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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 10/14 0252 0945 1526 2209 0651 1859
Thursday 10/15 0353 1039 1620 2310 0652 1857
Friday 10/16 0447 1129 1709 - - - 0653 1856
Saturday 10/17 0537 1215 1755 0006 0654 1855
Sunday 10/18 0624 1259 1839 0057 0655 1853
Monday 10/19 0710 1340 1921 0145 0656 1852
Tuesday 10/20 0755 1419 2003 0231 0657 1851
Wednesday 10/21 0841 1457 2045 0315 0658 1849
Thursday 10/22 0929 1535 2129 0358 0659 1848
Friday 10/23 1020 1617 2218 0441 0700 1847
Saturday 10/24 1116 1704 2314 0524 0701 1846
Sunday 10/25 1215 1755 - - - 0609 0702 1844
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Smallmouth bass action is excellent around Fletchers'
Boat House on live crayfish, tube baits and Yamamoto Senkos. From Chain Bridge
to 14th Street Bridge, along the Virginia shoreline, crankbaits are taking
most of the fish. Bridge pilings, wood cover and dropoffs are holding most of
the largemouth throughout the city. Crankbaits, slow-rolled spinnerbaits, jig
'n pig and plastic worms are the better choice of baits. Crappie are available
throughout the river, orienting to submerged brush in 10-15 feet of water.
Small minnows and tiny jigs are the preferred bait. Catfish action has slowed
considerably, with little success reported. Stripers are available around
Fletcher's Boathouse, National Airport, 14th Street Bridge pilings and the
National War College Wall.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Water temperature in the river
has dropped to the high 50s and the fish are on the feed. Large shad schools
are invading the mouths of the creeks and the bass are there waiting for them.
Bass are thick in the grass beds at the mouths of the creeks. Frogs and
poppers, fished over the grass, are taking numbers of fish, while the better
fish are being caught on jigs and Senkos. Yellow and white perch, sunfish,
catfish and snakeheads are all present in creek channels and are actively
taking spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and topwater baits.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW ROUTE 301 - Stripers are marauding baitfish on the
shoals below Monroe Bay and around the grassy islands and points throughout
the lower Potomac River. Sassy Shads, Rat-L-Traps and topwater baits are
producing well. Flyrodders are doing well with Lefty's Deceivers and Clouser
Minnows in red and white. Lower tributary creeks are off and on, with best
action coming on swift running tides at sunrise and sunset. Fish bridge
pilings, points and dropoffs with Rebel Fastrak Minnows, Rat-L-Traps,
bucktails, Storm swim baits and Sassy Shads.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - The grass bed at the mouth of the river is producing lots of
bass for anglers using Zoom Horny Toads, buzzbaits and Pop Rs. Spinnerbaits on
the outside edges will take stripers. Some bass are available around the wood
pilings below the Route One Bridge. Crankbaiting or flippin' small plastic
worms will take these fish. Bass are also being taken on main river points,
adjacent to dropoffs, along the rock wall and around wood blowdowns. Better
choices of baits include small crankbaits, jig 'n pig and plastic lures.
Crappie are schooled around submerged brush and boat docks. Small minnows are
the ticket. Small yellow perch are schooling on the flat below the Route One
Bridge. Jigging small Silver Buddies in gold colors will take these fish.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Fishing is good. Largemouth bass to five pounds
are being caught by anglers using jig 'n pig and slow-rolled spinnerbaits in
the upper reaches of the lake, particularly in the Bull Run arm. The fish are
concentrated around blowdowns in 2-10 feet of water. Downlake, the fish are
located on secondary points in 15-20 feet of water. Most successful anglers
are using jig 'n pig and plastic worms. Water temperatures are ranging around
68 degrees. Crappie fishing is fair with lots of small fish being taken from
the fishing pier.
BURKE LAKE - Few reports of anglers on the lake. Those who are out report
catching bass, crappie, walleye and yellow perch. Most of the fish are being
taken on live minnows. Some bass are taking jig 'n pig baits and plastic
baits, fished on dropoffs in 8-12 feet of water.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Good smallmouth activity on small jigs, tiny
crankbaits and slowly retrieved spinners, with the fish ranging from small to
three pounds plus. Deeper pools are holding some of the larger fish. Some
better areas are just below Point of Rocks, just above White's Ferry and
around Edward's Ferry. Crappie are schooled, off and on, at the mouths of
Goose Creek and Broad Run. Catfish action is very slow.
LAKE BRITTLE - Bass fishing has been good. Slow-rolled spinnerbaits are
taking bass to 4.5 pounds. Bluegills are biting well, along with lots of
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Above the city, smallmouth bass are taking live bait
and tiny crankbaits in the deeper pools. Water levels are stable and leaves
are abundant. In the tidal sections, crappie are schooled and biting well.
Bass anglers are not as successful, as leaves on the water curtail fishing
crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Plastic grubs and jig 'n pig are taking a few
fish. Better bass fishing is available below the Route 301 Bridge. Blue
catfish, to 30 pounds, are biting on cut bait in the river channel. Stripers
are in short supply at both the Port Royal and the Tappahannock Bridges.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Catfish and crappie are the main fare on the
Mattaponi, although some smallmouth bass are taking Rat-L-Traps in extreme
upper end of the river. Pamunkey anglers report catfish and white perch on
peeler crab baits at Lester Manor, bass to three pounds on Teeny Craws,
plastic worms and spinnerbaits near Williams Landing, and catfish, white perch
and some pickerel around the Route 360 Bridge. Stripers are spread throughout
the river, from Aylett to below West Point, but no concentrations or good
catches are reported.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Water temperature is in the high 50's. Excellent
smallmouth bass fishing for those who can put up with the annoyance of
floating leaves. Small crankbaits and plastic grubs are the hot baits and
Bixler Ferry Bridge is the hot area.
LAKE ANNA - Downlake, bass are holding on main lake and secondary points in 4-
12 feet of water, around boat docks and some bridges. Better baits are large
crankbaits, jig 'n pig and plastic worm and grubs. Uplake, bass anglers are
taking fish from the willow grass beds on buzzbaits early and Zoom Super
Flukes and small spinnerbaits after the sun comes up. Stripers are active,
particularly at the Splits, Jetts Island, Stubbs Bridge, Dike Three and Rose
Valley. Live shad, Sassy Shad, Cordell Redfins and Hopkins jigging spoons are
the better choices of baits. Fishing is good for crappie, and walleye are
cooperative, but they are holding in deeper water. Best bet for the novice is
to fish live jumbo minnows on main lake points. Lots of big fish are being
caught in this manner.
JAMES RIVER - Smallmouth bass are hitting well above the city, with a good
many trophy fish being taken. Anglers should expect stained water and lots of
leaves. Despite this, lots of fish are being caught. Plastic grubs and live
bait are the preferred baits. Tidal sections of the river are producing good
sized blue and flathead catfish on cut bait and live minnows in the main river
channel, and bass on plastic worms, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits in the
creeks and around main river wood structure. Crappie are biting well in the
barge pits around Dutch Gap. Live minnows and tiny jigs are taking the fish.
Stripers are on the move throughout the river, taking almost any large bait
thrown into the water. Check almost any large wood structure, with current
swirling around it. Best areas are the Benjamin Harrison Bridge and wood
pilings around the power lines at Sturgeon Point.
LAKE CHESDIN - Bass and crappie are occasionally cooperating, with bass, 3-5
pounds, being caught on spinnerbaits, jig 'n pig and plastic worms, while
crappie are taking small minnows. Bass are unusually skinny this year, as if
there is a distinct lack of baitfish, even though schools of bait are
seen on the surface throughout the lake. Some nice sized stripers and an
occasional pickerel are also being caught.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Some anglers are catching bass, to five pounds, on small
crankbaits, Shad Assassins and plastic worms, fished around wood structure,
adjacent to lily pads. Live minnows are accounting for some large bass, as
well as crappie, yellow perch, bream, and catfish. Stripers are being caught
on crankbaits and topwater lures, particularly near the dam.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Lots of action for largemouth bass and bowfin on live
minnows. Most of the bass ranged 2-7 pounds, while the bowfin are running to
10 pounds. Large, slow-rolled spinnerbaits are also accounting for some large
bass. Pickerel, yellow perch and crappie are also being seen in the catches.
Most of the fish are being caught on live minnows, fished on points and over
brushpiles. Topwater frogs, fished over the grass, are taking bowfin as well
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Bass, 1-5 pounds, and pickerel to four pounds, are
the main fare. Deep running crankbaits and live minnows are the preferred
baits. Crappie are also biting well, on live minnows and tiny jigs. One report
says nice bluegills were caught on fly rod poppers. Some stripers, to eight
pounds, are being caught as well.
BACK BAY - Very few fishermen out on the Bay. Those who are fishing are
catching small bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Crappie fishing has
improved in West Neck Creek. Fishing the North Landing River and Currituck
Sound is producing some good bass for those anglers who dare to brave the
wakes from cruisers during their mass exodus along the Intercoastal Waterway.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Western Branch reports shellcrackers, crappie and yellow
perch are providing most of the action, on worms and small minnows. Stripers
are coming on, with Sassy Shads, bucktails and live bait taking fish to 11
pounds. Burnt Mills is reporting the same, with some larger bass being taken.
Lake Prince is giving up some stripers, to 11 pounds, along with the
shellcrackers and bass. Crappie and pickerel action is good at Meade and
Cohoon, while anglers at Lake Meade are also catching some nice bass. Lakes
Smith and Whitehurst are reporting good fishing. Walleye, white and yellow
perch, bass, pickerel and crappie are all taking baits aggressively. Most of
the walleye and crappie are taking live minnows, while small to medium bass
are taking spinnerbaits and plastic worms.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Most of the bass are in the slot,
with quite a few in the 4-5 pound class caught this past week. Crappie,
topping one pound, are seen daily, but bluegill catches are down. Live minnows
are the better choice of bait.
LAKE GASTON - Best action is down lake. Poe's, Pretty and Lee's Creeks are
good areas to fish. Bass can be caught by crankbaiting main channel points and
fishing jig 'n pig around rocks and stumps in 4-10 feet of water. Best
crankbait colors are shad and silver. Pop-R's and twitch worms are taking bass
in the dying hydrilla beds, while crankbaits and Carolina-rigged worms are
taking them on the outside edges of the grass. Early and late in the day, some
large bass are being taken on topwater baits, fished in the back ends of
coves, where there are leaves on the water. Stripers are being taken trolling
bucktails and Cordell Hot Spots in the main river channel. The fish are
suspended in 16-20 feet of water. Crappie anglers are having good success
fishing small minnows over brushpiles and solid structures. Many of the same
techniques work uplake, but best action is to be had in the back ends of the
creeks where Eurasian Milfoil is present. These areas are dynamite for
topwater action. Zoom Horny Toads, buzzbaits, Pop Rs, Baby Chug Bugs, and
soft plastic jerk baits are all excellent baits here.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - The southern coves midlake, are holding hundreds of
thousands of baitfish in huge schools. Bass are not agressive in these coves.
Check out coves on the Northern side of the lake, off creeks below Goat Island
and above the Route 58 bridge. Best patterns are chunk rock banks, dropping
off into 10 feet of water; secondary rocky points; and wood cover midway back
in the cove or creek. Deep diving crankbaits, Senkos and creature baits are
the better choice of baits. Topwater action is at a standstill.
Crappie anglers are loading coolers, using small minnows over brushpiles and
around bridge pilings. Schools of breaking stripers are being found between
Buoy 16 and the Clarksville Bridge, and at the mouth of Bluestone Creek.
Trolling Cordell Redfins and Rebel FasTrak minnows along the river channel is
producing some good catches of stripers, but don't be surprised if you end up
with a 30 pound flathead catfish. A number of anglers this past week landed
these catfish while fishing for stripers. White bass to four pounds, are
taking trolled Rooster Tails and pearl color Short A's around the mouth of
Bluestone Creek. Any white or silver crankbait or small spinnerbait will take
these white bass in main lake coves from the Route 58 Bridge to Grassy Creek.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Anglers are catching a few fish. Live shad, bucktails
and Cordell Redfins are the best striper baits. Impressive stringers of
crappie are also being caught and largemouth bass fishing is fair. Striper
anglers should fish points and dropoffs. Bass are in the backs of coves and
jig 'n pig in black/red or purple are good bets, although some good bass are
taking topwater baits on the points. Shad Raps, retrieved in a stop and go
pattern or Quarter ounce spinnerbaits, cast up on the bank in the backs of
coves, and retrieved slowly, will take plenty of bass. There are lots of bait
fish on the lake and schools of bass and stripers are feeding under the bait
fish. In these instances, try a Storm Swim bait in shad color. Just cast
beyond the school and retrieve under the school where the bass and stripers
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Weather fronts have affected the fish. Fishing is
improving, with largemouth and white bass being taken on live minnows and
jigs. Crappie are still biting, along with lots of redeyed bass. Stripers have
LAKE MOOMAW - Trout action is picking up, as anglers are taking trout to five
pounds around the Fortney Boat Ramp. Crappie 1-2 pounds, and bass to five
pounds are also available. Bass anglers are catching fish on points and
around the standing timber. Live bait and jig 'n pig are the most productive
baits, although topwater lures are taking fish at night. The brown trout
should be beginning their spawn.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Excellent largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye
fishing, with many limits of fish. Most of the fish are holding at 15-20 feet
and are taking live minnows and crayfish. Crappie anglers are bringing in good
numbers of fish, caught on live minnows. Best areas are Fairystone Cove and
above the Union Bridge. The Smith River has been stocked with trout and is
receiving heavy fishing pressure, with resultant catches improving in
quantity, if not size.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Crappie and bass are available on live minnows, on
points and creek mouths.
FLANNAGAN RESERVOIR - Shad schools are located in the middle of the lake,
where schools of smallmouth and largemouth bass, catfish and trout are chasing
them. Early mornings and late evenings see the better catches.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Striper action in the Peak Creek area is good on live minnows
and alewives. Patient anglers are taking limits. White bass are schooled and
taking small jigs and Rat-L-Traps. Crappie action is good on live minnows.
Catfish action is steady for 10-21 pound fish. Bass anglers are taking a few
good fish each on plastic worms, topwaters, and jig 'n pig.
NEW RIVER - Few anglers are out, but those who do venture forth are catching
bass and catfish on live minnows. Some small muskie are being caught.
CLINCH RIVER - Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good, with minnows
producing the better catches. Catfish are mixed in the catches.
TROUT STREAMS - The best trout areas are Big Stoney in Shenandoah County;
Cedar Creek, West of Strasburg; and the Bull Pasture River, close to
Williamsville. Small streams in the George Washington National Forest are
producing good trout fishing. Hares ear nymphs and Mr. Rapidan flies are some
of the better flies to use. Dardevle spoons and #0 Mepps spinners are good for
spin fishermen. In the Hot Springs area, there are some late hatches of blue
wing olives, midges and black caddis flies. Bluewing olive in size #16 and
#18, cream and olive midges and black caddis flies will be the best to use.
Stream levels are below normal, but clear.
S A L T W A T E R
Striped bass are ranging throughout the Bay and its' tributaries, with the
best concentrations being found up the rivers. The middle bay is giving up
large numbers of legal sized stripers to chummers on the Southwest
Middlegrounds. The mouth of the Potomac and St. Mary's Rivers are experiencing
a blitz, with huge schools of stripers, bluefish and gray trout feeding on
surface schools of baitfish. Some of the season's best fishing for school
trout remains along the Eastern Shore, seaside. Schools tend to move further
offshore in response to rough seas, but can often be found just 1-3 miles off
the beach during calm periods. Some good catches of flounder are being made
along the seaside inlets, as these fish prepare to move offshore to spawn. The
Cape Charles area has good fishing for tautog, as well as the black drum,
moving through the lower bay. The Western side of the middle bay region has
grey trout in the 4-8 pound range for trollers along the Mud Leads and some
fine speckled trout on the Tangier Target Ships for jiggers. Fair numbers of
tautog are reported from the Cell, while taylor blues remain plentiful
throughout the region. In the lower bay, anglers are catching grey trout,
speckled trout, bluefish, flounder, sea bass and tautog all along the
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Offshore, Virginia Beach boats are catching
large yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin, along with good numbers of false
albacore and chopper bluefish to 20 pounds around the Chesapeake
Light/Artificial Reef area. Inshore wrecks are giving up good numbers of sea
bass and tautog. North Carolina anglers are experiencing a decent run of
channel bass and chopper bluefish. Offshore boats are loading up on king
mackerel, yellowfin tuna, dolphin, and a few billfish. Inshore activity is
good for smaller king mackerel and false albacore. Inlet anglers may expect
taylor blues, speckled trout, flounder, sea bass and puppy drum.
Comments about this fishing report may be directed to Charlie Taylor at: