In other words, this isn’t an easy fish to take on. When you're heading to a river you've never fished or so much as seen before, the looming prospect of several inches of rain isn't a welcome one. The fishing in this quiet stream is excellent, so anglers will enjoy casting their lines here. VA, MD, and Potomac licenses are valid in portions of the river where the two states share their border. Folks who prefer spinning reels can have some fun too, since you can find numerous other fish, including smallmouth bass, in these waters. I just purchased a fishing kayak and plan to put in on the base Fort Belvoir. Both are great spots for beginners. SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If you want to catch a trophy channel cat you have to toss your bait where its mouth is at. I fish the tidal basin spring summer and fall and it’s a great opportunity to catch multiple species – gar, bass, striper, crappie, perch, snakehead, etc. Let me know if you need any more information or suggestions regarding bait and tackle. The South Branch of the Potomac River is heaven for West Virginia trout anglers and those from Virginia and Maryland. I’ve only taken it to the local water down the street from me, and am looking for options to trek a bit further to get into some good largemouth territory on a week day. Areas such as Goose Creek in Leesburg and Sugarland Run in Sterling are prime locations for wading and fishing from the banks. Hi Ed, glad you liked it and thanks for your comment! I’ve read that any fish caught closer to DC is consider hazardous. Want to Understand the Vibe of “America’s Coolest Small Town”. Glad you found the article useful. Snakehead is an excellent game fish, known for their elusiveness and aggressive striking power. Are you looking to launch from the Upper or Lower Potomac? You can find plenty of guides that will take you here or you can fish from the banks on your own. Good luck out there! Thanks for this helpful introduction to fishing the Potomac. You’ll have a chance to put your skills to the test and compete against some of the most elite Bass fishermen in the country. They migrate upstream to spawn in fresher waters and tend to wander even further up the river during summer. Surface lures work very well in shallower waters for targeting Smallmouth. Hi Lance, Maybe, that’s something I’ll write about in the future. Virginia Statewide Freshwater Fishing License. Anyone interested in fishing South Fork South Branch Potomac River or nearby fishing Streams should consult with guides and other local resources before heading out to fish. The general rule of thumb is, the further from the city, the safer the meat. Since you’ll probably be targeting lots of Smallmouth, you’ll want to have lures handy, such as jigs. Our river is full of smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and others. Good luck. Hope this helps and good luck out there! The remaining sections are listed in the Canoeing category in this guide. Let me know how it goes and what you caught. Any small baitfish should work. I fly fish here frequently for trout. There are two fishing piers from which you can target Catfish, Bass, and lots more. Along the way it offers trophy trout fishing as well as trophy large mouth bass and small mouth bass fishing. New to the area, been fishing out of Fort Foote park lately. The Virginia side of the Potomac also has its fair share of excellent fishing spots, accessible by foot as well as boat. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. I live in northern PG County, MD and just recently got my first bass boat. Share on facebook. Pohick Bay: Located about 20 miles south. Whether you’re looking to go fly fishing, bow hunting, or spend several relaxing hours on the water, you’ll be able to find the guide that’s right for you. Catfishing is best in the winter. About 14 miles are stocked for harvest under put and take regulations while about 7 miles within the Potomac State Forest are managed under delayed harvest regulations. Replied on August 27, 2020 Whether you plan on joining a guide, renting a kayak, or exploring on foot, you’ll have a number of options to choose from. Thanks for the information, I am a beginner and have been researching our area (Loudoun) to take my kids. There were at least 12 trophy channel catfish in the South Branch of the Potomac River during 2014 because anglers caught and registered them in the trophy fish program conducted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Another angler we saw reported equally dismal results. Nice overview w/o too much detail. Alternate names for this stream include North Fork River, North Fork of South Branch of Potomac River and North Fork Potomac River. I am moving out to Springfield, VA this month coming from Colorado. | Hatch Magazine - Fly Fishing, etc. Congrats on the new boat, that’s exciting! But, if you want a really good starting point, check out the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center in Seneca Rocks. Thank you for the helpful reply. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services initiated a trout stocking program in two different management zones totaling 21 miles upstream of Jennings Randolph Lake. Mill Creek is a 14.0-mile-long (22.5 km) tributary stream of the South Branch Potomac River, belonging to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. For one, its biodiversity. 4. Such an amazing fishery. Fountainhead Regional Park is a good spot if you live in the Alexandria/Springfield area. They inhabit vast portions of the river and have thrived here for over a century. It is located in the Eastern Panhandle of WV and I highly recommend fishing it when they stock trout. For Snakehead, you can use deep divers, surface frog lures, and buzz-bait. That’s the beauty of fishing such a vast river with loads of access points on both sides. Summers are infamous for being hot and muggy while winters can get quite cold. Thanks for the recommendations! Potomac River Fisheries Sport Fishing License Visitors from all over the East Coast also travel to the Potomac in order to check out one of the most underrated fisheries in the US. Love the article, very informative. The North Fork South Branch Potomac River offers great fishing opportunities. Less than 20 miles south of the Capital, you’ll find amazing fishing opportunities near the towns of Fort Washington and Indian Head. Since then, their population has multiplied and they’ve expanded their territory throughout the entire Potomac and its surrounding tributaries. The towns of Potomac, MD and Leesburg, VA are also great options if you plan on launching from the Upper Potomac. Perhaps the most iconic of them all is Striped Bass, locally referred to as Rockfish. This is also a great place to go hiking, check out the waterfalls, and experience some of the Potomac’s amazing wildlife. Bring lots of flies and some extra line, though, because overhanging branches along the shore tend to catch wayward casts and gobble them up. Welcome to WV Fishbusters.com We offer professional guided fishing trips on the South Branch of the Potomac River in Hampshire County, WV. It also serves as the main life source for one of the most important estuaries on the East Coast, the Chesapeake Bay. Talk about stealth! My top choice is the Strike King 8XD. That’s for Bass. It has lots of great fishing spots and picnic areas as well – overall an excellent option for a day trip. The South Branch of the Potomac River begins in Highland County, Virginia upstream from Franklin, West Virginia and continues northeast 80 miles to meet up with the North Branch after passing Springfield, West Virginia. Honestly, any of the creeks around that area are pretty productive from my experience. Fly fisherman will love stepping into a pair of waders and casting their lines in the North Fork of the South Branch Potomac River. No matter which part of the Potomac you plan on visiting, you’ll find plenty of spots where you can post up and enjoy a productive day of fishing. There are plenty of nice, secluded spots to choose from. Thanks for reading, I’m glad you like the article! Great article. Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed the article! Some of the go-to techniques when targeting Snakehead include fly fishing, throwing surface lures, and even bowfishing. Jones Point Park: Just north of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and south of Old Town. I think this is a solid list to get you started. You can also check out Oxon Creek, just North of the bridge. And as a native Virginian, I take great pride in the Old Dominion's glorious trout waters, including the streams of Shenandoah National Park, Mossy Creek, and the Jackson River. Best trout streams Cranberry, Williams, South Branch of the Potomac near Franklin, North Fork of the South Branch, Shavers Fork of Cheat, and Elk River above Webster Springs. Anywhere above the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, you’ll have to buy a DC fishing license. Potomac River Fishing: The Complete Guide, Sacramento Fishing: Everything You Need to Know. Awesome and informative information! The canoeing sections of the South Branch that run from Petersburg to the Potomac River total 75 miles. Ka-ching! Spin, drift, fly fish – it all works. You can fish them whenever you want and they can be caught throughout the entire river and connecting creeks, such as Mattawoman and Pomonkey. Appreciate any assistance you could offer, Al. I’m a first-time angler looking for on-foot action in Virginia. So now that you have a sense of what to expect from a Potomac River fishing experience, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations. DC offers some of the best urban fishing in the country and it’s definitely worth checking out! It too is heavily stocked with trout and provides excellent bass fishing as … Do you ever fish Mattawoman? Indeed, Harper’s Ferry is fantastic. my favorite parts of the upper potomac are great falls, harpersferry to sharpsburg, and dam 5 clear spring but harpersferry area has to be the best part of the upper potomac with a huge smallmouth bass fishery, walleyes and channel cats. If you have a boat (or rent one when fletchers is open for business) I have had days where I caught dozens of bass going up and down the river. Good luck out there! Here, you can expect to reel in lots of Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Catfish, Northern Pike, and White Perch. Let me know if this helps! For information on planning a trip to the Potomac or Shenandoah, contact the Jefferson County Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 848-TOUR. Hi Keith, thanks for reading! Just keep in mind, there’s probably a small fee. Virginia Saltwater Recreational License Snakehead is an invasive species that was originally introduced to the region in the early 2000s. The West Virginia Division of Highways advises recreational users of upcoming impacts to the South Branch Potomac River near Springfield (Blues Beach). Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! You can also click here for more information. South Branch Potomac River, West Virginia fishing report, rainbow trout fly fishing forecast, fly shop and fishing guides, and fly-fishing weather. Also, remember to check the local regulations before your trip as some species are subject to seasonality. I live in Cumberland and float the Potomac many times throughout the summer. There are tons of great spots right in the middle of Alexandria, as well as just outside of town. You may choose to go fishing with some of DC’s famous monuments as your backdrop or head into the wilderness for a more tranquil fishing experience. Due to their rapidly increasing numbers, there is little regulation on the Potomac for Snakehead. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Trout: rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat fishing in North Branch Potomac with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. There are lots of reasons why you should prioritize a visit. Let me know how it goes and if you need any more info! Smallwood State Park is a great launching area and the traffic isn’t too bad. I spend most of my time around Great Falls and Loudon County though. Largemouth Bass can be caught throughout the river’s tidal and southern regions while Smallmouth Bass are typically found in the Upper Potomac. Largemouth and Smallmouth occupy different areas of the river – DC serving as the boundary that separates the two regions. Any specific launches with potentially less busy than typical launching traffic (still a beginner)? Oh, and did we mention you can win upwards of tens of thousands of dollars? However, it really depends on the priority of your trip. Maryland and Virginia have ramped up efforts to combat overfishing and help restore this historic fishery. Thanks for reading! I agree, it’s hard to cover every detail in a blog article. The Tidal Basin is a great spot to experience some good urban bank fishing. Each year towards the end of summer and beginning of fall, several organizations host tournaments with the chance of having your name placed among the greats. We got some great fly fishing spots all throughout the region. 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