Warm water, salt water and more. Talk about it here!
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As I have mentioned in other threads, I have been trying hone in on the smallies on the Potomac from the Chain Bridge to Harpers Ferry. I keep hearing and reading that this has been a great smallie fishery, but the population crashes every decade or so due to spring floods and other factors farm waste, invasive catfish, etc. This happened in 1999-2000 but the population bounced back and there was awesome fishing until about 2015. After several years of floods, the Maryland started to catch bass and use them for eggs/brood stock to restock 2-3 inch fingerlings (as even at that size, they have much less mortality compared to when they are just hatched). After striking out badly a few weeks ago on an ideal stretch of rocky water in perfect flows by Harpers Ferry, I have spent the last three Saturdays exploring where a trib (the Catoctin Creek) enters the Potomac near Point of Rocks Md. My theory is that I will have a better chance finding fish where the cool water enters the river as well as the fact that the trib was somewhat more protected with a good density of smallies. While no 50 fish days, I have started catching more smallies in this area including some nice ones reminding me why I love smallies-a ten inch smallie fights like a 15 inch trout and a 15 inch smallie fights like a small salmon. Yesterday, a smallie smashed my little crank bait on the surface and it took me several minutes to land, even though I was a using a medium action rod. The fish kept diving and running and I assumed I had on a big catfish. Sure enough, it was not a 10-15 pound catfish, but a modest 2-3 pound smallie. A little later, I landed a modest 10 incher that pulled out drag on my 6 weight! A little later, I monster brook me off as he rain upstream! What a great game fish! I am honing in on the specific rocks and depressions where the bass are and having more success. I am hoping that the density of fish starts to increase after some good spawning seasons suplemented by stockings so the 3-4 fish days becomes 20-50 fish days in the coming years!