June 24, 2018
The flow of the Potomac at Fletcher’s has been too high for rentals most of the time since my last report. It’s been a frustrating period for anglers. Prior to the deluge beginning in mid May, the shad run was phenomenal for fisherman much of the time. Sadly, after the 15th, no good opportunity for boat fishing occurred. Now, except for a few stragglers, the shad are gone.
Thankfully, striper fishing for “schoolies” will provide some action during this summer. Just this past week, Ethan Do, one of our season pass anglers was rewarded for persistence with a 27 inch rockfish. Although he released his catch, you are now allowed to keep two stripers a day over 20 inches. (Only one may be in excess of 28 inches.)
The only bright spot for anglers during the last six weeks was for those seeking catfish. Our regular catfish guru Cliff caught 32 from the entrance driveway during the first surge of high water. During the second “modest” flood, we watched some resourceful anglers catch catfish after catfish casting their bait from the parking lot into the picnic area… literally IN the picnic area! Sometimes, it’s whatever works!
Fletcher’s Cove is really missing our once water filled C&O Canal. It’s been drained now for a year and a half while the rebuilding of locks 3 and 4 in Georgetown is being accomplished. There was some hope at the beginning of the project that an earthen dike could be placed just above the construction zone to allow water most of the length, from lock 5 down. This did not happen. The canal ecosystem, a myriad of fishes, turtles, frogs, aquatic insects and birds, is absent now. The C&O has always been our “go-to” place for kayak and canoe rentals when the river is high as it has been for much of this season. The canal, when watered, is the most wonderful place to take children fishing and for handicapped anglers. It’s calm and the towpath creates a level, stable platform from which to explore and cast. At the moment, the bed of the “big ditch” is a sea of cattails and assorted weeds and undergrowth. We are hoping for a re-watering soon, but at this time no date is set.
The heart of summer will hopefully bring some tranquil waters to Fletcher’s Cove. We have rowboat, kayak, canoe and paddle board rentals when Mother Nature permits. The tackle shack is open daily for your fishing supply needs, DC angling permits, bait, refreshments, ice cream and advice. Even when the Potomac is roaring, we welcome your visit for a walk or bike ride on the towpath, some phenomenal bird watching, plein air painting or just a chat in this beautiful spot down by the riverside.
Thanks for reading,