Catfishing Near Reagan National Airport, February 6, 2017

Near where Four Mile Run feeds into the Potomac and just south of the airport is a place to catch catfish, according to Elstan Perez and Luke of Catfish & Carp. Both these guys were fishing this spot in December 2016 and January 2017 when the weather appeared to be in the 40s. (Elstan tells me it was mid-50s when he was there.)

Elstan used cut yellow perch; Luke used a carp rig with panko-jello-corn pack bait and frozen cut shad on a 4/0 hook.

Where to park? Elstan writes: “parking cost me $17 Long term economy parking [at Reagan airport]. You can find parking across the bridge at the grocery store or somewhere nearby for free if you didn’t want to walk half a mile or more.” And he bought two perch for $2.50 at Fresh World market.

So I gave it a whirl, and you can get full details here. Yes, I got a catfish, and you can see the video of it here.

Two pieces of advice: consider parking at Potomac Yards Shopping Center for free. And do bring some sort of stakes to prop up your fishing pole, as the stream’s shore is a mix of long grass and rocks held under wiring.

Reeling in a Channel Catfish (2 min 32 seconds)

Catfishing on the Potomac River Near the Watergate, January 29, 2017

catfishing-near-the-watergate-01-29-2017Metropolitan Angler, who posts videos on YouTube, fishes here. He brought in at least two blue catfish that were 24 inches or more on January 20, 2017. (The temperature that day was about 45 degrees.)

So I decided to give it a try on January 29, 2017. I am very glad I went.

It was 45 degrees and overcast, and the tide was very low. One can park at Thompson’s boathouse (there are meters) or on Virginia Ave NW. One walks on the sidewalk through the intersection of Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Ave NW toward the Watergate and Kennedy Center—the spot is only a couple hundred feet past the intersection.

My expectations were low, but I had a good hour of fishing. I rigged four rods: 2 steel helicopter rigs that each had two 4/0 circle hooks baited with thawed cut sunfish and a 3-ounce pyramid sinker. The other two rods had my standard catfish rig with an 8/0 circle hook rig baited with Surgitube bag jammed with chicken liver and a 3-ounce flat sinker.

In short, both rigs and baits proved attractive to catfish. We were there only one hour but caught an approximately 12-pound blue catfish (on the sunfish) and had bites (on the sunfish and the chicken livers twice).

Be careful—there is no rail and the drop to the water is at least 10 feet if not more (when the tide is out). This is no place for toddlers or young kids.

And forget bringing a net, unless it has an unbelievably long handle. The water is way beneath your feet, so best to use very heavy line (25-pound or more) because hauling a thrashing catfish up through the air puts huge strain on your line.

Carp Boilie Bait Recipe

Thundermist Lures posted this video and recipe for making boilies easily.

(1) Pre cook 1 cup of white rice and cool it in a bowl.

(2) 1 cup of flour + 1 egg + 1/4 cup of cool water
(3) Mix into a slightly sticky dough ball.

(4) Set up equal sized bowls of cooked white rices, corn flakes (crushed), and dry oatmeal.
(5) Pull a dime sized ball of dough, and roll it in the rice, corn flakes, and oatmeal.
(6) Roll it in your hands and voila—you have a pre-boil boilie.

(7) Once you have a bunch of these, drop them in boiling water for 1 minute.
(8) Scoop them out and drop them in cold water.
(9) Dry them and put them in a container and store in the fridge.

Just to give you a sense of scale–this recipe can make 60-100 boilies, and they last only a week in the fridge, so maybe keep

Catfishing at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, July 13, 16, and 17, 2016

Yes, you can shore fish from much of the Tidal Basin. It’s a beautiful place, and inevitably there are friendly tourists and other fishermen who will shoot the breeze with you.

And the Basin has tons of fish: carp, catfish, large-mouth bass, striped bass, eels, and more.

A spot I worked all three days is on the jefferson Memorial side of the Basin, just past the bridge beyond the boat rental area. The sun does not hit that area in the morning.

When I fished July 13, I angled for catfish and bass. (By the way, I got a large-mouth on a Texas rigged, pumpkin green, speckled Senko worm.) I used hot dog, chicken livers, and eventually frozen drum or spot that had been in my freezer at least a year. The chicken livers drew plenty of attention, but 5 of the 7 were stolen by catfish. I lost another to a bad cast (livers tear very easily). And one liver brought a 20-inch channel catfish.

channel catfish 07-13-2016.jpg

Surprisingly, the cut drum, which had been ignored at the Basin and had only scored once for me at Fletcher’s, brought in a 15-inch blue catfish. (These data may support the common contention that channel catfish love livers and blue catfish love cut fish.)

Annoyed at all the livers and catfish lost, I looked for various ways to improve my baiting. I settled on making netted balls of liver. :I used this plastic netting from a $3 bath loofah bought at Safeway. I made 10 balls with fresh chicken livers inside ($2 to $3 a container at Safeway or Giant).

chicken liver ball

The netting was so-so—it sometimes it untied, and the knots were too big and the balls might have put off the carp due to their plastic-ky smell and the big knots. But, I scored an 18-inch catfish 10 minutes after starting fishing on July 17. Sadly, I had very few hits after that morning and landed only one more catfish—a 14-inch pipsqueak channel catfish. Was the fishing lackluster because it was only 12 hours after a heavy rainstorm? Who knows.

small channel catfish 07-17-2016.jpg

Next time I will use tubular gauze and see if I get better results. I also want to source bluegill, which I failed to catch on corn and bread with bobber.

Catfishing and Bluegill Fishing in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, July 4, 2016

Front Street dock

Front Street dock on the Cuyahoga River. Source:


We fished from the nice t-shaped dock at 1160 Front St. Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221. The dock itself was a mere 5 minute walk from the ample parking lot.

This outing was a major disappointment. We were well-rigged for channel catfish (hot dog, shad, cat-chow bait) and got nothing in 2+ hours.

We caught one tiny bluegill on bobbered red worm, and whiffed in our attempts to get bass bites on rubber worms. The others fishing from the dock also got only small bluegill, and few at that.

Possibly, there is a good fishing spot not far from this location. I have have read a couple reports about good bass fishing near the Ohio Edison Dam.

Catfishing in the Potomac River In Washington, DC, June 18, 2016

Blue catfosh 06-18-2016

Enter a captionBlue catfish caught from a boat in the Potomac River near Fletcher’s Cove.

Two days ago, it rain, so the river was swollen and a bit muddy today. I fished from 7:45 AM to 11:45 AM. It was 68 to 75 degrees and sunny. The river was flat for most of the morning, and it was very sunny. A breeze came up around 10:45, which was a relief from the sun’s rays.

My rig and bait were the usual: 1 rod with 15-pound line and another strung with 20-pound. A size 1 pyramid sinker was at the end and the bait was positioned 12- to 18-inches higher on a 12- to 18-inch” Palomar knotted line. (This is a simple method, but it does produce twisted lines, especially after dragging a catfish in.)

I positioned myself a little upstream on the DC side of the river, and a little below the shore flat where so many guys fish. I had no luck there, so I moved a little over half across the river and a touch down-river. As soon as I cast I got a hit on the drum, which produced the first 20-inch blue catfish. Then it went quiet for more than an hour. I moved down river a bit and a little more toward the Virginia shore. That was pay dirt. I’d cast down river but toward the center of the river, and the under-current pulled my line directly down river of the boat. The hits on hot dog were fast—they came within 1 to 5 minutes of casting. (Leaving a rod to sit for a longer stretch produced nothing.)

I caught 6 blue catfish, 5 of which bit on hot dog and the first of which went for Spot (Drum?) tail. All were 18- to 20-inches, except for one 12-inch pipsqueak catfish.

Shad Fishing and Catfishing In the Potomac River In Washington, DC, May 17, 2015

Woodhouse shad rig

Oval Sinker Used with Shad Rig

This sinker lengthens casts and helps get the dart deep into the water.

It was mid-60s, cloudy, with occasional light drizzle. It rained the night before, making the river swollen and cloudy brown. We left with Captain Woodhouse from Buzzard’s Point Marina (at the very southern end of Half St SW) at 7:15am

It was too late for shad fishing. We got a few hits in spots north of Fletcher’s Cove. So, we switched to catfishing, and brought in 7 catfish sized 14 to 20 inches. They hit on Safeway Hot Dogs (mix of chicken, pork, etc.) and also hit Fish Bite quick-dissolve fake blood worm. They hit blood worm alone, and hot dog alone, and hot dog plus blood worm.

Above is a sketch of the shad rig we used that day. The lower line is 2-3 feet. The technique is to face up river against the current, cast toward 11:00 or 1:00, then let the rig sink for 5 seconds before slowly reeling it in. Often, we are told, shad hit on the rig as it curves back against the current (as you pull it to the boat) and just before the rig surfaces at the boat.