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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 8/12 1125 1800 2345 0603 0553 2034
Thursday 8/13 1218 1847 - - - 0655 0554 2033
Friday 8/14 1321 1941 0039 0758 0555 2031
Saturday 8/15 1435 2045 0142 0913 0556 2030
Sunday 8/16 1549 2200 0253 1027 0557 2029
Monday 8/17 1655 2317 0406 1132 0558 2027
Tuesday 8/18 1753 - - - 0512 1230 0559 2026
Wednesday 8/19 1847 0026 0612 1322 0600 2024
Thursday 8/20 1938 0128 0707 1410 0601 2023
Friday 8/21 2027 0224 0759 1456 0602 2021
Saturday 8/22 2115 0317 0849 1540 0603 2020
Sunday 8/23 2203 0409 0939 1623 0604 2018
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Lots of catfish, many in the 8-10 pound class, are
being caught in Fletcher's Cove. Bass are being caught around bridge pilings,
riprap banks, wood cover and dropoffs. Better choice for baits are topwaters
early and late in the day, and plastic worms, spinnerbaits and crankbaits when
the sun is up. Washington Channel anglers are taking bass, catfish and
stripers, trolling parallel to the War College Wall.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Bass are orienting to main river
grassbeds and wood cover. Plastic baits and spinnerbaits are the best
producing baits, when fished in the outside edges of the grassbeds. Creeks are
also producing good numbers of bass for anglers fishing plastic worms and
crankbaits around docks, pilings and other wood structure. Lily pad fields and
grassbeds in the creeks are giving up bass on buzzbaits, topwater frogs and
small plastic worms on outgoing tides. Catfish are available on any flat
adjacent to a dropoff. Cut crab or eel are the better baits. Use stout tackle
when fishing for these fish as some of them are brutes. Forty to fifty pound
fish are not unusual, with plenty in the 20-30# class.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Some bass action on the rocky points on the southern bank of
the river and in grassbeds on the north side at the mouth of the river. Boat
docks are also producing bass, as well as crappie, sunfish and some large
catfish. Live minnows and plastic worms are producing best. Lunker catfish are
being caught in the channel, off the islands at the mouth of the river.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Flathead catfish action is good, with the majority of the
big fish being taken on clam snouts. Some bass are being caught by patient
anglers, fishing plastic worms, crankbaits and jig 'n pig on the main lake
points and rock walls on the lower end of the lake. An occasional bass is
being taken from the wood blowdowns on the upper end of the lake. Crappie,
catfish and sunfish are being caught from the fishing pier. Crappie are
holding in 12 feet of water.
BURKE LAKE - Decent topwater bite early and late in the day. Fair bass fishing
on plastic worms and deep diving crankbaits, fished around the brushpiles and
dropoffs. Drifting nightcrawlers across the bottom, very slowly, is producing
some catfish, while crappie and bluegill are taking small flyrod poppers,
nightcrawlers, red wigglers and crickets.
FARM PONDS - Topwater baits, early and late in the day, and plastic worms when
the sun is high, are accounting for some nice bass. Catfish are taking clam
snouts, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bluegill action is best on
nightcrawlers and flyrod poppers.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Some smallmouth bass are being caught by anglers
fishing buzzbaits and small crankbaits on the shorelines early and late in the
day, and plastic grubs and Storm Baby Chug Bugs in the main river channel
during the afternoons. Zoom Super Flukes are taking some trophy smallmouth,
when fished around the shoreline grass. Lots of catfish and carp action on cut
bait, live minnows and doughballs.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Smallmouth bass action is rated good above the city,
when the river flow is good. Small chartreuse crankbaits, plastic grubs and
topwater baits are taking some good fish. The larger fish are being taken on
live crayfish and minnows. In the tidal stretches, largemouth bass are taking
shad colored crankbaits and plastic worms, fished around the blowdowns and on
the southern shoreline dropoffs. Catfish action is excellent in the tidal
stretches, with cut shad and eel being the choice of baits. Lots of pan-sized
catfish are being caught throughout the river, with an occasional big blue, to
30 pounds, being caught. Occasional schools of crappie are being found on
submerged brush and blowdowns, in 8-12 feet of water. Lower tidal creeks are
giving up good bass on small plastic baits, worked down the drop adjacent to
the marsh grass banks.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Smallmouth and sunfish action is good throughout the river.
Best lures appear to be small topwaters, crankbaits, plastic baits and small
spinners. Baby Senkos in white/gold flake and green pumpkin work well in flat
water, while small buzzbaits are taking many fish in the riffles. Some catfish
are available for anglers fishing nightcrawlers, clam snouts and cut bait.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Excellent bass action on the Mattaponi, just above
the 301 bridge. Crankbaits and topwaters are taking the fish. Otherwise, bream
and pickerel are taking small Beetlespins, while peeler crab is enticing
stripers, croaker and catfish throughout the lower reaches of both rivers.
LAKE ANNA - Bass are biting well, with plastic worms and grubs, and jigs being
the better choice of baits. Best areas are near the bridges and rip-rap areas
in 15-25 feet of water and along the outside edges of grass beds on the upper
end of the lake. Walleye fishing is good around the deep rocky points and in
the dike three area. Stripers are taking live shad, worked in 20-30 feet of
water. Crappie are taking live minnows around Stubbs and Dillard's Bridge
areas, in water depths of 10-15 feet.
JAMES RIVER - Tidal areas are showing a few largemouth bass, on plastic worms,
buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. Wood cover, wing dams and creek mouths are the
holding locations. Catfish action is excellent for those anglers fishing cut
bait, eels or live shad. Above the city, smallmouth bass are taking plastic
grubs and worms, along with small crankbaits and spinners. Live crayfish and
minnows are also working well.
LAKE CHESDIN - Despite heavy boat traffic and heat, lots of nice bass, 5-7
pounds, are being caught here, with the majority taking buzzbaits, plastic
worms and crankbaits. Crappie are hitting small minnows and seem to have gone
a bit deeper around the submerged brushpiles and bridge pilings. Better action
seems to be coming from the creeks. Some stripers are being caught.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Plastic worms and Zoom Horny Toads are the primary baits
for bass in the river. Hydrilla beds and cypress trees are holding the bass
downriver, while lily pad fields show some good bass upriver and in the backs
of creeks. Topwater baits are effective early and late in the day, adjacent to
the edges of lily pad fields and in the creek mouths. Catfish are taking
nightcrawlers and large minnows. Anglers using crickets, are filling creels
with large bluegills.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Catfish, 10-14 pounds, are taking large minnows. Bass, 4-7
pounds, are yielding to spinnerbaits, plastic worms, large minnows and flyrod
poppers. Lots of bowfin are being taken on spinnerbaits and plastics. Topwater
baits, such as Bass Assassins and plastic frogs, are taking all varieties,
over the grass beds.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - A few bass are being caught in 20-25 feet of water,
on plastic worms and crankbaits, on points. Yellow perch fishing is good, with
a few good fish caught this past week. Lots of stripers, to 10 pounds, were
caught this past week.
BACK BAY - Although fishing pressure is light, a number of bass to five pounds
have been weighed in. Most were caught on live minnows. Yellow perch remain
plentiful and a few catfish are being taken at the upper end of the bay.
Action in the creeks has been good for bass, crappie and white perch.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Shellcrackers are still being caught. The big sunfish are
taking red wigglers, crickets and grasshoppers. Some good bass, 5-7 pounds,
have been weighed in at both Western Branch and at Lake Prince. Prince is also
producing a few stripers on live minnows. Lake Meade is giving up lots of
bream and a few crappie, but bass and stripers are slow. Lakes Smith and
Whitehurst are giving up bass on plastic worms, along with a number of large
catfish. Some walleye, bream and white perch are also appearing in the
LAKE GASTON - Topwater lures produce well in early mornings around brush piles
and boat docks. Deep diving crankbaits, worked on light line, are producing
larger bass on main lake points. Carolina-rigged plastic worms are taking bass
from the stump fields in 6-12 feet of water. Plastic baits, particularly
floating worms, are working well in hydrilla bed edges, near docks. Crappie
fishing is good, using small minnows around boat docks. Catfish are taking cut
bait in channels and deep holes. Deep diving crankbaits and rattling lures are
taking good largemouth bass from Big Stonehouse Creek to the dam. Stripers
have started breaking water on the lower end of the lake in the evening. They
are located in 50-60 feet of water in the early daylight hours.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Striper fishing is slow, but picking up. The fish have
moved near the dam and can be found from Buoy 2 to 4, with trolling still
producing the better catches. Bass fishing is slow, with most fish being
caught in 10-30 feet of water, on deep diving crankbaits and Carolina-rigged
plastics. Crappie are taking small minnows fished around brush piles and
bridges, in 15-25 feet of water.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Lots of medium size bass, some bream
and some nice catfish are the fare in both lakes. Bass anglers report catching
up to 20 bass in the slot. Most of the fish are being taken on crankbaits 12-
16 feet down on points and dropoffs.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Some bass are taking Carolina-rigged plastic worms and
deep diving crankbaits, fished in 20-25 feet of water, while jigging white
bucktails is producing a few stripers. Trolling Red Eye and Sutton Spoons is
also accounting for some good catches of stripers. Crappie fishing is
improving throughout the lake.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Bass anglers are taking good strings of bass on
buzzbaits, and jigs tipped with pumpkinseed colored, plastic crayfish. White
bass action is great. Stripers are in the lake and are plentiful in the upper
Towles Bridge area. Striper action is also fair in the river, along with
flathead catfish in the 17-24 pound class.
LAKE MOOMAW - Bass are taking spider jigs in 18 feet of water. Some trout
anglers are limiting out on 2-3 pound fish, caught on live bait, early in the
morning. Catfishing is fair, with dead minnows and chicken livers being the
bait of choice. Crappie fishing is good.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Catfish, 5-12 pounds, are being caught on cut bait and live
minnows. Night anglers are taking bass and catfish. A few walleye are also
mixed in the catches. Nightcrawlers, fished 20-30 feet deep, are taking trout
to five pounds as is trolling. Crappie fishing is improving.
NEW RIVER - Small brown baits are taking large numbers of smallmouth bass.
Larger baits are taking larger fish. Catfishing has slowed.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Fishing is good for anglers fishing deep. Bass are
being taken on brown jig 'n pig and plastic worms. Topwaters are effective,
early and late in the day. Crappie are taking small jigs at 20-30 feet and
walleye are being taken, trolling 20-25 feet deep. Slow drifting with
nightcrawler-tipped Lindy rigs are also taking walleye.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Lots of fish being caught from the 85+ degree water. Catfish
make up the majority of the catches, while stripers are taking live shad.
Catalpa worms are the bait of choice for the catfish. Crickets are the choice
for bluegills and bass are being taken on crankbaits jig 'n pig and plastic
TROUT STREAMS - Most of the trout streams are generally showing favorable
conditions, although some of them are low. Some of the better areas include:
Pads Creek, Jackson River, Dan River above the powerhouse, Rock Castle Creek,
Shoemaker River, North Fork of the Shenandoah River, Passage Creek and Big
Stoney Creek. Caddis fly imitations in sizes 14-16 are effective. Blue wing
olives in sizes 14-18 are also good.
S A L T W A T E R
CHINCOTEAGUE - Bottom fishermen are finding a mixed bag of croaker, spot, sea
bass, sea mullet and flounder at the mouth of the inlet. The flounder fishing
is excellent, with lots of small fish and a few keeper fish mixed in the
catches. Fair numbers of sea bass remain available, but croaker are still
dominating the catches. Schools of snapper blues and pan trout are found at
Chincoteague Point. Assateague Island surfcasters are taking some bluefish and
pan trout. Offshore anglers are finding bluefin tuna, king mackerel, chopper
bluefish and dolphin at the Parking Lot and Lumpy Bottom. Sandtiger, dusky and
blacktip sharks are available at the 2TL buoy.
WACHAPREAGUE - Bottom anglers are taking croaker, pan trout, sea mullet,
triggerfish, and increasingly, small flounder. Best catches are made in
deeper sections of the channel at the inlet mouth. Offshore, bluefin and
yellowfin tuna are caught, along with lots of bluefish, dolphin and king
ONANCOCK - Good catches of flounder, spot and croaker continue in Pocomoke and
Tangier Sounds. Flounder are running to 20 inches and are taking cut spot in
25-40 feet of water. Spot are running to 12 ounces and croaker range up to two
pounds. Best catches are made in 30-35 feet of water. Taylor blues are
schooled throughout the area. Bottom fishermen are taking dusky shark, sea
mullet, porgy, spot and croaker. Speckled trout are showing in the bayside
creeks and islands north of Nandua Creek.
QUINBY - Improved catches of trout, pigfish and spot along Eggen Marsh and
Conger Channel, while grey trout and croaker are reported from the Gap. A few
flounder and sea bass continue to be caught around the mouth of the inlet and
along Rebel Island Creek. Skipjack tuna and false albacore abound on the
CAPE CHARLES - Several red drum were taken near Buoy 36A this past week.
Flounder fishing has been excellent at Buoys 36A, 38, 40, 42, and at the Cell
with more keeper fish being caught. Bottom fishermen are taking lots of
big croaker, but the schools are on the move. Hungar and Plantation Creeks are
producing some small speckled trout. Fair numbers of yellowfin tuna are
showing at the 20 Fathom Fingers, while inshore "chunking" remains slow for
bluefins. A good number of sharks are also being caught, along with the
occasional cobia or tarpon.
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Loads of flounder are available all along the
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, with the fourth island producing plenty of fish,
although most of them are too small to keep. Croaker dominate the catches,
which, along with spot, are made around the First and Second Islands and along
Lynnhaven Beach. Spadefish, to nine pounds, are available around the Third
Island. A few cobia, 30-55 pounds, are being caught along the CBBT, around
inshore buoys and at Bluefish Rock. Speckled trout catches continue to improve
inside Lynnhaven, along with puppy drum. Larger drum are available at Latimer
Shoals. Fair to good catches of flounder are made at the First and Third
Islands. Lots of taylor blues are available for casters at the north tip of
Fourth Island, along with an occasional 30 pound cobia. The Southern Tower is
producing amberjack on live bait. Bottom fishermen are making good catches of
croaker at the Back River Artificial Reef and just off Factory Point. Large
flounder are being caught in the vicinity of the Cell. Excellent bottom
fishing is available just south of Twin Stakes, in 29 feet of water, on the
edge of the old oyster bed. A mix of spot, croaker, bluefish, trout, blowfish,
hogfish and flounder is the catch. Yellow bellied spot are available around
buoy 22 in the York River, while the Lumps, just off Cheatham Annex is showing
good croaker action.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Baitfish are schooling up and moving down the bay
in huge numbers. This has caused a veritable feeding frenzy among other fish.
Bluefish and stripers are churning the water to a froth at the mouth of the
Potomac River. Under the schools of blues and stripers, the bottom fishing is
superb, with large croaker, pan trout and flounder biting very well. In
addition, small Spanish mackerel schools are also feeding on the baitfish.
Good catches of croaker are available at Blackberry Hang, near Tangier Light,
Smith Point and the Mud Leeds. Spanish mackerel action is good for trollers
working from Smith Point Light to the SP Buoy and along the western side of
Cut Channel. Bottom fishing is excellent at the SP Buoy, in 60 feet of water,
for trout and croaker, with peeler crab and bloodworms being the favored
baits. Cobia and red drum are active off Deltaville. Good flounder action
remains available just north of the Cell and east of buoy 42. Trollers are
catching Spanish mackerel between #6 buoy and the R buoy, located off Windmill
Point. Bottom fishing for spot is excellent at the Silos and on Windmill Bar.
Flounder continue to bite well around the north end of the White Stone Bridge.
Bowlers Rock, buoy 16 and the Power Lines area are giving up good sized
croaker and spot, while buoy 8 is producing fair numbers of flounder.
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Bluefish, 3-6 pounds, abound from Thomas Point,
South to Parkers Creek. Spot remain scattered throughout the region. Spanish
mackerel continue to please anglers fishing the upper and middle Bay. One of
the better concentrations is at the Stone Rock. Small spoons, trolled at 8-9
knots, are producing up to 30 fish per boat. White perch can be found in
substantial numbers on virtually any oyster bar or naturally occurring lump
North of the Bay Bridges. Peeler crab, bloodworms and grass shrimp are the
most productive baits. Bluefish, 2-4 pounds, have been taken trolling small
spoons and surgical eels in the following locations: Bloody Point, Brickhouse
Bar, Love Point, Gum Thickets and Swan Point.
OCEAN CITY - A few flounder are being caught in the Thorofare on minnows. In
the inlet, bluefish are being taken early and late in the day. Bluefish, to
three pounds, are being taken everywhere on cut mullet and spot in the surf,
while offshore boats are finding marlin and dolphin in impressive numbers.
Headboats are catching grey trout and croaker, while the inshore wrecks are
producing consistent catches of tautog, lingcod and sea bass.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Offshore boats are reporting decent action on wahoo, king
mackerel, chopper bluefish, and false albacore, along with the occasional
bluefin tuna. Billfish are providing lots of action, as over fifty white &
blue marlin and sailfish were released this past week. Inshore boats are
finding plenty of Spanish mackerel within a few miles of the beach and large
amberjack at the Tower Reef. Cobia are showing beneath the ocean buoys. A few
speckled trout and puppy drum are showing inside Rudee Inlet. Surf anglers are
taking good numbers of spot along the resort strip.
LYNNHAVEN - Spot, sea mullet, croaker, flounder and pan trout are taken by
bottom fishermen, while occasional taylor bluefish and Spanish mackerel round
out the creels. Crabbing is fair to good.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Spot and croaker, along with fair numbers of sea mullet.
Casters take an occasional taylor bluefish or Spanish mackerel.
SANDBRIDGE - Bottom fishermen are taking fair numbers of spot, sea mullet, pan
trout and flounder. Croaker are off and on. Casters are catching lots of
taylor blues and occasional Spanish mackerel when the water clears.
OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Spanish mackerel and bluefish provide lots of action for
both pier and beach anglers. Flounder are being caught inside Oregon Inlet.
Croaker are being caught inside the sounds, where speckled trout remain
scarce. Bottom fishermen are taking pigfish, croaker, spot, pompano, flounder
and a few sheepshead from the piers. Some king mackerel and cobia are
reported, but the action is not consistent. Offshore, the charter fleets are
still picking up a few bigeye tuna over the 100 pound mark and lots of
yellowfin tuna, along with bunches of billfish. Dolphin catches are also
great. Best tuna and billfish action has been between the 879 line and Triple
O's. Inshore boats are taking good numbers of Spanish mackerel and bluefish.