The main tributaries that feed the Patuxent River include Mattaponi Creek, Little Patuxent River, Western Branch, and the Davidsonville Branch. The Patuxent River bisects the shore of the State of Maryland south to the north. If you’re passionate about angling, you can find many catfish, bluefish, pickerel, largemouth bass, snakehead, and bass in this river. The Patuxent is ranked seventh of the bay tributaries of freshwater that feeds the Chesapeake Bay. This article covers some vital Patuxent River fishing spots you should focus on when planning your next fishing trip at this expansive river.
Where can I fish in the Patuxent River?
Here are the most popular Patuxent River fishing hot spots:
1. Upper Patuxent near Damascus
The stretch between Rts. 27 & 97 of the Patuxent River offers 12 miles of fishing for fish species you catch and release. This spot is full of rainbow and brown trout stocked by the DNR. However, it’s critical that you read about the trout regulations before heading out. Also, note that it can be difficult to find a bank level enough to walk on at some point in the river. The best bait to try while at it is the Prince Nymph. Spring stocking is the best season to visit this spot.
2. WSSC Reservoirs
The best time to visit this Patuxent River fishing spot is when the boating season starts in May. Rocky Gorge and Triadelphia are two of the many reservoirs managed by the Washington State Sanitary Commission (WSSC). Fishing at both reservoirs is enjoyable from May to November, but you need to purchase a permit to get fishing privileges. Visit the WSSC office at Brighton Dam to buy a pass to use the reservoirs daily or yearly.
Although you need to pay for a boating pass, it’s worth the cost because you can fish for crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluefish, northern pike, yellow perch, tiger Muskie, and striped bass. Jerkbait will guarantee you great action at the Patuxent River.
3. Wooton’s Landing Park
Go fishing at the Wooton’s Landing Park, well-armed with Minnows as your primary lure. The best time to try this spot is during spring. You shouldn’t overlook the wetlands and ponds on the property. Remember, this is a gated park due to its size and the way the Patuxent River runs. You can get free access by completing a form at the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks. A kayak launch area allows you to fish for largemouth bass, snakehead, white and yellow perch, pickerel, and catfish.
4. Nans Cove
If you prefer fishing early or late in the day, this is a perfect fishing spot in the Patuxent River. The best time to visit the spot is from June to August. Beetle spins are the best baits for this spot. This cove is located on the banks of the Patuxent River, and a large parking lot is located just off Broomes Island Road. There is a small kayak launch at the end of the road. This cove is also great for fishing for white perch and catfish. This is a great spot to go paddling with the family and enjoy some calm waters.
5. Waysons Corner
The best time to try this fishing spot is during spring. Ensure you bring along Beetle Spin with a twister tail for the best results. The spot is best for yellow perch as they can be found in feeding here in plenty at this time of the year. But, since the run may last only a few weeks, you should read the reports so that you don’t miss out. There is so much fish in the nearby river; the water here is much deeper, and much smaller fish are spawning in the nearby creeks.
There is a pier just a short walk from the Waysons Corner parking area, and there is a lot of good fishing access from the shore south of the Route 4 Bridge. If you plan to take a kayak or canoe, there’s a launch area in the parking lot where you can park.
Cast spinners and other small worms along the sides of fallen trees to catch largemouth bass. And don’t forget to set topwater frogs in the grass to catch snakeheads. There is plenty of northern pikes, northern pikes, and blue catfish in the area.
6. Kings Landing
This is a great fishing spot for anglers who love timing the incoming tide. With fresh bunker chunks, you can rest assured of enjoying great action in the Patuxent River. You can keep visiting this spot all year long and be guaranteed to catch plenty of fish. Catfish love the waters just beyond Kings Landing. You can fish from the pier or put your kayak in the water to launch a kayak. If the pier is very crowded, drive a few miles upriver to Lower Marlboro, where you will find a small fishing pier on the other side of the river. There is plenty of parking at both locations, and people mainly fish for catfish at this spot.
What Kind Of Fish Are In The Patuxent River?
Here are some of the fish species you should expect at the Patuxent River:
Bluefish are blue-green fish with silvery sides and have a dark spot on their pectoral fin. They have a strong, potent, rigid body resembling a torpedo and can travel long distances. They are powerful predators with large mouths and sharp teeth that are able to slice through meat. This fish eats large and small fish such as squid, crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. They are known to be very aggressive when slashing at small prey and killing them quickly. They can also kill more predators than they can eat.
Bluefish can store up to 70 different species of fish in their guts, including juvenile bluefish, alewives, butterfish and. They are very active during the early years of their lives and grow rapidly. They grow quickly and become larger as they age. Juveniles are attracted to water in estuaries and salt ponds because they are near suitable areas to get food and because they are protected from predators. Bluefish are usually about 25 pounds and can reach up to 45 inches long.
Anglers catch bluefish in sheltered areas such as shoals or in rips where large schools of fish congregate to feed on bait fish. Bluefish will eat weak lines, so you should use lines that are at least 40 pounds of mono or braid and a wire leader. Single hook topwater plugs baited with a small plastic lure work the best. Bluefish are usually smoked or grilled fresh for a great flavor.
2. Largemouth Bass
These are the most popular fish to catch in the United States, and for a good reason! Bigmouth bass is often hooked up for a great fight. They can grow to healthy sizes in the Patuxent River. Bigmouth bass reaches an average of 6 inches in their first year of life, and then it can reach 14 inches or more in their second and eventually reach 18 inches or more in their third year of life. The largemouth bass is very light to dark green in color and is usually taken from lakes and rivers in the Florida and Texas area.
Dark blotches form in a horizontal line that runs along the length of the fish. The fish’s underbelly is typically light green to white. Largemouth bass has a divided dorsal fin, with nine spines on each side and 12-13 soft rays on each side. Their upper jaw extends way beyond the back of their eyes. Florida and Texas rank highly among the states in the country to explore and catch bigmouth bass (or any other largemouth bass)!
Snakeheads belong to the fish family of the same name. Snakehead fish are recognizable by their long bodies and very pointed heads. The fish has a head that is long and somewhat pointed, reminiscent of a snake.
Scientists recognize snakehead fish as a family of over 50 different species. But for this guide, we will focus on the well-known Northern Snakehead. They are very similar to most other fish and have a long, elongated body that looks like a snake. The scales of this fish have a distinctive pattern that appears to be a mix of light and dark brown.
Snakeheads are long fish that grow about three feet long when fully grown. Some of them can reach more than five feet long. They once dominated the native wildlife in many areas of the United States. Researchers consider them to be harmful invasive species.
4. White and Yellow Perch
White and yellow perch both have smooth, shiny bodies with no distinct markings or dots on them. Yellow perch are brownish-yellow and have distinct dark vertical stripes on their bodies. White perch are some of the best fish to eat in the Patuxent River. Some argue that yellow perch are better, but yellow perch are not nearly as plentiful as whites.
Catfish have served as a delicacy in many different cultures. If there is no regulation on targeting and fishing in the Patuxent River, the catfish may be driven to the brink of extinction. But when humans take an interest in its survival, it is allowed to thrive. Some catfish species produce venomous compounds when they must withstand particular threats. This has resulted in the deaths of a few humans.
The Patuxent River is free-flowing and supplies the greater Washington Metropolitan area with drinkable water. You need to choose the perfect fishing spot in the Patuxent River while planning for your next fishing trip wisely. The spot you choose will depend on the type of fish species you’re targeting, the time of the year, and the type of bait you can access.
Raymond Smith is a fishing enthusiast who has been obsessed with fishing and boating since childhood. He used to accompany his father to every weekend fishing escapade along the banks of the Madison River, where they would try to catch as much fish as possible, each time targeting different species to add to their belts. Smith loves angling, travel, and exploration and has amassed more than ten years of experience in trout and steelhead fishing techniques. He shares all his fishing experiences and tips on this website and other online outdoors magazines.