Fishing the Fresh Tidal Mattawoman


Dan, Jim and I went fishing on the Mattawoman, a tributary of the Potomac River, in Charles County. We launched from Slavin’s in Indian Head, and fished upstream of the boat launch.


We fished from noon till 4:00 PM. Noon was high tide and most of our fishing was on the falling tide.  Water temperature ran from 56 to 60-degrees and the afternoon high got up to 61-degrees.

Dan caught this largemouth bass, his first of the year, on a white spinnerbait, pitching to woody debris on the bank.


I caught this largemouth bass, my first of the year, using a weighted Berkley Havoc, black-colored plastic worm.


A bass tournament was running out of Smallwood and we did speak to one person who was not fishing the tournament, but caught several nice bass.  He told us that he used a small orange/yellow rattletrap, which was his high confidence go-to lure that caught him all of his fish in the morning.  It was our understanding that most other fishermen were having a tough day due to high winds and turbid water.

I saw dappled colors in the woods along the bank, and had to hop off the boat to investigate.


I saw several dozen cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) as shown in the photo above. The forest floor was lit-up with literally thousands of spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), with spicebush in bloom in the shrub layer.


Mixed in with the white/pink stripes of spring beauty and the purple hues of the toothwort were several delicate bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).  May apple were breaking ground and unfurling all around me.


Serviceberry shrub (Amelanchier canadensis) were beginning to bloom along the stream edges.


Back at the lawn areas of the boat launch we documented ruderals such as speedwell, bittercress, dandelion, deadnettle and lesser celandine. The grounds had large patches of small violets, either the alien Johnny jump-up’s (Viola rafinesquii) or the native field pansy (Viola bicolor) as shown in the photo above.

We saw wood duck, mallard, heron, osprey, bald eagle, kingfisher, swallows and beaver.  We were all kissed by the unexpected strength of the sun (more likely windburn) and it was a beautiful day on the water.  Thank you Dan and Jim.

Now to order a new Yamaha prop from Amazon.  Don’t ask, other than to say that I chopped some underwater logs, while getting into some thin water.