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Quick Start to Catfishing on the Potomac

We’re just getting started but our hope is to provide a portal for cat fishing on the Potomac River.

You will find the gear and technique you use successfully on other waters, will not work here –  especially if you want to catch Monster Cats.

The Potomac waters are faster, deeper and more treacherous than most any other river in the country. One experts calls it extreme cat fishing. It can also be deadly,  as the water can turn nasty in minutes.

I assume you came here to learn about cat fishing on the Potomac. I don’t want you to have to go elsewhere for your information,  so I’m going to give you the skinny right now.

1. Guides. My Dad was a commercial fisherman, as was one of my brothers. They both said that it was foolish to travel to strange waters to fish without a guide. If you don’t have a friend that knows the waters, then going with a pro is the way to go. There is only one competent, full time catfish guide on the Potomac. His name is Captain Josh Fitchett, winner of 42 catfish tournaments, holder of two Maryland state records, and head of RiverCatn’ Guide Service at http://www.rivercatn.com/.  Call 804.836.5220. Tell him Steve (or BadAssBass) sent you.

2. Books: There are many good books on cat fishing, mostly, in my opinion,  collections of repetitious opinions. However, to my knowledge, there is only one book written whose author’s home water is the Potomac. As well written as any book on the art,  Catfishing Basics A “NO FRILLS” POCKET GUIDE, is available at Amazon for $4.00 or you can download a free .PDF version direct from the author, Brad S. Hierstetter at http://www.catfishmd.us/. Tell him we sent you.

3. Clubs: There are a couple of Catfishing Clubs that fish the Potomac, but I can only recommend one, Potomac River Monster Cats (PRMC).   Clubs are a terrific, economical way to learn about the how, when and where of fishing specific species. PRMC is run by generous, ethical managers and the members I’ve talked to are very friendly.

4. Gear: Finally, for gear and tackle, the closest expert outfitter devoted to monster catfishing, is David Ashby,  proprietor of Bottom Dwellers Tackle, Rosedale,  VA, at www.bottomdwellerstackle.com (1-276-451-8776; bottomdwellerstackle@gmail.com) David really knows his products and the art of cat fishing. As importantly, his prices are mostly as good and often better than the big box stores.

5. Boats: Don’t have a boat? You can fish from shore in many places or rent a row boat from Fletcher’s Boathouse in D.C. (You can bring your on electric trolling motor. Or rent a power boat or fishing kayak from Up-the-Creek Rentals on Mattawoman Creek at Slavins Landing in Indian Head, Md.

6. Trip Planning: Weather and River Conditions: Check here for current and forecast weather, tides and river conditions. The weather, tides and river condition widgets are inter-active. Mouse over the weather icons for details including sunrise and sunset times.  Use your mouse with the tide and river widgets to get high/low tide information (pun unintended), and change  river flow reporting stations.

We’ll be back with more but this should get you on your way to catching your trophy cat.