Urban Fishing in Washington, D.C. - by Gabriella Hoffman

The nation’s capital is famously dubbed as “the Swamp” but don’t let that negative caricature deter you from fishing there.

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to fish in several D.C. spots with my friends Debbie Hanson of Shefishes2 and Rob Snowhite of Fly Fishing Consultant. Rob, who guides locally, showed us how and where to fish in the Tidal Basin. While he and Debbie used fly rods, I stuck with my spinning cast rod. It was hot and humid, with limited rainfall in the area--causing some unsavory fishing conditions, we were told. I’m convinced the excessive heat and warm water temperatures rendered few catches as a result. Nevertheless, fishing isn’t dubbed “catching”; the appeal of fishing lies in its ability to render tranquility, foster patience, and teach anglers to appreciate their surroundings and the fish they pursue.

I used to believe it was impossible to fish in Washington, D.C., but learned getting a non-resident license is quite easy to obtain. For $13, I bought one. (As you know, money spent on licenses go directly to conservation efforts.) Since I live across the river in Virginia, I won’t be hesitant to fish in Washington, D.C., in the future after seeing firsthand how feasible it is.

D.C.’s bodies of water are notoriously dirty and polluted, but consequently enough, it’s a thriving fishery--just one you don’t largely eat from. Fish species including bass, striper, red fish, snakehead (which are edible), bluegill, crappie, carp, blue catfish, and perch are known to reside in the Tidal Basin. Bass, perch, and bluegill supposedly thrive in Constitution Gardens located behind the World War II Memorial. Here’s a preview of our day traversing this urban fishery:



Did this inspire you to fish in the nation’s capital? Would you ever grab your rod and reel and venture to the epicenter of politics? To learn more about fishing in general, follow TakeMeFishing.org and Debbie at @SheFishes2. Follow Rob at @RobSnowhite to learn more about urban angling in Washington, D.C.



Gabriella Hoffman

Media Strategist

ReelCamo Girl Team Member

D.C. Correspondent, The Resurgent

Contributor, The Hill


Facebook: facebook.com/TheGabbyHoffman

Twitter: @Gabby_Hoffman

Instagram: @Gabriella_Hoffman


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