Boat for Upper Potomac

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Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Jfk1700 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:02 am

Hey Guys,

I know people have discussed this before, but I was hoping to get some input from a few of you who hunt the Upper Potomac regularly.

I currently hunt out of a 10’ fishing kayak and a 17’ canoe. Both have been fairly versatile for the areas that I hunt – but I would really like something that doesn't require shuttling or paddling. I hunt solo quite often.

I like the kayak/canoe option because I can get to the harder to reach areas…however; it is really tough for me to carry all of my gear/decoys comfortably. Not much of an issue in the early season, but this time of year – when the river gets up and the temps go down – it can be a little sketchy.

I have recently been using a 14’ mod v jet boat that has been decent (friend’s boat). I didn’t like the jet outboard for the areas I hunt, but it was fine. It was nice to have out to get to the bigger water – but being solo most of the time – it’s probably more than I need. I have plenty of decoys that I can use…but I generally don’t have enough time to get everything set up by my-self.

For those familiar with the Pennyfield/Violettes/Rileys/Edwards spots…what do you think is the most versatile setup for someone like myself? Don’t know how well it would work, but if there was a way to get a small/light mud motor on a square stern canoe…it might be a good combo. I could get through all of the rocky/shallow areas…but still hunt the bigger water when levels aren't crazy.
Any thoughts?
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby rxcrider » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:04 am

Sorry to hear you do not like the jet option. I used a canoe with a small outboard for years, but have moved over to a 16" jon boat and a jet drive. This past year was a rough one in terms of river grass, but other then that I have been pleased with the set up. During fishing season I have run everything from as far down river as River Bend Park and all the way up to Lander. For duck hunting we spend most of our time between Penny field and Seneca. I have buddy who runs a small 14" jon boat with a surface drive that works pretty well. The one challenge is it does not maneuver very well, so you need to plan ahead when picking your lines through the rocks. Best of luck.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Jfk1700 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:50 am

rxcrider wrote:Sorry to hear you do not like the jet option. I used a canoe with a small outboard for years, but have moved over to a 16" jon boat and a jet drive. This past year was a rough one in terms of river grass, but other then that I have been pleased with the set up. During fishing season I have run everything from as far down river as River Bend Park and all the way up to Lander. For duck hunting we spend most of our time between Penny field and Seneca. I have buddy who runs a small 14" jon boat with a surface drive that works pretty well. The one challenge is it does not maneuver very well, so you need to plan ahead when picking your lines through the rocks. Best of luck.


Yeah, don't hate it...but wouldn't buy one for my own boat based on my experience with it. Boat I have been running is a 25 HP Mercury...just seems to suck up rocks/debris a lot. Could be an issue with something else, but it just seemed way under powered for a 14' Jon (when carrying two people + decoys). Maneuvering between rocks etc. was also a challenge. I am going to use whatever boat I end up deciding on for fishing in the summer as well.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby rxcrider » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:58 am

It takes a little while to get used to a jet, especially when picking up decoys next to a bank or in shallow water. I believe the boat set up is very important as well. Make sure you have the weight distribution set up correctly, so the boat will jump up on plane. I would also keep an eye out on Craigs List as I am sure some guy's will be selling their rigs at the end of the season.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby BigTerp » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:46 am

I run the upper Potomac in the Washington County area, so this might not really apply, but I have a 1648 mod. v with a 1965 Johnson 5 h.p. I know the 5 h.p. seems small but it works REALLY well in the river up this way, which is pretty skinny. I can run full throttle through the shallowist parts and just let the motor bounce off the rocks. It's pretty darn slow going through parts like that, but unless you have a jet, your not getting through those parts with a higher h.p. prop. I want to get something bigger, but can't justify it when I can get 3 guys and a boat full of gear to and from my spots without issues. Now I only go 2-3 miles max from my put in. If it were any farther than that a bigger motor would definitely be worth it. Alot of guys up this way run jets, and they work really well for this part of the Potomac.

I like the 1648 size, but something bigger would certainly be nice. I would think for you a 16' would work well in the smaller areas, but still be big/stable enough to hunt the bigger waters. If you run any skinny and rocky water, I'd stay away from the mud motor. Mud motor + rocks do not work out to well, IMO.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Markd » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:47 pm

If you don't want a jet, you are limited in what is really effective up there. Even with a jet, speed is not your friend in the upper Potomac.

I would recommend this, the motor is junk, but will probably work for a while until you can buy a decent one.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/boa/3521302014.html
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Jfk1700 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:36 pm

Yeah...those Gheenoes are cool. Wish that one had a title! Not overly worried about the speed, I just felt like every time I wanted to start the thing up - the water was really shallow (was scared of sucking stuff up). Maybe I didn't need to be as worried about it - but it doesn't take much to make those things cavitate etc.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Nathan Hoyt » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:49 pm

I usually avoid resurrecting threads, but what about a mud motor? I am looking at a longtail for these local rivers. I originally wanted an outboard until I looked off the bridges around here and saw all the dang rocks. Mud motors bounce of rocks without too much difficulty, especially longtails.

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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Skeet123 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:29 pm

Yes I guess you could. Most people run a jet on the upper potomac because of all the rocks. A regular prop with a guard would be second. In 10 years of hunting and fishing on the potomac I think I have only seen a handful of mud motors. To each their own.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Jfk1700 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:01 am

Nathan Hoyt wrote:I usually avoid resurrecting threads, but what about a mud motor? I am looking at a longtail for these local rivers. I originally wanted an outboard until I looked off the bridges around here and saw all the dang rocks. Mud motors bounce of rocks without too much difficulty, especially longtails.

Nate


Yeah, advantage of a long tail would be having the ability to lift the prop out quickly and easily (guess you can still do that with a regular outboard, but little more difficult). Could also get into some pretty skinny spots in summer.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby BigTerp » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:51 pm

My Dad use to run a mud motor but it was rather ineffective in the really long shallow parts. Constantly having to get the tail up out of water was like taking one step forward and two steps back. This was why I said mud motor + rocks don't work out to well. Now for the occasional shallow spot or a few rocks it should work ok. I agree that a regular prop with rock guard would be second to a jet. My buddy and I are currenlty working on rebuilding a '94 50/35 Johnson jet for my 16 footer. Can't wait to get this thing running up here!!
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Cajun1085 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:16 pm

Seen some guy with a jet have to paddle due to ice in the creek at Pennyfield. I passed them up through the ice with my canoe and 2hp. Im getting a surface drive setup and I will have a rock guard on it when I am on the river.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Jfk1700 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:59 pm

Cajun1085 wrote:Seen some guy with a jet have to paddle due to ice in the creek at Pennyfield. I passed them up through the ice with my canoe and 2hp. Im getting a surface drive setup and I will have a rock guard on it when I am on the river.


Now a surface drive may be up there vs. a conventional prop with rock guard!
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Rudeboy313 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:00 am

I know I am a bit late here. But anyone who hunts & fishes the Potomac West of Point of Rocks to Greenridge have seen be pass your jet boat, pulling grass from your intake or the water just too skinny. A 15' War Eagle with a 21HP Mud Buddy long tail and no rock guard needed they are built for it already. For 10 years now there has not been any place I could not get to no mater how much grass or how low the water. And I know its catching on because I see more more Mud Motor (or Rock Motors) running the Potomac.
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Re: Boat for Upper Potomac

Postby Cajun1085 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:07 pm

I got my boat recently 1646 Gatortail with 25HP GTR surface drive. It works really well for the upper Potomac. I have a rock guard skeg on it that helps, but it runs the shallows really well. I have hit a large rock and all it did was bounce my motor up the way it was designed to do. It hardly left a mark on my skeg. What I like about the boat is you feel the boat "lift up" when you get in shallow water and you gain 2-3 mph.
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