Forget going out this week. Ramps are frozen. Most fishing spots are frozen, and it's still very cold.
Water is around 32 degrees, as cold as it can get! NBC Ch. 4 meteorologist Kim Martucci says, “No more snow! But cold with temperatures just above freezing and into the 40s mid week. Overnight lows in the teens to around freezing. The weekend will warm into the 40s and get near 50.”
Plenty of winter fishing ahead, so get ready. Once water warms to 38, fish will bite again. Winter fish mouths are tough and bites are light. Sharpest hooks are best. Quality hooks on ball head and shaky head jigs are important. Use a sharpening stone or replace them with Mustad Ultra Point round bend trebles. Changing hooks on dulled Lucky Craft Pointer trebles is a good idea. Same with Silver Buddy lures.
Using high quality fishing lines like GAMMA Edge fluorocarbon makes a big difference. These lines allow for better strike detection and hooksets. Thin lines allow for longer casts too. This is key for Pointer suspending jerkbaits in clear water. Fluorocarbon lines also sink and help baits stay on the bottom. Try combining 10-pound GAMMA Torque braid with 6-pound test Edge, a good combo for most techniques, unless it is very cold, as the wet braid will freeze. Line conditioners like Blakemore’s Real Magic help with line management.
New Hanz Tap Knit waterproof gloves keep hands warm and allow for casting. These new gloves will also operate touchscreen phones!
Get a good fishing map from GMCO maps and mark winter areas, deep water close to shallow water in out of the current areas, so you will be ready for the coming thaw!
Capt. Steve Chaconas is a guide on the Potomac River. email@example.com