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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 8/19 0612 1322 1847 0026 0559 2026
Thursday 8/20 0707 1410 1938 0128 0600 2024
Friday 8/21 0759 1456 2027 0224 0601 2023
Saturday 8/22 0849 1540 2115 0317 0602 2021
Sunday 8/23 0939 1623 2203 0409 0603 2020
Monday 8/24 1030 1705 2252 0459 0604 2018
Tuesday 8/25 1122 1748 2343 0550 0605 2017
Wednesday 8/26 1219 1831 - - - 0643 0606 2015
Thursday 8/27 1319 1917 0039 0739 0607 2014
Friday 8/28 1422 2008 0139 0837 0607 2012
Saturday 8/29 1522 2105 0241 0937 0608 2011
Sunday 8/30 1619 2206 0341 1035 0609 2009
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Largemouth bass are thick in the river vegetation. Top
water lures are effective early and late in the day. Other times, spinnerbaits
and plastic baits of all kinds are the ticket. All lures should be worked as
close as possible to the vegetation. Main river bridge pilings are holding
fish. Senkos, plastic worms and "creature" baits are the baits of choice.
Washington Channel anglers are taking fish from the War College Wall dropoff
on Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits, deep-diving crankbaits and plastic worms. All
the wood pilings are potential hiding places for bass, especially on outgoing
tides. Crappie are schooled up along the seafood restaurant wall. Small
minnows and jigs are helping fill stringers here. Catfish are suckers for clam
snouts or cut bait, fished on flats adjacent to the channel or in outside
bends of the river channel.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Main river grass beds from Swan
Creek to Nanjemoy Creek are holding large numbers of good sized largemouths.
Likewise, the grass beds on the Virginia side, from Mt. Vernon to below Potomac
Creek. Berkley Power Worms in red shad colors, dropped in the outside edges,
will trigger strikes. Topwater lures, particularly plastic frog baits, worked
over the grass early and late in the day, will take good numbers of fish. Any
submerged wooden cover adjacent to the grass will also hold bass. In the
creeks, bass are roaming the lily pad and hydrilla fields and dropoffs.
Buzzbaits and frogs in the mornings and plastic worms and spinnerbaits later
in the day, are the preferred methods.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Largemouth bass action has picked up with lots of 2-4 pound
bass being taken on firetiger crankbaits along the rock wall at the mouth of
the river. Anglers fishing points with plastic worms are also doing well with
bass. The grass bed at the river mouth is holding good numbers of bass, who
are suckers for small white spinnerbaits. Crappie action is beginning to pick
up for fishermen using small minnows around boat docks. Catfish are taking
clam snouts, nightcrawlers and cut bait.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Bass are suspended off points in 15-30 feet of water. The
fish are normally sitting at about 12-15 feet. Jigging Hopkins Spoons or
running rattling crankbaits through the fish occasionally turns them on. Do-
Nothing worms also take a few fish. Catfish action is good, with the fish
taking clam snouts and shrimp baits. Crappie are biting very well, with lots
of stringers being filled by anglers fishing small minnows off the floating
dock at Fountainhead Park.
BURKE LAKE - Crappie, yellow perch and bluegill are being caught at will. Red
wigglers and nightcrawlers are the productive baits. Largemouth bass are being
taken on small crankbaits and plastic worms around the weedbeds and points.
Brushpiles are productive at times. Catfish are taking clam snouts,
nightcrawlers and chicken livers.
FARM PONDS - Local ponds with clear water should show bass taking topwater
lures early and late in the day and plastic worms and Senkos in the deeper
areas during daylight hours. Sunfish are suckers for flyrod poppers and
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Smallmouth bass are hanging out around the rocks on
the edge of the river channel, smashing baits that are presented naturally.
Small crankbaits, spinners and plastic grubs are the prime baits, while
topwater baits are more effective in the river channel. The stretch from
Brunswick to Lander is particularly productive.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - A few smallmouth bass are being caught above the city and
catfish action is again picking up in the tidal reaches. Stripers are showing
in numbers well below the city, being caught on Rat-L-Traps and Sassy Shads.
Bass action is good, with spinnerbaits and small crankbaits, fished in creek
mouths, being the most productive method.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Anglers are catching good numbers of smallmouth bass on
plastic grubs, spinners, topwater lures and tiny crankbaits. Catfish are
biting well on live minnows and madtoms. Stringers of large sunfish are easily
taken on flyrod poppers and small topwater baits.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Fishing has been excellent on these rivers. Bass,
white perch, yellow perch, bream, stripers, gar, pickerel and catfish are the
species caught. Better lures included Beetlespins, peeler crab, nightcrawlers
and Roostertails. Catfishing is particularly good. From West Point south,
croaker fishing is fair to good on squid and crab baits. Schools of Taylor
blues are noted, breaking on the surface in the lower reaches.
LAKE ANNA - Smaller bass are orienting to main creek points in 5-8 feet of
water. Lots of fish in the 10-14 inch class. It is not unusual to take 20 or
more in a day's fishing. Plastic worms and grubs are the better choice for
lures. Larger fish are holding in 15-25 feet of water, where large plastic
worms, jig 'n pig and deep-diving crankbaits are the baits of choice. Topwater
baits, early and late in the day, are taking fish on points, both uplake in
the stained water, and downlake where the water is clear. Crappie schools are
holding deep around bridge pilings and around beaver lodges. Some stripers are
being caught at the Splits and the Third Dyke.
JAMES RIVER - Above the city, smallmouth bass and sunfish are very active,
taking topwaters, plastic grubs and worms, and small crankbaits. Through the
city, smallmouth are hitting well on live minnows, plastic grubs and
Beetlespins. In the tidal sections, bass are being taken on crankbaits,
plastic worms and topwater baits. Creek mouths are producing well on falling
tides, while the lily pads fields are the better choice on flood tides. Creek
channels are producing bass for anglers fishing Senkos around each piece of
wood in the channel. Outgoing tides are producing best. Crappie are taking
small minnows and jigs around submerged brush. Jumbo blue Catfish are taking
cut eel in the outside bends of the river channel. Above Hopewell, bass are
holding and feeding on the wing dams. Fish the downtide side of the dams with
spinnerbaits and crankbaits on the falling tide. Pick apart the ends of the
dams with plastic baits. Heavier sinkers will be necessary in the swift-
LAKE CHESDIN - Bass action has slowed, but should pick up with cooler weather.
Plastic worms are taking the larger fish. Crappie fishing is picking up, with
most of the fish being caught on live minnows and tiny jigs. Catfishing is
excellent on chicken livers.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Topwater baits, small crankbaits and plastic worms are
the better choices of lures for largemouth bass. Anglers having the most
success, are fishing main river lily pads, isolated cypress trees and creek
mouths. Catfish are taking chicken livers, while crappie are still taking live
minnows. Yellow perch are suckers for Beetlespins, fished around submerged
wood, in the lower creeks. Occasional pickerel and gar are taking baits
throughout the river.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Swimming worms, crankbaits and small spinnerbaits, fished
over the grass beds, are producing largemouth bass and pickerel. Bass are also
taking topwater lures, early and late in the day. Catfishing is good on
chicken livers or cut crab. Live minnows are producing a mixed bag of bass,
catfish, crappie, bowfin and gar. Bream and white perch are taking
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Bass action is good, with fish to five pounds being
common. Some larger fish are taking jig 'n pigs, plastic worms and trolled
Rat-L-Traps. Catfish and bream are showing in the creels, with pickerel
catches increasing daily.
BACK BAY - Little fishing pressure. The main bay is showing good grassbeds.
Bass anglers are taking up to 15 bass per day, with weights to 5-6 pounds. The
creeks are giving up bass, catfish and white perch, along with bluegills and
small catfish. Some crappie are also taken.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Fishing is excellent. Best action is on shellcrackers, where
limit catches of 1/2-3/4 pound fish are common. Yellow perch and crappie have
also turned on, with good numbers being taken. Some good bass are taken on
jerk baits and plastic worms. Gar are providing most of the big fish action,
with fish over 10 pounds being caught daily.
LAKE GASTON - Bass action is good for anglers using topwater lures early and
late in the day. After the sun comes up, plastic worms and crayfish colored
grubs are taking fish on main lake and creek points, and boat docks.
Crankbaits, worked at the 12-15 foot level are also taking bass. Crappie, to
two pounds, are taking live minnows around bridge pilings and submerged brush.
Catfish and bream action is good throughout the lake. White perch are taking
live minnows in 15 feet of water.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Bass action has slowed in the past week. Some good fish
are being taken by fishing red mud points with stumps. Long tapering points on
islands are also producing fish on deep diving crankbaits and plastic grubs.
Spinnerbaits, slow-rolled in shallow water, early in the mornings will take
some fish. Crappie action is fair over brush piles, in 25-30 feet of water, on
small minnows and jigs. Striper action in the lake is slow, but good numbers
of fish are being taken toward the dam, off North Bend State Park. Best baits
are Cordell Redfins in fluorescent red or silver/black back. Some anglers are
using lights to attract shad and stripers. White bass are taking trolled Doll
Flies and small Rat-L-Traps.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Excellent bass fishing, with lots of
fish being taken from these small lakes on plastic worms, large minnows and
spinnerbaits. Most of the fish are in the slot limit. Catfish, to 10 pounds
are taking chicken livers. Some nice crappie and bluegill are reported, along
with a few small pickerel.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Bass are hitting small shad-colored crankbaits from dawn
to mid-morning. Plastic crayfish, on Carolina rigs in 12-14 feet of water, are
taking bass during the day. Stripers are still being caught near the log boom
at the dam, on live shad, fished under balloons. The big fish are also biting
well in the Blackwater River, Gills Creek, Bull Run and Little Bull Run.
Plenty of catfish and crappie are being caught by regulars on the lake.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Bass fishing is fair, with best success reported on
purple plastic worms, pumpkinseed crayfish and crankbaits. White bass are
schooled, chasing baitfish in the coves. Some walleye are showing as the water
begins to cool. Occasional stripers will take white bucktails and trolled
LAKE MOOMAW - Catfish and a few bass are caught at night by anglers fishing
under the lights with live minnows. Bass tournament anglers are weighing
limits, to 14 pounds, in night tournaments. Most of the fish are taken on jig
'n pig or plastic worms.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Brown trout are hitting beetles and grasshoppers. Bass anglers
are using large minnows and catching some good smallmouth, mostly at night.
Crappie and bluegill action is good on tiny crankbaits and jigs.
NEW RIVER - Lots of smallmouth bass are reported taking crayfish-colored baits
and plastic worms. Walleye fishing is good, with anglers taking fish on jigs
and bucktails. Flyrodders are catching bass on brown wooly-boogers and muddler
minnows. Fishing is best in the late evenings.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Bass anglers are having success on Silver Buddies
and spinnerbaits. Best areas are rocky points. Crappie are taking small
minnows and trolled baits, primarily in feeder stream mouths. Catfish anglers
are scoring big, with fish to 12 pounds plus. Bluegill fishing is good, with
best action being on crickets and flyrod poppers. A few walleye are being
taken in the upper end of the lake.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Catfishing is excellent on cut alewives and shrimp. Bass action
is picking up, with live alewives taking the fish. Stripers, 6-10 pounds are
being caught in Peak Creek, generally in the late evenings.
TROUT STREAMS - Big Stoney Creek, White Top Laurel and Cedar Creek are all
producing well for rainbows. Best results are being had on small spinners and
small to medium dry flies and Caddis Flies. Elk Creek in Grayson County is
producing on small black ants and small brass spoons. Brookies are active in
the German River in Rockingham County. In general, small stream anglers should
be using small dry flies, such as beetles, crickets and grasshoppers, while
larger streams call for small mayflies and terrestrial patterns. Anglers using
spinning gear should opt for small spinners and brass spoons.
S A L T W A T E R
CHINCOTEAGUE - A mix of sea bass, spot, croaker and flounder are available in
the deeper water around the mouth of the inlet. Outside the inlet, medium spot
are abundant at the 2TL Buoy. Offshore, yellowfin and skipjack tuna, false
albacore, large bluefish, dolphin and Spanish mackerel are being caught. Best
catches come from 20 fathoms of water.
WACHAPREAGUE - Good flounder action, with best catches around the mouth of the
inlet. Spot, croaker and a few sea mullet are found in the same area.
Offshore, dolphin, yellowfin & skipjack tuna, wahoo and lots of blue & white
marlin are being caught in and inshore of the Norfolk and Washington Canyons.
ONANCOCK - Bottom fishing is good, with best catches being made along the
channel edge from Hacks Rock south. Large spot are schooled in 40-60 feet of
water, taking bloodworms. Croaker are taking cut fish and squid. Flounder are
caught along the edge of the channel in 20+ feet of water. Porgy, pigfish,
blowfish and a few pan trout are mixed in the catches. Moving tides are best.
QUINBY - Peeler crab baits are taking nice croaker, pan trout and spot, while
drifting the "Chesapeake Sandwich", consisting of squid and live minnow, is
responsible for flounder. The action in this area is red hot and getting
better, as the fish fatten up for the migration South.
CAPE CHARLES - Flounder continue to bite well off Cape Charles with some
excellent catches coming from buoy 36A and at the Cell. Red drum and cobia are
being caught around buoy 36A. Croaker action has slowed, but excellent croaker
catches are coming from the seaside port of Oyster. Speckled trout catches are
rated excellent in the Bayside creeks, particularly Hungars and Plantation
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Loads of croaker and spot along the Chesapeake Bay
Bridge Tunnel, with the better creels coming from the mussel beds at the First
& Second Islands. Flounder action is excellent at the Small Boat Channel, at
the mouth of Lynnhaven Inlet and just inside the bridge, in the area known as
the Turning Basin. A few speckled trout are being taken inside Lynnhaven Inlet
at the Ditch, Broad Bay and Dunkard's Hole. Good catches of triggerfish and
spadefish are made from around one of the buoys off Cape Henry and large
amberjack are available at the Southern Tower. The spadefish and triggerfish
are hitting fresh clam strips, while the jacks take large, live spot. Cobia
action is still available, but has slowed significantly. Most of the cobia are
coming from the northern end of the CBBT. The Twin Stakes area is producing
some catches of spot, croaker, blowfish, flounder and a few trout. The Newport
Light area is good for jumbo spot, plus some trout and croaker. Excellent
action for taylor bluefish and Spanish mackerel is available around the Third
and Fourth Islands of the CBBT, casting jigs and poppers near the rocks.
Croaker are available at the Cell. Bottom fishing in the York River is very
good for large spot and croaker, plus an occasional trout. The mouth of
Sarah's Creek and the "Lump", off Cheatham Annex, are favorite spots. Croaker
to two pounds are being caught all the way to West Point.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Jumbo spot are available at Blackberry Hang.
Trollers working between Bluff Point and Smith Point Light are taking limits
of Spanish mackerel and taylor blues. Pan trout are starting to show in the
commercial nets at the mouth of the Great Wicomico and off Fleeton Beach.
Croaker, to two pounds, are available, along with plenty of spot, south of the
Smith Point Light and around the SP Buoy in 30 feet of water. Peelers and
bloodworms are the favored baits. Chummers on the Southwest Middlegrounds are
returning with limit catches of 3-5 pound bluefish. The mouth of the Potomac
River is showing large schools of breaking stripers and bluefish. Some large
Spanish mackerel are being taken off Windmill Point. Speckled trout continue
to hit grubs and plugs fished in the grassy areas around Windmill Point.
Several cobia have been taken around Buoy 42. Gwynn Island, Hole-in-the-Wall
and the #3 Buoy are top picks for large spot. Excellent jumbo spot action in
the mouth of the Rappahannock River. Flounder continue to bite well from the
White Stone Bridge to the Silos. Fair numbers of flounder are being found at
Morattico Bar. Striper anglers are taking limits of rockfish to 36 inches. The
larger fish are being taken along the western shore from Franklin Manor to the
Flag Ponds, in 27-35 feet of water. Bucktails with Sassy Shads and parachutes
have been catching the larger fish, under schools of breaking fish.
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Bluefish are feeding heavily throughout the upper
bay area. From the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Point Lookout, the blues may be
taken by casters, using small spoons, eels, baitfish imitating plugs and
spinners. Flyrodders may also take these fish with white or silver streamers
and topwater poppers. Cast into the schools and hang on. The fish will dictate
the rest of the action. Bottom fishing in Tangier Sound is excellent for
trout, spot, croaker and flounder. Peeler crab and bloodworms are the better
baits. Some sea trout, to 3-6 pounds are being taken by trollers using
bucktails tipped with green grubs, off Hooper Island, around Richland Point.
Drum Point anglers are taking large flounder on minnows, while bloodworm
fishermen are taking jumbo spot in the same area. Choptank River piers report
good catches of snapper blues, white perch and spot. Some of the largest fish
of the year are being taken now, on cut bait and bloodworms. Striped bass to
40 inches, are being taken on drifted eels or in chumlines, at Love Point,
Hickory Thickett and Black Beard's Bluff in the Chester River. The lumps off
the Magothy have also produced some nice fish, but the action has been
erratic. The hottest spot in the upper bay has been the fuel pier at the mouth
of the Patuxent River.
OCEAN CITY - Trout anglers are filling coolers with these tasty fish, while
fishing peeler crab and bloodworms in the back bays around Ocean City. Larger
fish are being taken livelining small spot at the jetties or the Route 50
Bridge. Croaker are abundant from the Route 90 Bridge to the Route 50 Bridge.
Offshore, yellowfin tuna are available at the Hambone and the Hot Dog.
Trolling has been more productive than chunking. Dolphin are being reported
from the weedlines and the Jackspot has been turning up good numbers of
chopper bluefish, along with a few king mackerel. Surf anglers are making good
catches of stripers, weakfish, kingfish, spot, snapper blues and small dusky
sharks, to 40 pounds. Flounder fishing has been only fair in the back bays.
Surf anglers are taking good numbers of kingfish and jumbo spot on squid and
bloodworms off Assateague Island. Lots of sand sharks are also being landed.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Some white marlin success, with the best action being between
the Cigar and Triple 0's. Large dolphin and yellowfin and skipjack tuna are
included in the catches, although this action is better just east of the 26
Mile Hill. Amberjack action continues excellent at the Southern Tower.
Headboats are fishing the mouth of the bay and returning with good catches of
LYNNHAVEN - Spot and croaker catches are satisfying all anglers.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Spot and croaker action is excellent, with anglers also
catching some sea mullet, pan trout and a few flounder. Snapper blues and
Spanish mackerel are being taken by casters at the end of the pier.
SANDBRIDGE - Action is steady for medium spot, croaker and sea mullet. Several
sheepshead have also been caught. Snapper bluefish and Spanish mackerel are
available for casters in the evenings.
OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Bottom fishing from piers and beaches has been very good
for spot. Speckled trout also showed briefly north of Kitty Hawk over the
weekend. Some taylor blues and Spanish mackerel are caught by casters on the
ends of the piers. King mackerel were taken from the piers last week. Best
Spanish mackerel catches are made south of Oregon Inlet. Sea trout are
available on the southside of Oregon Inlet for bottom fishermen. Sea mullet
provide steady action at Avon Beach, while spot and croaker are the mainstays
for surf anglers at Cape Point. A few large pompano are showing. Offshore,
lots of yellowfin tuna and dolpin are being caught and the billfish bite is
described as outstanding. Some blue marlin and sailfish are also being caught.
Bigeye tuna, in the 100-150# range, are roaming the area as well. Inshore
boats were finding fair numbers of taylor blues, Spanish mackerel and false
albacore just outside the inlet. The nearshore ocean towers are loaded with
amberjack and a few king mackerel. Headboats are catching a mixture of pigfish