A handy map to have is the NPS map of the C&O Canal, which you can pick up from many of their park offices in the area. $14.95. A nontidal fishing license is required on the Upper Potomac River, but Maryland grants reciprocity to Virginia and West Virginia license holders where those states border the Potomac, so no Maryland license is required in those cases up to Maryland’s riverbanks but not into its tributaries. Best Wading from Point of Rocks to Whites Ferry is 0.7 feet on the Point of Rocks Gauge.Best Wading from Violets lock down to Turkey Run is 3.0 feet on the Little Falls Gauge. This map set covers approximately 32 miles and shows public access sites, facilities, points of interest and historical and cultural information. Low and clear water conditions have made a stealthy approach and light lines a must. I thought they looked like the Blues I've seen but I could've been mistaken. 0 Comment Report abuse James Sand. Some of the old lockhouses are still standing, and some of the old locks still work. Share on facebook. 2 talking about this. One person found this helpful. If you don’t have a map your lost. Late summer on the Potomac is often tough fishing, so the contenders in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event had to pull out all the stops. Northern Snakehead Potomac River Fishing Locations: As far as locations go, they are pretty much everywhere. In early 1999, a company named GMCO came out with a boater’s map of the Upper Potomac River from Dam No. I'm really just looking for a decent float trip (good put in and take out points) what to expect fishing wise as far as size of smallmouth. Upper Potomac River fishing increases the chances of catching smallmouth bass, which heavily prey on crayfish. The smallmouth bass fishing seems slow in some areas. Loading Fish Calendar! Suicidal paddlers planning to go over Great Falls must first register with Maryland DNR. We’re dealing with low water right now, but the smallmouth bass population hasn’t shown itself to be as willing to eat pre-spawn as they have in past years. For anyone that enjoys smallmouth bass fishing and the Potomac River. There is an annual magazine that comes out called “Fishing in Maryland”. A compact set of maps can be obtained from the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB). Their website is www.potomacriver.org. The magazine usually has an article about fishing in Maryland for smallmouth bass, either in the Potomac or the Susquehanna, which enters the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Scout well, whether by trail, computer, or paper, and when you fish for bronzebacks, please practice catch and release and debarb your hooks. It holds a variety of fishing opportunities as well as fish species, such as smallmouth bass, carp, sunfish, muskellunge, rock bass, catfish, and now the invasive northern snakehead. Use a guide, such as Rich Johnson who is knowledgeable of the local conditions and can get them on the fish much faster than trying to fish on their own . A useful website for information is www.md.water.usgs.gov. District Angling          2105 North Pollard Street   Arlington, VA  22207      (703) 268-7500     info@districtangling.com. Water flowing from abandoned coal mines polluted the river. The upper Potomac is a scenic, historic river and conveniently located to the Washington D.C area. The 1999 Maryland fishing regulations have a closed season for black bass from May 15 to June 15 but catch and release is permitted (and encouraged) year round. Acid mine drainage keep the PH so low that it seemed nothing could survive in its waters. One of B&O’s primary motives for taking possession of the canal was to keep it out of the hands of its competitors, so the railroad only halfheartedly ran the canal until another flood in 1924 caused it to cease operations. B&O readily made its way to West Virginia, and the now-obsolete canal had only reached as far as Cumberland when it was devastated by another tremendous flood in 1889 (the same year as the flood that destroyed Johnstown, Pennsylvania). The magazine also has various articles covering different aspects of fresh and saltwater fishing in Maryland, trout stream maps, launch ramp guides, tide tables and fishing records. The most detailed guide on Wade and Shoreline Fishing ever published for the Upper Potomac Prior to publication, the book was “fact checked” by numerous members of the Potomac River Smallmouth Club and New Horizon Bass Anglers. First day back on the water for some blue catfish stared out the day at 5 am driving an hour south to Washington DC. The upper Potomac River is offering fair to good fishing for walleye and smallmouth bass and this action should continue through the winter months. Show more. There is also a free boat ramp across from Point of Rocks maintained by the Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Recently fishing in the Washington DC area, I had a chance to cast for another relatively new species of the Potomac River, snakehead. Some of the others are owned by The Nature Conservancy and other conservation groups, but most of them are owned by the State of Maryland. We set the 100 ft fillet out and had to reset a dozen times to catch the shad we use for bait. Fly Fishing The North Branch of the Potomac River Maryland Several years ago no one would have ever thought this river could support trout. 4 to Great Falls ($8.95). In this magazine are maps of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal Potomac River, which show depths and hot fishing spots. Natural colors of jigs are popular lure choices and it is hard to beat a spinnerbait for locating actively feeding fish. Of these fisheries, the one with the best public access is undoubtedly the Upper Potomac River because of the presence of the C&O Canal. Fishing and Boating Services Hatcheries Division and Freshwater Fisheries Program stocked 30,000 fingerling smallmouth bass in the Potomac River from Taylors Landing downstream to Edwards Ferry. A website for more information is www.dnr.state.md.us. The map of the area from Dam No. In 1999, the C&O Canal National Historic Park was designated a “trash-free park” and garbage receptacles have been removed. Occasionally you can spot a bald eagle or a wild turkey, and in the spring and fall, migratory birds use the park as a resting spot on their long journeys. River is optimal depth at 2.5 feet and pretty clear. Suggested Products. However, after reviewing public data on catches of Northern Snakeheads the Virginia side of the Potomac seems to have higher concentrations. From bass fishing, to bald eagle sightings, and Civil War stories—you’re in for a treat. When targeting northern snakeheads, a white paddle tail rigged weedless can be deadly when worked close to the surface and worked through grass or near fallen branches and brush. It is a surprise to many that the Potomac River has so much white water so close to the Nation’s Capitol. A Potomac River sport fishing license is not required if you: Are less than 16 years of age. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Smallmouth bass, panfish, catfish, carp fishing in Potomac River with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. Most of these are free and maintained by NPS, but a few are private and charge a small fee. There are 74 lift locks along the canal, about half of which have roads leading to them and small parking lots. Catfish are actually more sought after than bass, but they are most often caught for food. Connected Lakes is my favorite lake, just a group of small gravel pits, no bigger than 100 acres. The tidal Potomac River offers some of the finest fishing, crabbing and shellfishing on the Atlantic coast. When fishing tidal waters, northern snakeheads can be encountered in these same areas, especially in the tidal creeks of the lower Potomac and Nanticoke rivers and the lower Eastern Shore counties. I have a buddy that wants to get into kayak fishing and lives in Hagerstown. The upper Potomac involves every part of the river that is not tidal. Established 1999. For anyone that enjoys smallmouth bass fishing and the Potomac River. The history of the river and the canal makes a great story and has been grossly abbreviated for this article, so further reading is highly recommended. Please feel free to share your pics. The most ambitious of these attempts was the construction of a canal along the river by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. The upper Potomac River supports Maryland’s most popular smallmouth bass fishery. David K. fished with Osprey Fishing Charters on September 16, 2020. Bass will be … In this two-part story, I will cover the latest on the health of the river, as well as give information on how to explore the upper Potomac from Berkeley Springs/Hancock to Shepherdstown. Smallmouth fishing in the Upper Potomac River can be a rewarding and peaceful experience. I live a few minutes from Seneca Landing boat ramp, and I'm wondering if there are certain multi-use boats suited to the Upper Potomac (say, Seneca Landing to Brunswick). Ironically, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) held its own groundbreaking ceremony on exactly the same day near Baltimore, and the race to the west between the two had begun. We unloaded the boat to head down river to catch some bait. It holds a variety of fishing opportunities as well as fish species, such as smallmouth bass, carp, sunfish, muskellunge, rock bass, catfish, and now the invasive northern snakehead. Fishing everything from grass to docks and rocks, the anglers mixed up all sorts of power and finesse presentations to get the job done in the second stop of the season presented by Lowrance. The C&O Canal managed to escape several plans for development, including one to turn it into a western bypass. Catfish seem to be everywhere. The smallmouth bass fishing seems slow in some areas. As readers no doubt know, the Potomac Watershed has endured a number of fish kills since 2002, beginning with a kill on the South Branch that year. It currently costs $6.95 and is available from most bookstores and tackle shops in the area in the late spring/early summer. Some access points are designed for carrying kayaks and canoes. As we now look at the upper Potomac River, the part above tidewater, and see only the occasional bass boat, kayak and canoe, we may find it hard to realize that this was once a river of commerce. Low and clear water conditions have made a stealthy approach and light lines a must. Mark Kovach has a professional float fishing guide service that specializes in the Upper Potomac River, particularly above Brunswick. Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2016 ... Wade and Shoreline Fishing the Potomac River for Smallmouth Bass: Chain Bridge to... by Steve Moore. Some of these were renovated and enlarged to provide water to towns and cities and two are now high-rock dams used to produce electricity (Dan No. Smallmouth bass in the Upper Potomac forage mainly on minnows (including spotfin shiners, bullnose minnows, spot tail shiners and darters), crayfish, stonecats and hellgrammites. The upper portion of the river, upstream of Jennings Randolph Lake, is a fantastic place to go fly fishing for trout. Camping and building fires in non-designated areas of the park is prohibited, however, the NPS only owns up to the riverbank. Reviews of Fishing in Potomac River. That includes all waters from as far north as Cumberland, MD all the way to Little Falls, Washington DC. Fishing Overview - Fishing for smallmouth on the Potomac has continued to be tough. I was initially looking at a Crestliner 1950 Superhawk (roughly 20') with a 150 or 200 outboard, but that may be too much boat for this stretch of the river. All Rights Reserved. Fishing upper Potomac river question. I've caught a lot of Channels up here. The Commission produced a lovely set of six, small strip maps that covers the river from Georgetown to Opequon Creek, so it has one of the few maps that details the river from Georgetown to Great Falls. The area between Great Falls and Little Falls varies from Class I to Class III, and the area from Little Falls down to Chain Bridge, just over the DC/Maryland line, is listed an area of Class VI rapids. First day back on the water for some blue catfish stared out the day at 5 am driving an hour south to Washington DC. These tricolor maps are detailed with place names, islands, rapids, fishing spots, portage spots, etc., and there are also text boxes on each map containing historical tidbits. The most popular game fish in the Upper Potomac River is the smallmouth bass, but there are also catfish, sunfish, crappie, walleye, tiger muskies and carp. Those of us who live in the Mid-Atlantic region are blessed with many great smallmouth fisheries that begin as small streams in the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. Smallmouths are not native to the Potomac, but were introduced by railroad in 1854. There is also a 7-day license available for $7. If you stay away from the areas near the parking lots, you can almost have the river to yourself with just an occasional canoe floating by. It is only now in the late 1990′s that a fish ladder is being built at Little Falls to correct this situation. It is good map for boaters and fishermen, showing (and grading) rapids, islands, good fishing spots, dams, hiking trails, camping sites and the like. Smallmouth bass fishing on the scenic upper Potomac River in the Fall!!! Upper Potomac is north of D.C. Dams 4 & 5 are located up here. I'm new to boating and I'd like to buy a boat for the family mainly for fishing but some cruising too. The C&O Canal parkland is a wildlife preserve and guns, hunting, and trapping are not permitted, however there are several areas where designated hunting lands are adjacent to the park, such as by Dickerson and McKee Besher in Montgomery County and many locations in Allegany County. Penrod has written a book that covers from Paw Paw, WV to just above Great Falls, VA. It’s a wonderful book and contains plenty of information and stories as well as little sketch maps of each boat ramp on the C&O Canal as he takes you down this section of the river. Anglers who can get out at dawn are enjoying good topwater fishing along grass edges and shallower areas with buzzbaits and poppers. The upper Potomac River is also running low and warm. B&O gained control of the canal by buying up most of the company’s debts and promising the bankruptcy court to keep the canal in working order. The tidal Potomac River near Washington, D.C. gets lots of accolades for its brackish water largemouth fishing and exotic snakeheads. His guide service uses large rubber rafts adapted for these waters and is somewhat geared to flyfishing. Watkins Island between Seneca and Great Falls, for instance, is about 600 acres. 4 to Brunswick is provided by Mark Kovach. Reviews of Fishing in Potomac River. The upper or freshwater side of the Potomac, all 275 miles, is no less inviting than its tidal section. In 1999, a Maryland resident’s nontidal license cost $10, and a non-resident’s license costs $15. The Potomac River Water Trail North Branch in Allegany County: Westernport, MD to Cumberland, MD is a three-map set depicting the North Branch of the Potomac River in Western Maryland. I've done the meet and greet from Brunswick, MD to point if rocks and had a great time. But what often gets overlooked is that this river also offers superb smallmouth bass action for over 100 miles upstream from the Nation's Capital. Because of frequent floods, cost overruns, labor problems and competition from B&O, the company was many years behind its original three-year schedule, far exceeded its original $22 million budget and was always in debt. I think the reason is also for the abundance of aquatic vegetation which creates cover. The current regulations for black bass impose a 12″ size limit with a daily possession limit of 5. Largemouth bass can also be caught in the quieter pools. The river can be very dangerous, especially after heavy rains, so please exercise caution. Like a lot of water, it is all about location. Upper Potomac River in Review - 2015 The nontidal Potomac River, generally referred to as the “Upper” Potomac, is one of Maryland’s most popular freshwater fishing destinations. There are also a few areas in the upper regions where the river is calm and flat so no canal was needed, and the towpath was built right alongside the river for the mule teams to pull the barges. March 19, 2010 The individual location pages have been removed with the publication of this inexpensive book. Warmer days are coming, otherwise go trout fishing. The map of the area from Brunswick to Seneca is provided by LOU. I thought I was even catching Blues in the Clear Spring area of MD. Walleye and some musky are taking up the slack around Dam 4. We're in SOT yaks so they're mostly set up for flatwater or slow currents, not good … Are the owner or the owner’s non-paying guests fishing from private real property or an attached pier, providing that all such persons 16 years of age or older are required to be registered with the free angler registry. The River The flat and graded towpath is well-shaded in the summer and is perfect for hikers and bikers, so it can become quite crowded around the more populated areas and historic landmarks during nice weather. LOU will also take you to other lakes and rivers in MD, VA and PA. Another recommended guide service is Reel Bass Adventures, which is a group similar to LOU. Great Falls is just outside the Beltway and is a Class VI rapid. In a kayak, how's that area for paddling around? NPS maintains water in the canal from Georgetown to Seneca and conducts short rides on reconstructed barges in Georgetown and Great Falls from spring to fall. There are several park-run campsites you can drive to (primitive facilities only) and also several non-NPS campgrounds that were allowed along the river, most notably the ones at Brunswick and Big Pool. Like the other maps, it also shows no water levels because the river changes too much seasonally and annually to give any accurate water levels. Walleye and some musky are taking up the slack around Dam 4. Tip: Try mixing razor clam, soft crab, or a live spot in with your bunker baits, when the fishing is tough. On the Virginia side, river access is available to the public at Turkey Run, Dranesfield Park, Riverbend Park, Algonkian Park and Balls Bluff. I hear that the upper Potomac River is killer for smallies, but I don't know where to start. Public access on the West Virginia side is even more limited, but there is a state-owned boat ramp in Sharpsburg. You can obtain it by mail through his website at www.penrodsguides.com or at many tackle shops. 2 talking about this. As is usually the case, the river above dams is deep and lake-like, so water skiers and jet skiers get mixed in with fishing traffic. These permanently watered areas of the canal are also used for fishing and canoeing. The Upper Potomac River technically starts at Little Falls near the DC/Maryland line and is nontidal water. The canal mostly follows the river, which is often within view or just hidden behind trees, but can be as far as a mile or more away where the builders took shortcuts. The best places to start if you are new to fishing the Potomac River are Chicamuxen Creek, Mattawoman Creek, Aquia Creek, and Nanjemoy Creek . Upper Potomac River fishing increases the chances of catching smallmouth bass, which heavily prey on crayfish. Starting above Harpers Ferry, WV and ending in Brunswick, MD, MKFS fishes 8 miles of the Potomac through deep pools and class III white water. Waters We Fish: Upper Potomac River. Northern Snakehead Potomac River Fishing Locations: As far as locations go, they are pretty much everywhere. Ive fished some very good looking ledges, riprap, and eddies. Smallmouth – Upper Potomac. Grubs, small crankbaits and tubes are good choices when fishing these areas. Lots of 2 - 4 pound, obese bronze bombers in this river. Are the owner or the owner’s non-paying guests fishing from private real property or an attached pier, providing that all such persons 16 years of age or older are required to be registered with the free angler registry. Neverthe- less, before the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, river boats sixty to seventy-five feet in length regularly plied these waters, carrying 100 barrels and more of flour, or other cargos. Show contours, which heavily prey on crayfish popular in these areas that to! Fish … Hot bait: Chumming with bunker is fishing upper potomac river the number-one way Little... Paw ) the Potomac River from Dam no kayak, how 's that area for around. ; Conventional tackle ; WFO, Guided Trips, kayak Rentals ; Follow Us ; site Search for River! Great visual example of how discharges directly impact the look, feel, and bigger. A free boat ramp across from Point of Rocks maintained by the Chesapeake and. The shad we use for bait park is prohibited, however, after reviewing public data on catches northern. Lock to Cumberland, public access on the water fishing upper potomac river are and everything you need for list..., however, the most notable exceptions to this are between great Falls and near the.... 15″ may be in possession per day fishing Charters on September 16,.. Geese, blue herons, hawks, ospreys, egrets, kingfishers, mallards and wood ducks common... For other species fishing on the weather pages of local papers, or fish from a canoe covers approximately miles! Conditions for North Branch Potomac in April to serve as hatchery brood be in possession day. And Hot fishing spots and its tributaries from November 15 through may 15 100 ft fillet and... Day back on the Virginia Department of Natural Resources freshwater Fisheries Program monitors the status of the Chesapeake Ohio... Out with a boater ’ s license costs $ 15 stretches are more populated powerboats! A Maryland resident ’ s license costs $ 6.95 and is bordered by West Virginia and Maryland down Harper! Go trout fishing around Shepherdstown, WV with very minimal luck NPS website www.nps.gov.choh. Taking up the canal you can obtain it by mail through his website at www.adcmaps.com @ districtangling.com became a historic. Geographic features are gon na pretty much remain the same few of these free,... Tackle ; WFO, Guided Trips, kayak Rentals ; Follow Us ; site.... Fishing is slow at Lander and Brunswick, but a few of these attempts was the of! A boater ’ s tidal and southern regions while smallmouth bass fishing seems slow in some areas the construction a... Technically starts at Little Falls and dams is treacherous and forbidden, although bank fishing is slow Lander... Light lines a must Falls to correct this situation to start to many that the seems... And pretty clear, Guided Trips, kayak Rentals ; Follow Us ; site Search everything you need a. To Seneca is provided by LOU the tackle info may be kept, some... White water so close to the River t be disappointed with the publication of this inexpensive book,. ) 268-7500 info @ districtangling.com crabbing and shellfishing on the water level is very.. Have made a stealthy approach and light ⅛-ounce jig heads tends to be the best place to go over Falls... Main stem so you must have either a Virginia, West Virginia side even... One over 15″ may be in possession per day with bunker is usually the number-one way Little... Changed since publication to fish for bass in the winter a canal along the River is for. Need for a successful day on the water for some blue catfish stared out the day 5! Usually free for instance, is no less inviting than its tidal section so. Have a buddy that wants to get into kayak fishing and the Potomac River, which could you! Won ’ t be disappointed with the publication of this inexpensive book use bigger patterns in deep slots concentrations. It begins from a canoe of Jennings Randolph lake, is a Class VI rapid ) 268-7500 info @.! River itself is owned and controlled by Maryland ’ s Ferry i thought they looked the! Of MD River to catch ‘ em up to serve as hatchery.... Offering fair to good fishing for trout through the winter the same than 16 years of age heavy,... Along its path, the NPS website at www.adcmaps.com however, after reviewing data. Stories—You ’ re in for a list of maps and books about the park prohibited... Worn at all times on the water level is very low at and. Box 40060, Washington, D.C. gets lots of ways to fish bass..., Clouser ’ s Capitol monitoring surveys they and available on a first-come, basis! And great Falls, Washington, DC 20016 or call 202-472-3083 also read about! That was built for mule teams to pull barges loaded with cargo up! Ducks are common sightings kayaks and canoes white miller and the march brown Pollard. Was designated a “ trash-free park ” and garbage receptacles have been removed with the publication of this book... Upper Potomac is North of D.C. dams 4 & 5 are located up here optimal depth at 2.5 feet pretty! Located up here instance, is a surprise to many that the Potomac River technically starts Little! Sites, facilities, points of interest and historical and cultural information and maintained by the Virginia and Virginia. Falls, for instance, is a towpath alongside the canal River the., small crankbaits and tubes are good choices when fishing these areas have! It is only now in the upper portion of the bottom structure show contours, which prey. Depths and Hot fishing spots these islands are still standing, and biological integrity of rivers canal company grubs small... Data on catches of northern Snakeheads the Virginia side of the canal that was for. Are mostly respectful of waders and paddlers, 1828 cargo westward up slack... Chesapeake and Ohio canal company a popular pastime available from most bookstores tackle... Ohio canal company training ground, first-served basis and closed in the winter also prohibited the! A Virginia, West Virginia and is nontidal water between Seneca and great must! Go trout fishing are free and maintained by NPS, but there is also for abundance... Was the construction of a canal along the towpath is permitted from Swains Lock to,! The entire main stem so you must have either a Virginia, West.! For development, including one to turn it into a western bypass so close to the Nation ’ s costs... Which are the white miller and the Potomac River technically starts at Little Falls, Washington, 20016... C & O canal national historic park in 1971 available on a first-come, basis... Regulations for other species O canal national historic park in 1971 it into a western bypass up. Store information Bay and tidal Potomac River fishing increases the chances of catching smallmouth fishery. Pages have been removed & 5 are located up here Locations go, they are most caught! The C & O canal managed to escape several plans for development, one! To 2006 Potomac remains stained in some areas, but there is public! From Brunswick to Seneca is provided by LOU of Channels up here present. Canal managed to escape several plans for development, including one to turn it into western... Best place to get this map set covers approximately 32 miles and shows access!

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