On the Water: Scouting, feasting on Potomac

Jun. 28, 2014 @ 03:46 AM

Fishing was good last weekend on the Potomac River, but the food was even better.

Susan and I traveled up on Thursday evening, arriving at the Port Tobacco Creek Marina early on Friday morning. The plan was fish this area in preparation for an upcoming tournament. It would be a long boat ride from the tournament launch site to Port Tobacco, but if there were good fish there, it might have been worth it.

We caught a few decent bass, but there wasn’t enough activity in the area to make me consider it an option. After spending the morning fishing, we feasted on steamed crab legs and shrimp at a riverfront restaurant. Then, we spent a few more hours scouting before heading north to our campsite near La Plata, Maryland.

On the way there, we picked up pork spareribs and a whole chicken from Dale’s Smokehouse in Indian Head, Maryland. It’s one of the best rib and barbecue places I’ve ever been to.

They’d just finished making a peanut butter pie, so we picked up a slice of that to split after supper, and later on, wished we’d bought the whole pie.

This, along with the seafood platter to go we picked up from Captain John’s on Cobb Island, would provide enough food for the rest of the weekend and then some. That way, all we had to do was concentrate on fishing.

On a side note, I’ll mention that I typically refrain from eating at restaurants that have the word “captain” in the name. Captain John’s so far is the only exception to that rule of thumb.

We also make it a point to avoid buffets where there’s a sneeze guard involved. I figure if they have to protect my food from other people’s bodily fluids, then I don’t want it.

Susan had never seen Washington from the water so we headed there early Saturday morning. It was neat cruising around in sight of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol while eating pork ribs.

Following a full day’s fishing Saturday and part of the day Sunday, we headed back home to get ready for work.

I’ll be heading back there after working four days and can’t wait to spend more than a week fishing the river. Where once there was a cesspool with few creatures able to survive, today there’s one of the better fishing spots in the nation.

This took decades to achieve and results from Environmental Protection Agency mandates that addressed industrial waste dumping and other factors. While eating the fish isn’t recommended at this time because of leftover PCBs and other chemicals, at least creatures can live there now.

Kerr Lake fishing report — Jamie Hunt reports catching good stripers using red fins at night. Some anglers are reporting this to be the best year for stripers in a long time. Bass fishing is picking up as they resume feeding after recovering from the spawn.

Weights are near 19 pounds to win a one-day team event.

Upcoming area tournaments — Two groups with similar names are holding tournaments in the area next weekend. One, the Kerr Lake Bassmasters of Henderson, will hold a tournament June 22 on Lake Mayo. Contact Matt Priode at (919) 616-9610 for more information.

The Kerr Lake Bass Masters has a tournament scheduled that same day on Kerr Lake. Contact Glen Boyd at (919) 691-2891 on that one. Also on Kerr that day, the Gaston/Kerr CATT TRAIL is hosting a team event. Contact Adam Richardson at (252)213-5678.

The following week on Kerr, Brandon Gray will hold his Buggs Island Bass Challenge event June 29. Brandon can be reached at (252) 213-2949.

Week after next week’s report — I plan to take a week off and will be back with tournament results from the Potomac River Rayovac on Sunday, June 29.

Tip of the week — Set your standards high when choosing a restaurant. Make your own guidelines and you’ll find that you enjoy those times out.

Contact the writer at waltbowen@yahoo.com, and on Facebook under Walt Bowen.