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Fishing Report

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Potomac River Fishing Report – June 21, 2019

Trout continue to bite in the western streams, mountain streams of the Shenandoah, and the North Branch and Savage. Lots of terrestrial hatches are occurring, so match the hatch!

The Shenandoah mainstem and North Fork are running well and fairly clear, and are giving up some nice smallmouth bass, catfish, and sunfish.

The upper Potomac remains stained in some areas, but is generally running and fishing well. The smallmouth bass fishing seems slow in some areas. Walleye and some musky are taking up the slack around Dam 4. Catfish seem to be everywhere. Smallmouth bass fishing is slow at Lander and Brunswick, but with good numbers of catfish. Fish are setting in to their summer pattern. Bass will be feeding close to shore during low light, and moving o deeper areas with shadow during the day.

In the District of Columbia, the Fletcher’s Boat House area is giving up lots of catfish. Bridge pilings and wood structure are holding fish as well as the emerging grass beds. The Washington Channel and War College grass beds remain popular spots to hook up with smallmouth bass and the occasional striper.

Downstream, anglers are focusing on some main river grass beds and wood structure. Dock pilings and other obstructions are holding fish, which move to shallows as tide ebbs and the sun goes down.

Although largemouth bass remains the target of choice, many anglers are going after the healthy populations of snakeheads and blue catfish. Judging by the anecdotal reports on social media, anglers are taking large numbers of both fish. Additionally, both species also have commercial fisheries, and population numbers seem to be holding up in the face of this increased pressure. Snakeheads ae prevalent in the grass beds and in shallow water at the heads of tidal creeks, with many anglers using kayaks to get to the fish in these difficult areas.

Near the Route 301 Bridge, anglers are trolling, chumming, and jigging for striped bass. Chum slicks also bring blue catfish. The area continues to see very low salinity, average clarity, and a larger than normal dead zone of low oxygen is predicted.

Near the river’s mouth, anglers are jigging, chumming and trolling for striped bass on the  channel edges from Piney Point to St. Georges Island, with blue catfish in the mix. Shallow water fishing has yet to pick up. And anglers continue to wait for the arrival of croaker and spot. White perch are everywhere, and crabbing continues to be pretty good.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, Steve Chaconas/National Bass Guides, Mike Dudash/Eagle Aquatics, River and Trail Outfitters, Aqualand Marina, and White’s Ferry.

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Potomac River Fishing Report – June 17, 2019

Trout are available in managed areas and down the North Branch. Shenandoah trout streams are doing well with several hatches going.

The upper Potomac is still stained on some areas from recent rains, but is clearing. Smallmouth bass and sunfish will be at the bank in the morning and evening, and moving to deeper ledges and rock gardens when the sun is up. Some nice musky have been taken near Dam 5. Catfish are available at most areas. The Lander and The North Fork and mainstem Shenandoah are fishing nicely for smallmouth bass and catfish.

In the District of Columbia, the Fletcher’s Boat House area is giving up a few striped bass and lots of catfish. In the tidal river, grass beds are few and far between, so bridge pilings, docks and other structure are holding fish. Some hydrilla and coontail are emerging.

Downstream, some main channel grass beds are emerging, and the tidal creeks on both sides of the river hold some nice largemouth bass and lots of snakeheads. Blue catfish are on the edges of the main river channels.

Striped bass action is picking up near the Route 301 Bridge, with anglers trolling and chumming the channel edges.

Near the river’s mouth, anglers are jigging, chumming and trolling for striped bass on the channel edges channel edges from Piney Point to St. Georges Island. Many blue catfish can be. Shallow water fishing has yet to pick up.. White perch are everywhere, and crabbing continues to be pretty good.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, National Bass Guides, River and Trail Outfitters, Aqualand Marina, and White’s Ferry.

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Potomac Fishing Report, June 7, 2019

Children with fishing rods lined up along the side of a canal. Trout anglers are doing well in the managed areas. Some nice trout are being taken in a segment of the North Branch Potomac. Sulphurs and caddisflies are hatching in those areas, and streamers are working as well.

Many areas of the upper Potomac remain near bank full and are carrying some stain. Smallmouth bass and sunfish will be nearer the bank in the morning and evening, and moving to deeper ledges and rock gardens when the sun is up. The area between Lander and Brunswick is giving up some nice smallmouth bass, walleye, and the occasional musky. The North Fork and mainstem Shenandoah is fishing nicely for smallmouth bass.

In the District of Columbia, grass beds are beginning to emerge, although the fisherman’s friend, Eurasian milfoil, is yet to establish. Grass beds at the War College are giving up some largemouth bass and the occasional striped bass. Area fridge pilings, docks, and wood structure are giving up a lot of catfish and some largemouth bass. Bass are being found in the Blue Plains outfall.

The mainstem Potomac downstream of Washington lacks its summer grass beds, but the tidal creeks on both sides of the river have lily pads and grasses that are holding fish. Morning low tides will compress the beds, and fish can be teased out by getting plastics to the edges. Fish can also be found in structure near the beds. Monster blue catfish can be found in the channel around Fort Washington, but can be taken in shallows in many places along the river. Leesylvania State Park is another good spot to start from.

Downstream, anglers are jigging, chumming and trolling for striped bass on the channel edges near the Harry Nice Bridge, as well as some croaker. The same scenario is occurring at channel edges from Piney Point to St. Georges Island. Many blue catfish can be taken from the unusually fresh (not salty) waters. Shallow water fishing has yet to pick up, so the focus is on trolling and chumming from boats. White perch are everywhere, and crabbing continues to be pretty good.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, National Bass Guides, River and Trail Outfitters, Aqualand Marina, and White’s Ferry.

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Potomac River Fishing Report, 5/31/2019

Trout fishing remains good in the catch and release area of the North Branch Potomac. Shenandoah valley trout streams are reported in good shape as well. The region is experiencing some heavy hatches of mayflies and Sulphur stoneflies.

Upper Potomac River levels are stable and the smallmouth bass are biting. Early morning and evening fishing has been productive for topwater fishing. During the day, fish the deeper current breaks and ledges protected by shade. Good catches have been reported in the Lander and Brunswick areas.

The metropolitan Potomac is fishing well. The lack of grass beds has anglers focusing on structure, such as bridge pilings, docks, and submerged wood. Good catches of largemouth bass and channel catfish are reported, along with a few striped bass. The Virginia embayments downstream of Washington are holding some large snakeheads, some of which are busy guarding their young and attacking perceived threats (lures). Lilly pads and other vegetation in Mattawoman Creek are holding bass.

Near the Route 301 Bridge, anglers are trolling for striped bass in the channel edge.

Near the river’s mouth, anglers are targeting the channel edges from Piney Point to St. Georges Island and the river’s mouth. Most anglers are chumming or trolling with bucktails and spoons. Shallows fishing has not picked up, and anglers are awaiting the arrival of croaker for the season. Blue catfish are a common catch in the area, probably helped by the continued low salinity. Crabbing is very good.

Follow #PotomacFishingReport on major social media platforms to get your weekly update.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, National Bass Guides, River and Trail Outfitters, Aqualand Marina, and White’s Ferry.

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Potomac River Fishing Report – July 13, 2018

Rivers in the upper basin are in very good shape. The North Branch Potomac and Savage rivers are giving up nice trout in the management areas. Anglers are using streamers and some terrestrial flies. The mountain trout streams are in good shape as well.

The summer pattern is now in effect. The Shenandoah River is giving up some nice smallmouth bass and catfish. In the upper Potomac, bass are in the deeper holes and ledges. Anglers are catching bass from the shore in early morning on buzzbaits. Fish the deep, shady holes during the day. Lander and Brunswick are the source of some nice smallmouth bass reports.

In the metro area, anglers are reporting bass around Chain Bridge. In the District, bridge pilings and sunken structure are giving up largemouth bass and catfish. More bass are being taken off the Washington channel sea wall and grass beds. Lots of catfish are being found at the Wilson Bridge and Blue Plains.

The tidal river is productive at the main channel grass beds, where anglers are using jigs and hollow frog baits to great effect. The extensive beds of water milfoil in Piscataway Bay  and Broad Creek are good spots. The Mattawoman Creek grass beds are popular as well. Anglers are targeting large blue catfish in the channel around Fort Washington.

Near the river’s mouth, anglers are targeting striped bass by chumming the channel off of St. George’s and St. Clements islands. Others are jigging for the fish, of which many are on the small size. Anglers also are targeting the rock piles north of Point lookout. Anglers wanting to cast in shallow water need to be there before the sun comes up. As the waters heat into the mid 80s, stripers will move to find cooler water with adequate oxygen. Anglers also are catching spot, croaker, white perch, and blue catfish. Crabbing continues to improve.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, National Bass Guides, River and Trail Outfitters, and White’s Ferry.

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Fishing Report – June 29, 2018

In the western basin, small trout streams are running well with good fly fishing. Trout management areas on the North Branch Potomac and Savage rivers are producing some nice trout. The Shenandoah mainstem is producing some nice smallmouth bass and catfish, according to reports.

The upper Potomac is producing some nice bass, and anglers are doing well in the Harper’s Ferry-Brunswick stretch. The water at White’s Ferry is clearing, and the ferry itself will hopefully cross the river unimpeded for the rest of the summer. Anglers are reporting some good top water action during the day. As water temperatures warm, the fish will seek shaded areas that should be targeted.

In the District, anglers are reporting good catches of largemouth bass and catfish using crankbaits around bridge pilings. The grass beds at the Washington Channel wall are giving up largemouth bass as well. Anglers are having some success off Blue Plains and Fox Ferry Point as well.

Downstream, main channel grass beds will be productive, although the past period of rains and little sun have decreased the beds in some areas. If the weather holds in its current pattern, the beds should come back strongly. The cloudy weather has slowed the usual hydrilla growth somewhat. Anglers are reporting very good largemouth bass fishing as well as catfish, which seem to be in spawning mode. Anglers are reporting good fishing for bass and blue catfish off Fort Washington, and at the grass beds at the mouths of tidal creeks. Spawning cats can also be found patrolling shallow areas. Low tides are in the early morning, a good time to throw crank baits and stick worms to the edges of grass beds. As the tide rises, target wood structure and dock pilings. Anglers have reported some catches of nice largemouth bass and snakeheads in Mallows Bay.

Near the river’s mouth, Anglers are chumming for striped bass on the channel edge around Piney Point, St. Clement’s Island, and St. George’s. White perch and some croaker are being caught. Crabbing is slowly improving.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, National Bass Guides, River and Trail Outfitters, and White’s Ferry.

July 4 is a Maryland Free Fishing Day!

You can now check out fishing tackle at libraries in some Maryland Counties

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Fishing Report

Few angling reports have come from the upper Potomac, its North and South branches, and the Shenandoah. All of these streams continue to run very high and muddy. Some anglers are reporting some smallmouth bass and catfish on the Shenandoah, although the river level near the mouth was again rising strongly.  Freshly stocked trout remain in the North Branch Potomac, and several insect hatches are occurring.

The upper Potomac remains very high and muddy, and the weekend rains may bring more debris into the river. There are some reports of smallmouth bass and catfish catches, but Saturday may be better spent thinking about future river trips rather than actually going.

Conditions on the tidal Potomac improved during the previous week, although the rains will again reduce visibility, which had increased to about two feet. Good growth of Eurasian milfoil beds will be targeted by anglers once conditions improve. The rain and mud seems to have kept the hydrilla from growing quickly. Hydrilla’s dense structure makes it harder to fish. National Bass Guide Service recommends targeting milfoil beds on outgoing tides.

Some fish are being taken at the Washington Channel wall grass beds, and catfish and some largemouth bass can be found around bridge pilings and wood structure. The structure off shore of the Blue Plains treatment plant is holding fish. Further downstream, the grass beds at the mouths of tidal creeks and in the Potomac’s main channel are holding some bass that are finishing their spawning mode. Topwater lures are getting some strikes during low light. The lower Potomac has been less affected, and anglers are taking some nice striped bass at the channel edge from St. George’s Island to Piney Point. Anglers are chumming, trolling, and jigging for the fish. Lots of white perch and few croaker are being caught. Crabbing is slowly improving.

If you are homebound this weekend, check out a new Maryland DNR fishing too, Click Before You Cast. The web page provides a way for anglers to better target specific species based on water quality data.

We are grateful to the many river watchers who contribute to this effort. Particular thanks go to the state departments of natural resources, National Bass Guides, River and Trail Outfitters, and White’s Ferry.