I moved to Milledgeville, Georgia from Maryland in early 2007. It is a fisherman's utopia here, many lakes, rivers and ponds to fish and many species to fish for. The Atlantic coast is only three hours or so away, to satisfy your appetite for saltwater fishing. Below is a synopsis of one of my old favorite fishing haunts, the Potomac River.
Mouth of the Monocacy
The Potomac River in the area of the mouth of the Monocacy River, near Dickerson, Maryland, is a fine place to fish for Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Carp and several species of panfish. Natural bait is abundant in the area, including several types of minnows, crayfish, hellgramites, salamanders, and a large variety of insects. When the topwater bite is on in midsummer, nothing beats the thrill of hooking into a 2 or 3 pound Smallmouth, flyfishing with poppers or a small dry fly!
Tiger Muskies were introduced into this stretch of the Potomac several years ago, and although rare, occasionally one of these great fighters can be hooked, but you'd better be using a steel leader, for their teeth are very strong, and breakoffs are common.
Some of my fondest memories from childhood through adulthood are of weekends spent camping on one of the numerous islands in the area, drifting the river by day and catching more Smallies than you could count, then staying up all night, catching a mess of Channel Cats in the hot water discharge from the Dickerson power plant, to be fried on an open fire for breakfast the next morning.
The upper river is very susceptible to droughts and floods, with the water level varying greatly during these stages. If you're on the river during a heavy rain, you'd better be careful, for the water can rise very quickly, submersing your campsite, and making boating treacherous.
Potomac River, Woodrow Wilson Bridge area
The picture above left is of the area known as the Spoils, on the Maryland side of the Potomac, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. In this cove, there is abundant wood cover, and large piles of concrete slabs, which hold nice Largemouths. I've pulled several 4 pounders out of this area. Above right is a picture of the Belle Haven Marina, in Alexandria, Virginia. This is the marina I usually use to launch my boat, although there are several other ramps in the area. Below left is a shot of Alexandria, which sits right on the shore of the Potomac, just south of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Below right is a picture of the Wilson Bridge, taken from the outer edge of the Spoils.
Ken Penrod and me near the mouth of Mattawoman Creek in the spring of 1997. Ken caught the 7 pounder, I caught the two 5 pounders.
Mattawoman Creek, which feeds into the Potomac River south of Washington, D.C, is an excellent Largemouth Bass fishery, as is a large portion of the tidal section of the Potomac, from Washington to the Route 301 bridge. Thanks in large part to Ken Penrod, noted Potomac River guide, conservationist and author of several very informative books on tidal bass fishing, this section of the Potomac has been cleaned up and now supports one of the best Largemouth fisheries on the East Coast. The area is productive year round, with fish in the 6 to 7 pound range not uncommon.
The entire navigable stretch of Mattawoman Creek is great Largemouth territory, but my favorite portion of the creek is above Slavin's launch, a public boat ramp near the town of Indian Head, Md. In midsummer, you just can't beat flippin' plastic worms and lizards into the spatterdock (a large lily pad-like vegetation) fields on a moving tide. If you feel a slight twitch at the end of your line, you'd better set the hook, it might be a 6 pounder chomping down on your bait!
Large beds of grasses and spatterdock can be found in the upper Mattawoman, as shown in the picture above left. Above right shows a pair of osprey, which nest at the top of most of the navigation markers in the area of the mouth of the Mattawoman. In the lower left picture, a heron can be seen perching along a wall in the no wake zone of the creek. Lower right is a picture of Arkindale Flats, in the Potomac about 7 miles south of Mattawoman. Several barges have been sunk here, and they provide great structure for Largemouth. Catfishing is also fantastic in this area.
So, you get a line, I'll get a pole, we'll go down to the fishin' hole!