Fishing will be difficult and dangerous in the upper watershed, with high, fast, muddy water the norm. There were some catches of trout reported in parts of the North Fork Shenandoah and trout management areas along the Savage and North Brach Potomac. Smaller creeks should clear out earlier than the larger rivers.
Boating on the upper Potomac should be avoided, and bank fishermen are reporting some catches despite the opaque water. Fishing from the bank is a safer option, and in perhaps the only silver lining to the rain, water temperatures have cooled a few degrees.
In the District, anglers are taking some large catfish at Fletcher’s Boat House. Bridge pilings and other structure are giving up some largemouth bass and catfish. The Washington channel seawall has reports of bass, catfish, and some striped bass.
Grass beds in the tidal Potomac are greatly reduced due to poor growing conditions, but the beds are still a good place to find fish. The muddy conditions and reduced temperatures will require anglers to get baits as close to fish as possible. Morning low tides are a good time to probe the beds while targeting docks and other structure at higher tides. Some good bass have been taken at the Mattawoman Creek Lilly pads. Headwaters of tidal creeks should clear out a bit late in the weekend.
Aqualand Marina near Morgantown, Md. Is reporting catches of some croaker, small white perch, blue catfish and stripers. The water is quite murky from local rains.
Near the river’s mouth, anglers are chumming and live lining for stripers on the steep channel edges near St. George’s Creek and Tall Timbers. Small bluefish are coming into the area, delayed by the lower salinity. Crabbing is fair.
While it would be wise to avoid boating in the upper river, those who do should wear a life jacket and file a float plan of your whereabouts with friends or family. Use extreme caution boating the tidal river, which has a high level of large debris carried down from upriver and local creeks.
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.