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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 10/28 0324 0934 1557 2156 0705 1841
Thursday 10/29 0416 1022 1641 2254 0706 1840
Friday 10/30 0504 1107 1719 2349 0707 1838
Saturday 10/31 0546 1151 1753 - - - 0708 1837
Sunday 11/01 0525 1133 1725 - - - 0609 1736
Monday 11/02 0602 1216 1800 0028 0610 1735
Tuesday 11/03 0639 1259 1838 0115 0611 1734
Wednesday 11/04 0719 1345 1920 0202 0612 1733
Thursday 11/05 0802 1433 2006 0249 0613 1732
Friday 11/06 0850 1526 2056 0339 0614 1731
Saturday 11/07 0943 1624 2153 0430 0615 1730
Sunday 11/08 1045 1726 2258 0525 0616 1730
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Smallmouth and largemouth bass are hungry and taking
live bait, fished along the Virginia shoreline, from Key Bridge to Chain
Bridge. A few walleye are being taken from the upstream point of Three Sisters
Islands, drifting nightcrawlers and live minnows across the bottom.
Downstream, bass are orienting around bridge pilings and on dropoffs
throughout the city. Washington Channel, Blue Plains, The Spoils and
Washington Sailing Marina are the more productive areas. Plastic grubs,
crankbaits, jig 'n pig and live bait are the most productive baits. Some
quality bass are being caught, slow-rolling spinnerbaits on the flat above the
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, on high tides. Crappie schools are roaming, but never
far from submerged structure or creek channels. Live minnows are the ticket.
Small stripers may be taken on trolled baits in Washington Channel.
POTOMAC RIVER -BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Bass are being taken on banks
dropping into 12-18 feet of water on plastic grubs and jig 'n pig. Water
temperature is running in the high 50's to low 60's. Most of the fish seem
to be larger than average, as 2-5 pound bass seem to be more common. When the
dropoff is adjacent to rocky or gravel shorelines, with some flat, try a
slowly retrieved crankbait. Baits with a wide wobble seem to be more
effective. Silver Buddies have come into their own, as anglers fishing them
down the dropoff are taking lots of good fish. Jigging them at the base of the
dropoff is also producing good catches. Those creeks with hydrilla beds are
giving up lots of good fish on spinnerbaits, topwaters and Senkos. The
topwaters are best fished over the grassbeds, while the other baits take fish
on the outside edges where there is tidal movement. Some of the better areas
are the mouth of Swan Creek, Belle Haven Cove, Mount Vernon Dock, Pohick Bay,
Mattawoman, Aquia and Nanjemoy Creeks. Crappie are schooled in the creeks and
will take small minnows fished over submerged brush or around boat docks.
Stripers are being caught throughout the area.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - The grassbed at the mouth of the river is still holding
bass. White spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps are taking the fish. Bass
are located on dropoffs adjacent to structure. Best results are to be had in
6-16 feet of water on grubs, crankbaits, Chatterbaits and jig 'n pig. Crappie
are present around submerged brush and boat docks. Live minnows are the key.
Anglers waiting for stripers will have to wait until the water temperature
drops a few more degrees and the shad head for the backs of the creeks.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Bass are being caught on the main lake points, dropping
into 15-20 feet of water. Plastic grubs, jig 'n pig and live bait are the key.
Crappie are available around standing timber and beaver lodges. Small, live
minnows are the proper bait.
BURKE LAKE - A few bass are being caught on live minnows and buzzbaits, fished
on the edges of the grassbeds and around beaver lodges.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER -Smallmouth bass are biting well on live bait, but the
fish are small. Crayfish and jumbo minnows are producing larger fish. Crappie
are visiting the creek mouths at dawn and dusk, where live minnows are taking
bragging size fish. Catfish and smallmouth bass are biting aggressively at the
outflow from Dickerson Power Plant. Live minnows and small plastic grubs are
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Smallmouth bass are active and taking any slowly-fished
bait. Horsehead jigs with spinners are very productive during this season.
Fish them very slowly, bumping them on the bottom every foot or so. The 1/8
oz. size, in white, seems to be the best choice.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - A few bass are being caught by knowledgeable anglers,
fishing the blowdowns on the South shoreline of the tidal section.
Spinnerbaits, tipped with pork chunks, are the most productive bait, but jig
'n pig and grubs are also taking their share. Crappie are also schooled
around structure. Blue catfish, to 35+ pounds, are still taking cut bait when
fished in the outside bends of the main river channel. Around the Route 301
Bridge, lots of bass are being caught on spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Schooled crappie are taking small minnows and
Beetlespins. Stripers are taking bloodworms and peeler crab baits, from Aylett
to the York, with the best action being around the West Point bridges. White
perch are being taken on bloodworms and small minnows. Bass action is limited,
but some fish are being caught on flats adjacent to the river channel. Best
baits are small crankbaits, plastic grubs and jig 'n pig. Catfish action has
LAKE ANNA - Stripers are very active early and late, on the surface. During
the day, jigging spoons and trolled, deep-diving crankbaits are the choice.
Better areas are the mouth of Contrary Creek, Rose Valley and the area around
Jetts Island, at the Splits. Bass are orienting to steep dropping banks and
points. Early and late, they move up into the shallows to feed, then drop back
down into the deeper water to hold. Large plastic grubs and jig 'n pig baits
are the chief lures, but jumbo minnows will out-produce them. Boat docks in
deep water (8-15 feet) are also holding bass that will readily take Shakey
head baits. Crappie are schooled tight, with the larger fish suspending over
creek channels in the backs of the creeks. Beaver lodges are holding lots of
crappie, as well.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Bass are holding on dropoffs on the main river, as well
as the creeks. Concentrate on the dropoffs at the edge of lily pad fields.
Diascund Creek is producing well with bottom-fished lures, near wood structure
in deeper water. Mann's Stingray grubs are producing well for bass, but small
crankbaits, jig 'n pig and live minnows are taking more fish. Yellow perch and
crappie fishing is excellent throughout the river. Live minnows and grubs are
the better choice for bait. Stripers are available for those who are fishing
for them. Jumbo minnows, Rat-l-Traps and Rebel Fastrak Minnows are the more
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Pickerel, bass and crappie are all being caught on live
bait around the submerged brushpiles and shoreline points. Some of the bass
and crappie are of trophy size. Yamamoto Baby Senkos are taking lots of bass
and pickerel when flipped to the base of cypress trees, adjacent to dropoffs.
Some catfish and stripers are also being caught in the lake. Stripers are
running 6-10 pounds and are taking Cordell Red Fins.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Water level is still down almost two feet. Lots of
crappie are being caught, along with pickerel and largemouth bass. Live
minnows are taking most of the fish, but plastic worms are accounting for some
trophy bass. Most of the fish are caught on points throughout the lake.
WALLER MILL RESERVOIR - Fishing for bass, stripers and crappie is good. Bass
are taking crankbaits and plastic worms, while stripers are taking topwater
baits and Sassy Shads. Crappie are responding well to live minnows.
JAMES RIVER - Tidal areas are not producing well, as most of the creeks are
very shallow. When steep dropoffs are found in the creeks, however, bass are
normally stacked up in the holes. Jig 'n pig, plastic grubs and small, deep-
diving crankbaits are the ticket for these fish. Yellow perch are taking small
spinnerbaits, grubs and horsehead jigs, fished on the bottom around wood
structure. The barge pits are producing lots of crappie and bass. Just below
the city, lots of smallmouth bass are being taken, along with a number of
largemouth bass. Most of the fish are coming from the steep banks on the North
side of the river, above the I-295 bridge. Small spinnerbaits, plastic grubs,
jig 'n pig and live bait are the best choice of bait. Some stripers are being
taken from pilings in the Hog Island area and around the power lines
downstream from Jordan Point. Blue catfish, to 35+ pounds, are taking large
strips of cut shad, fished in the outside bends of the river channel.
LAKE CHESDIN - Largemouth bass and crappie are biting well. Occasional
stripers are hitting topwater lures early and late in the day, while most
anglers go after bass and crappie in between. Spinnerbaits and live minnows
are the most productive baits for all species.
BACK BAY - Some nice puppy drum are being caught at the Causeway on squid,
bucktails and shad. Stripers are also being caught on shad and bucktails.
Bass, to seven pounds, are being caught in the creeks, on low, outgoing tides.
Along with the bass, are white perch, yellow perch, catfish and the occasional
bowfin. Some nice crappie are also available in the creeks.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Bass action is on and off in all the lakes, with the fish
being taken by anglers using live minnows, jig 'n pig and plastic grubs.
Crappie are schooled and taking live minnows. The best crappie fishing is in
Lake Meade, while the better shellcrackers are coming from Western Branch. A
few stripers are being taken on jumbo minnows and trolled Rebel Fastrak
Minnows. Catfish are still biting in Lake Smith. Very few anglers are out. The
public boat ramp at Lake Whitehurst will close on November first. The lake
will still be available for fishing, but public access will be challenging.
LAKE GASTON - Striper fishing is excellent. Topwater lures early and late in
the day, and live alewives, bucktails and rattling lures are best during the
day. The main river channel downlake is the best area to hunt, paying
particular attention to areas with 16-24 feet of water. Bass anglers are doing
well on main lake points, adjacent to channels and in the creeks, where the
channel bends close to the bank. Any slow-fished lure will take the bass when
shad are present in the area. Slow-rolled spinnerbaits are taking bass from
the grass beds throughout the lake. Crappie are schooled around brush piles
and solid structure, particularly the Pea Hill and Lizard Creek bridges.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Fishing improved this past week. Crappie anglers are
loading coolers with 1-3 pound fish, using small minnows over brushpiles and
around bridge pilings. Bass may be taken in shallow water, holding on
rockpiles in backs of pockets. They may also be found holding on points or
wood cover in 4-6 feet or water, and on humps, road beds and ledges, in
10-14 feet of water, near dropoffs into river or creek channels. Depending on
depth, most productive lures are slowly retrieved crankbaits, plastic grubs or
spider jigs, jig 'n pig and jigging spoons. Stripers are active, hitting Sassy
Shads on 1/4 ounce jig heads, fished under the schools of shad minnows, close
to the shoreline.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - The power company has dropped the water level of the
lake three feet. Striper fishing is fair, and should only get better with
the colder temperatures coming in this week. Live shad or alewives are the
better bait, fished in submerged standing timber in the coves. Trolling with
bucktails will also produce some fish, as will topwater lures when the big
fish are feeding on shad schools. Bass fishing is good to excellent when they
are pulling water. Otherwise, catching is fair. Most of the fish are taking
smoke/purple or salt/pepper plastic worms, jig 'n pig and plastic grubs in the
backs of coves or topwater baits on downlake points. Suspending Shad Raps are
also taking bass in the coves when fished over the dropoffs and points. When
schools are bait are found, fish a lipless, rattling crankbait through the
schools, banging into the shad. This technique will bring bone-jarring strikes
from largemouth bass. Crappie are being caught on live minnows and tiny jigs
over brushpiles in 10 feet of water. Trout are biting well on the Roanoke
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - White bass and striper action has picked up. Live
alewives and crankbaits are taking both species of fish. Lots of rock bass
are being caught. The redeyes are taking small minnows and jigs.
LAKE MOOMAW - Smallmouth bass are being taken by anglers fishing jig 'n pig
and spinnerbaits on points, dropping into 20+ feet of water. Catfish and
yellow perch are the most consistent catches. Trout fishing is good in the
Jackson River, below the dam.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Fishing is slow. Striper action is still good on topwater
lures, early and late in the day. Crappie are biting regularly on tiny jigs
and minnows, fished over brushpiles.
CLINCH RIVER - Some good smallmouths, 2-3 pounds, are being caught, along with
drum to three pounds and some catfish.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Smallmouth anglers are catching a few fish, using
spinnerbaits in shallow water, near dropoffs, and jig 'n pig in deeper water,
NEW RIVER - Top water lures continue to take many smallmouth bass. Best method
has topwaters fished with no action, and Rapalas twitched quickly under the
PHILPOTT LAKE - Smallmouth bass to 5 3/4 pounds are being caught on live
minnows and brown plastic grubs in 15-20 feet of water. Largemouth bass are
taking spinnerbaits, jig 'n pig and plastic worms on points adjacent to creek
channels. Crappie and catfish are still taking live bait. Trout action has
been good on the Smith River.
TROUT STREAMS - Good catches of trout for anglers using nymphs, streamers, and
small spinners in the Tye River. The South Fork of the Holston River in Smyth
County is also providing anglers with nice catches. Rainbow trout are hitting
nymphs fished just under the surface at Silver Lake in Rockingham County.
Another good spot for trout fishermen is the Tomahawk Pond in Shenandoah
S A L T W A T E R - Stripers are still roaming in large schools on the
Southwest Middlegrounds. Boats from Smith Point and Point Lookout are taking
100+ fish per day, trolling, jigging and chumming. Some bluefish are also
available for anglers. Speckled trout are available throughout the lower bay
and lots of yellowfin tuna are being boated by offshore anglers.