Freshwater Fishing Reports

Freshwater Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, June 14 Update:

The Angler in Chief reports having travelled to western Maryland last weekend and hitting the Savage River, and says he caught one creek chub and had a near miss on a crayfish. And spooked approximately 3,642 brook trout. He reiterates that fly fishing for trout simply isn’t his forte. He did notice, however, that the river was running clear and fairly high for this time of year, and competent fly casters should be able to score right about now. Mossy Creek Fly Fishing reports that brook trout fishing is good in the mountains of Virginia. Their water levels are starting to get thin as it has been a while since a good rain has come through. Fish haven’t been picky and most attractor flies in size 14 and 16 are picking up fish. Beetles will begin emerging and fish will really start to key in on those insects around the end of June and early July. Hoppers are also working well and more are popping up every day. As it gets hot, they recommend targeting the early morning and evening hours or any overcast day for the best trout fishing action.

smallmouth fishing in the river
Billy had a blast catching Potomac River smallies this week. Photo courtesy of Eric Packard.

Contributor Eric Packard reports a good bass bite in local ponds with white Wacky Worms working wonders. Bass will be up shallow this time of year hanging out close to any structure that can give them cover. As we start to see more days approaching 90 degrees, shaded shorelines and coves will be good places to fish as bass will seek out cooler water. Topwater lures including frogs, poppers, and buzzbaits will be great lures to throw in low light hours as bass are usually very active during that time of day. Soft plastic creature baits should work well once the sun gets up. Packard reported finding plenty of smallmouth this week too, on a trip to the upper Potomac. Square-bill plugs, half-ounce jigs with four-inch plastics, and Ned Rigs with a crayfish pattern were all effective.

The snakehead bite has been up and down as the fish start to move into spawning mode. The first fry balls of the year are starting to pop up which will make for more sight fishing opportunities. Snakehead parents will guard their fry and with enough pestering, you can usually get them to strike a lure in defense of their babies. Topwater frogs and soft plastic flukes are great lures to throw in this situation. Down on the Potomac River Captain Mike from Apex Predators guide service is still reporting solid snakehead action and his clients have reeled in some very nice fish this week. Areas with thick vegetation have been productive with Potomac Creek being noted as a hotspot. The rivers and tributaries in the Blackwater zone are seeing a similar pattern with anglers reported mixed results as the fish have love on the brain.

Freshwater Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, June 7 Update:

Sweet summer is right around the corner as we welcome warm weather, longer days, and bass have moved into the shallows after their spawn and are now into their summertime patterns. FishTalk correspondent David Rudow visited a lake in southern Maryland with our reports editor and the two had a spectacular day catching bass up to five pounds. The fish were eager to hit topwater frogs and soft plastic flukes fished throughout the day. A five-inch white Z-Man fluke was the hot bait of the day that caught most of the fish. Green pumpkin colored creature baits also worked but did not get nearly as many bites. The fish were holding tight to sunken wood and overhanging vegetation along shorelines. snakehead fishing has been hit or miss as the fish are getting into the thick of their spawn on both shores of the Bay. Fish can still be caught, but you may run into fish that are just not willing to bite as they have something else on their mind. Nonetheless, major zones like the Potomac River, Patuxent River, Upper Bay tidal rivers, and Blackwater have been productive for those targeting them. Patience and persistence are just required. Topwater frogs are working well in areas with thick vegetation and along shallow marsh shorelines. Get ready to start seeing fry balls pop up which will offer exciting sight fishing opportunities.

smallmouth bass fishing the potomac
Adam found some nice smallies willing to bite in the upper Potomac.

FishTalk Intern Adam Greenberg reports that water levels have finally fallen on the upper Potomac to a reasonable point for wade fishing, and that the action has correspondingly picked up. On a recent three-hour trip he picked up nine smallmouth including a three-pounder, and noticed that crawfish patterns and Ned rigs weren’t activating the fish while a swimbait did get them chewing. Just down river, the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. has been a hotspot to catch a wide range of fish. It is a scenic spot within the confines of the monuments and concreate jungle of the city, but a very productive location to fish. An angler fishing last week had a few exceptional trips catching over a dozen different species while using a small twisty tail jig on a one-eighth ounce jighead. His catches included largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, white perch, yellow perch, white crappie, black crappie, green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish, blue catfish, and gizzard shad. It offers one of the most diverse fisheries in our region right in the heart of our nation’s capital.

Reservoirs are also in good form right now, with bass in a post-spawn fatten-up mode and multiple species hitting strong. On a recent trip to Tridelphia Contributor Eric Packard found a nice mix of fish willing to bite including mostly bass but also pike, crappie, and even a couple freshwater stripers. Most of the fish were in six to 10 feet of water around flooded timber, and they were hitting spinners, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and square-bill crankbaits. He also noted that although some areas had stained water mostly the clarity was good despite the recent rains. We should have a few weeks of prime action before the reservoirs heat up and the fish hunker down for summer, so right now's a prime opportunity to hit these bodies of water throughout our region.

May 3, 2024
Freshwater Fishing Report, May 31 Update: Summer fishing patterns are shaping up as we are less than a month away from the official start. FishTalk intern Adam Greenberg reports water still high and fast but conditions are improving on the Potomac… Read more...
April 5, 2024
Freshwater Fishing Report, April 26 Update: Spring has brought us many fishing opportunities throughout the region that anglers are continuing to enjoy. Despite a cooldown this week, the bite stayed hot in many areas. We had reader reports come in… Read more...
March 1, 2024
Freshwater Fishing Report, March 29 Update: Spring is not off to the fair weather start many of us were hoping for this year. The rain and wind made things tough last weekend, but we heard from a couple hearty anglers who braved the conditions and… Read more...