NATIONAL BASS ​GUIDE SERVICE​​

Call to schedule your trip!

Fish the country's top largemouth bass fishery, the historic and scenic
​Potomac River. View the Nation's Capital from the water. Full or half day trips.

FISHING REPORT

 Drying out.
 
Grass is growing and fish are biting. Find the grass and work the areas over with moving lures.
 
Water is in the low 50s and higher! Rain Monday, with mid 60s. A nice week, cool with mid 50s on Tuesday and 60s for Wednesday and Thursday. Dry week with the same temp range going into the weekend.
 
Red lipless crankbaits on 12 pound test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line crawled over and through grass will get bites. Pay attention to slight taps, as the bite often is slight. Contact grass and snap free. Allow lures to hesitate on the fall. Faster reels catch up to fish to load the rod for hooksets, sweeps. Mann’s Baby 1-Minus on 12-pound Edge can work wood cover with deflection and snapped out of grass. Rods are important too. Medium action with a good stiff butt section allows fish to take in lures and enable snaps out of grass and good hooksets.
 
Find fish in milfoil grass beds and stay on them. Using 5-inch Mizmo Quiver Stix stick worms on 3/0 MUSTAD Mega Bite hooks, add a 1/8-ounce bullet weight on 12-pound Edge, make long casts and work through grass, shaking free or with gentle snaps. Allow the bait to fall and sit for a few seconds. Longer rods, over 7 feet with a medium heavy action, enable long casts and solid hooksets. When getting a bite, reel and pull set.
 
Also try drop shot rigs with 20-pound Torque braid and a 12-pound Edge leader. Tie to 2/0 MUSTAD Mega Bite hooks with Mizmo Doodle worms. Medium casts with medium heaving spinning rods. Reel, feel and pull to set the hook. Anchor the rig with a 3/16-ounce weight. Using garlic Jack’s Juice Bait Spray will encourage fish to hold onto soft plastic baits longer.
 
    
Nice one for Janette! Split shot rig.
For trip information, reservations & rates, and general enquiries:
Capt. Steve Chaconas is a guide on the Potomac River.
To book a trip call 703-380-7119 or contact  info@nationalbass.com
APRIL 2018

One of the best months for big Potomac bass!  Fish move up, staging near spawning flats, creek mouths, backs of coves, out-of-the-current areas! Start slow, then speed up! Moving baits cover water, but once you find what’s holding them, slow with plastic and jig presentations. Dock fishing is starting! Longer days, warmer temperatures make it easier to catch shallow fish.  Look for Milfoil and Water Celery grasses emerging on main river areas above and below the Wilson Bridge, the mouths of Swan, Broad and Piscataway creeks and Washington Channel along Fort McNair…keys to finding and catching bass. Hard cover, like rip rap, docks, laydowns and barges are places to find bass. Woodrow Wilson bridge pilings provide cover at varying depths. Fish bite nearly every bait, depending on water temperature and clarity. 
 
Wind, rain, fronts, have a huge impact. Water clarity dictates speed, bait and color choice. Warmest water comes later in the day.  Slow in cooler mornings, and faster as the day warms…plastics in the morning, moving baits in the afternoon.  Seek warm, clear water.  Blue Plains temperatures are in mid 60’s! Dock below Blue Plains is better on outgoing tides. On sunny days, fish hold tight.  On cloudy days, cover areas around docks. Catch them deeper with drop shot and Sting Ray grubs, but open up the tackle box with crankbaits and spinnerbaits…lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits. 
 
This is time to get big bass on suspending jerkbaits in water 45-55 degrees. Clown, Aurora Gold, and Baby Bass suspending 78 jerkbaits are a good size, and cast well into the wind! Try 100 sizes in deeper water or on cloudy days with stained water. Two keys: length of pause and how hard you either jerk or tap the bait. Fish will tell you what they want.  Clearest water, try American Shad, Clown and other fish-like colors.  Another good bait for cold water, Shad Raps, have a very tight wiggle and glance off cover very well.  Try same colors adding red cranks, cranking to cover and stop…twitch gently for shallow fish on cover near drops! Add a Mustad Ultra Point red treble on the belly. 
 
Mann’s 3-inch Stingray avocado colored bait on a 3/16-ounce Mizmo N-Seine round jig head with a Mustad Ultra Point hook is appetizing to lethargic early spring bass.  Soak in garlic flavored Jack’s Juice to keep fish holding on longer! Let it go to the bottom, slowly lifting. The bite feels like weight, set the hook.  Cast green pumpkin, blue craw or river craw Mizmo tubes with Mud Puppy Custom Baits 1/4-ounce weedless tube heads, using a similar presentation as the grub, for a gliding action. Try Mizmo jig tubes in Arkansas Craw and Blue Screamer.  
 
Drop shot cover or at Blue Plains. The drop shot weight “feels” drops or cover.  Keep leaders about 8 inches with a 3/16-1/4 ounce BULLSHOT bullet shaped split shot weight. Try MIZMO 5” Doodle worms, shaky head style on 3/16 and smaller MIZMO Barbwire jig heads, using the same technique as the drop shot, gently shaking to aggravate fish into biting. MIZMO’s softer body produces lifelike action.  A good rod for shaky heads and drop shotting enables you to work baits better and set the hook under a load…a rod with about the last quarter or less flexing. Quantum’s Drop Shot rod is perfect allowing shaking without making baits jump out of cover! Go to light line for plastics and jigs, 6-8 pound test GAMMA Copoly.  Split shot rigs cover water with 3/16 or 1/4-ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot come through cover. Rig Mann’s 5-inch green pumpkin HardNose Finesse worms on 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega Bite hooks. Drag slowly, stopping when contacting cover or moving down drops. Work around Spoils, Smoot Bay and South Point and in Blue Plains. Feel weight? Set the hook! For deeper applications or in wind, beef up with Carolina rigs with Round Valley Tungsten weights for better feel. 
 
Bigger fish are coming on jigs, specifically 3/8 oz. Punisher Hair jigs, a small bulky package with hair that really breathes. Punisher chunks with rattles make this bait a great light-line bait.  Try black/blue, green/brown and green orange colors on 8-pound test GAMMA Copoly on spinning gear fishing shallow or deep. (www.punisherjigs.com).  
 
While wind makes fishing difficult, wind-blown banks, flats and cover can be productive until water becomes visibly muddy. Wind pushes food sources against shorelines, causing a feeding frenzy down the food chain activating bass, making it great for slow rolling Mann’s Classic 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits with gold Colorado/willow blades. Mann’s Classic round head deflects off cover acting as a keel to right the bait quicker. For light bites, try a fast action 7’med graphite rod; otherwise a medium heavy rod.  At low tides around heavy cover, Mann’s Baby 1-Minus is perfect. In clearer water, Mann’s NEW HardNose Reel N Shad in white works well through the water column at varying speeds.
 
Lipless crankbaits find fish and emerging grass once water hits 55 degrees.  Grass in April is a gold mine. Thinner and taller lipless baits can be fished through grass. To go slower and deeper, try heavier baits.  When ripped from grass, allow to drop in a controlled fashion, triggering strikes. Use a medium action Quantum KVD composite 7-foot rod cranking for casting distance.  GAMMA 14-pound test fluorocarbon is perfect for ripping free from grass or hook sets on long casts.  Set the hook when the rod is loaded. Red colors are best when bumping bottom, shad patterns are better when ticking tops of grass, gold in stained water. Hooks are typically a problem for most lipless crankbaits, so upgrade to quality hooks like the NEW KVD short shank Ultra Point Triple Grip trebles from Mustad. They’re angled, very difficult for bass to throw, especially fish hooked on longer casts. The short shank allows you to replace factory hooks with the next size up!