Use these Potomac River Fishing Tips to catch more fish

At over 350 miles long, there are plenty of opportunities for Potomac River fishing. This historic river was once highly polluted but it has made great strides toward recovery. There are many great Potomac River fishing spots as this large river flows by Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia on its way to feeding the Chesapeake Bay.

Potomac River bass fishing is highly respected. This tidally influenced river can be tricky but has hosted numerous Bassmaster tournaments. There is great variety in the forage base which includes sunfish, gizzard shad, white perch, and golden shiners. This helps bass reach 6 pounds or more in this outstanding largemouth bass fishery.

Where to fish often depends on the vegetation as many anglers seek the heart-shaped leaf of spatterdock or a comfy bed of aquatic ”grass.” Some anglers like to cover distances looking for their top fishing spots, while others hunker down and wait for the tides to change the conditions at one location. Upper Potomac River fishing increases the chances of catching smallmouth bass, which heavily prey on crayfish. Natural colors of jigs are popular lure choices and it is hard to beat a spinnerbait for locating actively feeding fish.

Recently fishing in the Washington DC area, I had a chance to cast for another relatively new species of the Potomac River, snakehead. Casting spinnerbaits in slower backwater areas with dominant aquatic grass, early and late in the day, I failed to hook one. However, I did see many large carp, numerous sunfish, and landed striped bass. Blue and channel catfish also are commonly targeted species here.

Potomac River fishing spots are based on access, aquatic vegetation, and deeper areas. When fishing the Potomac River it is important to know where you are because fishing license requirements and regulations can differ between the states.  While researching Potomac River fishing, Chicamuxen Creek, Mattawoman Creek, Aquia Creek, and Nanjemoy Creek were mentioned as having good access to quality fishing areas.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.