alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Advice for fishing Harper's Ferry, WV end of June
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Author Topic: Advice for fishing Harper's Ferry, WV end of June  (Read 1993 times)
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sdlehr
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« on: February 27, 2018, 08:36:01 PM »

I'll be attending the ORCA National meeting June 20-23 in Harper's Ferry, WV and will be doing some fishing in the area. This is a new fishery for this South Florida fisher.

From the ORCA website, "The fishing tournament will be held on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, that come to a confluence in Harpers Ferry. The Potomac has a world-renowned smallmouth fishery and offers the rare combination of very fast action and big fish. It also offers excellent fishing for walleye, musky, and catfish."

I need some info on what to bring, assuming I'll be targeting smallmouth and walleye, less likely musky. Catfish don't really interest me. Here at home, it's either inshore or Largemouth bass in the freshwater lakes, I don't know anything about smallmouth other than they like rocky bottoms and moving water. I know even less about walleye.

I can read about the species on the internet, but I need some strategies on how to fish for them. I'll probably be using 15-20 lb line and either a spinning reel or low profile baitcaster. Share some experience with me. Put yourself in my shoes. What would you bring, assuming it had to fit in luggage brought on a commercial airline and that this will occupy time for half a day?

Thanks.

Sid

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Sid Lehr
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jason_purdy
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2018, 03:14:38 PM »

Sid,

That's a pretty area and a good place to wet a line.  I fish the Potomac a little downstream from that area, quite a bit. For summer time smallmouth fishing, there are a lot of good options. That area of the Potomac and Shenandoah is fairly shallow and rocky (assuming normal rain conditions) so normal river techniques apply. Look for deep pools, current breaks in the form of boulders or fallen trees, undercut banks, and edges formed by aquatic vegetation. I prefer spinning gear with 10-15# test, flourocarbon line or leader, and 6'6" to 7' medium fast rod.
As for lures, time of day and water clarity are my determining factors. Early and late in the day I love to throw a black mini-buzzbait or zara spook jr in bone or red head/white body. If the water is clean I go with natural colors. In fairly shallow water, I like to throw a wacky rigged 4" senko, a neko rig with a 5" finesse worm, or a Ned rig (check YouTube for the Neko and Ned). Other good options are shallow crankbaits (with tight wobble and silent or single knocker), x-raps, 3"-4" curly tail grubs in smoke (I prefer a thicker body and wide tail on a football jighead). When targeting specific current breaks behind boulders or laydowns, I love to throw the Strike King bitsy bug jig tipped with a small crawfish plastic trailer. I throw on top of the rock or log and drag it across letting the jig drop into the hole. Watch your line as the hit comes on the fall. I tend to use watermelon and medium to dark brown (with red flake) colors for my worms and jigs. I prefer white, smoke, and olive colors for the various minnow imitators.

When water is stained or muddy you can add smallish spinnerbaits to the mix,(in addition to the other lures above) use crankbaits with a wider wobble and more rattles, and go with pearl white and chartreuse colors as a good start.  For shear numbers, a curly tail grub, roostertail in white, and a 3" tube lure are hard to beat. Good luck and post some pictures of the catch!

Tight lines,
Jason
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jason_purdy
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 05:30:49 PM »

Sid,

An update on conditions-May was one of the rainiest on record up here, and the water was more like chocolate milk than anything else. The river has been really up but is finally starting to "get right." Both the Shenandoah and Upper Potomac are still a little stained but much clearer than the last few weeks. The smallies should be feeding heavy since the river has been such a mess. A z-man chatterbait in white, white/chartreuse, a strike king pro mini-buzz in black, a shallow running square-bill crankbait, and a 4" senko will be tough to beat.  Good luck and tight lines.

-Jason
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sdlehr
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 03:11:22 AM »

Thanks, Jason, but it rained most of the time I was there and the water was looking like chocolate mild again. No one caught anything. I didn't even try, not wanting to get soaked in the attempt.
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Sid Lehr
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jason_purdy
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2018, 09:53:37 AM »

Sorry the conditions weren't better for you Sid. That was a long rainy stretch, and it messed the river up for quite some time.

Jason
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