Monday, November 19, 2012

Occoquan River

It's Thanksgiving week, and my sister-in-law is visiting.  Now that my wife has help with watching the boys, she suggested that I take a fishing trip.  Isn't she great?  I considered going back to Kiptopeke for some togs, but I don't want to make that drive again so soon after the last trip.  I also wanted a relatively short trip, so that I could still spend some time at home with my family.  So in the end I opted to try the Occoquan river for some crappie.

The kayak launch at Occoquan Regional Park
Don't forget to pay the launch fee.  I got a ticket last time because I put my deposit in the wrong box.

I took my time getting out of the house, so I arrived at the launch around 9:30AM and launched at 10.  The water was calm, but there was a slight breeze that made it chilly and hard to stay in place for most of the morning. 

I think this is the lightest I've ever packed on a kayak.

The focus today was strictly to catch crappie.  I wasn't going to even try to catch anything else, so I only took my ultralight fishing outfit with me with two tackle containers for grubs and jig heads.  Today was also my Tarpon 100's maiden voyage.  It's a fun little boat.  Very maneuverable, very stable, and it has decent speed.  At one point I caught my paddle in a crack on a floating dock which put me in a weird position that rocked me pretty hard in the boat.  Maybe its wide hull makes it super stable.  Oh, because it's a bit wider than my Prowler 13, I did have to adjust my grip on my paddle a bit to get good strokes. 

My go-to perch rig.  I figured it would work for crappie as well.

For the next 4 hours, I fished all sorts of fishy places hard.  Shorelines with submerged trees, floating docks, piers, and bridge pilings.  I used 1/16 and 1/32 oz jig heads with small grubs that I typically use for white perch.  I figured crappie in the Occoquan probably have similar habits as summertime perch in the Severn.  Many times I got small nibbles, which I suspect were smaller crappie or maybe bluegills.  I managed to catch one crappie at 5 or 6 inches, and a largemouth bass at 7 or 8 inches.  Not much pullage, but it was good to see that the fish were there.  I'm planning to go again later this week with another kayaker - hopefully we'll have better luck then.

The fish that saved me from a skunk.
All the various jigs that I tried today.  The darker ones seemed to get more nibbles than the lighter ones.

1 comment:

  1. At least you avoided the skunk :) I was looking at some of those exact same lures to do some crappie fishing with. Hopefully your next trip will prove to me that they do work :P