Location: Gravelly Point to Fletcher’s Boathouse – Potomac River
Result: 3 Blue catfish, 20+ Hickory Shad, 1 Lost Largemouth
Set-up: Spinning and fly Rod
Lures: Bucktail jigs, shad darts, Shakeyhead worm, etc.
Any time I take my Jon Boat on the Potomac in the early Spring, I am going to go for a bunch of different species.
I launched out of Gravelly during steady rainfall and made my way up to Fletcher’s to bounce some bucktail jigs in hopes of Stripers. I had two friends on the boat and we decided to float from just south of Chain Bridge back down to Fletchers during the morning.
Within minutes, I hooked into a 15 lb. blue catfish. I was extremely excited thinking it was a nice Striper at first, but I know the slow steady catfish pull all too well. 10 minutes later, my buddy hooked into a 30-40 lb. BEHEMOTH catfish. We managed to land the fish on 10 lb. test and captured some good footage of the gruesome battle which can be seen below. Our attempt at Striper fishing at Fletcher’s Cove yielded nothing but 3 monster blue cats which all pushed 15+ lbs.
With the sun coming out and exhaustion settling in from landing monster cats, it was time for some good old Shad fishing. Looking around at the dozens of boats on the River, the fishing had been slow until the rain stopped and it started to warm up. Before we knew it, we were catching a Shad for every 2-3 casts executed. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hook into any Americans, but the Hickories we’re lighting up shad darts, shad flies, and Mr. twisters. See pictures below –
After all that activity, we decided to finish the day fishing for Largemouth. It’s still too early for the fish to move into shallows for spawning and we didn’t have too much gas left so we focused our efforts near Georgetown and the Key Bridge. I hooked into a healthy 2.5 lb. Largemouth, but lost it right at the boat. We only fished for LMB for 30 minutes and decided to head in after an eventful, cold, wet, and interesting day.
Trips like these demonstrate the fishing diversity and potential of the Potomac River. This isn’t the first time I’ve fished Fletcher’s or the Chain Bridge and ended up surprised by the species I hook up with. Given the nasty weather and my hesitation to even take the boat out, I’d say it was a pretty successful and fun trip.
See you out there soon!