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Fillybass21

Potomac Stripers???

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Hey everyone, I'm new to the area and now am a resident of Alexandria, VA. I live 10 minutes from the potomac and am interested in some info on stripers in the area. I lived in philly all my life and grew to know how to fish the delaware spring run quite well. Every year would yield a 20lb + fish. I am curious to know if the striper fishing in the tidal Potomac is quite as good or better? What are the tactics used through the spring run if so. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Hey everyone, I'm new to the area and now am a resident of Alexandria, VA. I live 10 minutes from the potomac and am interested in some info on stripers in the area. I lived in philly all my life and grew to know how to fish the delaware spring run quite well. Every year would yield a 20lb + fish. I am curious to know if the striper fishing in the tidal Potomac is quite as good or better? What are the tactics used through the spring run if so. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

 

Really good striper run all the way up the dam at Little Falls. I used to fish it from late April / early May thru June. I think it is all C&R now but I could be mistaken.

 

Mainly caught trolling from small boats as the fish run deep. Or you can work lures near the bottom in the current. The "pros" will modify shallow running lures by adding weights to them and work them off the bottom. You'll need some kind of lure retriever to unsnag them or you will lose a lot.

 

Cut herring will work well from shore as well if you can find good structure.

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You can net herring along the walls of East Potomac park, or, they sell fresh at Fletcher's boathouse, where they also rent rowboats and kayaks.

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I'm looking forward to giving both the shad and stripers a try this year in the Potomac.

 

You can run searches on this forum and get a bit more info and some cool pics from years past (maybe it was one of Poppy's posts w/ the pics...can't remember for sure).

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Do the catfish in the Potomac get big?

 

They like herring and chicken livers and worms and sometimes deep lures. 4 - 10 # catfish are plentiful.

They get bigger but they sure are butt ugly, unlike the pretty stripers.

Upstream they taste good but anything caught near DC I wouldn't eat.

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They like herring and chicken livers and worms and sometimes deep lures. 4 - 10 # catfish are plentiful.

They get bigger but they sure are butt ugly, unlike the pretty stripers.

Upstream they taste good but anything caught near DC I wouldn't eat.

 

 

Agreed -- If you're tempted to eat anything caught near DC I'd check the health code warnings -- last time I looked at their recommendations it wasn't pretty.

 

You're also not too far away from (small) trout fishing in the Shenandoahs and smallmouth fishing in the Rappahannock.

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Although I haven't been there in a number of years, there was a little area to fish on the VA side of the Wilson bridge. However, I must advise that my father has told me that they rebuilt the Wilson bridge and the area has changed...as in no bulkhead any more but more so a rocky shoreline or something like that. But we both agree that shouldn't change the striper fishery there in the Spring.

 

When it was still configured as a bulkhead, you could look straight down and see herring schools swimming by. If you could get a hold of one of those and toss it back in live lining fashion, bigger fish could be had. Otherwise, you could score well on schoolies using blood/sandworms or pieces of fresh herring. While I now primarily fish with lures and flies here in New England, that type of fishing was still something I hadn't ventured into yet back then. So I can't really tell you how well those spring run stripers respond to artificials...although I can't imagine why not. As an aside, I think I heard the same thing as an earlier posted in regards to it being a complete C & R fishery during the Spring Run.

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yeah I actually live in alexandria right now...and I'vs noticed some carp fisherman caughting a few large specimens down there. What do you think one could expect as far as largemouth bass sizes.

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Fletcher's Boathouse can have stripers show up as early as late March. Live herring is best, but cut herring fished on the bottom works too. You can sometimes catch herring in the creek by the bridge if you hold a net in the current. You can also try the creeks on the Virginia side. On the river you can get them by dropping down a sabiki rig. There is no limit on herring, but you cannot use a cast net. The herring start to wane in mid to late May.

 

For livelining I use at least a #8/0 circle hook with around 3-4 feet of 40-50# fluorocarbon leader on a fishfinder or eggsinker rig. 1-2 oz. of weight is usually enough. You can also use inline sinkers, just be sure to use a snap swivel.

 

Striper season used to open on May 1, but as others mentioned it seems to be all c&r now. I release all fish that I catch there anyway so it doesn't matter to me. If you plan to rent a boat make sure the tide is not too low or too high. The gage height probably needs to be around 5.0 ft. or below to be able to rent a boat. The cut off for being able to fish from shore is around 5.5 ft., otherwise it's a bit high, at least for me. You can check the levels at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/md/nwis/uv/?site_no=01646500&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00062,0 0054

 

Hickory and American Shad are catch and release only. The hickory shad arrive first and you can sometimes catch them in large numbers. American Shad show up later when water temp hits around 60 degrees and tend to be more elusive. Shad darts can usually be bought at the shop there.

 

There are plenty of catfish in the area and they definitely get large. Cut herring will catch them and don't overlook using the heads. You can also try chicken liver.

 

Good luck!

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