Arlington Outdoors writer used to be an avid fisherman. Fishing became more or less a thing of the past for several good reasons:
- You can’t eat the fish that you catch without fear from contamination.
- The process requires gear and upkeep.
- Fishing can stink.
Before going down that road, you have to truly think about it. If there was a pristine place to fish where the water is clean, one might want to get there and give it a try. The chances are that the location will be remote from where you live. You’ll have to find a cabin near a lake with a boat rental if possible.
If you find such a place, you’ll need a license. Oh, that is very easy because it is all online now. Make sure you have printing cartridge because you need to print it to carry it with you.
You will probably need some ice and an an ice chest to store the fish until you are ready to cook them for dinner. Being optimistic about catching fish isn’t too far fetched so long as the weather is right and you get up and out there in the morning, or catch them at sunset.
Having all the gear together is a start. Now, where can one fish if you live in Northern Virginia?
Here is an easy spot.
“Lake Fairfax (18 acres) in Reston
Although fishable year-round, spring is the premier time for fishing at Lake Fairfax . Thousands of pounds of safe-to-eat rainbow trout are stocked in the lake then. Bi-weekly stockings run from February into April. A Virginia fishing license is required along with either a one-day or a seasonal trout fishing pass available at the site. There are one-pole and six-fish limits. The lake is very accessible for shoreline fishermen.”
“Safe to eat” sounds promising. However, that location is a little urban.
“Are they safe to eat?
PCBs are a health concern in some county waters. There are restrictions on eating eel, catfish, carp, bass, bullhead, perch and sunfish in the Potomac River basin. Conditions and health advisories can change.”
You know the television program called River Monsters with Jeremy Wade? That’s most appealing to me because Jeremy likes to catch big fish and to conjure stories about their capacity to devour people. That’s scary stuff. He always catches and releases them. I like that.
So, maybe I will just head up river on the Potomac to the Great Falls and see what I can catch. I will take my cameras, of course to see if I can film and record some of the action.
If from the experience I get the bug to go again, maybe I will search for that cabin in the woods experience with the possibility that I might be eaten by bears.
Virginia offers excellent, extremely diverse freshwater angling opportunities. Over 176,000 acres of public lakes and 27,300 miles of fishable streams provide every freshwater angler something: tidal river for largemouth bass, striped bass, blue catfish and shad; unsurpassed float fishing smallmouth bass rivers spread across the state; expansive reservoirs renowned for largemouth bass, striped bass, and crappie; numerous “close-to-home” small, family fishing lakes and ponds with great chances to land bass, sunfish, and channel catfish; and phenomenal stocked and wild trout fishing in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. You’ve arrived at the right place to learn more about Virginia’s fish species!
Sunfish (Black bass, Crappie, Sunfish/Bream)
Hybrid Striped Bass
The possibilities are promising if I can locate a clean waterway. Send help.