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FISHING REPORT By Charlie Taylor
Potomac River Tide Information Twilight
High Point, Occoquan River Hours
Day Date High Low High Low A.M. P.M.
Wednesday 5/27 0923 1654 2215 0351 0518 2055
Thursday 5/28 1020 1745 2315 0450 0517 2056
Friday 5/29 1122 1838 - - - 0551 0517 2057
Saturday 5/30 1231 1932 0018 0654 0516 2058
Sunday 5/31 1341 2026 0123 0759 0515 2059
Monday 6/01 1447 2119 0225 0905 0515 2059
Tuesday 6/02 1548 2212 0322 1009 0515 2100
Wednesday 6/03 1643 2303 0416 1111 0514 2101
Thursday 6/04 1734 2351 0505 1208 0514 2101
Friday 6/05 1823 - - - 0551 1300 0514 2102
Saturday 6/06 1910 0036 0635 1348 0513 2103
Sunday 6/07 1955 0118 0715 1430 0513 2103
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Small stripers and large catfish are the fare at
Fletcher's Boathouse, where cut herring chunks are taking the fish.
Downstream, bass are hugging the riprap above Columbia Island, main river
bridge pilings, and rocky points. Catfish are available to anglers fishing
flats adjacent to the channel, on chicken livers, cut bait and clam snouts.
Grass beds above the Wilson Bridge are producing bass on Slug-Gos, buzz baits,
Pop-R, jig 'n pig and plastic worms. The Spoils is still producing quality
bass on plastic tubes and creature baits.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Outgoing tides are producing
bass for persistent anglers fishing baits very slowly in the shallow, main
river grassbeds. Incoming tides find the milfoil beds producing well on
buzzbaits and Johnson Silver Minnows, tipped with twin tail grubs. Buzzbaits
and Zoom Horny Toads in the lily pads, early and late in the day, are
producing some good fish. Flipping jigs and worms, tight to cover, is also
responsible for lots of fish, while fishing shallow flats adjacent to dropoffs
can result in good catches. Patience is the answer, as the creeks are just
chock full of herring and shad fry. Everywhere you look, there are huge
schools of baitfish rippling the surface. This is the clue to downsize bait
offerings and slow down your presentation. Catfish anglers are filling boats
with the tasty bottom feeders throughout the river system. Cut herring and
clam snouts are the better choices for bait.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Herring, shad, a few crappie and an occasional bass are being
caught here. The herring and shad, although almost gone, are found in the
rocks in the back of the river, while crappie and bass are found near the boat
docks and structure around the Route One Bridge. Catfish action is great
throughout the river.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Bass fishing is good, with most of the fish caught being
males, in the one to three pound range. Midlake is producing best, with
topwater baits taking fish from the points early and late in the day, while
jig 'n pig and plastic worms are the choice when the sun is high. Spinnerbait
fishermen are doing well uplake on downed wood. Excellent crappie action, with
some of the fish being caught shallow, and others in the river channel. These
tasty fish are biting well on small minnows and tiny jigs. Sunfish are
spawning and some large fish are being caught on nightcrawlers and flyrod
BURKE LAKE - Crappie and bass action is generally good, with bass hitting
crankbaits and plastic worms around brushpiles and points. Crappie are taking
small jigs and live minnows on dropoffs and over brushpiles. The deeper
brushpiles are producing the larger fish. Crickets are taking lots of
shellcrackers. Catfish action is good on clam snouts, with most being taken
near the grassbeds. Some lucky anglers are still catching nice walleye.
FARM PONDS - Ponds are prime for topwater lures. Fish buzzbaits, Rapalas,
chuggers, flyrod poppers, etc. around vegetation and pond edges. Zoom Horny
Toads, fished through and around any vegetation, will produce heart-stopping
strikes. Just wait until you feel the fish before setting the hook. Heavy (30-
65#) braided line works best. Plastic worms are best fished off the dam,
particularly in vegetation. Big bluegills are available on flyrod poppers and
nightcrawlers in the shallows.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Local area storms have left the river high and
stained. Overall, fishing is slow. Smallmouth bass are biting on plastic
grubs, tiny crankbaits and small spinners or spinnerbaits. Work baits along
the shoreline weedbeds during the morning and in the middle of the river
during the afternoon. Topwater baits should also be good for some good fish,
early and late in the day. Upon seeing carp spawning in the grassbeds along
the shore, fish the area just downriver from the grassbeds with tiny
crankbaits. Smallmouth and bluegill should be having a field day, feeding on
the crustaceans and insect larvae stirred up by the carp. Flyrodders are
having a ball, tossing tiny white mayfly imitations that resemble the White
Miller hatch. Catfish are taking live minnows and cut bait, fished on the
bottom in the deeper holes. Lots of big, spawning bluegills, which may be
caught on nightcrawlers, spinners, Beetlespins and flyrod poppers, around the
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Big blue catfish are still taking cut shad and herring
baits, fished on the bottom, in the outside bends of the river. Creek
channels are also holding lots of biting catfish. Downriver creeks are very
muddy and fishing is very slow for bass and perch. Catfish, white perch and
stripers are being caught around the Route One Bridge. Above the city,
smallmouth bass, 2-3 pounds, are taking Tiny Torpedos.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - In the South Fork, good action is being had by anglers
fishing for catfish, sunfish and smallmouth bass. Catfish are taking cut bait
and nightcrawlers, fished on the bottom. Sunfish are taking nightcrawlers and
Beetlespins, while smallmouth are taking topwater baits and plastic grubs.
Smallmouth action is such that 40+ fish per day is normal. Sizes are not
great, but action is terrific.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Excellent catfish and bream action, with a few
bass and an occasional pickerel also caught. Catfishermen are using cut bait
and clam snouts, while bream anglers are touting nightcrawlers. Rat-L-Traps
and plastic worms are taking the bass and pickerel. Good numbers of stripers
are also being caught and released.
LAKE ANNA - Bass fishing is excellent on secondary points. Plastic lizards and
topwater baits are the most effective baits, although some fish are being
taken on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Anglers targeting docks are doing well
by skipping Senkos and tubes back under the dock to the shadiest portion of
the water. Striper fishing is best early and late in the day, with Zara
Spooks, Cordell Redfins and chartreuse colored Sassy Shads, fished on the
shallow flats adjacent to main channel points. Crappie fishing remains
excellent, with the tasty fish being caught on live minnows and tiny jigs
around beaver huts, bridge pilings and suspended over creek channels.
JAMES RIVER - Smallmouth bass are taking live minnows, plastic grubs and worms
and small topwater lures above the city. Big blue catfish and stripers are
being caught at the "Z" dam in Richmond. The best pattern for bass on the
tidal stretch is flippin' the standing cypress trees with small plastic worms,
grubs and jig n' pig, and flippin' Slug-Gos in the outside edge of lily pads.
The wing dams between Hopewell and Richmond are producing well on crankbaits
and plastics on the downtide side and the ends of the dams. The wing dams on
the Appomattox are also producing well on crankbaits, plastics and slow-
rolled, large spinnerbaits. Catfish action is good on cut herring and shad,
fished on the bottom, in the outside bends of the river channel. A new state
record blue cat was caught last week, weighing in at 102 lbs. 4 oz.
LAKE CHESDIN - Bass action is picking up, with the preferred baits being
spinnerbaits, plastics and rattling crankbaits. Crappie, good numbers of which
are over the one pound mark, are taking minnows around submerged brush.
Stripers are putting in an appearance, as quite a few were taken this past
week on rattling crankbaits and jumbo minnows. Catfish action is fair on
bottom baits. Occasional walleye are also being caught.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - The river is in good shape. Lots of bass in the 1-3 pound
range are being taken on plastic worms and topwater lures, in the upriver pad
fields. Larger fish are also available around wood cover on channel edges. A
good bait is a Zoom, red shad, U-tail worm, with a 1/16 oz. sinker. The key is
patience. Fish v e r y s l o w l y, as the river is loaded with baitfish. Big
gar are being caught by anglers using large minnows in and on the edges of the
lily pads. Lots of big bream are caught on crickets and nightcrawlers. Catfish
action is excellent on medium minnows, turtle livers, clam snouts and cut
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Bass will be oriented to the grass beds or cypress trees.
Best baits for fishing this cover are Senkos and small plastics. Zoom Super
Flukes, Tiny Torpedos and small Buzzbaits, fished in the grass beds, are
taking good stringers of bass and pickerel, as well as an occasional bowfin.
Zoom Horny Toads and floating worms are also taking fish from the grassbeds
and pad fields. Bream are taking flyrod poppers, crickets and grass shrimp.
Catfish action is excellent on nightcrawlers, minnows and cut herring.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Excellent action for bass, stripers, catfish and some
pickerel. Bass and pickerel are taking buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic
worms, while catfish are taking cut bait and nightcrawlers. Stripers are being
caught by trolling live shad 30 feet deep and on topwater baits at dusk.
Shellcrackers are taking red wigglers and nightcrawlers in 5-10 feet of water,
over a hard bottom.
BACK BAY - Lots of catfish and bass are being caught in the falling and
clearing water. Nightcrawlers and cut bait are taking the cats, while worms
and spinnerbaits are accounting for most of the bass. Best action is in
Hellespoint and Tabernacle Creeks. Some nice perch are being taken in the Bay,
particularly near Ragged Island.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Fishing for bream and shellcrackers is excellent, with
crickets being the most productive bait. Bass fishing is excellent with most
of the fish being caught on topwater baits and spinnerbaits. Live jumbo
minnows are accounting for a number of gar being taken from Lake Prince. Lake
Meade and Western Branch are producing good numbers of striped bass on live
minnows, but most are small.
LAKE GASTON - Fishing is good, with striper fishermen catching fish on live
shad and bucktails cast up on the bank, in the upper end of the lake, near
Kerr Dam. Catfish action is good for anglers fishing live shad on or near the
bottom. Largemouth action is picking up, with topwater lures accounting for a
few good fish in the grass and plastic baits taking them off points and around
boat docks. Bream are spawning in the shallows.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Bass fishing is excellent, with Carolina-rigged lizards
taking lots of fish on the points. Topwaters, such as Devils Horse, will also
entice some bass, particularly late in the day. Crappie are on brushpiles in
eight feet of water and are taking live minnows. Stripers are being caught on
live bait, from Buoy 7 to Clarksville. Night anglers are taking stripers on
Redfins in mackerel and fluorescent red finishes, from Buoy 4 to the mouth of
Nutbush Creek. White bass are being caught at the mouth of Bluestone Creek.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Most of the action here is centered on
bluegill, fliers and catfish. The few bass being caught are in the slot
limit. Lots of citation bluegills and shellcrackers being caught in both
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Lots of bass are being caught on smoke grubs and six
inch plastic worms, in the backs of coves and on shallow banks. The better
bass fishing is in the Blackwater River arm of the lake. Striper and white
bass fishing is excellent, with fish all over the lake. Best results are
coming on bucktails, Cordell Redfins and live shad, fished on main lake
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Buzzbaits are taking bass early and late in the day,
while nighttime anglers are taking white bass on live shad. Striper fishing is
good below the dam and in the Staunton river.
LAKE MOOMAW - Bass action has picked up considerably. Largemouth bass may be
taken on crankbaits during low light periods. Some smallmouth are being caught
at night. Better baits at night appear to be jig 'n pig and crankbaits. Trout
action is excellent, with browns to seven pounds being caught on live shad or
spoons, and rainbows to four pounds at night under the crappie lights. Some
catfish are taking chicken livers and cut bait. Lots of big yellow perch and
bluegills are being caught.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Largemouth and smallmouth bass are taking spring lizard baits.
Best areas are around wood structure in 6-10 feet of water, around Mile Marker
Three. Walleye are taking the same bait, in addition to live minnows and
Rapalas. Best area seems to be around Mile Marker Seven. Some crappie are being
caught, but they are not schooled up yet. Insect hatches are drawing bluegills
to the surface, along with some bass.
NEW RIVER - Smallmouth bass are taking plastic baits, crankbaits and
topwaters. Water is returning to normal.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Crappie fishing is excellent, with minnows being the
best bait. White bass are hitting small spinners. A few smallmouth bass and
catfish are also being caught. Typical summer patterns prevail, although
reports indicate that night fishing has not yielded substantial catches yet.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Anglers are catching a few white bass at night, fishing with
live alewives. Some stripers are also being caught at night. Flathead catfish
are turned on, taking crayfish and chub minnows, while bass anglers are taking
good smallmouth on live alewives.
TROUT STREAMS - Excellent trout fishing throughout the state. Spin fishermen
are have good success using Dardevle spoons and Roostertail spinners. Fly
fishermen are finding good fishing with maribou muddlers in sizes 8-10 in the
larger streams and size 14-16 dry flies in the smaller streams.
S A L T W A T E R
CHINCOTEAGUE - Improved catches of flounder with the warmer weather. Black
Narrows, Queens Sound and around the Assateague Island Bridge are the better
areas. A few grey trout are being caught around the shorelines. In the surf,
taylor blues and a few choppers are being caught on cut bait. Sea bass are
beginning to show inside on the bridges and other structure. Outside the
inlet, taylor bluefish remain plentiful and wreck fishing for sea bass and
tautog is holding strong. Offshore, sharking is very productive, with lots of
blue sharks and a few large makos being caught this past week.
WACHAPREAGUE - The "Hills" are loaded with 7-12 pound bluefish, Atlantic
bonito and false albacore. The first of the yellowfin tuna were caught this
past week in Norfolk Canyon. Wreck fishing for sea bass is good, with some
tautog mixed in with the bass. Inside the inlet, flounder fishing is fair,
with the better catches being made in front of the Old Coast Guard Station. A
few sea mullet and grey trout are mixed in the catches.
ONANCOCK - Speckled trout, red drum and medium bluefish are being caught by
anglers, bottom fishing with peeler and soft crab. Best action has been in
shallow water around the Pocomoke Sound Islands. Speckled trout are running to
five pounds, red drum 20-35 pounds and blues 6-10 pounds. Pan trout are
beginning to hit off Gilford. On the western side of Tangier Island, some
taylor blues and a few speckled trout are hitting around the Target Ships.
Croaker are plentiful throughout Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds, with spot, grey
trout, sea mullet, blowfish and porgy mixed in the catches.
QUINBY - Flounder fishing has been fair to good. Bottom fishermen are catching
a few spot, sea bass and trout. Several schools of drum have been spotted on
shallow bars in the Quinby area, but anglers have not reported any catches.
CAPE CHARLES - The first cobia of the season were caught at the C-10 mussel
beds this past week. Black drum action is still strong. Sporadic catches of
pan trout are being made at C-10 and just off the Cement Ships. Good catches
of tautog are being made at Plantation Light, the C-10 mussel beds and from
several local wrecks. Red drum and cobia have moved in the Latimer Shoals
area. Bottom fishing is excellent for croaker, small spot, pan trout, sea
mullet and taylor blues. Spadefish are reported from Plantation Light,
Cherrystone Reef and over the Cell.
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Pan trout are being taken in the vicinity of the
High Level Bridge, croaker and flounder at the Small Boat Channel, and
flounder just off Harrison's Pier. Good hauls of large grey trout are being
made by nighttime anglers, casting around the rocks. Tautog are in fair supply
around the rocks, with some flounder being caught around the First Island and
on either side of the Lesner Bridge. Sporadic catches of Spanish mackerel are
being made in the area, with the more consistent action being just off
Grandview Beach. Cobia have blitzed the area, with fish to 68 pounds being
registered this past week. Red drum action is good around the Fourth Island.
Flounder action is reported to be good just off the mouth of the Back River
and around Fort Wool. Bottom fishing for spot, croaker, grey trout, sea
mullet, blowtoads and flounder is good at Buoy Y-9 and just inshore of Twin
Stakes, in 18 feet of water. Good catches of flounder are available off Plum
Tree Island and on Poquoson Flats. Grey trout are available at Bluefish Rock
and Fort Monroe. Croaker and spot are thick just off the Bell Buoy. Inside the
York River, decent sized croaker, flounder and small spot are being caught.
Fair to good flounder action is to be had at the Gloucester Point Pier and
surrounding shoreline. Speckled trout action has slowed inside Mobjack Bay,
but Spanish mackerel are beginning to show. Amberjack action has been
fantastic at the Southern Tower. Chopper bluefish are also thick in the area.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - The cool, rainy spring has caused the trophy
stripers to linger in the middle bay area. These fish may still be caught,
trolling in the familiar early spring areas. A few schools of large black
drum are present in the area as well. "Croaker are about to take over", at
Kruse's Wharf, who noted that the biggest fish are found in the shallows along
the shorelines. Croaker to 24 inches are being caught in 20-25 feet of water
around Blackberry Hang. Some spot have also moved in. Good numbers of striped
bass are available throughout the area, with only a scattering of taylor
blues. Speckled trout continue to show at Dameron Marsh. Grey trout, 16-18
inches, are available just southeast of Buoy 62. Speckled trout and large
croaker are being caught by casters working the Hole-in-the-Wall and around
the Piankatank River Oyster Reef. Flounder are providing decent action off
Mosquito Point and Smith Point Jetty.
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Striped bass are thick in the upper bay. Good
numbers are being taken around Thomas Point. Anglers at the Point are also
taking a mixed bag of spot, croaker, speckled trout and flounder. Choptank
River piers are reporting white perch being caught on grass shrimp. Bottom
anglers are taking a mix of spot, croaker, flounder and speckled trout.
Trollers are taking some chopper blues near Cove Point.
OCEAN CITY - A few flounder are reported, caught on squid and shiners on flood
tides. In the surf, blowfish and skates are the main catch, while offshore,
bluefish are showing at the First Lump and the Bass Grounds. Party boats are
doing well on sea bass and ling cod.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Offshore, decent catches of 30-50 pound yellowfin tuna and
gaffer dolphin, with a scattering of wahoo and 100 pound mako sharks, are made
by the charter fleet. Best action has been just south of the Cigar. The area
also produced the season's first blue marlin last week. The SE Lumps and
Bluefish Alley are holding hordes of bluefish in the 8-18 pound class, with
water temperatures in the low to mid 60's. Headboats are still catching good
numbers of sea bass and tautog on the inshore wrecks. Trollers are seeing more
Spanish mackerel in their catches, and several schools of cobia have been
spotted. Surf anglers are taking a mixture of sea mullet, blowtoads and small
spot. Inside Rudee Inlet, fireball rigs, baited with cut mullet, are finding
an occasional chopper bluefish.
JAMES RIVER - Croaker provide consistent action, with catches including
stripers, spot and flounder. Crabbing is improving daily.
LYNNHAVEN - A mixture of stripers, spot, croaker, flounder, surf perch, sea
mullet and a few taylor blues.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Plenty of spot, sea mullet, croaker, flounder, taylor blues
and a few trout. Stripers are occasional visitors and Spanish mackerel action
SANDBRIDGE - A wide variety of fish are being caught, including spot, taylor
blues, sea mullet, blowtoads, surf perch, flounder, grey trout, speckled
trout, stripers, cobia, a few Spanish mackerel and a load of skates.
OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Pier anglers are taking good catches of croaker, spot and
sea mullet, plus a few grey trout and taylor blues. Fair to good action on
small bluefish and speckled trout is being found at the Little Bridge to
Manteo. Oregon Inlet has a good supply of taylor blues and flounder. Just
outside the inlet, taylor blues and some Spanish mackerel are being caught by
trollers. This past week saw a strong run of Spanish mackerel and cobia at
several of the piers. Offshore, yellowfin tuna provided the most consistent
action. Best action is just south of the Point. Mixed in the catches were king
mackerel, wahoo and gaffer dolphin. Several white and blue marlin are being
taken daily. Chopper bluefish have taken up residence at the 102 Tower and
schools of bluefin tuna have been sighted within 10-12 miles of the inlet.
Inshore boats are finding amberjack on the towers, along with fair numbers of
king mackerel. Trollers, working the mouth of the inlet, are catching Spanish
mackerel, taylor blues and the occasional cobia. Headboat anglers are catching
croaker, flounder, sea bass, trigger fish and spadefish.
Now this is cool!!!!!!!
wow this is awesome. thank you !