The Washington Post Sunday magazine had this piece by Bill Heavey: “Fishing on the Potomac: Line, sinker and hooked”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fishing-on-the-potomac-line-sinker-and-hooked/2016/05/04/e5468aa0-fce2-11e5-886f-a037dba38301_story.html
It describes the spring perch frenzy that sounds a little like the spring shad frenzy. The whole piece is worth a re-read. These exceprts were especially interesting.
“The perch have yet to make it the two more miles up to Fletcher’s Boathouse in any numbers. Sure, a few were caught from shore on the mud flats just past the parking lot last week. Shallow water heats up faster, so that’s where the first ones are usually caught. But those fish — part of the annual ritual — were flukes, outliers. Perch don’t really like a mud bottom. Nobody ever gets into them good from shore.
The river’s right — 55 degrees, the water stained but not muddy, running high but not too high on this late-March day. And it’s late enough in the spring, which matters because the angle of sunlight matters.”
“Fletcher’s won’t be renting its gray-and-dark-red rowboats for another week. If those factors aren’t enough — and they are — there’s the fact of the cormorants. If there were fish here, hordes of the black birds would be circling, diving and skimming. Today, they’re packed shoulder to shoulder on rocks out in the river, like Supreme Court justices sitting irritably for their portraits…. We launch Gordon’s 17-foot boat at Gravelly Point [Arlington], idle five miles upriver to a hole I’m not allowed to name and drop our rigs in 40 feet of water. We’re fishing the small bucktail jigs that Dickie Tehaan, a fishing savant who grew up at Fletcher’s, ties by the dozen. He won’t sell them but gives them to friends.”
The article shows a photo of both conventional and casting rods being used. And the location may be a bit north of Fletcher’s Cove