Sometimes, when you’re living in a bustling city like Washington, D.C., you just want to find a good way to retreat to nature. Fishing is an excellent hobby to find peace among the wilderness, and D.C. and the nearby surrounding area offer plenty of opportunity for anglers. From the mighty Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay, find your spot with these five awesome fishing spots in and around Washington, D.C.
Anacostia National Park is open year-round and offers incredible fishing opportunities. Keep in mind that you need to have a D.C. fishing license before casting your first line. While the fish bite, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) strictly regulates which fish can be consumed. Many of the fish species here are not safe to eat, so make sure to read up on the most recent catch and release regulations and health warnings before taking anything home.
The Potomac River is known for its fishing, crabbing, and shell fishing. A sport fishing license is required before using this “fishing hole,” and one must keep up with the newest regulations. The striped bass season opens on April 15 and runs through May 15, with the summer and fall season opening May 16 through Dec. 31. Eighteen additional fish species call the Potomac River home, and are legal to fish during the appropriate season. Stop by their website and check the regulations to make sure the fish you’re catching is legal.
The Chesapeake Bay runs across Virginia and Maryland, as well as the greater D.C. area, and is an angler favorite. The rockfish, bluefish, speckled trout, croaker, and flounder make for exciting sport. Make sure to note where exactly you are on the bay, as the regulations differ from state to state and district to district. Colored markers exist throughout the bay to help you in determining your location. Charter boats are available throughout the region to bring you out on the water.
Park along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and cast a line from shore to try your luck at catching bass. Other fish available in the canal include carp, catfish, and the occasional snakehead (but watch out for them—they’re an invasive species). Some anglers use bows and arrows to catch their canal fish. But, of course, a regular line works perfectly fine, too.
Not far outside of the D.C. metro area, Burke Lake in Fairfax Station is a wonderful destination for anglers of all experience levels. Sprawled across more than 200 acres, Burke Lake boasts plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation, with fishing being among the very best. Fishermen and women will find everything from perch to sunfish to catfish.