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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 8/26 - - - 0643 1219 1831 0606 2015
Thursday 8/27 0039 0739 1319 1917 0607 2014
Friday 8/28 0139 0837 1422 2008 0607 2012
Saturday 8/29 0241 0937 1522 2105 0608 2011
Sunday 8/30 0341 1035 1619 2206 0609 2009
Monday 8/31 0436 1126 1711 2306 0610 2008
Tuesday 9/01 0526 1212 1758 - - - 0611 2006
Wednesday 9/02 0612 1252 1841 0000 0612 2004
Thursday 9/03 0653 1329 1918 0049 0613 2003
Friday 9/04 0730 1403 1949 0135 0614 2001
Saturday 9/05 0803 1435 2015 0217 0615 2000
Sunday 9/06 0833 1506 2040 0258 0616 1958
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Bass anglers in the city are finding bass on the main
river bridge pilings, riprap and other man-made structure. Lots of good bass
are also being taken from Blue Plains Sewage Treatment outfall and The Spoils.
Best choices of lures are crankbaits, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic
worms. Catfish anglers are taking some large catfish on cut bait, cut crab and
clam snouts. Some smallmouth bass, an occasional walleye and some crappie are
being caught above Key Bridge by patient anglers. Stripers and catfish are
being taken in Washington Channel and the Anacostia River, particularly after
rains that decrease water temperatures.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Main river grassbeds, with
adjacent dropoffs, are producing limits of bass. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits,
topwater frogs and plastic worms are the better lures. Bass are also being
caught in the very back ends of creeks where the baitfish are thick. Best
lures are topwater poppers, spinnerbaits and small plastics. Catfish are
taking cut bait, crab and clam snouts from deeper holes, adjacent to flats.
Lots of catfish are being caught on shallow running crankbaits, fished
parallel to the outside edges of grassbeds. Bass and perch are also taking
Beetlespins fished in the outside edges of the grassbeds.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Striper action is very good around sunrise and sunset, in the
back end of the river. Large minnow-imitating lures, Rat-L-Traps and bucktails
are the most productive lures. Boat docks are holding some bass, crappie,
sunfish and catfish. Flippin' plastic grubs and worms or live minnows around
the pilings will result in mixed catches of fish. Lots of good sized bass are
being caught from the grass bed at the mouth of the river, on spinnerbaits,
plastic frogs and other small plastic baits. Cut bait, crab and clam snouts,
fished around the islands in the mouth of the river, are resulting in good
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Some sunfish, catfish and crappie are being taken from
the pier. Bass action is centered on the main lake points, early and late in
the day. Best baits are crankbaits and plastic worms, fished in 6-10 feet of
BURKE LAKE - Fishing has picked up as the weather has cooled. Bass anglers are
taking occasional fish from the points off grassbed edges. Plastic worms,
worked down dropoffs into 15-20 feet of water, are taking the fish. Catfish
and crappie action is fair from the fishing pier.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Smallmouth bass action is good. Best baits are plastic
jerkbaits, fished around the edges of any available cover. In deeper water,
small topwater lures and highly visible crankbaits should be used. Fly
fishermen should have a field day on topwater poppers, around the grassbeds.
Some sunfish, catfish and carp are also active.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - After the weekend, smallmouth anglers may once again wade
the river above the city, as the water recedes and clears. Anglers should
catch good numbers of fish on topwater lures, plastic grubs and live crayfish.
Tidewater sections of the river are producing largemouth bass from the
blowdowns along the Southern shore and blue catfish, 23-35 pounds, from the
outside bends of the river channel. Jumbo minnows and cut herring are the
better choice of bait.
MATTAPONI & PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Bass, perch, catfish and bream are being caught
in the upper reaches, while croaker, perch and sea trout are hitting in the
lower reaches. Peeler crab, nightcrawlers and minnows are the top baits.
Stripers are taking live minnows, peeler crab, Rat-L-Traps and Cordell Redfins
throughout both rivers.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Lots of smallmouth and good sized bluegill are being
caught. Topwater lures, plastic grubs, small spinners and tiny crankbaits are
the chief lures. Catfish are taking mad toms.
LAKE ANNA - Largemouth bass are holding in 12-20 feet of water, moving up on
points early and late in the day. Topwater baits, plastic worms, deep diving
crankbaits and large minnows are effective baits. Stripers are hitting at Dike
3 on Cordell Redfins and live bait. Crappie are taking small minnows on boat
docks, bridge pilings and submerged brush. Catfish anglers are taking some
nice fish on live and cut shad.
JAMES RIVER - Anglers should find excellent smallmouth bass action above
the city on crankbaits and pumpkinseed plastic grubs. Flyrodders should have
good success on black Wooly Buggers. Tidal anglers should catch good numbers
of bass from submerged wood cover and lily pads. Standing cypress trees are
holding good bass, particularly at the mouths of creeks. Inside the creeks,
bass are hanging on any available piece of cover in the tidal flow. Senkos
and other plastics, fished weightless, will take the fish. Catfish action is
still good and crappie are beginning to turn on.
LAKE CHESDIN - Bass action is excellent, with 5-7 pound fish being caught.
Catfish and crappie are still being caught in good numbers.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - With the rains creating a flow in the river this weekend,
many small bass may be taken from the wedge shaped lily pads throughout the
upper portion of the river. Better choices of lures are Berkley Power Worms,
floating worms and ringworms, in red bloodline colors. Standing wood should
also be holding bass. Shallow running crankbaits and topwater lures will take
bass and pickerel from creek mouths. Catfish action is still good and bream
are taking worms and flyrod poppers.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Bass action is good on flyrod poppers and spinnerbaits.
Lots of pickerel, gar and bowfin are being taken on jumbo minnows. Bream
anglers are taking fish on grass shrimp, nightcrawlers, red wigglers and
BACK BAY - Indian Cove, West Neck and Hellespoint Creeks are the local
hotspots, with anglers catching white perch, crappie, largemouth bass and
SUFFOLK LAKES - Striper and bass action is good at Western Branch, while bream
dominate the catches at Lakes Cohoon and Meade. Lake Prince is producing some
large bass on red shad plastic worms. Lake Whitehurst is producing some good
bass, walleye and catfish. Plastic worms are taking the bass, while
nightcrawlers are the preferred bait for walleye and catfish. Lake Smith
anglers report white perch and bream.
LAKE GASTON - Bass fishing is good, particularly in the lower and upper parts
of the lake. Topwaters are producing early and late in the day. Main lake
points are producing bass on crankbaits, carolina-rigged plastic worms and
spinnerbaits. The key to fishing this lake is finding the baitfish. Once you
find baitfish, cover the area thoroughly with every bait you can imagine.
Start with lipless crankbaits, then spinnerbaits, plastic worms and jig 'n
pig. Always keep a Rat-L-Trap on deck for casting to breaking fish. Docks on
main lake points are holding large schools of baitfish. These baitfish will
attract breaking fish sometime during the day. The grassbeds in the upper end
of the lake have not quite topped out and bass are not active on topwater
frogs. Rather, check out the extreme back ends of the coves and creeks where
bass may be taken on buzzbaits in 6-12 inches of water, around thick willow
grass. When the sun is high overhead, work the main lake points where there is
grass in 10 feet of water, with small plastic baits. Stripers are holding in
deep water, feeding during the night. Crappie anglers are catching good
numbers of fish from the bridge pilings and submerged brushpiles in the
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Bass fishing should be improving with the falling
temperatures and stabilizing weather. Best pattern appears to be a Carolina
rigged, pumpkinseed, Zoom lizard, fished in 20-25 feet of water on main lake
points. Working these baits across the middle of coves in the creeks, is also
producing well. Striper action is slow, but some fish are feeding on the
surface near Clarksville. Crappie anglers are catching lots of fish along the
Route 58 bridge at Clarksville and over brushpiles in 12-18 feet of water in
Rudd's Creek. Live minnows and white/pink jigs are the baits of choice.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Anglers are catching stripers on large minnows, drifted
in the main river channels, and crappie on small minnows, fished around boat
docks and blowdowns. Bass are taking plastic worms and Sluggos, fished on
points and in the backs of coves.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Largemouth bass action is good, with best success coming
on plastic lizards. Crappie and white bass are biting well, along with some
trophy flathead catfish.
LAKE MOOMAW - Trout action is almost non-existent, but a few bass and lots of
catfish are being caught.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Crappie fishing has improved. The schools are located 15-20
feet deep. Bass fishing has picked up, with most of the fish being taken on
live minnows. Night fishing for bass is showing some good catches on plastic
worms and spinnerbaits.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Bass fishing is good, with most fish being taken on
Silver Buddies and chartreuse crankbaits on main lake points. Crappie fishing
is good on live minnows. Some trout are taken near the Bristol water intake,
at 40 feet. Walleye are being caught in the upper end of the lake, trolling
CLAYTOR LAKE - Good smallmouth bass fishing on crankbaits and jig 'n pig. Some
catfish and lots of stripers being taken on alewives at night.
TROUT STREAMS - Most streams throughout the state are still low, even with
the rains this past weekend. Even so, South and West of Waynesboro, fishing is
excellent. Small dry flies in sizes 16-18 are the key. The larger stocked
streams are showing good action on nymphs and maribou muddler minnows.
S A L T W A T E R
CHINCOTEAGUE - Good flounder action along the Narrows, just inside the inlet,
along the Hook and around buoy 14. Yellow-bellied spot, croaker, pan trout and
snapper blues are available throughout the bays. Small sea bass are available
along the oyster bottom, with larger fish being found around the bridge
pilings. Outside the inlet, Spanish mackerel are found close to the beach and
big flounder, black sea bass, triggerfish and spadefish are found on the
inshore wrecks. Surf anglers are catching a mixed bag of spot, sea mullet and
small sharks. Inshore anglers are finding croaker and a few pan trout taking
squid at the 2TL Buoy. Red drum are starting to show in the same area.
Offshore catches consist of dolphin, yellowfin tuna and false albacore.
Chunkers are having great results on 30-50 pound yellowfin at the Lumpy
Bottom. Trollers are working the 20 fathom contour.
WACHAPREAGUE - Good fishing action in the Washington and Norfolk Canyons this
past week. Dolphin are plentiful. Yellowfin tuna and white marlin make up the
balance of the catches, plus an occasional wahoo. Farther inshore, false
albacore, skipjack tuna and Spanish mackerel are found on the inshore hills.
Pan trout are showing 1-3 miles off the beach, with some croaker mixed in.
Flounder, pan trout and croaker are available around the mouth of the inlet.
ONANCOCK - Spot are schooling inside Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds. Croaker are
mixed in with the spot. Sea mullet, flounder, pigfish, porgy, blowfish and
taylor blues were mixed in the catches, which were curiously devoid of trout.
CAPE CHARLES - Plenty of medium spot and sea mullet, plus lots of croaker in
the vicinity of C-10. Red drum and cobia action has slowed. Good action on big
flounder and speckled trout over the past few days. Flounder are being
caught just inside Plantation Light and off the Cement Ships. Speckled trout
are hitting on most of the bayside creeks, with Hungars Creek the favored
location. Inshore wrecks are producing a mixed bag of triggerfish, black sea
bass and flounder.
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Large spot are available around the First and
Second Island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Cobia blitzed the CBBT this
past week. Best Spanish mackerel catches continue to come from the Third
Island area, while impressive catches of flounder are being made on the
bayside of the Fourth Island. Croaker, to two pounds, have moved into the
mussel beds at the First Island, but more consistent action is found around
the Lesner Bridge and inside Lynnhaven Inlet. Spot and croaker are caught by
bottom anglers working just outside the Lesner Bridge and along the Small Boat
Channel. An increase in flounder action was noted from the mouth of Back River
to the Bell Buoy. Large croaker and spot, plus a few pan trout, in the
vicinity of Q-1. The Twin Stakes area continues to hold good numbers of spot
and croaker plus a few keeper flounder. Puppy drum continue to provide good
sport on Back River, with most fish exceeding the 14 inch minimum size limit.
Good catches of spot were made near the Back River Bell Buoy and Buoys 17-18
this past week. Flounder, to four pounds, were taken from the area around buoy
42, located at the Cell. Good catches of spot are being made at buoy 22 on the
York River. Puppy drum are caught during high tide, inshore of buoy 22, along
the grass beds, on peeler crab. The Ware River has also been good for puppy
drum, plus a few speckled trout. Offshore, consistent action is seen on
dolphin at the NOAA weather buoy, located just NE of the Cigar. This same area
is producing scattered catches of 30-60 pound yellowfin tuna. The Southern
Tower, located 50 miles SE of Rudee Inlet, still holds good numbers of willing
amberjack and a few large barracuda.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Blues, 2-8 pounds, are being taken by chummers
south of the Middlegrounds, when the rockfish will leave the baits alone.
Boats are averaging 50-100 rockfish per day, chumming. Spanish mackerel action
is excellent, with better catches being made trolling small, gold spoons
around the mouth of the Potomac, and in 60 feet of water in the vicinity of C-
73. Puppy drum are being found in every creek, with live minnows being the
better bait. Bottom fishermen report good catches of spot at the N-2 buoy,
around C-34 and at Blackberry Hang. Large pan trout are also available at
Blackberry Hang. Peeler crab, cut spot and bloodworm are the preferred baits.
Bluefish, 3-8 pounds, are available at the mouth of the Coan River. Bottom
anglers are catching croaker and spot in the 50 foot hole just south of the
Tangier Light. Fair to good numbers of Spanish mackerel are available west of
Windmill Point and along Cut Channel. Best lures are #1 planers and small
spoons. A few cobia are still available beneath the Cut Channel buoys.
Speckled trout and puppy drum continue to provide good action in the Windmill
Point area. Fair catches of flounder in the White Stone Bridge area. Spot
fishing is good in the Rappahannock River.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Yellowfin tuna are again showing in good numbers. Best action
has been between the 200 and 400 line for tuna running 30-60 pounds. Dolphin,
2-15 pounds, continue to be abundant, along with occasional bull dolphin, to
49 pounds. Cobia remain off Virginia Beach, with the more consistent catches
coming from the area south of Rudee Inlet. Live bait and rigged eels are
working for the cobia. A few large king mackerel are available in the same
area. Small kings and large Spanish mackerel are available at the Chesapeake
Light Tower/Artificial Reef. A few billfish and plenty of dolphin are being
caught in the vicinity of the Cigar. Ballyhoo, pulled behind a Seawitch, has
been the favored lure combination. Inside Rudee Inlet, speckled trout action
remains slow, but small spot and croaker are plentiful. Along the resort
beaches, surf anglers report good catches of spot and croaker, plus a few
LYNNHAVEN - Good action on spot, along with a few puppy drum each day. best
action has been on the early morning tide.
VIRGINIA BEACH -Good catches of spot and puppy drum. Best catches are made in
the early morning hours. A few small Spanish mackerel and keeper sized striped
bass are being caught from the end of the pier by casters.
SANDBRIDGE - Spot are the mainstay, but puppy drum, sea mullet and croaker are
mixed in the catches.
OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Spot continue to dominate the fishery, with pier and surf
anglers making good hauls of spot to 12 ounces. Mixed in the catches are small
puppy drum, pompano and sea mullet. King mackerel and cobia have been scarce
this past week, with only a handful of Spanish mackerel being decked. At
Oregon Inlet, puppy drum, flounder and speckled trout are being caught from
the beach on the north and south sides of the inlet. The "pond" is also
producing some nice speckled trout. Night anglers are taking fair to good
numbers of speckled trout and puppy drum from the Catwalk. Medium croaker are
available in the Sound, with some speckled trout around Duck Island. Outside
the inlet, good catches of Spanish mackerel and false albacore are reported
around the mouth of the inlet, south to the Boiler Wreck and north to Bodie
Island Light. King mackerel and false albacore are showing around the 102 and
65 degree Towers. Weedlines within 10 miles of the beach hold dolphin to 12
pounds and false albacore. Several sailfish were caught in the vicinity of the
102 Tower last week. The bluewater fleet reported fair catches of dolphin for
the week, and excellent white marlin catches. Bluefin tuna action improved as
most boats reported catching several tuna in the 50-60 pound class. Best
catches were made NE of the inlet, along the 900 line. A number of bigeye tuna
in the 100+ pound class were also landed.
Charlie Taylor writes about fishing for the News and Messenger. He may be
reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org