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Shallow Water Fishing Adventures

Where the Adventure Begins


The best smallmouth bass fishing in the state of Maryland and Pennsylvania

Fish for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass and Channel catfish

Just north of Washington DC the Potomac River takes you back to another time. Historic, wild and beautiful there's no outdoor experience like it. Come fish the upper Potomac River and Susquehanna River today.

Success in the grass on the upper Potomac!!

  Backyard Custom Rods and Repairs is a small business based in Walkersville, Md run by Steve Fogle. Steve hand crafts rods to your own personality and fishing needs and in the process creates a workable piece of art in each rod. Steve built a rod for me that has the backbone and hook setting power I desired and put the personal touches on it that make it truly a keepsake. So next time you need a rod instead of going to a chain sporting goods store or ordering one from a gigantic outdoor retailer why not give Steve a call and see if he can make a custom rod to your specifications.
  Steve got his start building 7' fiberglass rods for flounder and now builds everything from 5' buggy whips to stand-up tuna rods. He has been fishing the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland for approximately 15 years and mainly targets stripers (Rock) but he likes fishing for anything that bites. He has built rods for charter boat Captains as well as novice fisherman and has built custom rods for various occasions such as birthdays, wedding gifts and Christmas presents and have even built one for a groom to present to his bride-to-be right before they got married.
  Steve really takes pride in the rods that he builds and says there is nothing like seeing the expressions on the guys and gals faces that receive them.
  When Steve discuss a custom rod with a customer, he wants to know what fish they intend to target and then he can recommend the best rod for that use. If you decide to have that "special" custom rod built or if you need repairs on rods, including rebuilding from the butt to the tip contact Steve to see a real craftsman at work.
Contact Info:
Backyard Custom Rods and Repairs.
Contact Steve Fogle at (301) 898-1136 or Cell (240) 486-0007

How in the heck do I get these treble hooks out!!!

By Jeff Greene
If you fish the upper Potomac River for any length of time during the summer you will see thick grass cover the river like a blanket in the later part of the summer. You will see a lot of people not fish that same grass. If you don’t fish those grassy areas you’re missing out. Some of the biggest smallmouth bass and largemouth bass I have ever seen on the river in the summer months have been caught in and around the grass. Here are a few tips on how to be successful during the grassy summer months. First tip is to fish topwater early in the morning and late in the evening around the grass alongside the grass and in the large and small open areas of the grass in the middle of the river. I like to use buzzbaits and poppers for this type of fishing. The next tip is fish spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits on the edges of the grass. Fish these two baits just fast enough that you can see them below the surface of the water. If your using the spinnerbait make sure you have a trailer hook on it. The trailer hook helps with smallmouth short striking the lure. Smallmouths tend to swipe at your spinnerbait before they actually take the bait aggressively. If you are using the chatterbait, use a trailer bait that’s 4inches or smaller. The last tip I have for you is whacky rigging your stick baits. I think this style of fishing is awesome around the grass when it’s very heavy. This style of rigging tends to be very weedless and has very good movement when falling in and around the grass. I will fish stick baits 2.75 inches to 4 inches in size when using this rigging. If you’re interested in fishing the Potomac River contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures fishing guide service (301)820-5378, and


Shallow Water Fishing Adventures Fishing Trip Edwards Ferry Md. Upper Potomac River/ 7/17/2015

The historic Potomac River and Susquehanna River, wild and beautiful. Go fishing with Shallow Water Fishing Adventures today

By Jeff Greene

A lot of fisherman overlook the importance of a sharp treble hook. A sharp treble hook can be the difference between landing or losing that trophy smallmouth or largemouth bass. Your treble hooks should be checked regularly for their sharpness and shape. If you find a dull or bent hook when you check your lure, then you need to replace that treble hook. Doing this small tune-up to a lure can make a huge difference. Never have that trophy fish be the one that got away.     
Fish with Shallow Water Fishing Adventures. You can contact Jeff about booking trips at 301-820-5378.

Treble Hooks

By Jeff Greene

Fishing pliers are one of those tools people forget about when they are getting ready for a fishing trip or a fun day at the local lake. I believe that pliers are one of the most important tools in a fisherman's tackle box. Pliers help with a number of jobs when fishing. They cut line, hold fish, help fix tackle on the water, help pull hooks from mouths of fish, keep you from getting hooked by treble hooks, they can cut bait depending on the pair you have, bend hooks back and the list just keeps on going. I believe when you do purchase a pair of pliers to fish with you should purchase the most expensive pair you can afford. A great starting point for determining a good set of pliers is a price point of around $50. I believe that titanium pliers are the best on the market. They don't rust. The next time you open your tackle box while fishing and see that old rusted pair of pliers remember this little article about how important they are and go out and purchase a nice set of pliers you will not regret it.       

Fishing line? Monofilament, Fluorocarbon and Braid oh my!!!

By Jeff Greene
So a lot of fishermen ask what’s with all of these types of fishing line and how do I use them? This is a pretty easy concept to understand once it’s explained to you in a non-scientific way. When you fish with me you will notice I use braided line on all my reels with a short leader line tied to the end of it. Then that leader line is tied to your bait. To join the braided line to the leader line I like to use a Uni-knot. Depending on the kind of leader line (monofilament/ fluorocarbon) I will use a different knot to the lure. Almost all my fishing is done with fluorocarbon line because it’s invisible underwater and it sinks (4#-10# line). However there is a certain situation when I like to use monofilament (10# line). That’s when I am using topwater lures. Since braided line has absolutely no stretch I think monofilament line compliments the braided line nicely when used with topwater lures. The monofilament allows the fish to load up on the lure a little bit more and helps avoid ripping that topwater lure out of their mouth. Monofilament floats which helps your topwater lure float and gives it better action in the water. When tying your knots use this rule, fluorocarbon line needs a Palomar knot and monofilament needs a Cinch knot.If you’re interested in fishing the Potomac River contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures fishing guide service (301)820-5378, and

By Jeff Greene

I think we can all agree that treble hooks can be very dangerous when fishing with them. RIGHT!!! Here are a few tips on how not to hook yourself and others you may be fishing with while on the water. The first way to avoid any unwanted hook ups with friends family or yourself is pay attention to what you are doing. I think a lot of people get excited while fishing and get to comfortable with there position on the shore or in a boat that they loose there overall awareness of what they are doing. Another great way to avoid getting hooked is where a hat and sunglasses as much as you can while fishing. Hats keep your head from getting hooked and sunglasses keep hooks away from your eyes. One of the most risky situations you can put yourself in with treble hooks is when you hook a fish and then land that fish with treble hooks. Once you start handling that fish with the hooks in its mouth, grab that fish in a safe manner tight. Take control of that fish and use pliers, always use pliers. I can't stress that enough. Once you start pulling the hooks out of the fishes mouth you want to start with the top treble hook. Once you get that top treble hook out, work your way down. Never pull the bottom treble hook out first. This treble hook is the one that always seems to find your hand or clothing. If you follow these simple tips the next time your out on the water fishing you will find treble hooks aren't so bad and fishing with them isn't so dangerous.       



 By Jeff Greene


​Are pliers Important? Or should I just buy the cheapest ones I can find?

What the heck!!! My fishing line keeps breaking when I set the hook.

By Jeff Greene
Out of the three main types of fishing line most used when fishing for bass I think fluorocarbon fishing line can be the most frustrating. However, it’s a must when fishing very clear water. Fluorocarbon line is invisible under water and fish can become line shy. It is very dense (it will sink) with very little stretch. But, you can’t just tie any knot when it comes to fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon has a tendency to cut into itself when it is stressed from setting the hook on a fish and fighting a fish. When it cuts into itself it will cause you to lose that trophy fish and your favorite lure. This line breaking situation seems like it happens right at the boat, just before you go to net that big fish. I think smallmouth bass are the worst offenders of this because of how much they like to violently head shake while hooked. Here are some tips on how to keep your fluorocarbon tied to your lure the next time you’re on the water. The first tip is to only tie certain knots. The best 2 knots I have found are the Palomar knot and a popular knot used in the Florida Keys called a Shark knot. You should always remember to wet the line before you tighten it down on your lure. The last thing you should always remember is to not over tighten the knot when you cinch it down, just firmly pull on the knot. People don’t realize how hard they are actually are pulling. Over tightening the line will cause line burn which will cause your knot to fail in a stressed situation every time. So the next time you’re on the water try one of these knots out for yourself and see how much more success the right knot with the right line will bring you. If you’re interested in fishing the Potomac River contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures fishing guide service (301)820-5378, and


Boat Safety 

Fishing Reels and the line used to catch smallmouth bass

By Jeff Greene

There are so many types of fishing reels and fishing lines on the market, what's the answer? The easy answer is just use a 1000 or 2000 series reel with braided line and either a fluorocarbon leader or a monofilament leader. The braided line you use should be under 20#. The fluorocarbon and monofilament leaders should be no heavier than 10#. Fluorocarbon sinks and monofilament floats. The leader line should be tied to the braided line with a uni knot .(

Remember to always check your line after catching 3 or 4 fish. Smallmouth bass are very hard on your leaders and cause cuts and abrasions that you will not see unless you check. Doing this will keep your leader from breaking when you hook up with a smallmouth. We all know that when your leader does break its always that trophy smallmouth that gets away. 

My last thoughts when it comes to line/ leaders is always use the lightest line you can get away with. Smallmouth bass can be very spooky and can see your line if you do not use the correct line for the correct situation. Fluorocarbon is 100% invisible under water. Monofilament is best used for top water situations. The clearer the water the lighter the leader should be.  

Fish with Shallow Water Fishing Adventures. You can contact Jeff about booking trips at 301-820-5378.



By Jeff Greene

So what does a fisherman do when winter arrives on the Upper Potomac River and the water just seems to cold to fish? Well the answer to that is winterize your boat and call it quits until the following spring. WRONG! The water is just to cold way of thinking is not accurate and here's why. 

A lot of people believe that smallmouth and largemouth bass go dormant in the colder months of the year. If you have ever caught a smallmouth or largemouth bass in cold water on the Upper Potomac River you know that its usually a larger than average sized fish. It can sometimes even be a personal best. These larger fish need energy to survive. The way they create that energy is by eating and they can eat a lot in the winter months. I have learned over the years that certain lures used during this time of the year will induce strikes from these lethargic and slow moving fish. One of the most over looked lures today for this type of fishing is the old standby, the hair jig. The hair jig is a special bait that just becomes irresistible in cold water when the bass are feeding. This bait gives its self life because of how it sits on the bottom of the river and pulsates from the hairs that are tied to it. Hair jigs are made from many different types of animal and synthetic hairs. One company that takes hand tying hair jigs to the next level is Andy's Custom Bass Lures. These are the finest made hair jigs on the market. He makes hair jigs for smallmouth and largemouth bass. They come in a lot of different colors and sizes with quality hooks. He even makes them with built in rattles for stained water. My personal favorite colored hair jig is black. I like the bear hair, fox hair, synthetic hair and the Coyote Ugly Jigs. The Coyote Ugly Jig is a special little jig. This jig is made from a combination of coyote fur, red fox fur, buck tail and a silicone skirt tail. I think this combination on the Upper Potomac River is deadly. These jigs are best fished in slow moving water/ pools of water (Eddies) on the Upper Potomac River in the winter time. These baits should be fished very slow or left motionless at the bottom of the river. When I say motionless I mean up to a full minute at times. The bite is a hard thing to describe when it comes to winter time bass. I guess the best way I can explain it is, you feel resistance at the end of your line, like you are stuck on the bottom but your not sure. That's why in the winter when you feel any type of resistance on the end of your line you should set the hook. If you have not ever tried winter time smallmouth or largemouth bass fishing on the Upper Potomac River you should go to and buy some of his jigs and see for yourself. What an awesome hair jig for the cold water in the winter months of the year on the wild, historic and beautiful Upper Potomac River.

Getting tangled in the grass without the goat?

By Jeff Greene
For as long as I can remember I have battled grass mats on the upper Potomac River with my trolling motor. Even with the toughest trolling motors on the market, like a Minn Kota Fortrex 24 volt 80 lbs thrust, grass will get wrapped up and tangled on the motor causing you to go nowhere. The grass causes your motor to work harder which wears your batteries down and puts unneeded wear and tear on your motor. The only solution I have found for this problem is the Grass Goat. This piece of equipment is a game changer in the world of bass fishing. The installation is easy and can be done in minutes. If you want to cut through the grass with ease and get to where the fish are and leave the rest of the pack behind get the Grass Goat. If you want to learn more about the Grass Goat you can review this product on YouTube. Shallow Water Fishing Adventures (301-820-5378) has been using this product this season with great results. If you’re interested in this awesome upgrade contact Propeller Dynamics and Trolling Motor Repair in Chester Virginia (804)-706-1847.


By Jeff Greene

From my very first client this year until now, I have been using Gamma Fishing Line with all of my rods and reels. I have found that this line is stronger, tougher, easy to work with and much more reliable than everything else I have tried in the past. I get better action with all types of baits. My topwater baits with there Copolymer Mono line are a lot stronger and reliable at the knot. My spinnerbaits fish better do to the fact that the abrasion resistance of this line is excellent. I have better sensitivity with this line as well. I use a lot of senko type baits in the summer and with the fluorocarbon line as a leader on the braided Gamma line I get an extremely better feel for the smallmouth bass I chase. Please go to to experience this line for yourself its amazing. You can call them at 814-676-3474 or 1-800-437-2971.     

Founded in 1988, the Potomac River Smallmouth Club is Washington D.C. area’s leading river fishing and conservation organization. We promote catch and release angling for smallmouth bass, support conservation organizations and agencies, publish a monthly newsletter, present monthly programs with guest speakers, and organize frequent river trips for our members. While we are principally focused on smallmouth bass fishing in the Potomac River watershed, we also sponsor trips to other destinations such as the Shenandoah, James, New, Cacapon and Susquehanna.
PRSC was founded in 1988 as a non-profit recreational club in accordance with IRS section 501(c)(7). While concentrating our efforts on the improvement of smallmouth bass fishing in the region’s rivers, PRSC supports the preservation of fish habitat and the wise management of all river gamefish species. The Club also emphasizes knowledge of safe boating and wading skills as central to an enjoyable river experience. PRSC participates in various community sporting activities including:
Safe use of canoes, kayaks and other river watercraft
River cleanup
Advocacy for environmental issues affecting water quality, aquatic habitat and fisheries management
Annual fishing contest
Recreational and educational events for young people, veterans and other groups
Equipment demonstrations and new product evaluation
PRSC also works closely with state and federal agencies, other membership organizations and various businesses on matters of common interest.
The club meets the last Wednesday of every month except December when there is no meeting. Meetings are typically at 7:30 at the McLean Governmental Center, however check the Club Calendar for different times and locations depending on activities.

Potomac River Smallmouth Club

By Jeff Greene

On April 26th 2017 I had the honor to speak to the Potomac River Smallmouth Club. I spoke to them about the upper Potomac River and smallmouth bass. I cant say enough about how well they treated me and how interested they were in what I was saying. I hope in the future I am invited back to speak with them. I also hope in the future I will have the opportunity to speak with other clubs in the DC area. Please contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures if you are interested in Shallow water Fishing Adventures conducting a seminar for your group or club. 

By Jeff Greene

The SMALLMOUTH BASS or Micropterus dolomieu, is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family. It is a popular game fish chased by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America. Its common names on the upper Potomac River include smallmouth, bronzeback and smallie. The smallmouth is generally brown/gold with dark brown vertical bands. The average size of smallmouth can differ. This depends on where they are found. Their habitat plays a significant role in their color, weight, and shape. They are generally found in clearer water than the largemouth Bass. They like creeks, rivers and lakes. Smallmouth prefer cooler water temperatures than their cousin the largemouth. Because smallmouth do not tolerate pollution, they serve as a natural indicator for the health of their freshwater environment.
   If the above information isn’t interesting enough, did you know it takes smallmouth 6 years to grow 12 inches? I think that’s amazing! Just think of the smallmouth you catch that are 18 inches and bigger. Imagine how old one of those monsters are. They are at least 10 years old maybe older. That’s incredible considering the conditions in which they have to survive season to season. I think these fish are some of the strongest and wildest fish you can catch on a rod and reel. 


BASS JIGS do they have a place when catching smallmouth bass?

By Jeff Greene

Tools for your jet boat on the Potomac River. This is something that most people find very overwhelming to decide on. I believe in this situation less is more. Over the years the tool box for my boat has gotten smaller and smaller. I don't even think you should keep a set of tools on your boat. I think keeping them in your vehicle at the boat ramp is good enough. I think a lot of issues you have with your boat can be fixed on the water with a good set of pliers (the ones you fish with) and a good multi-tool screwdriver (takes up very little space on the boat) until you get back to the boat ramp. The last item I think every person should have with them who operates a jet boat is a tube of marine grease for the impeller. You should grease your impeller after every use. The type of grease may vary between the brand of outboard jets used. You should leave this in your vehicle until you get back to the boat ramp. For me less is always more. I try to maximize as much space as I can. Most jet boats aren't known for there storage options. This is why I always try to take as little with me as possible. The next time your on the water try taking just what you need. You will find that what you thought you needed is still to much. If you would like to experience fishing on the Potomac River contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures. SWFA is a full service fishing guide operation (301-820-5378). BE GUIDED BY THE BEST!

By Jeff Greene
A lot of people think that when it comes to smallmouth bass you need smaller baits than you do for largemouth bass. In a lot of cases that's true. However, during certain times of the year bigger baits are better. In the colder months of the year you should start fishing bigger baits. Those months would be winter, spring and fall. Big smallmouth bass need energy to stay healthy and active. During the colder months food can become hard to come by, that's one reason they grab larger meals in the winter. Bigger bait fish and bigger aquatic creatures (crayfish) have to eat more so that makes them easy meals. One of the best smallmouth bass lures out there for cold water is a rubber skirted bass jig. These lures catch big smallmouth. The color of the jig should be black/ blue, black/ green or just straight black. I would fish a bass jig in the weight range of 1/4 oz to 3/8 oz. You should use a trailer with that jig. The trailer of choice would be a black colored pork trailer. The pork trailer should be 2 inches or a little bigger. You should fish this jig and trailer (jig and pig) with 15# braided line with 10# fluorocarbon leader. You can use either a 2000 or 2500 series spinning reel or a baitcaster to get the job done. If you are using a spinning reel I would use a medium heavy rod and for the baitcaster I would use a heavy flipping rod. Fish this lure slow and be patient. You will know when a smallmouth hits that jig. Smallmouth tend to hit crayfish very hard and they make no exceptions for anything that imitates one either. So hold on to your rod and hook up with some monster smallmouth the next time your fishing cold water. 

The historic Potomac River and Susquehanna River, wild and beautiful. Go fishing with Shallow Water Fishing Adventures today.

We also offer trips on the Susquehanna River!!!

One of the best ways to anchor yourself on the Potomac River is by using Power Poles. Over the winter I had a Power Pole installed on my jet boat. This piece of equipment has made me a better fisherman when placement of your boat is a factor. I have found while drifting on the Potomac River I am able to stop immediately once I'm on fish. It's a lot easier now to sneak up on fish, because of how quiet this shallow water anchor is when deployed. Unlike throwing an anchor into the water like most people do. You can change how fast or slow you deploy the Power Pole. It is very programmable and simple to use. When the Power Pole is installed on your boat I suggest you have a battery switch installed. This will shut off all power to the Power Pole. This helps with accidental deployment when trailering your boat. I also suggest that you purchase a travel cover for your Power Pole. You can see in the pictures below what the cover looks like. If your looking for a great way to become a better fisherman, you should purchase a Power Pole for your boat.  If you would like to experience fishing on the Potomac River contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures. SWFA is a full service fishing guide operation (301-820-5378). BE GUIDED BY THE BEST!

Why Can’t I catch fish on topwater lures?

By Jeff Greene
Fishing topwater lures is probably one of the best ways to fish. Topwater lures can also be very hard to fish if not done at the right time and done with the right technique. The topwater bite tends to be very good in the summer months with warmer water into the fall when the water starts to cool down. On the upper Potomac River this technique catches the biggest bass in the river (PERIOD!!!). Here are a few things to keep in mind when fishing topwater baits on the upper Potomac River. First rule fish these baits in the early morning and late evening for best results. The second rule is always make sure the water has good clarity to it. The third rule and probably the most important is lure cadence. On the upper Potomac River smallmouth and largemouth bass like lures presented to them in a certain retrieve/ cadence. Once you find out the third rule make sure you are holding on to your fishing pole and that you have a good knot tied because the strikes will come hard, violent, and fast. So the next time you go fishing remember these three rules for better success with topwater baits. If you’re interested in fishing the Potomac River contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures fishing guide service (301)820-5378, and

Fishing Articles

Where should I fish? I have never fished this river before.

By Jeff Greene
The Potomac River is over 300 miles long. It starts in Fairfax Stone West Virginia and ends in southern Maryland where it pours into the Chesapeake Bay. The Potomac River has tidal waters and non-tidal waters. The non-tidal freshwater section of the river, where Shallow Water Fishing Adventures guides all year around, starts just above the Seneca Breaks/Seneca Creek or most people know it as Riley’s Lock. This is where a person can start launching boats outfitted with an outboard. From there you can go north as far as Harpers Ferry West Virginia as long as the water is high enough. I would suggest a fisherman to start fishing north at Edwards Ferry. This is a great area in the summer months to catch smallmouth, largemouth and channel catfish. The further north you go the shallower it seems the river gets until Dam #4 in Washington County Maryland. The upper Potomac River has a lot of different species of fish to go after throughout the year. Besides the latter three fish I mentioned you can also fish for Crappie, Muskie, Walleye, Flathead catfish, Carp and very large Bluegill. Here are some baits to start out with when getting to know these waters. Try fishing with stick baits, tube baits, swimbaits, small bass jigs, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and any small topwater bait. All of these baits can be fished with success if you use 10 pound line, 6-6’ to 7’ rod and a 2000 series spinning reel. Shallow Water Fishing Adventures enjoys teaching people how to fish and about the history of this fantastic river. So if you think you would like some pointers on what to do, then contact Shallow Water Fishing Adventures and book a trip today (301)-820-5378.

I went out last Friday with Jeff Greene of Shallow Water Fishing Adventures in the Edward's Ferry section of the Potomac.  Really fun day fishing for smallmouth bass.  I caught seven smallmouth and Jeff caught a dozen or so smallmouth (I also caught two decent redbreast sunfish, but who cares about them since this is a bass forum).  Mostly on 3" Wacky Worms and a couple on white chatterbaits.  My first fish was 12" but nothing bigger after that.  Jeff got one that was maybe 13" or 14", so I didn't feel too bad.  He said the river was kind of high for time this of year, and also really muddy, which was affecting the bite.

Yesterday and today, the girlfriend and I camped up on the Paw Paw section of the Potomac.  I caught 19! smallmouth bass from about 3 p.m. yesterday to 10 a.m. this morning wading.  Of course not fishing that entire time.  [lo]   Lots of luck on 3" and 4" Wacky Worms, and two this morning on the first two casts using a Chub's Hub topwater lure.  Weird thing, all the smallmouth were in the 8-10 inch range.  All of them.  Well, maybe one was pushing 11".  Maybe. 

By Jeff Greene

March is a great month because of the anticipated  warmer days ahead. It is the month when winter becomes spring. Spring officially kicks off March 20, 2017. That being said, get ready to see a lot more boaters and fisherman on the water. Cold water mixed with boating and fishing can bring dangers most people do not think about. The number one danger this time of year is the low temperature of the water. The second danger is the water level due to flooding that happens every spring. These two things can combine to create a recipe for disaster.
   Here are a few things you can do to stay safe this spring while enjoying your boat for pleasure or fishing from your boat for sport. The first thing you should do is make sure your boat is working properly. There is nothing more aggravating about owning a boat than having it not start when you need it to. If you feel this might happen to you, have your local boat shop give your outboard motor a spring service. The second thing you should do is have all safety equipment required by law. If you are not sure about the safety equipment regulations, you can go to your state’s Department of Natural Resource website and view the equipment breakdown for your boats size. Finally bring an extra set of clothing in case you or someone else on your boat falls into the water. The initial shock of falling into extremely cold water can diminish all motor skills a person has. Remember this spring when you’re out on the water SAFETY is always first. As long as you stay safe you will have a great day.