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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 8/05 0717 1410 1951 0114 0545 2044
Thursday 8/06 0755 1443 2027 0158 0546 2043
Friday 8/07 0829 1514 2056 0239 0547 2042
Saturday 8/08 0859 1544 2121 0319 0548 2041
Sunday 8/09 0930 1614 2146 0358 0549 2039
Monday 8/10 1003 1645 2219 0438 0550 2038
Tuesday 8/11 1041 1720 2258 0519 0551 2037
Wednesday 8/12 1125 1800 2345 0603 0552 2035
Thursday 8/13 1218 1847 - - - 0655 0553 2034
Friday 8/14 1321 1941 0039 0758 0554 2033
Saturday 8/15 1435 2045 0142 0913 0555 2031
Sunday 8/16 1549 2200 0253 1027 0556 2030
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Catfishing is excellent in the deeper holes throughout
the city. Clam snouts, cut bait, cut crab and bait shrimp are all working
well. Bass anglers are taking 2-5 pound fish from man-made cover throughout
the city. Blue Plains outfall is giving up lots of good bass for anglers
fishing plastic worms around the city dock and associated vegetation.
Washington Channel is giving up some good fish to anglers fishing the
vegetation and the dropoff along the War College Wall.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Main river grass beds
are holding good numbers of largemouth bass, particularly those near deeper
water. Flood tides are producing hits on topwater baits, such as buzzbaits,
Pop-R's, Bang-O-Lures, Plastic frogs, Bass Assassins and flyrod poppers. Ebb
tides are producing hits on spinnerbaits and plastic lures, fished on the
outside edges of the grassbeds. Above Mattawoman Creek, isolated wood cover
and structure are holding most of the bass. Plastic baits and jig 'n pig are
the top choice in these areas. Trophy catfish action is centered around High
Point at Occoquan Bay. Cut crab is the better choice of bait. Fish the dropoff
from shallow flats into the deeper channel. Use heavy tackle and line, as
there are real bruisers available. Perch action is excellent on almost
anything thrown into the water.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Bass action is centered on submerged wood, main river points
and boat docks. Best success is being had with crankbaits and plastic lures.
The last two hours of the ebb tide and the first hour of the flood tide are
producing best. When schools of baitfish are seen, switch to a small white or
silver spinner to imitate them. Good bass are frequently holding under the
baitfish. At the mouth of the river, bass are being caught in numbers out of
the grass beds on the north side while catfish action is hot around the
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Bass are being caught by anglers fishing main lake points
and rock walls with crankbaits and plastic worms. Best time is early and late
in the day. Catfish action is good, with cut eel being the better bait.
BURKE LAKE - Bass are taking plastic worms, fished in the weedbeds early and
late in the day. After the sun comes up, switch to fishing the dropoff on the
outside edge of the weedbeds. Crappie and catfish are available from the
fishing pier. Muskie action is slow. Panfish action is good for anglers
fishing red wigglers, nightcrawlers and live crickets.
FARM PONDS - Lots of fish are being taken on topwater lures early and late in
the day, while full sun calls for plastic worms in deeper water. Sunfish are
taking flyrod poppers, nightcrawlers and Beetlespins. Catfish are taking live
minnows, chicken livers or nightcrawlers.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Smallmouth bass action is poor to fair. Anglers
fishing banks early and late in the day, and the river channel during the
afternoon, are catching some good fish. Better lures are small topwater baits,
flyrod poppers and small crankbaits along the banks, and small topwaters,
plastic grubs and small spinners in the river channel. Sunfish action is good,
with fish to 3/4 pound being taken downriver of the shoreline weedbeds.
Catfish and carp are aggressive, with catfish taking cut bait, live minnows
and clam snouts, while carp are suckers for cut corn and doughballs.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Tidal stretches are producing some excellent largemouth
bass action on crankbaits and plastic worms, fished in the blowdowns along the
southern shoreline, and spinnerbaits, fished in the feeder creek mouths. Green
Bay anglers are taking some bass on crankbaits, jig 'n pig and plastic worms.
Catfish, to 40 pounds, are still biting well in the outside bends of the river
channel, on cut bait, live white perch and crab.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Smallmouth bass action is good to very good. Hellgrammites,
live minnows, small topwaters, crankbaits, spinners and plastic lures are
taking good numbers of smallmouth, with some to four pounds. Catfish anglers
are catching good numbers of fish to 10 pounds, while sunfish are cooperating
nicely on small Beetlespins, spinners, tiny crankbaits and flyrod poppers.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Lots of fish being caught in both rivers, with the
upper reaches producing bluegill, bass, catfish and crappie, while the lower
areas are giving up spot, croaker, white perch and catfish. Stripers are thick
throughout both rivers.
LAKE ANNA - Bass are being taken on shallow water points, early and late in
the day. When the sun is up, fish deep dropoffs and points with plastic worms,
crankbaits and live bait. Stripers are being caught at the Splits, Contrary
Creek mouth and Rose Valley, on live minnows or jigged Hopkins spoons, in 27-
30 feet of water. Topwater baits are also working well around Jetts Island.
Crappie are hanging around bridge pilings and other deep structure, taking
live minnows, small Beetlespins and jigging spoons.
JAMES RIVER - Above the city, smallmouth bass are biting well on small
topwater baits, crankbaits, spinners and plastic grubs. In the tidal sections,
bass are taking plastics, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Lily pad fields, creek
mouths and standing cypress trees are the best pattern below Hopewell, with
better action on the outgoing tides. Bass action just below Richmond is
centered on the wood wing dams along the river channel. Big blue catfish are
available in the outside bends of the river channel on cut bait. Gar are still
active, taking live minnows or combed nylon ropes.
LAKE CHESDIN - Lots of small bass being taken from the lily pads and around
weedbeds, despite the boat traffic. Topwater baits, fished early and late in
the day, are accounting for most of the fish. During the late morning and
afternoons, plastic worms and spinnerbaits are sometimes successful. Catfish
anglers are having some success. Crappie catches are picking up.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Most of the bass are being taken upriver from Diascund
Creek. Lots of bass being caught by anglers using buzzbaits, small crankbaits
plastic frogs and worms in lily pad fields and around cypress trees. Creek
mouths are producing good numbers on plastic grubs, fished on moving tides.
Catfish action is excellent on cut bait and crab. Yellow perch and bluegills
are also aggressive, taking Beetlespins, live bait and flyrod poppers.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Bass and catfish action is excellent. Anglers should fish
early and late in the day with plastic worms, topwater lures and flyrod
poppers. Most of the fish are oriented to grassbed edges.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Lots of fish are being caught. Bass are running 2-8
pounds, taking red plastic worms and topwater baits. Bluegills, yellow perch
and shellcrackers are taking red wigglers, crickets and nightcrawlers. Catfish
and pickerel are mixed in the catches.
BACK BAY - Some bass and white perch action. The bass are running 1-3 pounds
and are taking spoons and plastic worms. White perch are taking grass shrimp,
nightcrawlers and small minnows, while successful catfishermen are using
peeler crab and bait shrimp. Anglers in the creeks are catching bass, perch,
bream, catfish and a few small stripers.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Panfish action is fair to good in all the lakes, while bass
fishing is fair to good. Best fishing is early in the morning. Bass, 3-5
pounds, are being taken in all the lakes, but they are few in number. Lots of
crappie are being caught near the aerators in Western Branch and Prince.
LAKE GASTON - Lots of small bass, with a few larger fish mixed in. Action
centers on main lake points and boat docks. Topwaters, fished early and late
in the day, and crankbaits and plastic worms, fished during the other times,
are producing the bass. Carolina rigged worms are producing well around bridge
pilings, where there is moving water, and off deep points. A few stripers are
being taken, but most are coming by accident, while fishing for bass. Some
catfish are being caught around boat docks. White perch are taking small jigs,
rigged on the rear hookholder of Pop R's, on the points.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Stripers are taking trolled Cordell Redfins from buoy 4-7
in the main lake and from the mouth of Nutbush to buoys G & H in the creek.
The stripers are skittish due to heavy boat traffic. Best catches are coming
at dawn and dusk. Bass are located in 20+ feet of water, with anglers catching
the fish on Carolina-rigged lizards and deep diving crankbaits. Crappie action
is good around bridge abutments, 16-18 feet down. Catfish are biting well,
particularly from Buffalo Creek to the junction of the two rivers. White bass
are taking Tiny Traps and Doll Flies from Bluestone to Buffalo Creeks.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Lots of bluegill and small bass being
caught, along with catfish at night. Some bass in the 4-6 pound class are
being caught on dark colored plastic worms in 16-20 feet of water. Crickets
and nightcrawlers are working well for bluegill.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Largemouth bass fishing is good on the upper end of the
Roanoke River with four inch, wine colored plastic worms working best. The
bass are showing in 15-20 feet of water. Early in the day, Pop-R and Baby
Torpedos are also recommended. Big stripers are taken trolling at 20-35 feet
with Hellbenders, Big Mac, Little Mac and Mann's Stretch 25. Tying a bucktail
2-3 feet behind the lure increases the catches. Live shad are also taking
stripers around the island at the dam, the mouth of Becky's Creek and off the
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Bass anglers are taking limits of bass on buzzbaits, and
jigs tipped with pumpkinseed crayfish. White bass action is great on
crankbaits, and bream are taking small topwater lures. Walleye anglers are
catching fish on deep-diving crankbaits, while carp dough and cut corn are
luring carp. Flathead catfish, to 25 pounds, are being caught in the Staunton
River. Some stripers are being taken on live shad and trolling.
LAKE MOOMAW - Trout action is slow. Only a few are caught trolling very early
in the morning. Catfish anglers are coming in with stringers of 5-10 pound
fish, being caught late evenings and under the lights. Bass action is fair to
good, with lots of limits being taken on plastic worms and crankbaits.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Most fishing is done at night. Good fishing for crappie and
catfish. Small minnows and jigs are taking the crappie, while nightcrawlers
and stinkbaits are more successful for the catfish. Largemouth bass are taking
topwater baits and plastic worms. Before 10 a.m., bass are found under the
schools of breaking shad. Rat-L-Traps are taking some nice fish. A few walleye
are showing in the catches.
NEW RIVER - Many smallmouth bass are being caught on topwater lures, although
plastic crayfish imitations, grubs and small jigs are also producing well.
Some nice catfish are being caught.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Some walleye are being taken on Carolina rigs and
catfish are taking chicken livers and shrimp in 25 feet of water. Bass action
is at a standstill and some white bass are taking Pop-Rs. Crappie anglers are
having a hard time finding the schools, but clean up when the fish are found.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Anglers are taking stripers, 10-13 pounds, and white bass on
alewives. Corn is taking some huge carp in the lake. Catfish have really
turned on, with catches of 35 or more pounds coming in. Bass are taking
topwater baits early and late, and plastic worms during the day.
TROUT STREAMS - Most of the streams throughout the state are in poor
condition, with water levels very low. Small headwater streams in the National
Parks and Forests are producing good action with small caddis flies and
terrestrials, while the larger streams are producing well on small spoons,
spinners and nymphs. Some of the better streams: Spring Run, Jackson River,
Big Wilson Creek, the lower portions of both the Robinson River and the Rose
River, Smith River, Goose Creek and Little River.
S A L T W A T E R
CHINCOTEAGUE - A mixture of croaker, sea bass, sea mullet, flounder, grey
trout and blowfish are being caught inside the inlet. Assateague Island surf
anglers are taking a mix of spot, croaker, sand shark and skate. Offshore,
tuna and dolphin provide steady action. Mixed in the catches are white marlin,
wahoo and false albacore.
WACHAPREAGUE - Good catches of croaker, along with some flounder, spot and
triggerfish, are made drifting the mouth of the inlet. Offshore, white marlin
and wahoo are being caught at Washington and Norfolk Canyons, where fair
numbers of yellowfin tuna are also encountered. Large bluefin tuna and dolphin
are thick at the 20 Fathom Fingers and over the 26 Mile Hill. Schools of
Spanish mackerel are scattered outside the mouth of the inlet.
ONANCOCK - Good bottom fishing in Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds and off Hacks
Rock for spot, croaker and flounder. Spot prefer bloodworms, while the croaker
prefer squid. Best catches are made on moving tides. Mixed in the catches are
pan trout, sea bass, sea robin, blowfish and sea mullet.
QUINBY - Some spot, trout, mullet and a few flounder are being caught near the
inlet mouth. The Rebel Island/Eggen Marsh areas remain best bets for all
species. Croaker are thinning out.
CAPE CHARLES - Excellent croaker fishing off Cape Charles, with a few spot
mixed in the catches. Large flounder, 6-9 pounds, were caught at will this
past week. Cobia and red drum are ranging from C-10 to Latimer Shoals. Croaker
to two pounds are taken at the Cape Charles Artificial Reef and the Cell.
Speckled trout are scarce in the bayside creeks. Offshore, scattered catches
of yellowfin are made from 30 fathoms and out to the Norfolk Canyon. Trollers
are also finding a mixture of dolphin, false albacore and jacks.
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Fat croaker and spot are biting at the Small Boat
Channel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Spanish mackerel are available
from the Little Creek Jetty to Cape Henry, but have moved into deeper water.
Flounder are available at the High Level Bridge. Bottom fishermen are finding
a mixture of croaker, spot and flounder inside Lynnhaven inlet. Amberjack are
plentiful at the Tower Reef and at the Southern Tower, where a few king
mackerel and large Spanish mackerel are also being caught. Cobia are being
taken by casting blind to the buoys with live bait from a distance. Wireline
trolling around the Fourth Island produced flounder to five pounds, grey trout
to six pounds and sea bass to one pound. Good catches of croaker and spot are
made along the channel at the mouth of Back River, along with a few flounder.
Cobia are still taking baits at Bluefish Rock. At the mouth of the York River,
spot, croaker and pan trout are being caught at the "old" buoy 21 and at the
#5 green daymarker. Taylor blues are being caught along the CBBT rock islands
on surface poppers, early and late in the day. Larger croaker are being caught
above the Gloucester Bridge on the York River.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Bottom fishermen are doing well at Blackberry
Hang and the N2 Buoy, but flounder action has slowed. Fair numbers of flounder
are caught at the mouth of the Little Wicomico, while large croaker are found
north of Smith Island and at the Cell. Squid is the preferred bait. Plenty of
taylor bluefish are available around the mouth of the Potomac River and along
both edges of the shipping channel. White perch, croaker and a few spot are
being caught at Bowler's Rock. Weakfish, to 22 inches, are taken on jigged
Stingsilvers at Blackberry Hang, while 2-4 pound speckled trout continue to
bite over the grass beds around the mouth of the Rappahannock river.
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Most of the action in the upper Bay is centered on
bottom fishing for spot, croaker, flounder and sea trout, primarily at the
mouth of the Choptank River. Trollers are taking 1-2 pound bluefish and
Spanish mackerel, 2-4 pounds.
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. Weakfish are
along the South jetty, taking squid and crab baits. A few bluefish, to three
pounds, are being taken on cut mullet and spot in the surf, while headboats
are catching grey trout and croakers. Plenty of yellowfin tuna, 25-50 pounds,
are available near the Jack Spot, approximately 25 miles south of Ocean City.
Chunked butterfish are the ticket for bait. Billfish action is excellent in
VIRGINIA BEACH - Excellent action on bluefin and yellowfin tuna, and blue and
white marlin. Good numbers of amberjack are found over most of the inshore
wrecks and trollers are taking dolphin and large bluefish. Headboats are
dividing time between wreck fishing for sea bass, and bottom fishing around
the mouth of the bay for spot and croaker.
LYNNHAVEN - Spot, bluefish and sea trout make up the bulk of the catches.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Buckets of spot, a few croaker and sea mullet are the
SANDBRIDGE - Fair catches of spot, croaker, pan trout, flounder and sea
mullet. Casters are taking a few taylor blues and Spanish mackerel from the
OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Surf anglers are reporting a mix of spot, croaker, sea
mullet, a few taylor blues and the occasional pompano. Pier fishermen in the
Nags Head area are catching the same mixture, plus fair numbers of Spanish
mackerel. Action is fair on king mackerel and cobia, using live bait, from the
ends of the piers. In the Sound, speckled trout activity is improving, but the
fish remain scattered. Decent catches have been reported in the vicinity of
Duck Island, the Manns Harbor Bridge, Oregon Inlet and the Little Bridge to
Manteo, with best results in the early morning. Pompano staged a good showing
last week on Hatteras Island, but the fish are not abundant. Inshore boats are
taking Spanish mackerel and taylor blues. The inshore towers remain loaded
with amberjack, along with a few barracuda and king mackerel. Offshore,
yellowfin tuna provides fair action, along with a great billfish run, NE of
the inlet, in the vicinity of Triple O's. Dolphin remain plentiful, with many
being taken within three miles of the inlet.