work well.  Darker colors in deeper or stained water. Heavier weights with Carolina rigs, up to 1 ounce.  For lighter split-shot applications in shallower water, 3/16 BULLSHOT weights come through cover.  Compact, Punisher hair jigs breathe, generating strikes while sitting in cold water! Two colors...black/blue, and olive/orange.  Light line and Punisher Chunks with rattles work very well moving very slowly, sitting for a while. Check out at www.punisherjigs.com.

Later in March, as water stays above 45 degrees, slowly retrieve lipless crankbaits in red patterns covering flats near deep water, looking for grass. Lucky Craft’s LVR D-7 runs deeper and has a lot of vibration.  Mustad Ultra Point Triple Grip trebles make it easier to keep fish on. Crawfish are coming alive and fish are eating and moving at month’s end!

Capt. Steve Chaconas, Potomac bass fishing guide, BoatUS “Ask the Expert” (http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/bassfishing/)
Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@NationalBass.com.


"

Water Temp: 45 degrees

Water Clarity: 1-2 feet

 

 

 

 

April 25th, 2009

Potomac River FISHING REPORT

Water temp 68, clarity 2 feet.

And the moment we've all been waiting for…SPAWN!  Here we are…big fish are moving up on beds…best tactics….Mizmo tubes, shaky head, drop shot and split shot rigs!  There are other fish still being caught on Mann's Baby 1-Minus, Lucky Craft LVR D-7 and Classic spinnerbaits.


Texas rigged Mizmo tubes cast or pitched to holes in the grass and on the inside grass edges arethe best bet. You can also toss stickworms like the Mann's HardNose Freefall worm. I like to use 3/16-ounce weights for the Mizmo in green pumpkin with copper flake on a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point tube hook. For line, I like the lightest I can get away with…now it is 12-14 pound test…Berkley  Trilene Maxx. I like casting gear, so I am using a 6'8" Quantum rod with a Tour Edition reel. This is a 7:1 fast reel to take up the slack! 

For the drop shot, I like a 3-foot leader and a Mann's 5-inch HardNose Super Finesse worm. Again I will cast this on casting gear!!!!! I like the heavier equipment fishing around grass and during the spawn. The same goes for the shaky head…a _ ounce head and the same finesse worm. I also use this HardNose Super Finesse worm for the split shot rig…again with a 3-foot leader.   For the weight on the split shot rig, go to a 3/16 Water Gremlin Bullshot or you can make this a light Carolina rig…swivel, bead, etc. I like using Tru Tungsten 1/4-ounce bullet weights with an 18-inch fluorocarbon leader. The tungsten gives me a better “feel” of what's on the bottom and the fluorocarbon leader not only sinks, but also doesn't absorb water like mono…retaining strength and sensitivity.  For main line, I have been going to braid!  65 pound test Spiderwire stealth.

If I have clients who prefer a spinning reel, I am using Berkley Fireline in 14-pound test with a leader of Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. For the drop shot, split shot, the shaky head and the Mizmo.

For Lucky Craft LVR D-7 and for deeper applications due to higher tides…the LV 500, a bit heavier and gets to the grass easier, I use 14-pound test and I go to my faster reels…at least 6:1!  I am also going to a stiffer medium action rod!  This is due to the warmer water and increased metabolism of the fish!  I need to catch up to them. The 14-pound test makes it easier to pull fish out of grass…but if you can get away with 12…it's easier to keep the baits down! Also, a note here. I like to use mono but that said, I use 20-pound test Fireline on my client spinning rods!  This makes it easier to snap baits out of grass and to set the hook, especially on long casts!  It's also thinner making it easier to keep the baits down!  One of my clients, Dan Lewis uses braid on his casting gear…Spiderwire here, 50-pound test. He didn't' miss or lose any fish on our last outing…an adjustment in my reels and rods will allow me to stay with mono.  I just like it better!  Dan has been on me for years to make the change…stay tuned!

I am also relying on the Mann's Baby 1-Minus!  When the tide is lower I can keep this bait over the grass and it is really whacking them!  I like the Splatterback Sunfish and firetiger!  The Lemon Shad is good too!  A sleeper color is the Elite RED!  As for hooks on all of these baits, I like a Mustad Ultra Point RED hook on the belly…and I replace factory hooks with Mustad Triple grips on the lipless baits and a standard short shank Ultra Point on my Baby 1-Minus lures!  Mustad has these new short shank trebles that are the exact same size as the #6 and #4 hooks form the factory!

Swimming the Mann's Stone jig with a HardNose Craw over the grass, just like the lipless cranks!  You can also use a Rock N Runner…a chatterbait of sorts…Road Runner style! I am also swimming 5.5 inch Mizmo tubes with the R&R (Gerkin) insert tube heads. Here I like white and some craw patterns!  For the jig, I like the Black/Blue and some craw patterns…be patient with these!  They will produce bigger fish!

Bottom line, any lure you want to use now will work!  There are fish in the grass and on riprap and docks!! I have seen boaters moving in to a spot with their big motor, making it difficult for others to fish…trolling motor into and out of spots will keep these fish biting.

In areas without grass, Punisher hair jigs are putting fish in the boat!  I like the 1/4 or heavier…the Punisher Chunks with Punisher rattles create the bulky little fish bait package. This bait will get some big ones to bite!  It also will soak up a lot of Jack's Juice into the hand tied craft hair!

For the spinnerbait, I like the Mann's Classic, white/chart skirt with gold blades...Indiana/Colorado.  Slow roll this offering when the water has some chop or when the cloud cover comes in. 

Confused over lcense requirements to guide on the Tidal Potomac River? I worked closely with the PRFC to come up with a grid of requirements to comply with DC, MD, VA and the PRFC on the Tidal Potomac. For a copy,
http://nationalbass.com/reports/prfclicense.htm.  And ALL guides will have to carry a TWIC card too! I support efforts to see to it these rules are enforced!
2009 Potomac Tides under “REPORTS AND TIDES”.  Print a copy.

New to the river? Get a pro-quality map for fishing the Potomac and for other Virginia waters map from GMCO: www.gmcomaps.com. They list popular locations and hidden dangers of navigating the Potomac.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!" .·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >



 

March 20, 2009

 

Water is clear adn 53 degrees!   What a great week of fishing. Water temps are getting into and staying in the mid 50's! If you only use one bait, make it your lipless crankbait!

Fish are moving to any living grass located near deeper water. The buck males are moving up a bit shallower, so stay deeper on the grass. Also, sea walls, rip rap and docks in deeper 4-8 feet are good high water targets.

For the lipless cranks, I like the Lucky Craft LVR D-7 in Mad Craw.  This bait is so well balanced. It drops without tipping over after snatching from grass. It drops slightly nose down too!  I like it on 12-pound test on a good crankbait rod now!  I also use a slower reel…preferably one without infinite anti reverse. Without infinite anti reverse, I can feel the subtle bites in my reel handle sooner!  It does make a huge difference this time of the year, but most of the year too!  A lighter action medium graphite rod allows the fish to pull the bait into their mouth without pulling back as hard. Once loaded, set the hook. In about three weeks, the grass will be taller and harder to snap free from, so I will go to a stiffer medium action graphite rod. And a few weeks after that, I have to go to a faster reel…6:1 or so because the fish are more aggressive and it is harder to catch up to them to set the hook.

After that, I really love tossing suspending jerkbaits. 12-pound test line is good or even 10 if you can. I like the smaller Pointer 78 in clown or the gold/black and orange combos.  The key is to let the bait sit for a looooong time!  5 to 15 seconds if you can!  Light taps then let it sit!  Tough to do, but after getting a bunch of fish on the LVR D-7, I'll follow up with the Pointer!  Usually this produce bigger fish.  Fish are really grouped up more now than they will be for a while. As the grass spreads out, so will the fish!

So get out there now!

Other baits, well why would you bother…OK…if you really have to, you can use soft plastics….Mann's Stingray grub…3 inch avocado on a _ ounce round jig head.  Mizmo tubes with the R&R (Gerkin) insert tube heads. But, one more tactic that produces big fish now is the Carolina rig. I like using Tru Tungsten 1 ounce weights with an 18-inch fluorocarbon leader. The tungsten gives me a better “feel” of what's on the bottom and the fluorocarbon leader not only sinks, but also doesn't absorb water like mono…retaining strength and sensitivity.  For main line, I have been going to braid!  65 pound test Spiderwire stealth.

For the spinnerbait, I like the Mann's Classic, white/chart skirt with gold blades...Indiana/Colorado.  Slow roll this offering when the water has some chop or when the cloud cover comes in. 

My 2008 Skeeter ZX225 is FOR SALE!  Call for details!  703-380-7119.

The Punisher hair jig is in its glory now too!  I like the 1/4 or heavier…the Punisher Chunks with Punisher rattles create the bulky little fish bait package. This bait will get some big ones to bite!  It

IF you aren't sure about why you need to go slow…next fish you catch, check the belly…see any silt just below their gills?  They didn't get that swimming around!


I detail features and benefits of specific produts in my reports I have used extensively and have confidence. Mentioning product names is easier for you to match up with what I'm using.


MIZMO tubes, Punisher Jigs, and most of the Lucky Craft and Mann's baits are now in Bass Pro Shops latest catalog…look for them!


New to the river? Get a pro-quality map for fishing the Potomac and for other Virginia waters map from GMCO: www.gmcomaps.com. They list popular locations and hidden dangers of navigating the Potomac.

Have fun! Questions, comments or booking a trip: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all the time; so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service

Oct 1, 2008


74 degree water, 2-4 feet clarity and lots of grass on the Potomac River! The topwater bite is great during low light conditions and with low water regardless of sunlight. A mix of poppers and Mann's Super Frogs…and the HardNose frogs. Braid is the only way to go! I like Spiderwire 65 pound Stealth Ultra cast.  Also a good stiff rod with a slightly softer tip for better casting and a solid reel and hold on!!!!!  I'm adding rabbit fur to all of my Mann's Super Frogs!  It's easy…a drop of Pro's Soft Bait Glue…JannsNetcraft.com has rabbit fur strips in many colors!  Mann's has a new Weasel!!! This is a hollow frog with a lip to allow the bait to dive about a foot in between the weeds!  Really COOL!   Also, try walking topwaters like Lucky Craft Gunfish in shad patterns.

All other conditions require a mix of spinnerbaits. I am using _ ounce baits with a _ ounce water Gremlin rubber core weight to the hook shank to add weight and give more depth with speed for Willow/Colorado Mann's Classic spinnerbaits! Open the weight, put it on the hook shaft and replace the rubber.  Close with pliers. It won't slide and allows you to use a smaller profile bait. White skirts are working, but I have also gone to a red/craw and firetiger pattern. Get a great selection of skirts at Jannsnetcraft.com!!!!  Try to fish near and not in clear water, unless you have cloud cover or a lot of wind chop!

Contact grass with Mann's Baby 1-Minus and rip free. Also, “waking” baits like the Mann's Waker or even the Mann's Mid-Minus in citrus colors or shad patterns are working over grass and around docks and wood! Vary speeds...in clearest water, burn baits! In stained water, slow down. Fish stained water, near clear water, unless there is a chop on the surface or low light conditions, fish clearer water.

I still like punching small mats. Best on flat calm, hot sunny days.  Tru-Tungsten weights with Tru-Tungsten Smart Pegs are the best way to go!  Article coming soon to Sportsman's Magazine (thesportsmansmag.com)!  Interviews with Kelly Jordon, Greg Hackney, and Pete Gluszek!!!!!

Just about all of us use ETHANOL!!!!  I added a YAMAHA 10 micron fuel water separator in my boat to filter gas before it gets to the filter in my Yamaha HPDI!  You should too, but also stop by my website to find out more about the DANGERS of Ethanol on your outboard!  Go to REPORTS then to BOAT US: The Problem with Ethanol Fuel: Phase Separation.

I've switched batteries to the DEKA AGM deep cycle…I've already noticed they don't take long to recharge!  Full article on this new battery technology under ARTICLES on my site! They show no signs of wearing down either and I really use my trolling motor!

I prefer the new chatterbait style bait, the Rock N Runner…a Road Runner on steroids complete with small silver willow blade on the underside giving a unique action and more flash!  This thumper combined with Mann's HardNose Craw is killer! I'm using green pumpkin and watermelon skirts with contrasting or matching craws!  Various retrieves in the grass are working. Look for clear water close to deeper water and stained water for the best bites. I'm playing with a new one from KAOTIK Lures. Tank tossed me a few of these…quality components and a “new” concept…holes in the blades…different disturbance and allows baits to run deeper!

I'm also fishing a lot of Mizmo tubes now!  Pitching to marsh clumps in creeks to grass clumps and hard cover. Mann's HardNose 9-inch worms offer a bigger target to fish with a huge food supply all around. The Spoils area is also a good place for Mizmos!  I'm pitching them Texas rigged and with the Gerkin insert heads. I have been using the Gerkin head for 6 years!  Made with a Mustad Ultra Point hook...it has a wire weed guard and an elongated lead head…this makes the bait glide.   Also, hair jigs like the Punisher work too. Jack's Juice really soaks into the plastics or into the hair on a Punisher jig!

Pro's Soft Bait Glue is new and improved…how could they?  They improved the bottle!  No more clogs!  Much easier to apply on the water! 

My 2008 Skeeter ZX225 is FOR SALE!  Call me for details!  703-380-7119.  You can check out the new Skeeters, including the one I run, the Skeeter ZX225!  Stop by 1214 Portsmouth Blvd, Suffolk VA 23434 or call for details 757-923-0663, Frank, Jack and Steve will be there. Pick up some Yamalube and Ring Free and also check out their other lines of boats. Under New Management, www.SeaportMarineServices.com.

How many of you bought a baitcasting reel, tried it and gave up!  Apparently there are a lot of you out there!  Don't give up, learn how to use them!  Start with a decent reel, $120-140 on up.  Then practice…but what do you practice?  Check out my free videos (http://www.monkeysee.com/channel/show/89) and you'll learn how to cast…if you can cast, but with only one hand, you can learn how to use your other hand too!

I'm the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I answer fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at: http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/

I detail features and benefits of specific products in my reports I have used extensively and have confidence. Mentioning product names is easier for you to match up with what I'm using.

Have fun! Questions, comments or booking a trip: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all the time; so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA

"Take me fishing!"

.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >
 

 

 

REPORT FOR 8/7/08


The early bite on top is pretty good, but you need to keep one tied on all day. Poppers and walkers work best at higher tides, while hollow frogs and toads work at lower tides. For walkers I like Lucky Craft Gunfish in shad patterns. Mann's HardNose Frogs with a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point tube hook in white, when the sun is out, black on very cloudy days or in off color water. In between, green pumpkin!  The hollow frog bite continues and it doesn't matter what time of day as long as you have LOW water! If there is sun and a low tide, they work all day!  Braid is the only way to go! I like the Spiderwire 65 pound Stealth Ultra cast.  Also a good stiff rod with a slightly softer tip for better casting like the 2iG Ultra Strike 7'2” frog rod and a solid reel and hold on!!!!!  I am adding rabbit fur to all of my Mann's Super Frogs!  It's easy…a drop of Pro's Soft Bait Glue…JannsNetcraft.com has rabbit fur strips in many colors!  I am also using a Furbit popper found at Warbirds in Woodbridge and sfttackle.com.  Call store for details 703-878-3111

Topwaters are also a good way to expose mat fish for punching! Best on flat calm, hot sunny days.  Tru-Tungsten weights with Tru-Tungsten Smart Pegs are the best way to go!  Find high water mats on incoming tides…these have more space underneath! Article coming soon to Sportsman's Magazine!  Interviews with Kelly Jordon, Greg Hackney, and Pete Gluszek!!!!!

For the rest of the day, I am using a mix of Lucky Craft BDS 4, a big-bodied shallow crank with a wide bobbling action. White is a good color here. Mann's Baby 1-minus in Splatterback Holographic is my favorite.  In spinnerbaits, the _ ounce Mann's Classic…gold blades, white skirt over shallow grass and wood when the skies are cloudy or the water is a bit stained. Vary the speed of the retrieve and rip from grass.  Also, “waking” baits like the Mann's Waker or even the Mann's Mid-Minus in citrus colors or shad patterns are working over grass and around docks and wood!

Vary your speed...in the clearest water, burn baits! In stained water, slow down. I try to fish stained water, near clear water, unless there is a chop on the surface or low light conditions, then I fish the clearer water.

The 13th annual St Jude Potomac Teams Tournament was a huge success!  Lots of prizes…BoatUS, Abu reels, Berkley line, SealSkinz socks and gloves, Mann's Baits, and Frogg Toggs!  If you want to be on the email list, forward yours to me. You will be contacted for next year!  Thanks to all who participated and Regions 1 and 9 for their help!  Russ Shetley does a great job running this event! For standings: nationalbass.com

My follow-up bait is the new chatterbait style bait, the Rock N Runner…a Road Runner on steroids complete with small silver willow blade on the underside which gives it a unique action and more flash!  This thumper combined with the Mann's HardNose Craw is killer!  I am using green pumpkin and watermelon skirts with contrasting or matching craws!  Various retrieves in the grass are working. I look for clear water close to deeper water and to stained water for the best bites.

After that…Stick worms and weightless plastics…split shot, drop shot, and slow down! Incoming tides produce cooler water.  This activates the fish a bit.  Otherwise it's a slow patient presentation.
I'm also fishing a lot of Mizmo tubes now!  Pitching to marsh clumps in creeks to grass clumps and to hard cover. Mann's HardNose 9 inch worms offer a bigger target to fish with a huge food supply all around. The Spoils area is also a good place for Mizmos!  I'm pitching them Texas rigged and with the Gerkin insert heads. I have been using the Gerkin head for 6 years!  Made with a Mustad Ultra Point hook...it has a wire weed guard and an elongated lead head…this makes the bait glide.  The Gerkin tube head, now owned by R&R Custom Baits can be found at Dance's Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights, VA or by calling…804-541-4162. Also, hair jigs like the Punisher work too. Jack's Juice really soaks into the plastics or into the hair on a Punisher jig!

Pro's Soft Bait Glue is new and improved…how could they?  They improved the bottle!  No more clogs!  Much easier to apply on the water! 

Hooray! The Clean Water Act exemption was passed! This means there will be NO fine or fee for "normal operational" discharges from recreational boats, such as deck run-off from rain or engine cooling water.  The proposed Clean Boating Act of 2008 does not weaken any existing environmental laws that restrict the overboard discharge of oil, fuel, garbage, or sewage.

On all moving baits, I recommend replacing hooks with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. BTW! The BEST split ring pliers ever, from Texas Tackle! http://texastackle.com/pliers.htm none like it anywhere! For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike, perfect to feel cover and hookset!  It's not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

Have fun! Questions, comments or booking a trip: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all the time; so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA

"Take me fishing!"

 

April 10th, 2008

 

I have been on the river a lot in the past few days.  Water temps have been yo-yoing between the low 50's into the low 60's.  This is really changing the mood of the fish.  The most stable pattern has been to fish ditches and hard cover. The grass is coming in nicely, but has not developed a definitive edge. When the fish retreat, they move to deeper scattered grass and other cover, making them a bit more difficult to track down on the colder water temps.

Potomac River guide Capt. John Sisson reports the old bridge pilings above the Wilson Bridge still present a potential hazard!  BE CAREFUL!

Warmer water temps have allowed the fish to move up to the drop edges and stay on the flats. Fish are moving up to last year's grass on main river flats and creek mouth points.  This is an excellent time to get away from the crowds and find new fish.  These fish will stage in these areas for a few weeks, then move toward spawning flats as nighttime lows are not as low and the days are getting longer, keeping us warmer later.

For the cold snap, I have relied on several soft plastics presentations. I either cast to ditches, pitch to wood and skip under docks!! Mann's Stingray 3” avocado grub is my favorite, then Mizmo tubes, then drop shots. The best way to fish a Mizmo tube with an insert tube head. I have been using the Gerkin head for 6 years!  Made with a Mustad Ultra Point hook...it has a wire weed guard and an elongated lead head…this makes the bait glide.  The Gerkin tube head, now owned by R&R Custom Baits can be found at Dance's Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights, VA or by calling…804-541-4162. Also, hair jigs like the Punisher work too. The key this time of the year with all baits is to slow down. Stop when you can. For extended periods!  This is where fish attractants come in handy. I like Jack's Juice because it really soaks into the plastics or into the hair on a Punisher jig!

The two best hard baits are the suspending jerkbait and the lipless crank. I prefer the Lucky Craft here!  The Pointer 78 and the 100 are fantastic.  I use 10-12 pound test…MONO!!! I don't like fluorocarbon. The line sinks…that's OK, but it sinks the entire length of the line.  This makes it harder to set the hook, and to keep the fish from feeling all of the line in the water…. just my preference. Note that outgoing tides generally bring warmer water, especially as you get closer to DC. When that happens, you can be a bit more aggressive. Also take note of water clarity to determine speed and colors.  Around Blue Plains and other warmer (55+) shallow…up to 6 feet…areas with clear water, I use suspending jerkbaits. The Lucky Craft Pointer is the best around!  I like the 78, but will use the 100 in water that isn't as clear or a bit deeper. Keeping the bait in one spot for a long time is best!  10-pound test!!!! This allows the bait to run deeper and to stay in one spot for a while. When I get low water near drops and clear water after the water arms a few degrees in the mid day, I like to toss the Lucky Craft Pointer and let it sit as long as 20 seconds!  Tough to do, but worth the wait. If it's windy, use the spinning rod!!!!

The Lucky Craft LVR D-7 is a heavier lipless bait with a thinner profile. It puts out a lot of vibration at a very slow speed. I drag it on the bottom.  If there is grass, I rip it free with a short snap and the bait is balanced to fall straight down without flipping over.  REDS!!!! And craw patterns are best!

Also try cranking, or spinnerbaits. You need to keep your bait in close contact with the bottom.  Slow is the key!  I do better with cranks on clear water sunny days and the spinnerbait when the water is stained and skies are gray and chop on the water. Try slow rolling a Mann's 3/8 Classic Spinnerbait, Colorado/Willow blades along the bottom. This bait has gold blades, white skirt. I cast it, let it fall to the bottom, then reel as slowly as possible to just keep the bait moving as slowly as possible, in constant contact with the bottom.  Still using 17-pound test. All of the bites, including the cranks have been light. The fish really aren't even jumping when hooked. Been catching light colored bass with a bit of silt on their bellies. For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod.

Slowly crank tighter wiggle cranks:  reds, craws, and chartreuse with a brown back. After getting snagged and penetrating many fish, all hooks get dull!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. BTW! The BEST split ring pliers ever, from Texas Tackle!
http://texastackle.com/pliers.htm none like it anywhere! For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike, perfect to feel cover and hookset!  It's not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

How many of you bought a baitcasting reel, tried it and gave up!  Apparently there are a lot of you out there!  Don't give up, learn how to use them!  Start with a decent reel, $120-140 on up.  Then practice…but what do you practice?  Check out my free videos (
http://www.monkeysee.com/channel/show/89) and you'll learn how to cast…if you can cast, but with only one hand, you can learn how to use your other hand too!

Email me for REGISTRATION forms for the 12th annual St Jude Potomac Teams Tournament…JULY 11th…Friday…Leesylvania! 

Fish are moving shallow. I like the Mann's Baby 1-Minus!  This bait works year round and can be slowly cranked in shallow water.


For drop shots, Mann's Hardnose green pumpkin finesse worm is the best. The bait's tough head stays on the hook and the soft-bodied pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I also like this worm for the shakey head application. I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available from lurecraft.com. It's also a good choice for the split shot rig. For the drop shot and the split shot rigs, I am using a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Lite Mega Bite hook. I like to use an 8-inch leader on my drop shot. The Carolina rig is pretty good now too!  In Spoils and Smoots and in areas close to deep water! BTW I have found the PERFECT drop shot tool!  The FISHING Butler (
Fishingbutler.com) secures drop shot weights to your rod when putting away!  No VELCRO or rubber bands!  This device is adjustable and can also be used to secure rods to each other.

A “casting call” will take place at The Boathouse at Fletcher's Cove…www.fletcherscove.com, Sunday, April 27, 11:00am - 3:00p. 
www.nationalcastingcall.com.  Industry experts will instruct parents and children alike, and give everyone a chance to fish and learn more about fishing and the environment.  Highlights include sturgeon petting, a Junior Ranger Badge program, fly tying instruction and hands-on exhibits from participating partners: The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), in conjunction with The National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) and Guest Services, Inc. present an engaging all ages event sponsored by The National Park Service, The American Sportfishing Association, Discovery Creek, Discover Fly Fishing, The Future Fisherman Foundation, Family Tyes, The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, Living Classrooms Foundation, L.L. Bean, Orvis, Patagonia, Trout Unlimited, and The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

There's confusion over what licenses are required to guide on the Tidal Potomac River. I worked very closely with the PRFC this summer to come up with a grid of requirements to comply with DC, MD, VA and the PRFC on the Tidal Potomac. If you would like a copy, let me know! I support Capt. Ken Penrod's efforts to see to it that these rules are enforced!


It's a good time to pour some great finesse worms and other soft plastics with precise and easy to use molds from lurecraft.com. They have all of the supplies and plastic mixes for floating and for softness. Go on-line to find out more! (www.lurecraft.com 1-800-925-9088 for a free catalog). Make straight tail finesse worms for shakey head fishing, drop shots, and split shots! They can even make a mold for your design!  Take a look at some of the baits I have made on:  www.nationalbass.com (articles/lure-craft.htm)…call now to put your orders in! 1-800-925-9088

I'm the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I answer fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at:
http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/

I keep a few Frogg Toggs on board for sudden showers…whenever they come. The new Elite Series has become my year-round windbreaker and rain suit. These new Toggs are amazing and they are loaded with pockets and features…and come with a very reasonable price tag! Stop me and check it out!  Frogg Toggs (www.froggtoggs.com) are always on board.  They block the wind and are breathable!  I carry extras for my passengers!

My Sportsman's Magazine article will focus on bouncing back after injuries!  Three big name pros underwent off-season surgeries to make comebacks this season. Brauer, Hibdon and Wilks tell their stories. Look for my Tournament Talk column in Woods & Waters. This month I look at pros and seminars! It's not just or extra income either! Check www.woodsandwatersmagazine.com. A limited FREE supply at Belle Haven Marina and at Bowes and Arrows. 


Senior BASSMASTER writer, Robert Montgomery has taken decades of writing and fishing experience with the best in the fishing business and compiled it into one huge E-Book. Ratio's KILLER BASS FISHING SECRETS contains nearly 300 VERY specific tips from pros to help you catch more fish!  I found a TON of great tips to help me.  Get RONTICO's KILLER BASS FISHING SECRETS here: www.killer-bass-fishing-secrets.com. It's only $19.95…about a nickel a tip!  Well worth it! The site has some FREE tips!


I have also found a new product that is awesome! I interviewed the makers of Hawg Pockets after they won the ICAST new product showcase award.  I had the gadgets in my basement for a while.  I took a fishing trip to West Virginia. My wife started to freak out when I started to load my rods with crankbaits into her new Passport Nissan Murano.  She didn't want me to hook her leather interior.  I remembered the Hawg Pockets, read the instructions and snapped them into place.  They did their job.  I also found out they didn't tangle when I moved them and I could see my bait thru them!  Check out the website.  They keep my rods from tangling and I can see the baits on the rods. This is the best fishing lure guard I have ever seen!  Check them out!
http://www.hawgpockets.com

MIZMO tubes, Punisher Jigs, and most of the Lucky Craft and Mann's baits are now in Bass Pro Shops latest catalog…look for them!

2008 Potomac Tides under “REPORTS AND TIDES”.  Print a copy.

New to the river? Get a pro-quality map for fishing the Potomac and for other Virginia waters map from GMCO: www.gmcomaps.com. They list popular locations and hidden dangers of navigating the Potomac.

Are your boat batteries sluggish? If you have questions about battery care, check out www.nationalbass.com, go to ARTICLES and then Boat Batteries.

Have fun! Questions, comments or booking a trip: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all the time; so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"
.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >
 

 

March 18th, 2008

 

As more boaters get out on the Potomac and head to the Spoils, I am still warning about the area north of the Wilson Bridge on the Maryland side!!!! Danger!  The old Woodrow Wilson Bridge pilings, just north of the new bridge are no longer visible, but are a gnarled mess of rebar and irregular concrete chunks, just below the surface in many spots!  These are NOT marked in any way…except by the lower units recently lost in this area!  They should be marking this area soon!  And they will be removing the hazards as well!

Warmer water temps have allowed the fish to move up to the drop edges and stay on the flats. Fish are moving up to last year's grass on main river flats and creek mouth points.  This is an excellent time to get away from the crowds and find new fish.  These fish will stage in these areas for a few weeks, then move toward spawning flats as nighttime lows are not as low and the days are getting longer, keeping us warmer later.

The two best baits are the suspending jerkbait and the lipless crank. I prefer the Lucky Craft here!  The Pointer 78 and the 100 are fantastic.  I use 10-12 pound test…MONO!!! I don't like floury. The line sinks…that's OK, but it sinks the entire length of the line.  This makes it harder to set the hook, and to keep the fish from feeling all of the line in the water…. just my preference. Note that outgoing tides generally bring warmer water, especially as you get closer to DC. When that happens, you can be a bit more aggressive. Also take note of water clarity to determine speed and colors.  Around Blue Plains and other warmer (55+) shallow…up to 6 feet…areas with clear water, I use suspending jerkbaits. The Lucky Craft Pointer is the best around!  I like the 78, but will use the 100 in water that isn't as clear or a bit deeper. Keeping the bait in one spot for a long time is best!  10-pound test!!!! This allows the bait to run deeper and to stay in one spot for a while. When I get low water near drops and clear water after the water arms a few degrees in the mid day, I like to toss the Lucky Craft Pointer and let it sit as long as 20 seconds!  Tough to do, but worth the wait. If it's windy, use the spinning rod!!!!

The Lucky Craft LVR D-7 is a heavier bait with a thinner profile. It puts out a lot of vibration at a very slow speed. I drag it on the bottom.  If there is grass, I rip it free with a short snap and the bait is balanced to fall straight down without flipping over.  REDS!!!! And craw patterns are best!

My 2007 Pro Staff Skeeter ZX225 with 225 hp HPDI Yamaha is for sale! This is the best deal on a used Skeeter anywhere. Factory warranties transfer!  It is in great shape. ONLY 16 HOURS 1000-5000 RPM…ZERO over 5000!!!!. I am asking only $30,999!  This is a great boat at a great price. SERIOUS CALLS only….  703-360-3472.

Also try cranking, or spinnerbaits. You need to keep your bait in close contact with the bottom.  Slow is the key!  I do better with cranks on clear water sunny days and the spinnerbait when the water is stained and skies are gray and chop on the water. Try slow rolling a Mann's 3/8 Classic Spinnerbait, Colorado/Willow blades along the bottom. This bait has gold blades, white skirt. I cast it, let it fall to the bottom, then reel as slowly as possible to just keep the bait moving as slowly as possible, in constant contact with the bottom.  Still using 17-pound test. All of the bites, including the cranks have been light. The fish really aren't even jumping when hooked. Been catching light colored bass with a bit of silt on their bellies. For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod.

Slowly crank tighter wiggle cranks:  reds, craws, and chartreuse with a brown back. After getting snagged and penetrating many fish, all hooks get dull!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. BTW! The BEST split ring pliers ever, from Texas Tackle!
http://texastackle.com/pliers.htm none like it anywhere! For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike, perfect to feel cover and hookset!  It's not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

I like several soft plastics presentations. I either cast to flats, pitch to grass or wood and skip under docks!! Mann's Stingray 3” avocado grub is my favorite, then Mizmo tubes, then and drop shots. The best way to fish a Mizmo tube with an insert tube head. I have been using the Gerkin head for 6 years!  Made with a Mustad Ultra Point hook...it has a wire weed guard and an elongated lead head…this makes the bait glide.  The Gerkin tube head, now owned by R&R Custom Baits can be found at Dance's Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights, VA or by calling…804-541-4162.

How many of you bought a baitcasting reel, tried it and gave up!  Apparently there are a lot of you out there!  Don't give up, learn how to use them!  Start with a decent reel, $120-140 on up.  Then practice…but what do you practice?  Check out my free videos (
http://www.monkeysee.com/channel/show/89) and you'll learn how to cast…if you can cast, but with only one hand, you can learn how to use your other hand too!

Email me for REGISTRATION forms for the 12th annual St Jude Potomac Teams Tournament…JULY 11th…Friday…Leesylvania! 

Spinning reels are good for all techniques and actually keep your hands warmer than palming a bait caster all day!  I really like Quantum Energy reels!  Great drags, magnetic bail “spring”, titanium bail wire and a unique system for the line to be trapped” in place to avoid tangling around the bail arm.  I've been demonstrating these at shows and everyone has been impressed!  For line, I downsize to 8-pound test!  Try new Berkley Trilene100% Fluorocarbon line.  You're fishing further away from the boat, the lower stretch better sensitivity and thinner diameter will help you feel bites, set the hook and keep the fish from feeling you!

Fish are moving shallow. I like the Mann's Baby 1-Minus!  This bait works year round and can be slowly cranked in shallow water. Also, hair jigs like the Punisher work in the shallows too. The key this time of the year with all baits is to slow down. Stop when you can. For extended periods!  This is where fish attractants come in handy. I like Jack's Juice because it really soaks into the plastics or into the hair on a Punisher jig!

For drop shots, Mann's Hardnose green pumpkin finesse worm is the best. The bait's tough head stays on the hook and the soft-bodied pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I also like this worm for the shakey head application. I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available from lurecraft.com. It's also a good choice for the split shot rig. For the drop shot and the split shot rigs, I am using a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Lite Mega Bite hook. I like to use an 8-inch leader on my drop shot. The Carolina rig is pretty good now too!  In Spoils and Smoots and in areas close to deep water! BTW I have found the PERFECT drop shot tool!  The FISHING Butler (
Fishingbutler.com) secures drop shot weights to your rod when putting away!  No VELCRO or rubber bands!  This device is adjustable and can also be used to secure rods to each other.

I detail features and benefits of specific products in my reports I have used extensively and have confidence. Mentioning product names is easier for you to match up with what I'm using.

Have fun! Questions, comments or booking a trip: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all the time; so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"
.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >
 

 

January 2nd, 2008

What a great time to get out and fish!  Not many people on the water…except us fishermen!  Cold water fishing is a great way to learn how to slow down!  Really slow down!  Once you learn slow, truly learn slow, then every other speed is easy!  If you can catch fish now, you will never have any trouble getting fish in other seasons!  This time of the year will give you a great understanding of bass fishing. Water temps have fallen into the upper 40's.

That said, you can really get some big fish this time of the year as well!  Your spinning reel is your friend. I like the Quantum Energy reels!  Great drags, magnetic bail “spring”, titanium bail wire and a unique system for the line to be trapped” in place to avoid tangling around the bail arm.   For line, I downsize to 6-pound test!  Try the new Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line.  You are fishing deeper and further away from the boat, the lower stretch better sensitivity and thinner diameter will help you feel the bite, set the hook and keep the fish from feeling you! 

There are many techniques I like this time of the year. I will be detailing all of them at the
Nation's Outdoor Sportsman's Show at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend…January 4-6!  I will be conducting seminars every day and just hanging out with everyone!   In addition, two men I really respect, Ken Penrod and C. Boyd Pfieffer will be giving seminars as well!  Both of these guys were instrumental in me becoming a guide and outdoor writer.  Ken has been a mentor to me for decades and Boyd kindled my interest in fishing when I was a kid in the early 60's!  Both have appeared on my radio shows. In fact, in the early 90's, Ken appeared on my TV show!  I learned a lot from these guys. YOU WILL TOO! I will also have a lot of product samples to give away at each seminar. Jack's Juice, Seal Skinz socks and gloves, Mann's Hardnose soft plastics, Water Gremlin BULLSHOT weights, BoatUS hats lanyards and no-stink towels, Fishing Butler's, Hawg Pockets, Grabber McCoal handwarmers. New Jann's Netcraft catalogs, and REGISTRATION forms for the 12th annual St Jude Potomac Teams Tournament!  The schedule for me is:  Friday 4pm.  SAT 10am, 2:30 PM and 6:45PM. Sunday noon, 3:30PM.  Each of my seminars is open for questions. Topics include Seasonal Patterns: Springtime, Post spawn, Summer Fall, winter and rods, reel, line forum.

Back to fishing now!  Where to go?  Deep water out of the current is the best place to start. Next, look for the steepest drop you can find. These are areas where the fish don't have to travel very far to get to shallow water when they want. Fish are always shallow. Look there first, but you have to have some deep water nearby!  For the shallow fish, I like the Mann's Baby 1-Minus!  This bait works year round and can be slowly cranked I shallow water. Also, hair jigs like the Punisher work in the shallows too. The key this time of the year with all baits is to slow down. Stop when you can. For extended periods!  This is where fish attractants come in handy. I like jack's Juice because it really soaks into the plastics or into the hair on a Punisher jig!  Line diameter is also key!  It allows baits to get to the bottom fast and stay there in wind and current. It also allows easier hook sets when far from the boat. Thinner line offers less resistance!  The reduced resistance also comes in handy when fish pick up a bait. They won't feel the line either! 

Note that outgoing tides generally bring warmer water, especially as you get closer to DC. When that happens, you can be a bit more aggressive. Also take note of water clarity to determine speed and colors.

Another shallow technique is the suspending jerkbait. The Lucky Craft Pointer is the best around!  I like the 78, but will use the 100 in water that isn't as clear or a bit deeper. Keeping the bait in one spot for a long time is best!  10-pound test!!!! This allows the bait to run deeper and to stay in one spot for a while. When I get low water near drops and clear water after the water arms a few degrees in the mid day, I like to toss the Lucky Craft Pointer and let it sit as long as 20 seconds!  Tough to do, but worth the wait.

My 2007 Pro Staff Skeeter ZX225 with 225 hp HPDI Yamaha is for sale! If you want a great deal on a slightly used, well-maintained boat, this is the best deal on a used Skeeter anywhere. Factory warranties transfer!  It is in great shape. About 50 hours. I am asking only $33,000!  This is a great boat at a great price. SERIOUS CALLS only….  703-360-3472.

For hard cover areas, you need to keep your bait in close contact with the bottom.  Cranking, or spinnerbaits. Slow is the key!  I do better with cranks on clear water sunny days and the spinnerbait when the water is stained and skies are gray and chop on the water. Try slow rolling a Mann's 3/8 Classic Spinnerbait, Colorado/Willow blades along the bottom. This bait has gold blades, white skirt. I cast it, let it fall to the bottom, then reel as slowly as possible to just keep the bait moving as slowly as possible, in constant contact with the bottom.  Still using 17-pound test. All of the bites, including the cranks have been light. The fish really aren't even jumping when hooked. Starting to find light colored bass with a bit of silt on their bellies. For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod.  I have been trying the new “made in the USA” ARDENT casting reel….so far…AWESOME!  Picked one up on one of my trips!  Spooled with 17 and casting spinnerbaits…putting a lot of miles on it. Stop me to check this machine out!  Light and tough!  Casts spinnerbaits well even into the wind.

For the cranks, look for tighter wiggle cranks:  reds, craws, and chartreuse with a brown back. Check your hooks on all cranks now!  After getting snagged and penetrating many fish, all hooks get dull…especially around hard cover!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. BTW!!!! The BEST split ring pliers ever!!!!!from Texas Tackle!!! http://texastackle.com/pliers.htm….none like it anywhere! For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike, perfect to feel the cover and to set the hook!  It is not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

For soft plastics, I like several presentations. The Mann's Stingray grub 3 inch in avocado is my favorite, followed by the Mizmo tube and then the drop shot. For the drop shot, the Mann's Hardnose green pumpkin finesse worm is the best. The head on this bait is very tough, while the body is very soft!  The bait stays on the hook and the pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I also like this worm for the shakey head application. I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…I heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available through lurecraft.com. It is also a good choice for the split shot rig. For the drop shot and the split shot rigs, I am using a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Lite Mega Bite hook. I like to use an 8inch leader on my drop shot. In either case, I have found the PERFECT drop shot tool!  The FISHING Butler will secure your drop shot weight to your rod when you want to put it away!  No VELCRO or rubber bands!  This device is adjustable and can also be used to secure rods to each other.  Fishingbutler.com Smoots and Spoils are great for this. The Carolina rig is pretty good now too!  In Spoils and Smoots and in areas close to deep water!

It's also time to get the blade baits out…no more Silver Buddys to be found!  Too BAD!  But, I have found one that works very well!  It is made by Poor Boys Baits...www.poorboysbaits.com. Check them out!

My new FREE instructional videos are out!  If you are learning to cast, or trying to teach a friend to cast, check them out!  Most of us learn how to cast through a method of “trial and error…and error, and error, etc!”  I have been able to break casting down into small digestible steps!  If you can only cast a bait caster with your dominant hand, then you need to check out these FREE videos too! http://www.monkeysee.com/channel/show/89
By the way, there seems to be a lot of confusion over what licenses are required to guide on the Tidal Potomac River. I worked very closely with the PRFC this summer to come up with a grid of requirements to comply with DC, MD, VA and the PRFC on the Tidal Potomac. If you would like a copy, let me know! 

I am now the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I will be answering fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at:
http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/ If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I get it answered with a little help from my friends.

I use specific products and mention them in my reports.  These are products I have used extensively and have confidence in.  By mentioning product names, it is easier for you to match up with what I am using. I also detail the features of many of the products I use to demonstrate their benefits.

For 2008 Tides information for the Potomac look under “REPORTS AND TIDES”.  Print a copy for your use.

New to the river? Get a pro-quality map for fishing the Potomac and for other Virginia waters map from GMCO: www.gmcomaps.com. They list popular locations and hidden dangers of navigating the Potomac.

Check out the biggest bass ever caught on the Potomac. (www.nationalbass.com, then REPORTS, then BIG FISH) Gary Kincheloe's record is likely to stand longer that the previous record of nearly 30 years.

Have fun, and I would enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions, comments or would like to book a trip, e-mail: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all of the time, so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"
 

 

 

 

Dec 6th, 2007

This is an awesome time to get out and fish!  Big bass are being caught just about anywhere that is close to deep water. Deeper water might be a creek channel, ditch drop off, and channel bend or deeper grass edge.   Hard cover or grass, take your pick. Also note that outgoing tides generally bring warmer water, especially as you get closer to DC. When that happens, you can be a bit more aggressive. Also take note of water clarity to determine speed and colors.

My 2007 Pro Staff Skeeter ZX225 with 225 hp HPDI Yamaha is for sale! If you want a great deal on a slightly used, well-maintained boat, this is the best deal on a used Skeeter anywhere. Factory warranties transfer!  It will be less than a year old and in great shape. About 50 hours. I am asking only $33,000!  This is a great boat at a great price. SERIOUS CALLS only….  703-360-3472.

Starting with grass. Over the top, I am using a Lucky Craft LVR D-7 on 17-pound test and a 2iG Ultra Strike medium action rod…crawling the bait over the tops of the grass…as slowly as possible!  I am casting parallel to the grass too, looking for isolated clumps.  You can do the same thing with a Mann's Baby 4-Minus when the water is a bit more stained…and for the least visibility, overcast or choppy water, try slow rolling a Mann's 3/8 Classic Spinnerbait, Colorado/Indiana blades over the tops of the remaining grass. This bait has gold blades, white skirt. For the hard cover, try the willow/Colorado blades. I cast it, let it fall to the bottom, then reel as slowly as possible to just keep the bait moving as slowly as possible, in constant contact with the bottom.  Still using 17-pound test. All of the bites, including the cranks have been light. The fish really aren't even jumping much when hooked. Starting to find light colored bass with a bit of silt on their bellies. For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod.  I have been trying the new “made in the USA” ARDENT casting reel….so far…AWESOME!  Picked one up on one of my trips!  Spooled with 17 and casting spinnerbaits…putting a lot of miles on it. Stop me to check this machine out!  Light and tough!  Casts spinnerbaits well even into the wind.

For the hard cover areas, you need to keep your bait in close contact with the bottom.  Cranking, or spinnerbaits. Slow is the key!  I do better with cranks on clear water sunny days and the spinnerbait when the water is stained and the skies are gray and chop on the water. For the spinnerbait, I cast and let it fall to the bottom. Look for the tighter wiggle cranks. Crankbait colors:  reds, craws, chartreuse with a brown back are the only ones I have used…they work…but try your favorite colors first. Check your hooks on all cranks now!  After getting snagged and penetrating many fish, all hooks get dull…especially around hard cover!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. BTW!!!! The BEST split ring pliers ever!!!!!from Texas Tackle!!! http://texastackle.com/pliers.htm….none like it anywhere! For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike, perfect to snap from grass and to set the hook!  It is not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

For soft plastics, I like several presentations. The Mann's Stingray grub 3 inch in avocado is my favorite, followed by the Mizmo tube and then the drop shot. For the drop shot, the Mann's Hardnose green pumpkin finesse worm is the best. The head on this bait is very tough, while the body is very soft!  The bait stays on the hook and the pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I also like this worm for the shakey head application. I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…I heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available through lurecraft.com. It is also a good choice for the split shot rig. For the drop shot and the split shot rigs, I am using a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Lite Mega Bite hook. I am downsizing my line as the water temps fall to about 6 pound test very soon! I like to use an 8inch leader on my drop shot. In either case, I have found the PERFECT drop shot tool!  The FISHING Butler will secure your drop shot weight to your rod when you want to put it away!  No VELCRO or rubber bands!  This device is adjustable and can also be used to secure rods to each other.  Fishingbutler.com  Smoots and Spoils are great for this. The Carolina rig is pretty good now too!  In Spoils and Smoots and in areas close to deep grass!

When I get low water near drops and clear water after the water arms a few degrees in the mid day, I like to toss the Lucky Craft Pointer 78 or 100. I let it sit as long as 20 seconds!  Tough to do, but worth the wait.

In January, I will be giving seminars throughout the month the first one is Jan 4,5 and 6 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.  I'll be handing out all day…but giving scheduled seminars.  For times, check www.nationsoutdoorshow.com…also look for two of my favorite speakers! Legendary Guide Ken Penrod and C. Boyd Pfieffer.
Friday 3:00PM - 8:00PM, Saturday 9:00AM - 8:00PM, Sunday 10:00AM - 5:00PM

It's also time to get the blade baits out…no more Silver Buddys to be found!  Too BAD!  But, I have found one that works very well!  It is made by Poor boys baits...www.poorboysbaits.com. Check them out!

My new FREE instructional videos are out!  If you are learning to cast, or trying to teach a friend to cast, check them out!  Most of us learn how to cast through a method of “trial and error…and error, and error, etc!”  I have been able to break casting down into small digestible steps!  If you can only cast a bait caster with your dominant hand, then you need to check out these FREE videos too! http://www.monkeysee.com/channel/show/89

Ths is a good time to pour some great finesse worms and other soft plastics. I like the molds from lurecraft.com. They have all of the supplies you would ever need. They even have various plastic mixes for floating and for softness. Go on -line to find out more!  Lure Craft molds are precise and easy to use. (www.lurecraft.com 1-800-925-9088 for a free catalog). Make straight tail finesse worms for shakey head fishing, drop shots, and split shots! They have a mold for anything and all of the supplies to pour your own custom poured baits…they can even make a mold for your design!  Ask me to take a look at some of the baits I have made or check them out on:  www.nationalbass.com (articles/lure-craft.htm) check out the NEW Lure Craft website…call now to put your orders in! 1-800-925-9088

I am now the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I will be answering fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at:
http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/ If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I get it answered with a little help from my friends.

I kep a few Frogg Toggs on board for sudden showers…whenever they come. The new Elite Series has become my year-round windbreaker and rain suit. These new Toggs are amazing and they are loaded with pockets and features…and come with a very reasonable price tag! Stop me and check it out!  Frogg Toggs (www.froggtoggs.com) are always on board.  They block the wind and are breathable!  I carry extras for my passengers!

I use specific products and mention them in my reports.  These are products I have used extensively and have confidence in.  By mentioning product names, it is easier for you to match up with what I am using. I also detail the features of many of the products I use to demonstrate their benefits.

There is a new style TEVA I just LOVE!  Karnali Wraptor (http://teva.com/ProductDetails.aspx?g=m&productID=6960&model=Karnali+Wraptor) have a toe guard!  They are perfect for water sports…. they have drains and are great for standing all day!  Check out the new TEVA sandals. They are sport shoes…especially water sports like bass fishing!   If you do not wear the sport sandals from TEVA, you should!  Just cover your feet with sunscreen and you'll feel better! I have tried other footwear, including expensive basketball shoes. TEVA's are very comfortable and have boat safe surfaces along with anti-microbial protection. These sandals are comfortable and keep me on my feet...no butt seat either!  Check out www.teva.com. 

There are some great tackle specials this month at Jann's Netcraft!  If you want to be on the email list for these specials, contact me and I'll take care of it for you!  Contact Jann's Netcraft for your free catalog!  They have a great assortment of do-it-yourself supplies, and they have a great line of soft plastics too!  By this time of the year, my rod tips are just about worn out on my cranking rods. Sometimes the guides take a constant beating too! What do you do? Toss out the rod that is really still in great shape? No way!  I have learned how to replace guides on some of my favorite rods and they are ready to go!  Check out their rod building and repair supplies.  Get a tip kit, with many sizes for a variety of rods.  If you want to learn how to make repairs or even build your own custom rods, they have a great rod-building instructional book and all of the tools and parts! I also noticed they have everything you need to make crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits.  You can start from scratch or assemble the parts to build the baits you like to your exact specs…and save money too! Jann's Netcraft luremaking, flytying, rod building, and soft baits! They've been around for a long time and have a great selection of lure making materials too! Check them out at www.jannsnetcraft.com or call 1-800-NETCRAFT!

I have also found a new product that is awesome!  Actually, I interviewed the makers of Hawg Pockets after they won the ICAST award for the new product showcase.  I had the gadgets in my basement for a while.  I took a fishing trip to West Virginia. My wife started to freak out when I started to load my rods with crankbaits into her new Passport Nissan Murano.  She didn't want me to hook her leather interior.  I remembered the Hawg Pockets and read the instructions and snapped them into place.  They did their job.  I also found out they didn't tangle when I moved them and I could see my bait thru them!  Check out the website.  I am using them on my boat now and it keeps my rods from tangling and I can see the baits on the rods. This is the best fishing lure guard I have ever seen!  Check them out! www.hawgpockets.com

MIZMO tubes, Punisher Jigs, and most of the Lucky Craft and Mann's baits are now in Bass Pro Shops latest catalog….look for them!

If you want the best polarized sunglasses for fishing, I suggest Maui Jim HCL (high contrast lens) polarized sunglasses.  These are the best for picking up cover in the water and seeing the fish.  Check around, most of the serious anglers on the Potomac are wearing them.  Eye protection is important!!!  Get a quality pair of polarized sunglasses.  I recommend the Maui Jims (www.mauijim.com). Sunglass Huts carry these.  If you see me on the water, I will let you check mine out.  I am also trying the polycarbonate lens Maui Sports…. they are light as a feather and the optics are great. Now for the over 50 crowd….Maui READERS!

For 2007 Tides information for the Potomac look under “REPORTS AND TIDES”.  Print a copy for your use.

If you are new to the river, get a map from GMCO. It is a pro-quality map for fishing the Potomac and for other Virginia waters. Check out their site: www.gmcomaps.com. They list some of the popular locations and some of the hidden dangers of navigating the Potomac.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"


Steve Chaconas guides on the Potomac River with experience on the river dating back over 40 years, and has been professionally guiding over 15 years.  Contact him for a rewarding trip on the Potomac River.  Catch huge largemouth bass in sight of the splendor of the nation's capital.

November 9th, 2007

What a difference a few days make!  Wonderful fishing this time of the year…nice to wear some of the great cool weather clothes!  Still in the TEVA's!  The Seal Skinz Chillblockers make that possible!  Fishing has been great, as water temps have fallen into the low to mid 50's.
The water has cleared up again, making the jerkbait and crankbait bites awesome!  Some very nice fish as well!  When the water gets a bit stained, slow rolling the spinnerbait is great. You can use plastics, jigs, etc….but why?  Too much fun to get them on moving baits. 

All new instructional videos are out!  If you are learning to cast, or trying to teach a friend to cast, check them out!  Most of us learn how to cast through a method of “trial and error…and error, and error, etc!”  I have been able to break casting down into small digestible steps!  If you can only cast a bait caster with your dominant hand, then you need to check out these FREE videos too! 
How to Fish VIDEO

In the lowest tide, close to cover, the Mann's Baby 1-Minus, and Mann's Elite C-4 are great. I still like to toss in the Lucky Craft LVR D-7 once in a while to really cover water over grass.  A slow crank is fine. I am still finding that the wide wobble cranks are working better.  Colors…reds, craws, chartreuse with a brown back are the only ones I have used…they work…but try your favorite colors first. Check your hooks on all cranks now!  After getting snagged and penetrating many fish, all hooks get dull…especially around hard cover!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. Try adding a feather Mustad treble to the tail of a Baby 1-Minus. BTW!!!! The BEST split ring pliers ever!!!!!from Texas Tackle!!! http://texastackle.com/pliers.htm….none like it anywhere! For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike, perfect to snap from grass and to set the hook!  It is not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

By the way, there seems to be a lot of confusion over what licenses are required to guide on the Tidal Potomac River. I worked very closely with the PRFC this summer to come up with a grid of requirements to comply with DC, MD, VA and the PRFC on the Tidal Potomac. If you would like a copy, let me know!

For the spinnerbait, there is only one…Mann's 3/8-ounce Classic. This bait has gold blades, white skirt, and willow/Colorado blades. I cast it, let it fall to the bottom, then reel as slowly as possible to just keep the bait moving as slowly as possible, in constant contact with the bottom.  Still using 17-pound test. All of the bites, including the cranks have been light. The fish really aren't even jumping much when hooked. Starting to find light colored bass with a bit of silt on their bellies.  For grass the _ ounce spinnerbait with Colorado Indiana gold blades and a white skirt at low tides and a 3/8-ounce double when the tide is higher. Try a firetiger skirt in clear water with the willow blades. This doesn't work as well at high tide when the water is stained. You need to switch to the Classic Indiana/Colorado with a white skirt. For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod.  I have been trying the new “made in the USA” ARDENT casting reel….so far…AWESOME!  Picked one up on one of my trips!  Spooled with 17 and casting spinnerbaits…putting a lot of miles on it. Stop me to check this machine out!  Light and tough!  Casts spinnerbaits well even into the wind.

By the way, my 2007 Pro Staff Skeeter ZX225 with 225 hp HPDI Yamaha is for sale! If you want a great deal on a slightly used, well-maintained boat, this is the best deal on a used Skeeter anywhere. Factory warranties transfer!  It will be less than a year old and in great shape. About 50 hours. I am asking only $33,000!  This is a great boat at a great price. SERIOUS CALLS only….  703-360-3472.

If you really want to toss bottom baits, try Texas rig big plastics and big Stone jigs with Hardnose craw trailers …pitch to hard cover!  If very sunny and you can find isolated clumps of grass…go for it!  Play with any plastic rig…drop shot, shakey head or split shot….just keep it slow! Find cuts in pads or drains when the tide is falling. Tubes are great ways to fish docks where there is no grass around and bridge pilings. For drop shotting and shaky head fishing I like the green pumpkin Mann's HardNose Finesse worm. The head on this bait is very tough, while the body is very soft!  The bait stays on the hook and the pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…I heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available through lurecraft.com. Smoots and Spoils are great for this. For grassy areas, I like to use an 18inch leader on my drop shot. For wood I keep it around 8 inches. In either case, I have found the PERFECT drop shot tool!  The FISHING Butler will secure your drop shot weight to your rod when you want to put it away!  No VELCRO or rubber bands!  This device is adjustable and can also be used to secure rods to each other.  Fishingbutler.com The Carolina rig is pretty good now too!  In Spoils and Smoots and in areas close to deep grass!

This is a good time to pour some great finesse worms and other soft plastics. I like the molds from lurecraft.com. They have all of the supplies you would ever need. They even have various plastic mixes for floating and for softness. Go on -line to find out more!  Lure Craft molds are precise and easy to use. (www.lurecraft.com 1-800-925-9088 for a free catalog). Make straight tail finesse worms for shakey head fishing, drop shots, and split shots! They have a mold for anything and all of the supplies to pour your own custom poured baits…they can even make a mold for your design!  Ask me to take a look at some of the baits I have made or check them out on:  www.nationalbass.com (articles/lure-craft.htm) check out the NEW Lure Craft website…call now to put your orders in! 1-800-925-9088

I am now the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I will be answering fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at:
http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/ If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I get it answered with a little help from my friends.

I use specific products nd mention them in my reports.  These are products I have used extensively and have confidence in.  By mentioning product names, it is easier for you to match up with what I am using. I also detail the features of many of the products I use to demonstrate their benefits.

Have fun, and I would enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions, comments or would like to book a trip, e-mail: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all of the time, so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"
.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >


Captain Steve Chaconas/SEOPA 
National Bass Guide Service
Boat U.S. On-line Expert
How to Fish
VIDEO
8619 Camden St.
Alexandria, VA 22308
www.nationalbass.com
Home Office:   703-360-3472
Cell:   703-380-7119

 

 

Sept11th, 2007

 

Still hearing a lot of tough stories on current fishing conditions. It is tough!  But, you can still catch them. One of my most reliable techniques for numbers of fish is to lighten up!  I use the same tactics I use during the coldest winter months!  Finesse fishing is custom made for this time of the year. I will be giving a detailed seminar ONE DAY ONLY September 22, 2007 - for the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World-Baltimore Fall Fishing Weekend. In addition, there will be Casting Kids Qualifier and State Championships. And that's not all!  Join both freshwater and saltwater experts at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World-Baltimore for Fall Fishing Days, Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23.  Also, Lake Anna guide Glenn Briggs, Bass Pro Shops and Nitro Field Staff Pro will demonstrate how to catch more and bigger bass using Bass Pro Shops tackle and XPS lures.

So, that brings us back to how and where to fish. Fishing the finesse light line techniques can be done anywhere, but your chances of landing a decent bass in the thick grass is tough!  But, still doable!  Stick with the deeper outside edges and you'll be fine.  Or you can go to hard cover without any grass nearby.
Play with any plastic rig…drop shot, shakey head or split shot….just keep it slow! Find cuts in pads or drains when the tide is falling. Tubes are great ways to fish docks where there is no grass underneath and bridge pilings. For drop shotting and shaky head fishing I like the green pumpkin Mann's HardNose finesse worm. The head on this bait is very tough, while the body is very soft!  The bait stays on the hook and the pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…I heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available through lurecraft.com. Smoots and Spoils are great for this. For grassy areas, I like to use an 18inch leader on my drop shot. For wood I keep it around 8 inches. In either case, I have found the PERFECT drop shot tool!  The FISHING Butler will secure your drop shot weight to your rod when you want to put it away!  No VELCRO or rubber bands!  This device is adjustable and can also be used to secure rods to each other.  Fishingbutler.com

This is a good time to pour some great finesse worms and other soft plastics. I like the molds from lurecraft.com. They have all of the supplies you would ever need. They even have various plastic mixes for floating and for softness. Go on -line to find out more!  Lure Craft molds are precise and easy to use. (www.lurecraft.com 1-800-925-9088 for a free catalog). Make straight tail finesse worms for shakey head fishing, drop shots, and split shots! They have a mold for anything and all of the supplies to pour your own custom poured baits…they can even make a mold for your design!  Ask me to take a look at some of the baits I have made or check them out on:  www.nationalbass.com (articles/lure-craft.htm) check out the NEW Lure Craft website…call now to put your orders in! 1-800-925-9088

Before I give up on other techniques, I try spinnerbaits and Baby 1-Minus baits. Especially when there is cloud cover or chop on the water.
Go with the NEW C-4 Elite Series wide body bait. This bigger bait can be crawled through the pads. Pitch in as far as you can….at the highest tides. In the creeks, I like Mann's NEW C-4 ELITE SERIES crankbait in chartreuse shad on 20-pound test. Crank through the pads when pitching about 15 feet….walk through and hold on!  This is a great higher tide strategy for pads in creeks! I use 20-pound test and a 6'6” medium heavy 2iG Ultra Strike rod.  I pitch most of the time to be a bit more accurate. At higher tides in grass, I have been having a lot of success with the Mann's Baby 1-Minus and the new Elite C-4. My 'new' Baby 1-Minus favorite is the new Elite Series. I like the baby bass color now.  Old standbys, fire tiger, splatterback and desert sunset are also working. Vary your retrieves. I have caught some burning the bait, crawling it and long pauses. Check your hooks on all cranks now!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. Try adding a feather Mustad treble to the tail of a Baby 1-Minus. For my line, I am using 20-pound test Berkley XT. For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod. A medium heavy 7-foot graphite rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike is perfect to snap from grass and to set the hook!  It is not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

For spinnerbaits, I like the _ ounce spinnerbait with Colorado Indiana gold blades and a white skirt at low tides and a 3/8-ounce double when the tide is higher.  Try a firetiger skirt in clear water with the willow blades. This doesn't work as well at high tide when the water is stained. You need to switch to the Classic Indiana/Colorado with a white skirt. For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod.

Topwater hasn't been that good for me!  I still try it if I like the conditions!  Lower water and low light!  I like slowing down with a slow buzzbait with a clacker or a walking bait like the GUNFISH from Lucky Craft!  This bait disturbs the water and has a loud rattle!!  I can walk this bait very slowly, and the rattles call them up!  The key has been to keep it moving once you get a strike!  If you stop it, they don't seem to come back!  Add a tail feather like the Mustad hand tied Ultra Point trebles in RED!  Sometimes a twitch will get the feathers moving and the fish to return after a hit and miss!  Small 1/8-ounce BLACK buzzbaits have also been working at lower tides over grass around docks and over wood! When the tide is low, try frogs like the Mann's Super Frog!

If the fish are a bit more active, go to a buzzfrog!  If you've never seen the Mann's HARDNOSE Swim Toad, GET SOME!  These are perfect over grass!  The hard nose keeps the hook in place better than ANY OTHER on the market!  I like white and green pumpkin!  If you see me on the water, ask me for a free sample!  Rig this on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook with BRAID!  I am trying a bunch of braids…so far; STREN Super Braid and Spiderwire are the best. On casting gear, I like to spool 65 on spinning gear, I like 25. The no stretch is great for getting the fish out of grass and for setting the hook. I like the heavier line on casting gear…easier to cast! TOPWATER KEYS:  Use poppers at lower tides…ANYTIME OF THE DAY! 

By the way, my 2007 Pro Staff Skeeter ZX225 with 225 hp HPDI Yamaha is for sale!  I pre-sell these boats for December 1 delivery, 2007!  If you want a great deal on a slightly used, well-maintained boat, this is the best deal on a used Skeeter anywhere. Factory warranty transfers!  It will be less than a year old and in great shape. About 50 hours. This is the time to reserve this boat. I am asking only $33,000!  This is a great boat at a great price. SERIOUS CALLS only….  703-360-3472.

For mat fishing, the bright sun and hot hazy days, give you a good shot!  Punch through and you'll have a great time! Look for the nastiest mats you can find. Casting GEAR!!!! The ONE-PIECE 2iG Ultra Strike Flippin' Stick is perfect!  Spool with 65 pound braid, a 1-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight with a Mann's HardNose Flippin' Craw…black blue, green pumpkin on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook!  Pitch to a mat, shake until it drops through and wait until the fish swims off with it. Shake a bit, pull up to the underside of the mat…shake, and then drop again before removing to make another cast. REMEMBER; allow the fish to PULL before you set the hook!  A spray of Jack's Juice Garlic adds flavor and allows the bait to slide through the grass better. Also, I peg my weight or use Pro's Soft Bait Glue to glue to the head of the bait.

I am now the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I will be answering fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at:
http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/ If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I get it answered with a little help from my friends.

I use specific products and mention them in my reports.  These are products I have used extensively and have confidence in.  By mentioning product names, it is easier for you to match up with what I am using. I also detail the features of many of the products I use to demonstrate their benefits.

Have fun, and I would enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions, comments or would like to book a trip, e-mail: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all of the time, so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"
.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >



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See what's new at http://www.aol.com

 

August 28tth, 2007

 

FISHING REPORT
I am hearing complaints from guys having trouble catching bass this time of the year. They ask, “Where are the bass?'  “In the grass” my response. And there is so much of it!  The bass are very comfy under the maze of mats stretching from DC to Nanjemoy!  How do you get them…first of all a reminder. The PROS were here recently and a lot of them had trouble getting five fish a day!  It was a very tedious methodical punching of mats that did the trick for most of them. Skeet was fishing hard cover.  So there.  You have two choices…mats or hard cover.  Sounds simple!  NOT!

By the way, my 2007 Pro Staff Skeeter ZX225 with 225 hp HPDI Yamaha is for sale!  I pre-sell these boats for December 1 delivery, 2007!  If you want a great deal on a slightly used, well-maintained boat, this is the best deal on a used Skeeter anywhere. Factory warranty transfers!  It will be less than a year old and in great shape. About 50 hours. This is the time to reserve this boat. I am asking only $32,000!  This is a great boat at a great price. SERIOUS CALLS only….  703-360-3472.

Last week I had a day where we did well with spinnerbaits…the tide slowed and DONE!  Next day not a bite on a spinnerbait!  The fish were still there, in the grass, but didn't want to come out to play. Punching mats was the only option….not for everyone!

If you don't want to mess with the grass, you can do a few things.  Go to the edges of mats where there is deeper water!  Play with any plastic rig…drop shot, jig or whatever….just keep it slow!  You can also try rats over the grass….again, slow…I like the Furbit popper….pop and let the rabbit fur tail do the rest.  After that, go where there is NO grass or just pads and wood. Here, I like big stuff!  Jig and Hardnose 6” worm and Mann's NEW Hardnose 9-inch worm! Rig this on a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Hook with a 3/16 ounce Water Gremlin BULLSHOT! Work it slow!  Find cuts in pads or drains when the tide is falling. On rising tides, I still like the crankbait in the pads. Drop shot, shaky head, and tubes are great ways to fish docks where there is no grass underneath and bridge pilings. For drop shotting and shaky head fishing I like the green pumpkin Mann's HardNose finesse worm. The head on this bait is very tough, while the body is very soft!  The bait stays on the hook and the pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…I heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available through lurecraft.com. Smoots and Spoils are great for this.  The C-Rig in there areas is also producing. You can even try deeper diving cranks like the Mann's 15+!

Go with the Mann's Baby 1-Minus or the NEW C-4 Elite Series wide body bait. This bigger bait can be crawled through the pads. Pitch in as far as you can….at the highest tides. In the creeks, I like Mann's NEW C-4 ELITE SERIES crankbait in chartreuse shad on 20-pound test. Crank through the pads when pitching about 15 feet….walk through and hold on!  This is a great higher tide strategy for pads in creeks! I use 20-pound test and a 6'6” medium heavy 2iG Ultra Strike rod.  I pitch most of the time to be a bit more accurate. At higher tides in grass, I have been having a lot of success with the Mann's Baby 1-Minus and the new Elite C-4. My 'new' Baby 1-Minus favorite is the new Elite Series. I like the baby bass color now.  Old standbys, fire tiger, splatterback and desert sunset are also working. Vary your retrieves. I have caught some burning the bait, crawling it and long pauses. Check your hooks on all cranks now!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. Try adding a feather Mustad treble to the tail of a Baby 1-Minus. For my line, I am using 20-pound test Berkley XT. For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod. A medium heavy 7-foot graphite rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike is perfect to snap from grass and to set the hook!  It is not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

If you get low light conditions, try your moving baits. I like the _ ounce spinnerbait with Colorado Indiana gold blades and a white skirt at low tides and a 3/8-ounce double willow with firetiger skirt when the tide is higher. If I have a high tide under cloudy skies in the grass, I have been tossing the 3/8-willow tandem with a firetiger skirt. Chop on the water is better. This doesn't work as well at high tide when the water is stained. You need to switch to the Classic Indian/Colorado with a white skirt. For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod.

For topwater, I like slowing down with a slow buzzbait with a clacker or a walking bait like the GUNFISH from Lucky Craft!  This bait disturbs the water and has a loud rattle!!  I can walk this bait very slowly, and the rattles call them up!  The key has been to keep it moving once you get a strike!  If you stop it, they don't seem to come back!  Add a tail feather like the Mustad hand tied Ultra Point trebles in RED!  Sometimes a twitch will get the feathers moving and the fish to return after a hit and miss!  Small 1/8-ounce BLACK buzzbaits have also been working at lower tides over grass around docks and over wood! When the tide is low, try frogs like the Mann's Super Frog!

If the fish are a bit more active, go to a buzzfrog!  If you've never seen the Mann's HARDNOSE Swim Toad, GET SOME!  These are perfect over grass!  The hard nose keeps the hook in place better than ANY OTHER on the market!  I like white and green pumpkin!  If you see me on the water, ask me for a free sample!  Rig this on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook with BRAID!  I am trying a bunch of braids…so far; STREN Super Braid and Spiderwire are the best. On casting gear, I like to spool 65 on spinning gear, I like 25. The no stretch is great for getting the fish out of grass and for setting the hook. I like the heavier line on casting gear…easier to cast! TOPWATER KEYS:  Use poppers at lower tides…ANYTIME OF THE DAY!  Use SLOW buzzbaits and walkers in clear calm water…. higher tides under cloudy skies. Buzzbaits with clackers at higher tides and choppy water.

For mat fishing, the bright sun and hot hazy days, give you a good shot!  Punch through and you'll have a great time! Look for the nastiest mats you can find. Casting GEAR!!!! The ONE-PIECE 2iG Ultra Strike Flippin' Stick is perfect!  Spool with 65 pound braid, a 1-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight with a Mann's HardNose Flippin' Craw…black blue, green pumpkin on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook!  Pitch to a mat, shake until it drops through and wait until the fish swims off with it. Shake a bit, pull up to the underside of the mat…shake, and then drop again before removing to make another cast. REMEMBER; allow the fish to PULL before you set the hook!  A spray of Jack's Juice Garlic adds flavor and allows the bait to slide through the grass better. Also, I peg my weight or use Pro's Soft Bait Glue to glue to the head of the bait.

I am now the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I will be answering fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at:
http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/ If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I get it answered with a little help from my friends.

This is a good time to pour some great finesse worms and other soft plastics. I like the molds from lurecraft.com. They have all of the supplies you would ever need. They even have various plastic mixes for floating and for softness. Go on -line to find out more!  Lure Craft molds are precise and easy to use. (www.lurecraft.com 1-800-925-9088 for a free catalog). Make straight tail finesse worms for shakey head fishing, drop shots, and split shots! They have a mold for anything and all of the supplies to pour your own custom poured baits…they can even make a mold for your design!  Ask me to take a look at some of the baits I have made or check them out on:  www.nationalbass.com (articles/lure-craft.htm) check out the NEW Lure Craft website…call now to put your orders in! 1-800-925-9088

I keep a few Frogg Toggs on board for sudden showers…whenever they come. The new Elite Series has become my year-round windbreaker and rain suit. These new Toggs are amazing and they are loaded with pockets and features…and come with a very reasonable price tag! Stop me and check it out!  Frogg Toggs (www.froggtoggs.com) are always on board.  They block the wind and are breathable!  I carry extras for my passengers!

Each time you search the internet, you can support FishAmerica's efforts to keep our fish and waters healthy.  Just visit www.goodsearch.com, enter FishAmerica as your charity of choice, and start searching!  Just 500 searches, four times a day will raise about $7,300 in a year without anyone spending a dime!  Download the GoodSearch toolbar to your web browser such as Internet Explorer.  Just visit http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar/ and click Download Now!

My Sportsman's Magazine article will focus on PROP BAITS!  Hear what pros Joe Thomas and Frank Scalish say about how to fish these noisy baits.

I use specific products and mention them in my reports.  These are products I have used extensively and have confidence in.  By mentioning product names, it is easier for you to match up with what I am using. I also detail the features of many of the products I use to demonstrate their benefits.

There is a new style TEVA I just LOVE!  Karnali Wraptor (http://teva.com/ProductDetails.aspx?g=m&productID=6960&model=Karnali+Wraptor) have a toe guard!  They are perfect for water sports…. they have drains and are great for standing all day!  Check out the new TEVA sandals. They are sport shoes…especially water sports like bass fishing!   If you do not wear the sport sandals from TEVA, you should!  Just cover your feet with sunscreen and you'll feel better! I have tried other footwear, including expensive basketball shoes. TEVA's are very comfortable and have boat safe surfaces along with anti-microbial protection. These sandals are comfortable and keep me on my feet...no butt seat either!  Check out www.teva.com. 

Senior BASSMASTER writer, Robert Montgomery has taken his decades of writing and fishing experience with the best in the fishing business and compiled it into one huge E-Book. Ratio's KILLER BASS FISHING SECRETS contains nearly 300 VERY specific tips from pros to help you catch more fish!  I found a TON of great tips to help me.  You can get your copy of RONTICO's KILLER BASS FISHING SECRETS here: www.killer-bass-fishing-secrets.com. It's only $19.95…that's about a nickel a tip!  Well worth it! The site has some FREE tips!

FYI!!! I receive press releases from many companies. Here's one I found interesting. I have friends who have damaged their skegs and either leave them damaged, affecting performance, or have an expensive lower unit replaced. The Blackfin™ Skeg is new product made of high impact composite and is easy-to-install, with no drilling or changes to your original boat or motor. In the event of an impact; the force is equally distributed in all directions and absorbed by the flexible nature of the Blackfin™ Skeg. In the event of damage to your original stock skeg the Blackfin™ Skeg can be used to easily and inexpensively repair the damage as long as one third or more of the original skeg is still intact.  The added protection and enhanced performance of the Blackfin™Skeg make this new product a must have for any boating enthusiast.  They are available at Cabela's, and larger marine stores or conveniently online at www.blackfinskeg.com.  The suggested retail price is $69.95. For additional information on Blackfin™ Skeg contact Re: The Outdoors at 334-612-0859.

There are some great tackle specials this month at Jann's Netcraft!  If you want to be on the email list for these specials, contact me and I'll take care of it for you!  Contact Jann's Netcraft for your free catalog!  They have a great assortment of do-it-yourself supplies, and they have a great line of soft plastics too!  By this time of the year, my rod tips are just about worn out on my cranking rods. Sometimes the guides take a constant beating too! What do you do? Toss out the rod that is really still in great shape? No way!  I have learned how to replace guides on some of my favorite rods and they are ready to go!  Check out their rod building and repair supplies.  Get a tip kit, with many sizes for a variety of rods.  If you want to learn how to make repairs or even build your own custom rods, they have a great rod-building instructional book and all of the tools and parts! I also noticed they have everything you need to make crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits.  You can start from scratch or assemble the parts to build the baits you like to your exact specs…and save money too! Jann's Netcraft luremaking, flytying, rod building, and soft baits! They've been around for a long time and have a great selection of lure making materials too! Check them out at www.jannsnetcraft.com or call 1-800-NETCRAFT!

A note on one of my tools.  I like to use PRO's Soft Bait Glue.  While a lot of anglers are really impressed by how much money they save gluing Senkos back together, I really like the time I save!   When I skip stickworms under docks, eventually, baits tear.  Rather than stopping and retying and re-rigging, I just put a drop of glue on the tear and away I go.  One bait will stay rigged nearly all day!  I also have started using with my shakey heads. While the Mann's Hardnose bait is the only bait on the market with a super hard nose to stay on the hook better, I still put a drop to keep it from going anywhere on the head!  

As most who see me at the ramp know, I drive a 1995 Nissan 4WD truck.  This old truck really tows my Skeeter with ease!  I bought this truck from PASSPORT Nissan and I have been buying my vehicles from the owner since 1978!  If you have any questions about the NISSAN trucks, please forward to me!  Right now is a great time to consider one, as Nissan is running low interest rates or cash back on Titan, Frontier and Xterra. Bob Gasbarri knows NISSANS and he knows trucks!  Give him a call at 703-461-5279 with any towing questions!  I will demo many of their trucks throughout the year.  Let me know if you would like to set up a test drive! IF YOU CONTACT ME, I WILL GET YOU A BELOW INVOICE NO HASTLE PRICE!

I have also found a new product that is awesome!  Actually, I interviewed the makers of Hawg Pockets after they won the ICAST award for the new product showcase.  I had the gadgets in my basement for a while.  I took a fishing trip to West Virginia. My wife started to freak out when I started to load my rods with crankbaits into her new Passport Nissan Murano. She didn't want me to hook her leather interior.  I remembered the Hawg Pockets and read the instructions and snapped them into place.  They did their job.  I also found out they didn't tangle when I moved them and I could see my bait thru them!  Check out the website.  I am using them on my boat now and it keeps my rods from tangling and I can see the baits on the rods. This is the best fishing lure guard I have ever seen!  Check them out! www.hawgpockets.com

Also look for my Tournament Talk column in Woods & Waters. This month the pros talk about attention to execution!  I cover B.A.S.S. and FLW tournament winners!  Also check out www.woodsandwatersmagazine.com. There is a limited supply of these FREE publications at Belle Haven Marina and at Bowes and Arrows. 

MIZMO tubes, Punisher Jigs, and most of the Lucky Craft and Mann's baits are now in Bass Pro Shops latest catalog….look for them!

If you want the best polarized sunglasses for fishing, I suggest Maui Jim HCL (high contrast lens) polarized sunglasses.  These are the best for picking up cover in the water and seeing the fish.  Check around, most of the serious anglers on the Potomac are wearing them.  Eye protection is important!!!  Get a quality pair of polarized sunglasses.  I recommend the Maui Jims (www.mauijim.com). Sunglass Huts carry these.  If you see me on the water, I will let you check mine out.  I am also trying the polycarbonate lens Maui Sports…. they are light as a feather and the optics are great.

For 2007 Tides information for the Potomac look under “REPORTS AND TIDES”.  Print a copy for your use.

If you are new to the river, get a map from GMCO. It is a pro-quality map for fishing the Potomac and for other Virginia waters. Check out their site: www.gmcomaps.com. They list some of the popular locations and some of the hidden dangers of navigating the Potomac.

Check out the biggest bass ever caught on the Potomac. (www.nationalbass.com, then REPORTS, then BIG FISH) Gary Kincheloe's record is likely to stand longer that the previous record of nearly 30 years.

Are your boat batteries sluggish? If you have questions about battery care, check out www.nationalbass.com, go to ARTICLES and then Boat Batteries.  There is also a discount offer on INTERSTATE Marine batteries.

Have fun, and I would enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions, comments or would like to book a trip, e-mail: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all of the time, so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"
.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >




Captain
Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
Boat U.S. On-line Expert
"Take me fishing!" 
.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> > 
National Bass Fishing Show
8619 Camden St.
Alexandria, VA 22308
home office:  703-360-3472
cell:  703-380-7119
info@nationalbass.com
Visit for updated reports
www.nationalbass.com
 

 

August 13th, 2007

 

FISHING REPORT
Thanks to all of those who fished the 11th Annual Mid-Atlantic BASS Tournament to Benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital!  You raised nearly $5,000 for the KIDS!!!!! Go to my site for FINAL STANDINGS!

I just returned from the 50th Anniversary of ICAST in Vegas. What a show!  If you ever get the opportunity….go!  This year, lots of new lines from Berkley, including a new Stren braid.  Quantum released a lot of new and lighter high-end rods. They also introduced a very affordable line of catfish rigs. I saw a lot of hollowed body frogs at the show. This was a huge trend, along with big-bodied wake crankbaits, like Mann's new Waker Elite Series.  Mann's has a lot of new baits in the HardNose line, including a 10” Snake!  This bait creates a wake and brings in the big ones….perfect for Potomac bass over grass!!!

The Optimum Furbit frogs were still setting the pace along with several other offerings from Japan!  River2Sea has a soft body jitterbug….in fact the lip is also soft. The company claims this will not interfere with hooksets like the old metal lip AND, this bait is totally weedless!  The Step Wa also has rubber skirt legs.  Their frog, the Bully Wa has a keel and center ballast to allow it to walk! A new air escape system minimizes the amount of water taken in while allowing the bait to compress to give a large hook exposure.  I hope to try these soon!

Another Japanese company, JackAll, had all of their hardbaits on display!  What an interesting line of products. They put a lot of thought and technology into their baits. With CAD, their baits are tournament ready!  A wide array of jointed baits, crankbaits, lipless, minnow, props, and Hard SWIMBAITS.

If you like Chatterbaits, you'll love the new Rock”N Runner, an original Road Runner with the hard rocking action of a Chatterbait!  The willow beneath the bait is sure to be a hit with bass!

In addition to a new and improved Rejuvenade, the company has found a simple product to insure your fish make it to the weigh-in!  A vent for your livewell releases all of the trapped HEATED air!  So simple!  This product is very durable as well. I tried to break one! 

Want some technology with your jigs?  Try the new “E-Chip Flipping Jig that generates a small electric charge, claimed to be similar to that of an actual nervous system of live bait!  The company, Persuader, says its E-Chip will attach to any hook!

My friends at Mizmo have a huge new product line!  Many of their new baits feature a pocket to insert their THUNDER rattles!  OR scent!  The Swamp Monster creature bait has claws that flip and arms that thump!  MIZMO also has a new swimbait!  Check them out!

Even Tru-Tungsten is getting into the swimbait business!  A jointed hard swimbait looks REAL!!!

More coming in future articles….

I had a truly unique fishing experience last week. Two ladies from the WBT joined me on the Potomac!  We fished from 6am to 9pm!  We had a blast!  They made me remember how much fun fishing really can be! They have only been fishing for 2 years, but they were really on top of their game.  Thanks ladies!

The bite has been slow some days and awesome others….water temp around 80 and you are golden. Cloud cover and some ripple and you have a good chance to get them on moving baits…but when the dog days hit…85+ degree water, bright sun and hot hazy days, go to the mats!  Punch through and you'll have a great time! 

For topwaters Lucky Craft Gunfish!  I can walk this bait very slowly, and the rattles call them up!  The key has been to keep it moving once you get a strike!  If you stop it, they don't seem to come back! Add a tail feather like the Mustad hand tied Ultra Point trebles in RED!  Sometimes a twitch will get the feathers moving and the fish to return after a hit and miss!  Small 1/8-ounce BLACK buzzbaits have also been working at lower tides over grass around docks and over wood! When the tide is low, try frogs like the Mann's Super Frog!

The best all around topwater now is the buzzfrog!  If you have never seen the Mann's HARDNOSE Swim Toad, GET SOME!  These are perfect over grass!  The hard nose keeps the hook in place better than ANY OTHER on the market!  I like white and green pumpkin!  If you see me on the water, ask me for a free sample!  Rig this on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook with BRAID!  I am trying a bunch of braids…so far; STREN Super Braid and Spiderwire are the best. On casting gear, I like to spool 50 on spinning gear, I like 25. The no stretch is great for getting the fish out of grass and for setting the hook. I like the heavier line on casting gear…easier to cast! TOPWATER KEYS:  Use poppers at lower tides…ANYTIME OF THE DAY!  Use SLOW buzzbaits and walkers in clear calm water…. higher tides under cloudy skies. Buzzbaits with clackers at higher tides and choppy water.

Here are your fishing choices…..creeks and main river grass. In the creeks, fish pad edges.  At low tide, the edge of the pads are good…at higher tides, you need to pitch back into the pads. Jigs, craws and the new Mann's 9-INCH HardNose worm in black with red flake have been my best choices.

In the grass, you need to punch through. Look for the nastiest mats you can find on a hot calm very sunny day and you will be able to mat fish. Casting GEAR!!!! The ONE-PIECE 2iG Ultra Strike Flippin' Stick is perfect!  Spool with 65 pound braid, a 1-ounce Tru-Tungsten brown weight with a Mann's HardNose Flippin' Craw…black blue, green pumpkin on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook!  Pitch to a mat, shake until it drops though and wait until the fish swims off with it. Shake a bit, pull up to the underside of the mat…shake, and then drop again before removing to make another cast. REMEMBER; allow the fish to PULL before you set the hook!  A spray of Jack's Juice Garlic adds flavor and allows the bait to slide through the grass better. Also, I peg my weight or use Pro's Soft Bait Glue to glue to the head of the bait.

If I have a high tide under cloudy skies in the grass, I have been tossing the 3/8-willow tandem with a firetiger skirt. Chop on the water is better. This doesn't work as well at high tide when the water is stained. You need to switch to the Classic Indian/Colorado with a white skirt. In the creeks, I like a white Mann's crankbait, THE NEW C-4 ELEITE SERIES in chartreuse shad on 20-pound test. Crank through the pads when pitching about 15 feet….walk through the pads and hold on!  This is a great higher tide strategy for the pads in creeks! This bait is also good on cloudy days in the grass at higher tides.

At higher tides, I have been having a lot of success with the Mann's Baby 1-Minus. My 'new' favorite is the new Elite Series. I like the baby bass color now.  Old standbys, fire tiger, splatterback and desert sunset are also working. Vary your retrieves. I have caught some burning the bait, crawling it and long pauses. Check your hooks on all cranks now!  I recommend replacing with Mustad Ultra Point trebles. Try adding a feather Mustad treble to the tail of a Baby 1-Minus. For my line, I am using 17-pound test Berkley XT.  For my rods, the Ultra Strike, 2iG rods are perfect. The med/hvy 6'6” rod is my spinnerbait rod. For cranks, I like the 7” medium action rod. A medium heavy 7-foot graphite rod like the 2iG Ultra Strike is perfect to snap from grass and to set the hook!  It is not too limber or too stiff to keep you from landing fish.

Drop shot, shaky head, and tubes are great ways to fish docks where there is no grass underneath and bridge pilings. For drop shotting and shaky head fishing I like the green pumpkin Mann's HardNose finesse worm. The head on this bait is very tough, while the body is very soft!  The bait stays on the hook and the pencil point tail does a whole lot of shaking! I use the plain lead Gerkin jig heads for shaky head fishing…I heat the head and coat with BROWN vinyl powdered coat available through lurecraft.com.  The area in Smoots and Spoils are great for this.  The C-Rig in there areas is also producing. You can even try deeper diving cranks like the Mann's 15+!

My new 2007 Pro Staff Skeeter ZX225 with 225 hp HPDI Yamaha is for sale!  I pre-sell these boats for December 1 delivery, 2007!  If you want a great deal on a slightly used, well-maintained boat, this is the best deal on a used Skeeter anywhere. Factory warranty transfers!  It will be less than a year old and in great shape. About 50 hours. This is the time to reserve this boat. I am asking only $32,000!  This is a great boat at a great price. SERIOUS CALLS only….  703-360-3472.

I am now the BASS FISHING EXPERT for the Boatus.com website. I will be answering fishing questions based on my experience as a guide and with a little help from my friends: other writers, manufacturers, guides and top pros will contribute to my responses. Check it out at:
http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/ If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I get it answered with a little help from my friends.

This is a good time to pour some great finesse worms and other soft plastics. I like the molds from lurecraft.com. They have all of the supplies you would ever need. They even have various plastic mixes for floating and for softness. Go on -line to find out more!  Lure Craft molds are precise and easy to use. (www.lurecraft.com 1-800-925-9088 for a free catalog). Make straight tail finesse worms for shakey head fishing, drop shots, and split shots! They have a mold for anything and all of the supplies to pour your own custom poured baits…they can even make a mold for your design!  Ask me to take a look at some of the baits I have made or check them out on:  www.nationalbass.com (articles/lure-craft.htm) check out the NEW Lure Craft website…call now to put your orders in! 1-800-925-9088

I keep a few Frogg Toggs on board for sudden showers…whenever they come. The new Elite Series has become my year-round windbreaker and rain suit. These new Toggs are amazing and they are loaded with pockets and features…and come with a very reasonable price tag! Stop me and check it out!  Frogg Toggs (www.froggtoggs.com) are always on board.  They block the wind and are breathable!  I carry extras for my passengers!

Each time you search the internet, you can support FishAmerica's efforts to keep our fish and waters healthy.  Just visit www.goodsearch.com, enter FishAmerica as your charity of choice, and start searching!  Just 500 searches, four times a day will raise about $7,300 in a year without anyone spending a dime!  Download the GoodSearch toolbar to your web browser such as Internet Explorer.  Just visit http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar/ and click Download Now!

My Sportsman's Magazine article will focus on PROP BAITS!  Hear what pros Joe Thomas and Frank Scalish say about how to fish these noisy baits.

I use specific products and mention them in my reports.  These are products I have used extensively and have confidence in.  By mentioning product names, it is easier for you to match up with what I am using. I also detail the features of many of the products I use to demonstrate their benefits.

There is a new style TEVA I just LOVE!  Karnali Wraptor (http://teva.com/ProductDetails.aspx?g=m&productID=6960&model=Karnali+Wraptor) have a toe guard!  They are perfect for water sports…. they have drains and are great for standing all day!  Check out the new TEVA sandals are actually sport shoes…especially water sports like bass fishing!   If you do not wear the sport sandals from TEVA, you should!  Just cover your feet with sunscreen and you'll feel better! I have tried other footwear, including expensive basketball shoes. TEVA's are very comfortable and have boat safe surfaces along with anti-microbial protection. These sandals are comfortable and keep me on my feet...no butt seat either!  Check out www.teva.com. 

Senior BASSMASTER writer, Robert Montgomery has taken his decades of writing and fishing experience with the best in the fishing business and compiled it into one huge E-Book. Ratio's KILLER BASS FISHING SECRETS contains nearly 300 VERY specific tips from pros to help you catch more fish!  I found a TON of great tips to help me.  You can get your copy of RONTICO's KILLER BASS FISHING SECRETS here: www.killer-bass-fishing-secrets.com. It's only $19.95…that's about a nickel a tip!  Well worth it! The site has some FREE tips!

FYI!!! I receive press releases from many companies. Here's one I found interesting. I have friends who have damaged their skegs and either leave them damaged, affecting performance, or have an expensive lower unit replaced. The Blackfin™ Skeg is new product made of high impact composite and is easy-to-install, with no drilling or changes to your original boat or motor. In the event of an impact; the force is equally distributed in all directions and absorbed by the flexible nature of the Blackfin™ Skeg. In the event of damage to your original stock skeg the Blackfin™ Skeg can be used to easily and inexpensively repair the damage as long as one third or more of the original skeg is still intact.  The added protection and enhanced performance of the Blackfin™Skeg make this new product a must have for any boating enthusiast.  They are available at Cabela's, and larger marine stores or conveniently online at www.blackfinskeg.com.  The suggested retail price is $69.95. For additional information on Blackfin™ Skeg contact Re: The Outdoors at 334-612-0859.

There are some great tackle specials this month at Jann's Netcraft!  If you want to be on the email list for these specials, contact me and I'll take care of it for you!  Contact Jann's Netcraft for your free catalog!  They have a great assortment of do-it-yourself supplies, and they have a great line of soft plastics too!  By this time of the year, my rod tips are just about worn out on my cranking rods. Sometimes the guides take a constant beating too! What do you do? Toss out the rod that is really still in great shape? No way!  I have learned how to replace guides on some of my favorite rods and they are ready to go!  Check out their rod building and repair supplies.  Get a tip kit, with many sizes for a variety of rods.  If you want to learn how to make repairs or even build your own custom rods, they have a great rod-building instructional book and all of the tools and parts! I also noticed they have everything you need to make crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits.  You can start from scratch or assemble the parts to build the baits you like to your exact specs…and save money too! Jann's Netcraft luremaking, flytying, rod building, and soft baits! They've been around for a long time and have a great selection of lure making materials too! Check them out at www.jannsnetcraft.com or call 1-800-NETCRAFT!

A note on one of my tools.  I like to use PRO's Soft Bait Glue.  While a lot of anglers are really impressed by how much money they save gluing Senkos back together, I really like the time I save!   When I skip stickworms under docks, eventually, baits tear.  Rather than stopping and retying and re-rigging, I just put a drop of glue on the tear and away I go.  One bait will stay rigged nearly all day!  I also have started using with my shakey heads. While the Mann's Hardnose bait is the only bait on the market with a super hard nose to stay on the hook better, I still put a drop to keep it from going anywhere on the head!  

As most who see me at the ramp know, I drive a 1995 Nissan 4WD truck.  This old truck really tows my Skeeter with ease!  I bought this truck from PASSPORT Nissan and I have been buying my vehicles from the owner since 1978!  If you have any questions about the NISSAN trucks, please forward to me!  Right now is a great time to consider one, as Nissan is running low interest rates or cash back on Titan, Frontier and Xterra. Bob Gasbarri knows NISSANS and he knows trucks!  Give him a call at 703-461-5279 with any towing questions!  I will demo many of their trucks throughout the year.  Let me know if you would like to set up a test drive! IF YOU CONTACT ME, I WILL GET YOU A BELOW INVOICE NO HASTLE PRICE!

I have also found a new product that is awesome!  Actually, I interviewed the makers of Hawg Pockets after they won the ICAST award for the new product showcase.  I had the gadgets in my basement for a while.  I took a fishing trip to West Virginia. My wife started to freak out when I started to load my rods with crankbaits into her new Passport Nissan Murano.  She didn't want me to hook her leather interior.  I remembered the Hawg Pockets and read the instructions and snapped them into place.  They did their job.  I also found out they didn't tangle when I moved them and I could see my bait thru them!  Check out the website.  I am using them on my boat now and it keeps my rods from tangling and I can see the baits on the rods. This is the best fishing lure guard I have ever seen!  Check them out! www.hawgpockets.com

Also look for my Tournament Talk column in Woods & Waters. This month the pros talk about attention to execution!  I cover B.A.S.S. and FLW tournament winners!  Also check out www.woodsandwatersmagazine.com. There is a limited supply of these FREE publications at Belle Haven Marina and at Bowes and Arrows. 

MIZMO tubes, Punisher Jigs, and most of the Lucky Craft and Mann's baits are now in Bass Pro Shops latest catalog….look for them!

If you want the best polarized sunglasses for fishing, I suggest Maui Jim HCL (high contrast lens) polarized sunglasses.  These are the best for picking up cover in the water and seeing the fish.  Check around, most of the serious anglers on the Potomac are wearing them.  Eye protection is important!!!  Get a quality pair of polarized sunglasses.  I recommend the Maui Jims (www.mauijim.com). Sunglass Huts carry these.  If you see me on the water, I will let you check mine out.  I am also trying the polycarbonate lens Maui Sports…. they are light as a feather and the optics are great.

For 2007 Tides information for the Potomac look under “REPORTS AND TIDES”.  Print a copy for your use.

If you like to weigh your fish or if you are a tournament angler, you NEED the XTOOLS Digital fish scale and gripper.  It is waterproof, floats, and it grips the fish so I can weigh all of my clients' fish without having to punch a hole in their mouth.  They are a sponsor of the FLW trail and just about all of the pros are using them.  I love mine.  I recently met the great people associated with the company and they demonstrated some of XTOOLS other products.  Get one of the scales…they also have one for tournament anglers with a culling system that can't be beat! www.xtools.us

If you are new to the river, get a map from GMCO. It is a pro-quality map for fishing the Potomac and for other Virginia waters. Check out their site: www.gmcomaps.com. They list some of the popular locations and some of the hidden dangers of navigating the Potomac.

Check out the biggest bass ever caught on the Potomac. (www.nationalbass.com, then REPORTS, then BIG FISH) Gary Kincheloe's record is likely to stand longer that the previous record of nearly 30 years.

Are your boat batteries sluggish? If you have questions about battery care, check out www.nationalbass.com, go to ARTICLES and then Boat Batteries.  There is also a discount offer on INTERSTATE Marine batteries.

Have fun, and I would enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions, comments or would like to book a trip, e-mail: info@nationalbass.com.  I have a lot of articles on various strategies and techniques on my site.  If you have a suggestion for an article, let me know.  Check out my website: www.nationalbass.com. I can't fish the entire river all of the time, so if you have some information to share, let me know.

Captain Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guide Service/SEOPA
"Take me fishing!"
.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸> >

 

2/13/07

ICE. No fishing…so what do you do?

Well, that depends on your willingness to get your gear back in shape. Take all of your topwater and crankbaits out of the boat and check the hooks. Replace with Mustad Ultra Point trebles.   I even get some fingernail polish and touch up some of my baits. (I generally add a streak of orange to the bellies of my crankbaits!)  For topwaters, a new feathered treble from Mustad gets it back in top shape.

Take your spinnerbaits and replace the skirts. I take some nylon sewing thread and wrap and tie just above the rubber band on the skirt to keep it from slipping  or falling off. I use white. If I am doing this for different colors, then I take a marker and mark the thread before I tie.

I do the same for jigs. Make sure the hooks are sharp!  I also head the head and tough up with powdered coat too!  This is also a good time to pour some of your own jigs for shakey head and grub fishing too! The vinyl powder coat is available through lurecraft.com

After that, I clean all of my rods and the cork with 409 cleaner. I check all of the guides. I do not use a Q-Tip!  I use a magnifying glass and check the guides from the tip down. If the tip needs to be replaced, do it!  Jann's Netcraft has everything you need!  Get a few extra.

Now the reels.  If you do only one thing, clean the exterior and strip the line. Don't put fresh line on until you are ready for fishing again! After that, take the spool bearings off. A soaking in lighter fluid will clean them out. Spin them a few times and re-soak. Let the air dry for 15 minutes then add a high-grade oil…just a tiny drop and spin into the bearing and you are ready to go. If you want to get even more into it, tear your reel down and clean and re-lube. I use a bit of grease on my worm gears and a drop of oil. Clean the handle and oil it too.

This is a good time to pour some great finesse worms and other soft plastics. I like the molds from lurecraft.com. They have all of the supplies you would ever need. They even have various plastic mixes for floating and for softness. Go on -line to find out more! 

Mark your calendars for BASS PRO SHOPS March 2,3 and 4!  The March Madness event, Spring Classic at the Hanover, MD BASS PRO SHOPS will not only have great gear on sale, but will feature the best in bass fishing!  Jimmy Houston and Woo Daves will be there signing autographs and giving pointers. I will be giving cold-water seminars to get you ready for the first signs of a thaw!  I will be speaking at 2pm on 3/3 and at 1pm on 3/4. I hope to see you there!

Until then, get your gear ready. I think this spring will be one of the best ever on the Potomac.

 

Captain Steve Chaconas
 

 

11/19/06

 

A client of mine was fishing in the Spoils on OCT 14, caught an 8-pounder fishing on his own!  Now, here's his problem..another boater came by and took the photo with his camera.  My client hasn't heard from him.  It you were the one who took the pic, please email to me and I will forward to him.

This week was a very good week!  Fish are moving to docks and can be caught on jigs, plastics, and crankbaits.
Also the spinnerbait bite has been awesome!  This works well in certain areas (near deep water on  hard cover flats), at certain tides (outgoing is best, must have moving water!) with certain weather conditions (clouds or chop) and water clarity (a bit stained)!

Let's start with the spinnerbait. It is my favorite cool water technique. In fact, I rely on spinnerbaits when the water is 45-55 more than any other time of the year!  My tackle is important. I like a 6'6" 2iG Ultra Strike med/hvy casting rod with a slower reel.  If you don't have a slower (5:1) reel, just slightly under-spool your reel. Speed is the key. You must slow down. I use 14-pound test Berkley XT with a Hank Parker 3/8-ounce willow/Colorado combo. GOLD BLADES!  I can fish up to 6 feet deep. I look for areas with drops near flats with cover - rock, wood and grass. Cast and let the bait drop to the bottom. Then, barely move the bait keeping it in touch with the bottom at all times. If you don't feel the bottom, then stop. Use your rod to drag the bait to slow it down further. The bite is a tap then pull. The hookset is critical!  You must set the hook right after the tap or they will spit it out!  They don't generally slam this presentation, but will fight hard!  This is producing my better fish!

Next, the Mann's Stingray grub on a ¼ ounce round Gerkin jig head made with a MUSTAD Ultra Point hook and a Mizmo tube on a ¼ ounce Gerkin weedless insert tube head. For the 4" Mizmo tubes, I like the green pumpkin colors and the blue/craw. The Stingray is a 3" avocado!  This is the only size and color I use. If I am going to get bites on the bigger bait, I like to go back to the tubes. I also soak all of my soft plastics in Jack's Juice garlic - lots of it!  All of these are cast on 8-pound test Berkley Sensation line. Spinning tackle with a 6'6" 2iG Ultra Strike rod. Cast and DRAG!  Fish very slowly!  The area around the Wilson Bridge, Spoils and Smoots are hot spots right now!

Of course, Blue Plains is heating up too!  Here you can use split shot rigs, drop shot and Carolina Rigs. Also a shakey head presentation works!  For soft plastics, I like the Mann's Hardnose Finesse Worm in green pumpkin.  Dip the tail in chartreuse dye. I also like to use the Punisher hair jigs with the Punisher chunk and Punisher rattle! I also use the C-Rig in the Spoils and Smoots. It is best to use a Tru-Tungsten 1 ounce weight. This weight is smaller and has the sensitivity to offer more bottom feedback. You can find subtle bottom changes and other cover. Tubes, drop shot and split shot also are working in other areas along drops.

For crankbaits, I am fishing shallow around warmed surfaces! Rocks, wood, etc.  On a med action graphite 2iG-casting rod, spooled with 12-pound test Berkley XT, I like the Mann's Baby 4 and 8-Minus baits. Craw patterns are best. You need to keep this bait on the bottom, pausing when you touch the bottom. Again, control the speed by dragging the bait with the rod.

The water on the main river was too muddy for jerkbaits. But at Blue Plains it is working. Keep this tied on as the river clears again as temps stay around  50. For jerkbaits, there is one. The Lucky Craft Pointer is the best. I use the 78 and the 100 sizes, depending on water clarity. If it is very clear I will go to the smaller 78. For colors, I like baby bass and aurora gold. These baits work best on 10-12 pound test!  I like a medium action graphite rod.6' or 6'6". Twitch, twitch, twitch, then pause. Vary the length of the pause until you get the right rhythm. You might have to pause a while. I use this in water that is no more that 5 feet deep!

I have talked to a bunch of guys who are looking for Silver Buddy lures. I have a few for sale, but you can only get them now through the silverbuddy.com website!  I would get there early. There are limited supplies in stock!

Captain Steve Chaconas

Water Temp: 55 degrees
Water Clarity: 1-2 feet
 

 

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