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Thread: Am I missing any important water near Mattawoman?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    West Virginia
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    Default Am I missing any important water near Mattawoman?

    Headed to Smallwood next week (again) for 5 days. We'll hit all over Mattawoman, and then also probably head to Marshall Hall to see what we can find up there---we've never hit that before. Primarily we're hoping to target snakehead, bass, and hopefully back into a mess of catfish, but of course we wouldn't mind anything that'll be fun to catch. Right now the loadout looks like hollow frogs, plastic frogs, chatterbaits, and some wakebaits, probably bait fishing for the cats. We'd love to meet anyone who may be local, let us buy your lunch and teach us your tricks, or give us suggestions of places to try or rigs to use.

    Any other good swampy water we can find that's rife with snakies? Places especially prolific with those pesky bluecats? Should we try for striper at the 301 bridge? (Or something else?!)
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Baltimore
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    1,934

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    You'll find plenty of blue cats in Mattawoman. Raw chicken breast in 2-inch chunks soaked on the bottom will get them. Worms as well. Pretty much anything. A few weeks ago they were hitting my bass lures hard. Look for deep holes (there's one right down from the Slavin's launch and another near the island upstream, but the cats are everywhere).

    I get the feeling that the snakehead in Mattawoman are not as plentiful as they once were, probably because it has been a very popular spot to target them. But they are there.

    Largemouth Bass fishing has been pretty good for me there over the years, but not so much luck lately.

    You could also try Nanjemoy creek.
    Mike S.
    Hobie Outback & Oasis
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    339

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    I have not been there this year yet but have been there many times in my yak. If you want to launch in the Mattawoman I highly recommend going tothe free launch site that is much safer waters for a yak. Most of it from the launch upstream is no wake and there is a lot to fish there. The lily pad edges, throw a stick bait or swim bait with a 1/16th ounch weight pegged or florida rigged. Flip it several rows deep into the lily pads (in low tide this might not work too well) nad slowly swim it out to the outside edge. If you do not have a bite at the outside edge after a few seconds, reel in and repeat. Also, a baby minus one at high tide along weed lines and over the top of now submerged weeds. A soft plastic craw imitation, Texas rigged or on jig, anywhere you go at any time may or may not but one of these methods should work.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    West Virginia
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    Default Am I missing any important water near Mattawoman?

    Thanks for all of that, especially catfish advice.

    This is actually our fourth trip but we have had wildly different levels of success each time. Thanks lots for gear suggestions too. I've been completely unsuccessful finding baby minus ones for a whole year save for two I found in the clearance cave at Cabela's, but I did get a nice selection of jackall cherry zeros, which is a very similar bait. Those and some Ima Roumbas I'm hoping will find us since fun topwater. We tried nanjemoy last year with absolutely zero success but it was nearly high noon by the time we got there.

    Docirv, what free launch? The Hawthorne bridge one? Or is there another?


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    339

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    Slavins ramp. It is almost the very last left turn you can make on 210 South before the navy base check point.
    http://docirvcustombaits.com/baitbox/
    484-459-9863
    If you are not satisfied with the color or texture of your custom made Doc Irv baits just let me know and I will redo it at no cost to you to your satisfaction, because I am not happy unless you are happy.*
    *But if you are one of those people who is never satisfied then I retain the right to be unhappy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    West Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by docirv View Post
    Slavins ramp. It is almost the very last left turn you can make on 210 South before the navy base check point.

    Cool. I found it on gmaps. You're advocating upstream from there? (East) versus west? That section is the part we've never done, amazingly. Looks like there's an awesome swampy shallows just east.


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  7. #7
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    Odenton
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    Mallows Bay and Piscataway Creek are a couple more options.

  8. #8
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    Burke, VA
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    It sounds crazy, but I've used cut-up hot dog coated in cherry Kool-Aid powder and crumbled Kellogg's Corn Flakes for catfish bait.
    Throw the hot dog chunk on the hook, get it to the bottom and wait.
    The cats won't hit immediately, but after 20 or 30 minutes (enough time for the Kool-Aid and hot dog juice scent to work) you won't be able to drop a line without bringing up a fish.


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    -manny

    Hobie Outback
    Wilderness Systems 130T

  9. #9
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    Jul 2016
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    West Virginia
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    Great info, thanks. Piscataway is right there by Marshall Hall, so that's easy to check out. Mallows I think we drove to before but didn't fish.

    baitball--around here, lots of folks use whatever random meat soaked in cherry (or strawberry) koolaid, I was actually already planning to take a second tub of chicken like that for comparison, so awesome to hear that it holds up over there!

    Last year on the Rapahannock we used beef liver, eel, some kind of baitfish we bought in a store that I forget, and snakehead trimmings. Floating them about 3' down, we slayed catfish for about 8 hours, it was the craziest night of fishing I've ever had in my life. I had to drop to one pole because at one point I was pulling them out as fast as crappie in a school. We lost WAY more than we caught and I'm pretty sure we had at least 30-40 fish to the boats easily. We only stopped because we ran out of bait (ok and the tidal flow got a little crazy.) I'm afraid it ruined me because I have visions of it happening again, I've never EVER seen catfishing like that. I'm hoping we can find something similar on or around Mattawoman.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Saint Leonard, MD
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    Snakeheads are pretty much gone from all the bowfishermen in the area. you might be able to get one if you look hard enough. water clarity has been a big issue in the area from the high winds and occasional rain. im told there is a significant amount of debris in the water in the big river.
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