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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:26 pm
Posts: 1775
Location: Fairfax, VA & Ponte Vedra
Well, it took me long enough, but I finally figured out at least one location up in the Fairfax, VA, area, and caught some decent fish. In my defense, it took me almost a year to get a kayak, and then I was stubbornly trying the local lakes, but I finally realized that the smaller lakes are overfished, and about the best you're going to get out of them is an occasional catfish or yellow perch. I also have to deal with something up here called "Winter"??? After living in Florida for the 30+ years, I'm still not too sure what that actually is, but I know you can't really kayak during it. :lol:

So my first real success up here was a section of the northern Potomac River called Riverbend. It's relatively shallow and rocky (so no big boats), but a very slow current with no rapids or anything crazy. As you can see from some of the pics, it's quite pretty. Turns out to be quite the smallmouth haven!

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The launch at Riverbend Park. Look at all that glass!

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Pulled a Clark and took a break on a little island mid-river to alleviate kayak butt syndrome. ;)

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I caught quite a few this size, which after numerous skunks on the local lakes I was pretty happy about, but wanted something bigger.

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Something bigger...

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Something smaller, but fatter....

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This was around 5pm when I started heading back to the launch -- the river was still a mirror!

All of these were caught a new lure. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm pretty stuck on Rapala's Storm Wildeye paddletails as my go-to lure. I frequently try other stuff (including live/cut bait), but I almost always end up going back to Storm Wildeye's to avoid a skunk. Well, I've officially moved on and will be doing the same when fishing down in NE FL during the Summers, Spring Break, etc. I didn't stray too far (haha) -- it's the Rapala's Storm 360GT Searchbait paddletail. Unlike the Wildeye paddletails, the 360GT's aren't really pre-rigged (even though they look like it). The best part about the 360GT's (especially for using in Guana Lake) is that they're longer and lighter than the Wildeye's. The 3.5" ones are only 1/8oz and the 4.5" ones are 1/4oz. To get 1/8oz in the Wildeye paddletails you have to go all the way down to 2.5" and the 3.5" ones are 1/4oz. The 360GT's are very durable, a lot of stretch, great action, not terribly priced, and good colors (nothing too crazy/disco). I used Smokin' Ghost (pictured) and Houdini for these fish. For Guana Lake, I'll probably use Smokin' Ghost and Pearl Ice (white).
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Unfortunately, Winter weather came on shortly after this trip, so I haven't been out since. At least I have something to look forward to in the Spring.

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-- Chris :thumbleft:
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Coleman Scanoe
Perception Sport Destiny/Scout 12
Perception Striker 11.5


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:00 am
Posts: 797
Location: Powder Springs, Ga
Beautiful!

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"Be Ye Fishers of men. You catch 'em and He will clean 'em"


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:31 pm
Posts: 960
Location: jacksonville
I’ve been want to go north for smallmouth after watching the “Mark Zona Show”. He targets smallmouth most of the time. I also like Drew Gregorys shows which he fishes rivers.
https://hookedonwildwaters.com


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:26 pm
Posts: 1775
Location: Fairfax, VA & Ponte Vedra
olcaptain wrote:
Beautiful!


Thanks, Horace! Not even close to par with your Fishing Reports, and I didn't bring the Smallmouth Pug with me as a fishing companion, but it was definitely beautiful.

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You know it was a good day of fishing when it seems like you blinked and realize that it's 5pm and the park I launched from closes their gates at 6pm! Paddle paddle paddle paddle paddle!

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Coleman Scanoe
Perception Sport Destiny/Scout 12
Perception Striker 11.5


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:26 pm
Posts: 1775
Location: Fairfax, VA & Ponte Vedra
Jwray wrote:
I’ve been want to go north for smallmouth after watching the “Mark Zona Show”. He targets smallmouth most of the time. I also like Drew Gregorys shows which he fishes rivers.
https://hookedonwildwaters.com


I freely admit to "stubbling" upon my smallmouth haven up here while just desperately trying to find any sizeable fish. I've been very disappointed with the kayak fishing up here purely because I've been stubbornly trying to stick to the small lakes that are the most conveniently close to my house. Unfortunately, in the past decade most of these lakes have had all the sizeable fish harvested out of them and moved to other nearby lakes so the original lakes could be drained and dredged. When they were filled back up, the original fish (of course) were not returned, and they only stocked the "new" lakes with panfish, etc. Originally these lakes had everything from muskie to largemouth bass to walleye, etc. Now the predominate species is yellow perch, which actually gets quite large, but it's definitely not considered a "sport fish" by any means. Prior to this lake rejuvenation project, several of the local colleges and wildlife organizations were heavily stocking, tagging, and tracking fish, but all funding for these projects stopped when the lakes were drained.

Anyway, all whining and lamenting aside, I finally figured out that the rivers and streams are the places to fish here, which makes sense as it's the only water that can replenish its own fish and doesn't have to rely on stocking. This is especially true of the Potomac, which is actually a really big river that has several REALLY large bays and quite a few significant tributary streams/rivers as well. The Riverbend section of the Potomac is just about perfect in all aspects. Aside from a couple of days canoe fishing with my two (then young) sons down in Florida, this was probably my best day of fishing since I started this hobby like 5 years ago. I've definitely found my VA fishing hole.

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-- Chris :thumbleft:
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Coleman Scanoe
Perception Sport Destiny/Scout 12
Perception Striker 11.5


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