I want to ask you about the Upper Potomac. Can you describe that fishery to anyone who hasn’t been there before?
Surprisingly enough, I don’t have extensive knowledge of the Upper Potomac River, I’m actually a lot more familiar with the lower reaches of the river, starting at Washington DC and headed south. Throughout the past year and a half I have tried to make my way out to the Upper Potomac as much as possible, but without having a watercraft suitable for the rocky terrain that comprises the Upper Potomac, I have been limited to summer trips only by foot.
A lot of people would argue that my aluminum Jon is the perfect watercraft for that type of water, but I just haven’t been willing to risk my lower unit on the motor or risk busting a hole in the hull from a big boulder. The Upper Potomac is littered with big chunks of rock, and sneaky shallow areas. Fishing the Upper Potomac on foot is not something I would recommend unless you are physically fit, and confident in your ability to swim. It is physically draining, and it requires walking out through quite heavy rapids to the middle of the main river.
The depth is not an issue as it only gets to about 6 feet in the deepest sections that I fish, but headed further north you could not do this on foot at all. From an area called Riley’s lock, south to Swains Lock, there is adequate shoreline access from which you can do exactly what I did in my recent YouTube video, where I headed out right to the middle of the river and fished for those smallmouth.
If I had to describe this fishery to someone that was unfamiliar with it, I would say that it is a relatively shallow, moderately moving, non-tidal River. It includes grass in the summertime in fairly large amounts, especially in particular sections heading north from Great Falls, Maryland. There is good smallmouth action and an adequate number of largemouth in some sections as well.
You can do some really good fishing right behind Trump golf course which is located in Loudoun County Virginia across the river from Maryland. As you head north towards Edwards ferry and Dickerson Maryland, there are grass patch is pretty much littering the whole river end of the smallmouth are usually always relating to it in the warmer months.
As for the colder months, I’d imagine I could get them up shallow, but I have not had any experience with that yet. That will change this fall as I have purchased a small plastic watercraft that I will also do a video review on soon! I plan on getting a lot of experience on the Upper Potomac this fall and headed into next year. Another attribute of the Upper Potomac is its abundance of big boulders, smallmouth love hiding behind these and use these current breaks as places to hide and feed. I’ll be interested to see how big the smallmouth get out here; I have seen many 3 to 4 pound fish caught. I wish I could give you more information on the Upper Potomac, but I hope to be able to do so in due time.
What are your favorite baits for smallmouth on the Upper Potomac?
As for bait selection on the Upper Potomac River, we can start with the colors. No matter what soft plastic or Lure you are using, it needs to imitate bluegill, crawfish, or shad. As far as moving baits go, I’d have to say in the calmer waters…top waters, spinner baits, and moderate diving crank baits. Chatter Baits are also a good bet. In more turbulent water, moving baits are much harder to use as they get taken with the current. This makes it hard for you to get a full retrieve with the Lure doing what it is designed to do accurately.
The calmer water above the rapids section calls for Texas rig tubes, tubes on a shaky head, craw imitation soft plastics…and grubs! Never forget your grubs on any River, no matter what. Grubs are prevalent insects on the Upper Potomac as they fall out of rotted tree bark and into the river quite often. Matching the hatch is the most important thing to think about so anytime I hit the river, or any body of water for that matter. I Keep my colors natural, green pumpkin, brown, black, and in this specific body of water utilize the presentations mentioned above!
I love the Jon boat that you are fishing out of. Looks like a great fishing setup. What have you done on the boat to help it be a great fishing platform?
Thank you for the compliments on the rig! This vessel is extremely important and sentimental to me, as it was passed down to me from my early childhood mentor, the man who introduced me to fishing. He passed away at the age of 14 to cancer, and left me this boat. From the age of 14 on I was loading and unloading the boat by myself and trailering it to the lake, learning all of the ins and outs of fishing as I had with him around.
He had never really taught me many technical things in regards to the boat, so the trailering and the carpeting and the modifications I kind of had to learn on my own. Most of the modifications were done to the boat before I owned it, so the deck on the front and back was already constructed. From what I can tell it is a thick piece of polyurethane treated marine grade plywood coated with more polyurethane and a layer of high-grade turf carpeting, which I reapplied myself a few years back.
There is a cut out in the middle bench seat to accommodate two 12 Volt batteries which I run in a series for my front bow mount 81 pound thrust motor guide trolling motor. The backbench also has two thick plywood door cut outs that open up to house another 12 V battery in the rear as well as a 4 gallon gas tank for my 9.9 Evinrude outboard motor.
It’s like my own mini Ranger Bass Boat lol. Not quite, but I’ll get there! I have actually found that I enjoy these smaller multi-faceted aluminum rigs more than I like the fiberglass bass boats on the market today. I feel like I can hit a lot more water than most of these guys, and I can move a lot faster on the electric only lakes, which there are a lot of in my area. As for the gasoline permitted lakes, my 9.9 outboard gets me going about 14 miles an hour with a fully loaded boat. That’s terrible, but I’m always over packed! I’m sure I could gain another 5 miles an hour taking out a lot of my gear.
Anyways, the basic set up of the boat is: A front deck, a back deck, the front bow mount trolling motor, the back outboard motor and rear transom mount trolling motor, two “tourney style” post seats, front and rear, equipped with two 12 V batteries in the front and one 12V battery in the rear. The front trolling motor runs off of those two 12 V batteries ran in a series, and the back 12V battery powers the sonar unit, Humminbird 597di, and the transom trolling motor. Other than that the boat doesn’t have too much else other than cargo! I used to have a rod locker on the boat but it added too much weight so I removed it, if you notice in the video you will see a hole in the back of the bench that previously housed a bunch of rods! I’ll be getting that fixed this winter.
You are getting into some WaterWarriorFishing merchandise. What are you offering and where is it available?
Merchandising is where I plan to take off, I have spent a lot of time premeditating my orders and the designs that I want to deliver to the public.
As of yet I do not have any product available, I am still in the process of perfecting the website and gathering feedback on what colors and styles people like the most. You would be surprised, you would think that you would be able to gather a large amount of feedback through the various social media and digital media sources available to us today, but gathering feedback on an apparel idea is harder than you can imagine. People are simply not interested in giving feedback unless it is very relevant and important to them. That just isn’t the case with such a young company, but that is something I hope to change with the release of my first merchandise, which will be some embroidered water warrior fishing hats. You can see these on my Twitter and in various posts on the Instagram page.
I have recently come in contact with a good supplier and have set up the store through the website; I just have not publicized the website yet because I don’t like things unfinished! Once I have the order for the hats I will publicize the website and begin to sell, that is when I will also have content available like pictures of the products and pricing. Most likely the hats will be in the $20-$25 range as they are high-quality hats with top-notch embroidery and stylish design. I had an original T-shirt that I had handed out to a great many people a few months back. Of which many continue to post and share. I’m always eager to open up my Instagram to another tagged photo with someone in a water warrior T-shirt!
Can’t wait to release another set of T-shirts, I just need to decide on the exact final design I would like. I have lots of ideas but as I had stated before the feedback is the major thing missing! Once I gather more of that, I will go for a small order and see how it sells, and continue to learn from there. That is all I can really do at this point. But trust me it’s on the way! I will have a link to buy merchandise on the YouTube channel soon, which will direct you to my website, which will house the actual online store. I’ll also post the link on the Instagram! Stickers will also be available soon! I want to do it all; it’s just a matter of timing and preparation… And money! All things I am learning as an entrepreneur with Water Warrior Fishing.
What are your Top 3 freshwater places to fish that you have never been?
Hmmmmm, this is a tough one. There are so many lakes around the country that I would absolutely love to fish. I’ll start up north. One of the lakes I have really wanted to fish for a long time would have to be Lake Champlain up in Vermont! Growing up fishing deep/ clear water, I feel like I would be well-suited for success on that lake. From what I know of it, it’s deep, clear, and grassy. Stocked full of big fat smallmouth and trophy sized largemouth as well. I don’t think it gets better than that, being able to fish somewhere that houses huge smallmouth and largemouth alike! The only other place I would compare this to would be Lake Erie, which I would also like to fish. Those big smallmouth are hard to beat!
Second, moving south, I would really like to fish Lake Fork!! If you bass fish, you have most definitely heard of Lake Fork. Home to some very very large fish! Point blank period, its nationwide notoriety and reputation for having huge bass are all I need to know! I’m also aware that this place has a diverse structure offering, and gives anglers an opportunity to use a wide variety of techniques to catch big fish.
It is almost impossible to name just three lakes that I really want to fish in the country, but I have to say my last choice for the top 3 would be Lake Okeechobee. I have always wanted to get on a really good Flipping bite and catch huge bass out of Lilly pad’s and reeds, which I know Okeechobee has a lot of! The experience I have had on the Lower Potomac River fishing heavy grass beds and lily pads has led me to greatly appreciate those heavy cover areas that house huge bass. Lots of anglers get scared of it because they lose their gear, I run right to it because the bass live there! Okeechobee would be heaven… And it would be a lot shallower than my local water. Which I would enjoy.
Just for the heck of it I’ll give you another body of water that I have really wanted to fish for a while, Lake Jordan in North Carolina. Also Lake Shearon Harris in North Carolina. If you were from the mid-Atlantic you know about these places, if you’re not you might not be aware of them. They are hotspots, and house some humongous bass. He’s lakes have abundant shad populations and grow fast into trophy sizes, year-round. The temperature down there in North Carolina doesn’t get as cold as it does appear in Maryland, so the fish have a little bit longer growing season. The water is a bit dingy are down there as well, providing for more success on moving baits more often.
I love this guy! Such a love and passion for fishing that comes through everything he does. I am a big fan of David and Water Warrior Fishing! And I will be following.