River Bass Fishing From Algonkian Park on the Upper Potomac River in Late Summer
By Dan Grulke

The gentle summertime currents on the Upper Potomac River out of Algonkian Park offers
many great fishing opportunities for fisherman of all ages.

Fishing from Algonkian Park is perhaps one of the most flexible areas to fish on the Upper Potomac River. Water backed up by Seneca Breaks and a couple of large islands, that create current breaks,  make kayaking this section of river a tolerable chore during the summer months and for jet boat fishermen it offers a convenient starting point for numerous “hot spots”. There are also several “deep water” spots that hold decent smallmouth bass that are within 4 miles of the boat launch.

When fishing from my custom rigged Xpress jet boat I like to start my fishing day by running the jet boat upriver to my furthest destination and the fishing and hitting different locations on the way back. Typically my first stop is a rocky bluff located on the Virginia side of the river just upstream of Goose Creek.  I start by casting 10 feet away from the bluff, deeper water located here with chunk rock, and then once this area is thoroughly covered I cast directly against the bluff. During this time of year I prefer moving baits such as the Rapala Dives to Series and Rapala Clackin Raps in colors that resemble crawfish. These baits allow me to work an area thoroughly and quickly for active bass that are searching for crawfish in this rocky area. If the bass are in a finicky mood or during cold front conditions I will start with a Campground Special teaser tube rigged on a R.A.B 1/8 or 1/4 jig head. Colors I prefer are Penrod Rose, Juniata Treat, and Buzz Kill.

My next stop is downriver on the Virginia side at the mouth of Goose Creek. I prefer to work the current break from the main river casting into the mouth of Goose Creek and letting my bait “sweep” through the hole. For this technique I always use a tube or creature bait, rigged on a 1/8 or ¼ R.A.B jig head, and keep a tight line so that the current tumbles my bait along the bottom. Most fish will bite just at the end of the drift or swing. After I cover the current break or if it is between 11am and 3pm I will work the slack water inside the creek. As long as I am catching fish I will continue to work my way up the creek. When I run out of fish I make my next move.

My next spot is the old aqueduct below Edwards Ferry on the Maryland side of the river almost directly across from Goose Creek. I like to fish one cast off the bank and prefer to work tube baits in the chunk rock that is located out in this deeper area. The Maryland side of the river is my preferred side to fish from Edwards Ferry downstream 400 yards. I have caught numerous largemouth bass in this area as well as trophy size smallmouth bass.

In the direct vicinity of Algonkian Park you have numerous Islands that create current breaks on the downstream side that hold bass as well as some pockets of deep water on the sides of some of these islands. I prefer to fish the ledges between the Maryland shore and the islands during periods of high sun and during low light I prefer to fish between the Virginia shore and the islands.

Numerous techniques work here including top-water baits (during low light), Mizmo and Campground Specials teaser tubes, Rapala Dives to Series, Clackin Raps, and x-rap’s in size 6 and 8.  I prefer to use 6 or 8 pound test Sufix Pro Mix line and a medium power fast action graphite rod. Brands I typically use include Gator Rods and custom built St. Croix rods paired with a Daiwa high speed gear ratio reel.

For more detailed information about this area purchase Fishing the Upper Potomac River by Ken Penrod or for information or more details about this article contact Life Outdoors Unlimited Guide Dan Grulke at 703-389-3508 or musky13@yahoo.com.