Best Places To Go Fishing In Washington DC

May 25, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Few things are more relaxing than fishing — one of the great American pastimes. Portions of the bustling DC metro area offer places to enjoy the quietude and serenity of the water, the rhythmic sway of a fishing boat and the exhilarating feeling of getting a fresh catch. Here are a few great locales for your next fishing excursion.

Anacostia Park
1900 Anacostia Drive S.E.
Washington, DC 20020
(202) 472-3873

If you’re not planning to consume the fish that you catch, the Anacostia River is a great place to indulge in some recreational fishing and Anacostia Park is the perfect place to do it. The park is one of the region’s biggest recreational areas and contains hundreds of acres for picnicking, biking, walking and, of course, fishing. In 1926, the park was authorized by Congress to be one of the first U.S. flood plain projects to incorporate multiple uses. It remains to be a critical natural resource that protects Kenilworth Marsh and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Related: America’s Best Gardens And Parks

Potomac River
The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB)
51 Monroe St., Suite PE-08
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 984-1908

The Potomac River is a perfect destination for fishing, crabbing and shellfishing along the Atlantic Coast. The river acts as a state boundary between Maryland and Virginia. Within its depths, some of the tastiest seafood can be found including bass, walleye, pike and muskellunge. The fourth largest river along the Atlantic Coast and the 21st largest in the U.S., the Potomac is a little over 400 miles long and its fishing activity along the tidal mainstem between DC and the Chesapeake Bay is regulated by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission. Over the years, just as the river has changed, so has its name. Its original Algonquian spelling was “Patawomeke,” and in the 18th century was simplified to “Patowmack.” Its current European spelling was agreed upon in 1931 by the Board on Geographic Names. Whatever way you spell it, the Potomac River is a cherished playground for countless area residents and tourists alike.

Fletcher’s Cove
The Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove
4940 Canal Road, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 244-0461

Located along the Potomac River and the C & O Canal National Historic Park, Fletcher’s Cove — or as some call it, “Fletcher’s Boathouse” — is a boat and bike rental facility. Its location is idyllic for fishing, boating, picnicking and bicycling, and it sells fishing licenses, bait, tackle and refreshments. The boat house has existed at the location since the 1850s, and after the fourth generation of the family-owned establishment retired in 2004, the National Park Service took over operation of the facility. The river contains striper, walleye, catfish and — according to locals — shad, when the dogwoods are in bloom.

Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay Program
410 Severn Ave., Suite 112
Annapolis, MD 21403
(800) 968-7229

Approximately 200 miles long, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and is home to over 350 species of fish and multiple species of crab and shellfish including striped bass, blue crab and the eastern oyster. Widely known for its seafood production — it yields over 500 million pounds of seafood each year — the Bay is also a huge attraction for tourists who enjoy fishing, swimming, boating and sailing on its waters. Over the last few decades, the overharvesting of oysters — which act as natural water filters — and pollution have led to their rapid decline and a reduced water quality of the Bay. However, the continuing efforts of federal, state and local governments, in conjuction with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Program, aim to maintain and restore the bay’s water quality.

Related: Most Comfortable Wilderness Retreats In Washington DC

Kevin Don Porter is the author of MISSING — a mystery novel available May 7, 2013. Visit his website at

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