I fished last friday, June 2. Got a late start. Was on water by 9:00 pm Fished between Brunswick and Point of Rocks.
Overlast day and relative water clarity should have meant dozens of bass and bluegills, as I remember from years past.
Unfortunately, I only caught 5 bass 6 to 11 inches and 2 bluegills. I threw mainly senko types and grubs over 4.5 hours.
I missed the top water bite by starting late. IMO Upper Potomac has gone down hill the last few years. I was catching decent size fish (a least one nice keeper) every trip bewteen 1999 til 2004. All the way til through 2004, it seemed like I caught decent numbers also.
In the fall of 2004 I had a couple good late fall days where hard work paid off and I caught a number of nice fish (like baaaamm !, something goes off and I catch six nice keepers over a hour). Last year was real bad in comparison.
Understand, I try to be a smart, hard working, methodical fisherman, with quality equpment. I am bummed out because I caught more and better fish when I was an inexperienced rookie in a old job boat 20 years ago.
The UPotomac fishery was quite good I thought in 1999, 2000, and 2001 when there was a lot of weeds. I had some great days.
Hurricane Isabella may have caused a lot of bass to move up with the flood waters and get trapped in the canal. I caught nice fish, after that flood however.
I think a double whammy is going on. In addition to high mortality due to flooding in earlier part of decade, water quality (and clarity) was horrible in 2004 and 2005.
I have read that agricultural run-off has hurt the South Branch of the Potomac and the Shenadoah real bad the past few years. Both of these empty into the Potomac.
Fisheries biologist with the MD DNR Ed Enam???. assured me last year that a viable population of smallmouth bass still exists in the lower Potomac according to population surveys.
I have been fishing 6 times (four hours at a time) this year on the Upper Potomac and I have caught about 10 small fish.
The Whites -Edwards Ferry area used to be my favorite. It has been really bad this year (at least to me).
I went once on the Susky above Harrisburg, fished real hard and caught six 2.5 to 3 pounders with a guide on one trip. I really miss the fight and pull of a quality bass !!!
But, I guess I will keep on trying ! Try real early or late in the day. Fish for Catfish or bluegill. Keep trying ! Please let me know how you do.
I spent 3 hours above Algonkian a few Saturdays ago (early AM)......I caught one 12" smallie. It was a blast on light tackle but....my skills must be diminishing. No grass....just a barren bottom like you would see in December.
97 was a bad flood I think. I lived right at whites ferry rd for a year in 98 (not the mcmansions). I would wade out near the little island there 4- 5 times a week in the summer and tear the little ones up in the afternoon, say 30 in a couple of hours with the biggest about 12”. When we waded for several hours, a 100 fish day between 2 guys was not uncommon. Now I live in the middle of Leesburg and have no access to the river unless I cross the ferry and wade from the MD side. Pain in the butt, but I have done it about twice each year since 98 and the fishing seems to be much worse with that grass that is scary to wade through in the evenings. PM me if anyone is interested in going out together (like the weekend of June 15th), I have no boat but have good equipment and know some really good spots around whites ferry that takes way to long to wade to now unless you have all day. Saw/hooked one musky there too, lost it, can’t set the hook on them w/8 # mono. I usually use 4 # mono with in line mepps, tiny gitzits from Walmart and avocado stingray grubbs. Summer was a blast but the best times were early fall, in the evening on warm days.
I fished between Harpers Ferry and dam #3 Thursday evening and Friday morning. I've been fishing the same exact places for 27 years and although this wasn't the best trip I've made, it was far from the worst. We didn't get any big bass this time around but we did see a few.