Ken Penrod's Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report

Hot Spot – Potomac Stripers

I just spent a rainy day catching big stripers in 45 degree water on the Potomac River. I’ve been catching quality stripers and crappie since late November between Leesylvania and Quantico. The stripers have ranged from schoolies to almost 30”. The depth I’m fishing has ranged from 5’ to 20’ but they have almost always associated with the main creek channel in some way. As the water temperatures drop – the fish will move on top of points and drops but don’t wander very far from the channel. The important thing is to trust your Lowrance because it will show you bait and fish activity. The river tributaries don’t have a lot of complicated contours but it does have subtle ones. There is usually only 1 or 2 contour changes throughout most creeks and almost always that will be associated with the main channel. It’s important to understand those channel routes and then look for the structural element that will hold fish consistently. I’ve been using a 4.5 inch silver/white swimbait sold by Johnny Cunningham almost exclusively. The jighead weights range from 1/4 to 1 ounce depending on current and depth. This is a great time to fish. The river is so peaceful this time of year and it’s all yours. This sort of fishing has given me a lot of insight on how fish and migrate move throughout the river and will help me with my Largemouth fishing come spring.