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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 7/22 0717 1434 1956 0136 0532 2059
Thursday 7/23 0811 1522 2048 0235 0533 2058
Friday 7/24 0905 1609 2140 0332 0534 2057
Saturday 7/25 0959 1655 2233 0427 0535 2056
Sunday 7/26 1053 1740 2326 0521 0536 2055
Monday 7/27 1150 1826 - - - 0616 0537 2054
Tuesday 7/28 1250 1911 0021 0713 0537 2053
Wednesday 7/29 1351 1959 0119 0812 0538 2052
Thursday 7/30 1452 2049 0218 0914 0539 2051
Friday 7/31 1550 2144 0316 1016 0540 2050
Saturday 8/01 1646 2240 0411 1114 0541 2049
Sunday 8/02 1738 2335 0503 1207 0542 2048
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Bass are being taken on crankbaits and topwater lures
along the Virginia shoreline from Key bridge to Chain Bridge, while channel
catfish are taking cut bait, clam snouts and live perch on the bottom.
Downriver, bass are holding on dropoffs, bridge pilings and grass beds.
Buzzbaits and Baby Torpedos are working well early and late in the day, while
spinnerbaits and Berkley Power Worms are the better choice later. Jig 'n pig
baits are preferred for working dropoffs in swift moving tides. Better areas
include the Virginia shoreline from National Airport to Memorial Bridge, the
War College Wall in Washington Channel and the grass beds outside Oxon Cove
and the Spoils. Nightcrawlers fished on the bottom around the Woodrow Wilson
Bridge can result in bushel baskets of catfish in a few hours.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - On the main river, bass are
orienting to bottom structure, grass beds and wood cover. Lots of 2-4 pound
bass are taking crankbaits, plastic worms, jig 'n pig and topwater baits. In
the creeks, bass are orienting to grass beds, lily pad fields, dropoffs and
submerged wood. Falling tides are finding the fish aggressive, taking
chartreuse or shad-colored crankbaits, while rising tides find them with their
noses buried in the bark of submerged wood or slowly cruising the submerged
grass. Flippin' plastic worms and jig 'n pig baits is the better method then.
Below Mattawoman Creek, the main river grass beds are holding plenty of
quality bass. Topwater lures on high tides and plastic jerkbaits and worms on
lower tides are taking the fish. Catfish action is excellent, with the fish
taking cut bait, clam snouts and crab.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Good catfishing in the mouth of the river, around the
islands. Best bait is clam snouts. Most of the whiskered fish are in the 6-13
pound class. Bass, crappie and bream are available for anglers dropping
plastic and live baits adjacent to wood cover and over submerged grass.
Boat docks are the prevalent cover in the river, producing good numbers of
fish. The grass bed at the mouth of the river is giving up some good bass to
patient anglers fishing Mann's Baby One Minus, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, Super
Flukes, floating worms and frog baits.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Bass are being taken from main lake points and creek
mouths. Most of the fish are caught on plastic worms and deep-diving
crankbaits, although some anglers are taking fish on topwater baits, early and
late in the day. Crappie are biting well, with a few good fish being caught.
Channel catfish are taking jumbo minnows and clam snouts, fished on the bottom
in the main river channel.
BURKE LAKE - Bass are taking crankbaits and plastic baits on dropoffs adjacent
to weedbeds. Brushpiles are also producing some bass, along with lots of
crappie. Muskie action is picking up, with successful anglers trolling jointed
LAKE BRITTLE - Bass action is good on small plastic worms. Small walleye are
taking live minnows on points early and late in the day. Bluegill and
shellcracker action is excellent, with the fish taking small jigs and live
minnows. Catfishing is holding up well with the fish weighing in at 1-5
pounds. Pier anglers are taking carp, to 15 pounds, on doughballs.
FARM PONDS - Lily pad fields in shallow water, are producing bragging size
sunfish on nightcrawlers. Live minnows and tiny jigs will take crappie, while
plastic worms, worked in deeper water around the dams, will take the bass.
Topwater baits, fished early and late in the day or at night will generally
take larger bass.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Smallmouth bass action is very good. Better baits are
small crankbaits, plastic grubs and Yamamoto Baby Senkos. The deeper holes and
riffles will hold the better fish, while smaller fish will take small plastic
baits in white and chartreuse. Don't neglect buzzbaits along the shoreline
early and late in the day. Bream are also aggressive, taking small spinners,
Tiny Torpedos and tiny crankbaits. Carp are taking doughballs and cut corn,
while catfish are still taking nightcrawlers, clam snouts and cut bait.
MOTTS RESERVOIR - Bass are very active early and late, and may be caught on
Pop-Rs and buzzbaits, retrieved parallel to the shoreline grass. As the sun
rises, many of the fish position themselves on deeper banks and weedlines, in
8-15 feet of water. Worms and jig 'n pig will take the fish. Concentrations of
fish can be found on points and around the downlake island. Carolina-rigs,
texas rigged worms, and jigs are taking these fish. Crappie are still relating
to deeper wood and grass (10-20 feet), and may be caught on crappie jigs,
countdown rapalas, and minnows. Schools of crappie can usually be found in
mouths of bigger coves and on steep points. Channel catfish, 1-3 pounds, are
taking clam snouts, chicken livers, minnows and a variety of other baits.
Sunfish are cruising the weedlines, hitting small topwaters, crickets, tiny
jigs, inline spinners, and most any small fly.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Smallmouth action has picked up a little this week. Lots
of smallmouth bass are being taken on noisy topwater lures, early and late in
the day. Bream are active. The tidal sections of the river are giving up a few
largemouth bass to anglers fishing firetiger colored crankbaits and 4-5 inch
plastic worms along the Southern shoreline, in downed timber and undercut
banks. Bass action is consistently good in the Green Bay to Leedstown area.
Large blue catfish are taking cut bait and live white perch in the outside
bends of the main river channel. Crappie action is slow.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Smallmouth bass are cooperating nicely. Small crankbaits,
spinners and plastic grubs are taking good numbers of bass, along with lots
of nice bream. Catfishermen are also successful on chicken livers, cut bait
and live shiners. Deeper water is producing the better catches.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Catfish are the chief catch these days, with
chicken livers, clam snouts and cut shad being the best choices of baits. Some
bass are available to anglers using spinnerbaits and plastic worms in the lily
pads and creek mouths. Buzzbaits and Jitterbugs are also effective early and
late in the day. Bream anglers are doing well with live crickets.
LAKE ANNA - Largemouth bass have moved deeper with the summer heat. The fish
are taking crankbaits in 12-27 feet of water, on ridges and points. Riprap
along the bridge approaches are also producing some bass on deep diving
crankbaits. Walleye continue to be caught on rocky points, bridge pilings and
around Dike Three. Lots of crappie action, with bridge pilings in 25-40 feet
of water holding the better fish. Tiny Beetlespins, Hopkins spoons and live
minnows are working best. Stripers are taking live shad around the 208 Bridge
area. Best results are to be had by free-lining the shad. Trollers, using the
Mann's Stretch 25, are taking stripers in the upper end of the lake and at the
mouth of Sturgeon Creek. Catfishing is excellent.
JAMES RIVER - Largemouth bass are being caught on plastic worms, spinnerbaits
and small crankbaits. Points and wood structure are the better areas. The
outside bends of the river channel are producing blue catfish, to 50+ pounds,
on cut shad and eel baits. Above the city, smallmouth bass are cooperating on
Tiny Torpedos, small plastic grubs and crankbaits, such as the Bandit 100 or
Bill Norman's Tiny Deep N. Flyrodders are using hellgrammite or crayfish
imitations and wet flies. Try large buzzbaits along shoreline brush early and
late in the day for larger fish. Lots of carp and catfish.
LAKE CHESDIN - Bass are taking plastic worms in 6-8 feet of water throughout
the lake. Aggressive fish are located near the upper end of the lake, taking
crankbaits and buzzbaits. Crappie action is good near the bridge on live
minnows, while catfish to seven pounds are taking nightcrawlers and chicken
livers. Occasional walleye are caught by bass anglers.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Normal summer conditions prevail. Largemouth bass are
taking buzzbaits, floating plastic worms and grass frogs in the lily pads and
hydrilla, plastic worms and grubs in creek mouths on moving tides, and Rat-l-
traps, spinnerbaits and plastic worms on cypress trees. Lots of good sized
sunfish on crickets, and catfish on peeler crab, minnows and turtle livers.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - More successful anglers are using live minnows and
topwater lures for good stringers of bass. Best lure seems to be the pearl
colored Bass Assassin or Zoom Super Fluke. Catfish anglers are having good
success on peeler crab. Bream and bluegill are taking crickets, while crappie
are biting well on live minnows. Most of the fish are located on points and
submerged grass. Lots of pickerel and bowfin are also being caught.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Patient bass anglers are catching lots of bass, to
four pounds, and a couple in the six pound class. Lots of good sized yellow
perch, along with a number of large pickerel. Catfish and bluegill round out
the catches in this lake. Best success is coming by fishing points.
BACK BAY - Some bass are being caught at Lagamar Canal, West Neck Creek,
Hellespoint Creek and around Knotts Island. Stripers, to eight pounds, are
also foraging in the creeks. White perch are being caught on grass shrimp and
bloodworms, with some flounder mixed in the catch.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Plastic worms, Rapalas and Rat-l-traps are successful for
anglers fishing for largemouth bass. Topwater lures are also effective early
and late in the day. Crickets and red wigglers are the preferred bait for
shellcrackers, bream and crappie. Gar and catfish are also active, with live
minnows producing best. Some striper action available in Lake Meade on live,
LAKE GASTON - Crappie are holding in brushpiles in 12-18 feet of water and
taking live minnows. Largemouth bass are holding in 12-20 feet of water and
may be taken on plastic worms and deep-diving crankbaits. Red seems to be the
best color in the clear water. Topwater lures are taking fish early and late
in the day, particularly in the weed beds. Most of the better fish are located
on main lake points and creek mouths. Boat docks are also holding a few fish.
Small plastic grubs are the ticket for the boat docks. Stripers are being
caught on rattling crankbaits, fished on the bottom on river channel points. A
few stripers are also being taken by trolling bucktails in the main river
channel from Eaton Ferry Bridge to Gaston.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Stripers in the 15 pound class are being caught vertical
jigging with Hopkins and Salty Dog spoons and jigs. Trolling bucktails and
Redfins is also working well. Better areas are Nutbush Creek and County Line
Creek, on the lower end of the lake. Topwater lures are taking bass early and
late in the day. Deep-diving crankbaits and plastic lures in pumpkinseed or
june bug colors, fished on points and adjacent to wood, are taking bass from
10-15 feet of water. Crappie are located on brushpiles in 10-12 feet of water.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Lots of bass in the slot are being
caught in the lake, along with some nice crappie. Lots of bream are taking
crickets, along with plenty of small bass. Bass, shellcrackers and crappie are
taking live minnows and nightcrawlers. Catfish to 10 pounds are taking chicken
livers, nightcrawlers and live jumbo minnows.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Good numbers of stripers are being caught on topwater
lures, live shad and by trolling large, deep-running lures, such as Rebels,
Big Macs, Hellbenders and Waterdogs. Most of the fish are located 18-32 feet
deep. The stripers are feeding around 9 a.m., mid-afternoon and late evenings.
Some of the better areas are from buoy markers 22-31 on the Roanoke River and
markers 11-14 on the Blackwater River. Largemouth bass are being caught in 15-
18 feet of water on deep-diving crankbaits and Carolina-rigged plastic worms.
Topwater lures are taking fish early and late in the day.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Good largemouth bass action throughout the lake. Shad
Raps, fished across points, are taking some fish, while plastic worms and
lizards are also working. Striper and white bass action has slowed.
LAKE MOOMAW - Trout fishing is good, with rainbows and browns, to four pounds
biting on live minnows. Catfish, to 17 pounds, biting on nightcrawlers and
chicken livers. Bass are hitting buzzbaits at dusk, but otherwise are found
PHILPOTT LAKE - Fishing is good, with good catches of bass reported on plastic
worms at night. Crappie and catfish action is steady, on small minnows, jigs,
nightcrawlers and stink baits. Walleye are taking nightcrawlers. Action on the
Smith River has slacked off, but some trout are still being taken from the
low, clear water.
NEW RIVER - Excellent smallmouth bass action. The fish are taking plastic
grubs, worms and Senkos in pumpkinseed and motor oil colors. Small
crankbaits and topwater baits are also taking some nice fish. Muskie to 28
inches are also being taken, along with catfish to 10 pounds.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Fishing is slow. Some catfish are being caught by
anglers night fishing under the lights. A few smallmouth are also being
reported taking jig 'n pig. Crappie are biting early in the day.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Stripers and white bass are taking live alewives. Plenty of
catfish are being caught in the deeper water, near the dam, on live alewives
and catalpa worms.
TROUT STREAMS - Most of the National Forest and Park streams are producing
quite well for fly fishermen using small dry flies, imitating terrestrials.
Mepps and Shyster spinners are taking fish for the spin fishermen. Stoney
Creek and Passage creek are the best bets for a day trip, while Martin's
Creek, the North Fork of the Powell River, Bullpasture River, Jackson River,
Cedar Creek and Clearbrook lake are all producing good catches. Beartree Lake,
in Washington County and Whitetop Laurel are also giving up some trout.
Maryland creeks producing good trout fishing include Gunpowder Creek, Hunting
Creek and Savage River. Streamers are the recommended lure, but terrestrials
are working well on Gunpowder Creek.
S A L T W A T E R
CHINCOTEAGUE - Fair to good catches of keeper flounder are being made at
Queens Sound, Cockle Creek and in the vicinity of the 2TL Buoy. The inlet
mouth has lots of smaller flounder, while bottom fishermen are taking croaker,
with a few spot, puffers, snapper blues and sea mullet mixed in the catches.
Squid is the better choice of bait. Sea bass are plentiful around the bridge
pilings and on the old oyster beds. Surf anglers are taking spot on
bloodworms. Offshore, bluefin tuna action is picking up at at the Parking Lot.
Chunking butterfish and trolling cedar plugs are producing bluefins to 100+
pounds. Mixed in the catches are yellowfin tuna to 100+ pounds, Bigeye tuna
to 100+ pounds, king mackerel, large bluefish and an occasional dolphin.
WACHAPREAGUE - Flounder fishing is holding up well, although croaker are
pouncing on the baits before the flounder get a shot at it. The old Coast
Guard Channel is producing triggerfish. Offshore, anglers fishing the inshore
hills are taking bluefin tuna, wahoo, false albacore and lots of dolphin.
Yellowfin tuna and white marlin are off and on in the canyons. Amberjack are
showing at the #10 buoy. Tarpon are being caught on live spot inside Hog
ONANCOCK - Excellent bottom fishing for croaker inside Pocomoke and Tangier
Sounds. Bloodworms, peeler crab and squid are the top baits. Best catches are
made in 18-25 feet of water on the early morning moving tide. Flounder fishing
is good, with more small fish being taken daily. Best catches are made in 18-
40 feet of water along a dropoff. Mixed in the catches are taylor blues,
Spanish mackerel, porgy, pigfish, blowfish, sea mullet and dusky shark.
QUINBY - Flounder fishing is fair for those who hit the tide and time of day
exactly right. Others fish long and hard for a strike. Croaker, to two pounds,
may be taken almost anywhere, with the mouth of Rebel Island Creek being
especially productive. Lots of trout, to five pounds, are being caught, but
the fish remain scattered.
CAPE CHARLES - Good bottom fishing for trout and croaker is available in the
vicinity of C-10. More flounder are showing on the bayside, with lots of
citation fish, to seven pounds, being caught. Lots of large cobia, to 50+
pounds, are being caught on Latimer Shoals. Speckled trout are available
inside Hungars Creek. Spadefish are taking clam bits at Old Plantation Light.
Tarpon are rolling inside the Barrier Islands, but few are caught. Spanish
mackerel are everywhere.
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Croaker, flounder and Spanish mackerel are
available around the rock islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Some
cobia and occasional black drum are also available. Fair numbers of flounder
are showing inside Lynnhaven Inlet and along the Small Boat Channel. Offshore,
the Southern Tower is loaded with amberjack. Live baits and poppers are taking
the 46-56 inch fish. Bottom fishermen are catching loads of croaker and
flounder off Back River. Good numbers of Spanish mackerel are available
throughout the area. Inside the York River, croaker are found at the Lumps,
while flounder are still reported around Gloucester Point. Some cobia are
still being caught at York Spit.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Excellent bottom fishing is available just off
Hull Creek, where large spot and croaker are being caught. Spot and croaker
are also available on the Soundside of Tangier Light. Trollers around the
Smith Point Light are taking limits of taylor blues daily. Good catches of 12-
14 inch grey trout are being made early and late in the day at the Smith Point
Light. Bottom fishermen are "loading their boats" with croaker. Better areas
are the channel edges in 30 feet of water, and particularly the SP buoy,
Blackberry Hang and the Asphalt Pile, located off the Great Wicomico River.
Pan trout are thick throughout the Southwest Middlegrounds, feeding under
surface schools of feeding bluefish. Stingsilvers, Jerk Jiggers and jigging
spoons will take the trout. Spanish mackerel are present at the mouth of the
Rappahannock River. The area around Windmill Point continues to yield speckled
trout, early and late in the day. Spot and croaker are being caught off Gwynn
Island and at Hole-in-the-Wall. Flounder fishing is excellent just east of
buoy 42, with most of the fish in the 2-5 pound range. Good spot and croaker
action is available on the hard bottom found at the Silos. Flounder are being
caught around the White Stone Bridge on live minnows and cut bait. Bottom
fishing for spot and croaker is also good at Bowlers Rock and Morattico Bar.
Catfish are hitting cut bait, fished around the Tappahannock Bridge.
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Bluefish, 1-3 pounds, are being caught in good
numbers at Stone Rock, the Gooses and Claybanks. Breaking blues are also found
off Chesapeake Beach. Sea trout catches are improving at Stone Rock and on
rocks off James Island. Herring Bay, inside the Choptank River, is producing
good catches of large white perch on peelers and grass shrimp. Spot are on the
channel edges and over oyster bars. Large white perch are being found
throughout the upper Bay. The West side of the Bay Bridges, Baltimore Light
area, Bodkin Point, Swan Point, Hart-Miller Island rocks, Tolchester piling in
Patapsco River, and Key Bridge are all good areas. Breaking bluefish are
available in the Chester River, near Love Point and Swan Point.
OCEAN CITY - Spot are found everywhere in the back bays. Flounder catches are
fair. Trout are being found at high tide, near the South jetty of the Inlet,
on bucktails and live spot. Surf anglers are taking snapper bluefish and
kingfish on mullet, squid and bloodworms. Offshore, good catches of dolphin
are being made, along with good numbers of white marlin. Headboats are finding
ling cod, sea bass and occasional tautog over the wrecks. Bluefish, 6-10
pounds, are also caught in good numbers.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Fair numbers of keeper spot and small croaker and flounder
are being caught inside Rudee Inlet. Trollers, working from Sandbridge to Cape
Henry, are taking a mixture of taylor blues and Spanish mackerel. Offshore,
tuna action continues, with the best action to be had on the 26 Mile Hill.
Billfish action has slowed but some fish are being caught in Norfolk and
Washington Canyons and the area around the Cigar. Amberjack catches have
improved, with the bulk of the action centered around the Southern Tower and
Tower Reef. Yellowfin tuna are reported from The Fingers. Headboats are
returning from the inshore ocean wrecks with good catches of sea bass.
LYNNHAVEN - Excellent spot, bluefish and trout action, with a few croaker and
sea mullet thrown in. Excellent crabbing.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Spot, croaker and sea mullet are the main catch. Spanish
mackerel and bluefish show during daylight.
SANDBRIDGE - Spot, sea mullet, croaker and flounder are the mainstays, while
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are taken by casters. Cobia are hooked daily.
OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Fair numbers of spot, pan trout and croaker are caught by
pier and surf anglers in the Nags Head area. Croaker are biting better at
night. Some decent catches of Spanish mackerel have pier regulars excited, as
casters are taking the fish from the clear water, early and late in the day.
King mackerel and cobia anglers are decking fish daily from the piers. Inside
the sound, good numbers of speckled trout are being taken from the Little
Bridge to Manteo and the bridge to Roanoke Island. Outside the inlet, limit
catches of Spanish mackerel and plenty of taylor blues. Offshore, plenty of
white marlin, blue marlin and sailfish are being caught and released in the
vicinity of the Point or slightly to the NE. Bigeye and yellowfin tuna catches
have been great between the 630 and 950 lines, from 30 fathoms out. Dolphin
catches are good. Plenty of amberjack remain on the inshore towers along with
fair numbers of king mackerel and a few barracuda.