Potomac Blue Catfish

Steve and I went fishing this morning on the fresh tidal Potomac River launching out of Fort Washington, in Prince George’s County, Maryland.


A blue heron watched from his perch as we motored through the No Wake zone.  We decided to try upstream on Piscataway Creek past where the cove meets the creek, as we know submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) grows in front of the spatterdock and narrow-leaved cattail.  Our thought was to fish hard structure along the stream bank, as well as the grass line to deeper channel water, with it being low tide.


Along the banks we noticed that tall meadow rue was at peak flower, and we saw several aggregates and individual plants in bloom.


We also saw swamp rose in flower, including occasional pink petals flowing with the tide.  Orange trumpet creeper and blue pickerel-weed were also in flower.


The upper Piscataway did not even generate one bite, so we decided to go out on the Potomac River.


Herons opportunistically worked the tidal flat edges that were exposed at low tide, looking for any possible snacks that might be hung-up in SAV.


A breeding pair of osprey with two chicks watch from a (red-right-return) navigation pole, as we made the up-river turn, past Mount Vernon and Fort Washington, then going up toward Broad Creek and Washington Harbor.


We motored up under the I-95 Woodrow Wilson Bridge and began to work the deepest shipping channels of the bridge abutments.  Both Steve and I were using red-eyed shad raps, and Steve landed this nice blue catfish within minutes of arriving.  He thought that he might have been snagged on the bottom, but then his line began to move.  Quite a tussle, and I was his net-man.


We both went on to catch several decent sized blue cats, all as they chased the shad raps.


The DC Fire Department was practicing their water approach pumping near Reagan Airport as we looked up-river into Washington, from the Maryland state line.


A white perch taken with a shad rap from the channel . . .


. . . and then an unexpected, mid-June, 80-degree water, 13-inch black crappie, also on a shad rap.  A nice morning on the water.

The State of Maryland has six cranes working to build the Washington Harbor casino, and they can’t work fast enough to begin their revenue generation.  How about a new boat launch and Marina for recreational fishermen, and other fisheries improvements for the fresh tidal Potomac?

It got up past 90-degrees today and it was humid and overcast.  We got back to the Fort Washington Marina at 2:30 PM, and as we got the boat out of the water, we were able to watch the weigh-in of two fishing clubs, who were tournament fishing for largemouth bass.  Here’s the bottom-line, only a few caught their five fish limit, and the highest scoring winner had five 2 to 3-pound bass, with a total weigh-in weight of 13-pounds.  Most of the other fishermen were able to bring in one, two or three, 2 to 3-pounders.  From what we gather, most all of the fish were taken from SAV grass edges, and primarily using shallow crankbaits, making sure to have some yellow color in them.