Report from Fletcher’s Cove, April 11, 2007
So this is April in Washington? Great. I'm wearing my long johns to work. If it gets any colder, I'll be posting on www.icefishing.com. It could be worse, it could snow. Oh. whoops, I forgot it did that last weekend. People are anxious for a great fishing report and if I had written this a week ago, it would have sounded pretty darn good. Then the polar express arrived. The Potomac's water was ten degrees warmer last week than today. Fish, like people, don't like that kind of precipitous drop.
Last week, all fish were present and accounted for. Perch, herring, shad, stripers and big cats were being reeled in with reckless abandon. Skies were blue and the Spring looked sweet. For the last six days though, the yellow caution flag has been out and we now wait for a spring re-start. It will come. Patience my friends.
The hardy anglers who ventured out during the last few days have reaped some rewards. While for the most part, white perch have had lock-jaw during the cold spell, a large cooler full of jumbo perch landed on the dock today. They were caught by the reigning queen of perch fishing at Fletcher's, Helena. She and a partner braved the cold east wind and whitecaps for the better part of the day and the results included several fish around thirteen inches, with broad backs and big bellies. Truly impressive perch.
Old timer George, who at 91 is probably our most senior regular, trolled the river yesterday and produced two rockfish of bragging size. Stripers are not in season yet, so they must be released! Serious and resourceful shad anglers have still managed to find the fish hitting in the deep, clear water. In conditions like these, you really have to earn your reward. No easy pickins' this week.
The photos above show two things. One, the magnificent size of catfish now regularly appearing in the Potomac. Two, the happiness that a poor-man's tarpon can bring. Hope you enjoy them. The cats were caught by Nathan Heath of Burke, Virginia. The larger of the two fish measured 43" with a girth of 31". Both were released off the dock after the photo was taken.
Meredith is the lucky angler with the shad. Earlier that morning, she brought a striper of about twenty pounds to the side of the boat for a clean release. Fishing nirvana.
D.C. fishing permits, plenty of shad darts, rods, reels, bait and basic tackle, as well as boats for rent (when Mother Nature allows) are yours for the asking here at Fletcher's Cove. Just fork over some dough, then you can go. Advice, (mostly good), is free if we are not too busy to chat.
Hope to see you at the river.