Fishing Report - June 17, 2016

 

FISHING REPORT By Charlie Taylor

POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Very few stripers, some white perch and lots of catfish are available at Fletcher's Boat House. The War College Wall in Washington Channel is giving up some bass for anglers using buzzbaits early and late in the day, and Berkley Power Worms when the sun is up. Main river grass, where found, is also giving up bass to anglers using buzzbaits and Power Worms. Bridge piling are holding bass, along with big blue catfish. Catfish are available on flats adjacent to the channel on clam snouts, cut bait and cut crab. Columbia Island Lagoon is showing bass on dock pilings.

POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Bass are holding in the main river grassbeds, where they are taking soft plastics and jig 'n pigs. Topwater baits produce at times during low light hours. In the creeks, fish the submerged wood and lily pad edges. Catfish are very active and will take almost anything thrown their way. Concentrate on main river dropoffs for large fish. Eating size fish may be taken on nightcrawlers around bridge and dock pilings. Crappie action is slow. Carp are taking doughballs and cut corn.

OCCOQUAN RIVER - Catfish in the 4-10 pound class are prevalent throughout the river. Cut bait and clam snouts are the preferred baits. Largemouth bass are being taken on plastic worms and creature baits. Blowdowns along the north shoreline, boat docks and shallow flats dropping into deep water are the better areas. Crappie are taking small minnows, fished around the boat docks.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Largemouth bass action is good, with fish 3-5 pounds hitting plastic worms and large, deep-diving crankbaits on main lake points +++ and channel dropoffs. Catfishing is excellent. Better choice of baits are crab, nightcrawlers or clam snouts. Bluegills are taking red wigglers, nightcrawlers and crickets. Crappie action is fair.

BURKE LAKE - Muskie are actively foraging, with fish being caught this past week on large trolled spinners, when the bass would leave them alone. A few walleye are being taken. Bass action is good, with fish to five pounds being caught. Best action is early and late, on topwater baits. Crappie action has slacked off. Catfish are biting anything put in the water.

BEAVERDAM RESERVOIR - Beaverdam Reservoir is open to anglers through the balance of 2016.

The lake is being managed as a coop effort by Loudoun Water and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. VDGIF is still managing the fishery and is working to stabilize the fishery through stocking and transferring fish from other lakes. Currently, the lake ranks #7 in the District for bass 15" and over. Good population of channel catfsih, lots of shad and white perch and adequate bluegill. Unfortunately, no trailers are allowed at present and it is electric motors only. Kayakers are doing well with good sized bass, channel catfish, and bluegill. Topwater baits should account for some bass in the coves, early and late in the day.

LAKE BRITTLE - Bass are taking plastic worms and topwater baits. Channel cats are taking chicken livers, clam snouts and nightcrawlers.

FARM PONDS - Bass and catfish are available to anglers fishing live bait or plastic worms in the deeper water, close to the dam. Topwater baits are also taking bass from the shorelines, particularly near vegetation or feeder creek mouths. Bluegills will take red wigglers, nightcrawlers or flyrod poppers in the shallows, along the banks.

POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Smallmouth bass are taking tiny crankbaits, plastic grubs, small spinners, and topwaters. Better action is along the shore, early and late, and around structure in the middle of the river in the afternoon. Lots of big bluegills are also available on flyrod poppers and Beetlespins. Catfish and carp are available for the taking.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Large cats are biting well on cut shad, fished in the outside bends of the river channel. Largemouth bass are taking topwater lures and crankbaits, fished in the mouths of the feeder creeks in the tidal sections. Plastic worms are taking some fish from the submerged wood cover. Above the city, smallmouth bass are taking topwater lures and plastic grubs.

MOTT'S RUN RESERVOIR - Anglers fishing the lake are taking lots of white perch, bluegills, crappie, catfish and occasional bass.

HUNTING RUN RESERVOIR - Bass are holding on grasslines in 8-10 feet of water. Topwater poppers, plastic stick baits and plastic worms/creature baits are taking the fish. Lots of large sunfish are also taking small poppers, along with inline spinners and small crankbaits. Pickerel are taking swimbaits around the shoreline buckbrush while snakeheads are available in the shallow shoreline vegetation.

SHENANDOAH RIVER - Smallmouth bass are cooperating nicely. Tiny Torpedos, crankbaits, spinners, and plastic baits are catching fish. Mad toms, crayfish and hellgrammites are working well also. Catfish and bluegill are caught at will on nightcrawlers.

MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Catfish action is hot in the muddy water. Best bait is cut shad in the upper sections and peeler crab in the lower sections, but look out for croaker stealing the bait. Lots of white perch still around, taking bloodworms. A few bass are being caught in the upper reaches of the rivers, on topwater baits and crankbaits, as well as spinnerbaits, fished in the lily pads.

LAKE ANNA - Bass fishing is fair to good, with fish running to 6.5 pounds being caught on Bill Norman DD22 crankbaits and large plastic worms. Best areas are main lake points near the 208 Bridge, in 6-16 feet of water. Zoom Flukes and plastic stick baits are taking good fish from the deep boat docks throughout the lake. Crappie are taking live minnows and small jigs in 14-18 feet of water around the bridge pilings. Stripers are schooled deep. Live shad, free-lined, are working well, particularly around Dike Three. Early and late in the day, some topwater action for stripers may be expected. Walleye are being caught in the Dyke 3 area.

LAKE ORANGE - Excellent topwater action for bass early and late in the day. Plenty of bass are being caught from the beaver lodges throughout the lake, on four inch power worms with 1/16 oz. sinkers. Carolina rigged plastics, fished in 15-20 feet of water, are taking some nice bass, as is trolling with Shad Raps. Some nice crappie and lots of large bream are also being caught. Walleye, in the three pound class and 1-2 pound catfish round out the creels.

JAMES RIVER - Smallmouth bass are taking small plastics and live bait. The city stretch shows a few smallmouth and catfish. The tidal sections are showing some bass, but most are small. Better fish are coming from undercut banks, adjacent to cypress trees. Creek mouths are also giving up some fish on the outgoing tides. Big blue cats, to 35 pounds, continue to be caught on cut shad, near Dutch Gap and in the Pony Pasture. Bowfin, carp, and gar are thick throughout the river.

LAKE CHESDIN - Crappie, 1-2 pounds, are taking minnows throughout the lake, around brushpiles and boat docks. Bass, 2-4 pounds, are taking plastic worms and crankbaits, fished on points and dropoffs. Bigger bass, to seven pounds, are taking topwater baits, fished in the weedbeds early and late in the day. Catfish and carp are available near the dam. Bluegill are taking crickets. Striped bass, in the five pound class, are taking live shad.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Some largemouth bass action on topwater baits early and late in the day. Later in the day, plastic worms, Zoom Super Flukes and Horny Toads, fished in the lily pads, will take fish. Some of the larger fish are coming from dropoffs on plastic baits and crankbaits. Catfish are taking nightcrawlers and live minnows. Gar are thick throughout the river.

CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Good bass action on Rat-L-Traps, buzzbaits, flyrod poppers and swimming worms, fished over and around the submerged grass. Good bream and crappie action on grass shrimp and crickets, along with good catfishing. Pickerel and bowfin are surprising many bass anglers.

LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Good numbers of pickerel taking live minnows and crankbaits. Large crappie are taking live minnows, while bream are biting well on crickets and nightcrawlers. Bass, many of them in the four pound class, are taking plastic worms and spoons in the lily pads. Shellcrackers are biting well on red wigglers and flyrod poppers. A number of walleye, to four pounds, are showing up, taken on deep trolled lures.

BACK BAY - Grass is coming up strong in the upper bay. Lots of good fish are being caught in the creeks, particularly Hellspoint. Bass to 6.5 pounds and catfish to 11 pounds are the main catch, while 3/4 pound bluegills are thick in the grass. Topwater lures, early and late in the day, are accounting for the bass in the grassbeds on the bay. White perch are thick throughout the bay.

SUFFOLK LAKES - Excellent action for shellcrackers and other sunfish. Most of the fish are being caught on red wigglers and crickets. Bass and striper fishing is excellent in all the lakes, with 5-6 pound bass being caught with regularity. Western Branch is leading the pack for stripers as fish to 23 pounds were caught this past week.

LAKE GASTON - Bass fishing is good, with Carolina rigged Zoom lizards and centipedes, in pumpkin pepper colors, taking good fish off the points. Don't neglect topwater baits in the fringe of grass on the points. Docks are always good on this lake, as are bridge crossings, particularly when water is being drawn. Plastic baits, spinnerbaits and shad-imitating crankbaits are the most productive lures. Smaller fish are being taken on topwater lures, early and late in the day. Bream are being caught on live crickets, while cut shad baits are taking catfish.

BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Bass action is slow, with most of the fish being caught on Carolina rigged Zoom lizards and worms in pumpkin pepper colors. Fish these baits on points in 5-18 feet of water. Striper action is good, with fish being taken in the back of Nutbush Creek and from Buoy 16 to 18. Jigging with Hopkins Spoons or Sting Silvers is the better method, with some being caught on Cordell Redfins at night. Crappie fishing is excellent on live minnows, fished over brushpiles in 8-15 feet of water and around bridge pilings. White bass are schooled and biting well. Below the dam, stripers to 15 pounds, are taking pencil poppers. White perch and plenty of catfish are also available below the dam.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Night fishing is best for the stripers. Listen for the popping sounds of shad on the surface between 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. Best areas are the mouths of creeks and best lure is the Cordell Redfin. Largemouth bass are hitting topwater lures early and late in the day. Midday, fish shady areas with Rapalas. Long casts and light line are a necessity. Smallmouth bass are schooling in open water off points and deep banks. Twitching Rapalas will take them. Live bait, fished at 20-25 feet, near the dam, will produce the larger stripers.

LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Walleye are showing action at dusk. Stripers are taking Rat-l-traps, bucktails and free-lined live shad. Largemouth bass are taking plastic worms and jig 'n pigs.

LAKE MOOMAW - Lots of trout are being caught, trolling spoons, 25 feet deep. Although most of the fish are small, some browns and rainbows, in the 3-5 pound class are being caught. Catfish are biting well on cut bait. Some bass are taking jig 'n pig at night.

SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Catfish are active, along with some small muskie. Smallmouth are actively taking Doll Flies. Crappie are being caught on live minnows. Nightcrawlers, on spinner rigs, and Rapalas, cast or trolled, are taking walleye.

CLAYTOR LAKE - Some big flathead catfish are being taken on alewives and live minnows. The same baits are accounting for stripers. Bluegills and a few crappie are available to bait fishermen, while archers are taking carp. Smallmouth bass are taking Zoom Flukes, plastic worms and jig 'n pig. Walleye are taking trolled june bug spinners, tipped with nightcrawlers.

TROUT STREAMS - Insects are active and hatching. Best patterns are Light Cahill, Pale Evening Dun, Sulphur Dun and Eskwing Caddis. Wooly Buggers and Muddler Minnows are also effective. Excellent fishing in Pads Creek and the Jackson River in Bath County, Tennessee Laurel and Whitetop Laurel in Washington County, and the lower Robinson river and Rose River in Madison County.

VIRGINIA SALTWATER

OVERVIEW - Saltwater fishing is improving daily. The best news currently is the abundance of cobia and red drum in the lower bay and around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel complex. Black drum are also being taken at the CBBT. Flounder activity is getting better, as more limits and larger fish are showing in creels, particularly around Oyster, The Cell and the buoy 36 areas. Speckled trout and puppy drum are reported at Lynnhaven Inlet and Mobjack Bay. Bluefish and croaker are availabel all over the lower Bay. Spot and sea mullet are available along the oceanfront and lower Bay inlets.

CHINCOTEAGUE - Some flounder are found inside the inlet, in the deeper holes. Best action is in the Main Channel, Queens Sound and at Black Narrows. The largest flounder reported this week, came from Cockle Creek. Snapper blues, sea mullet and some grey trout are also being caught. Bluefish and sharks are being caught over the inshore ocean wrecks, along with sea bass and tautog. Bluefin tuna and big bluefish were found at the 20 fathom line.

WACHAPREAGUE - Inside the inlet, flounder fishing is fair, with Bullshead and Bradford Channel being favored locations. Another good area is just off Parramore Island. Mixed in the catches are pan trout and taylor blues. Cedar Island is giving up some good channel bass, to 40 pounds. Offshore, bluefin tuna, to 50 pounds, are being taken, trolling at the 26 Mile Hill.

ONANCOCK - Excellent bottom fishing for croaker, to three pounds, spot and pan trout inside Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds. Mixed in the catches are snapper blues, sea mullet and flounder. Some large grey trout are taken after dark. Speckled trout continue to take peeler crab, fished in shallow, grassy areas. Best times are the change of tides. This week marked the arrival of porgy and pigfish, along with increased schools of baitfish.

QUINBY - Fair numbers of trout, with a fair supply of flounder to five pounds. The area between the Coast Guard Station and the North Channel, on the end of the falling tide, has been a steady producer. Fair numbers of sharks, mostly dusky, sand bar and sand tigers, are showing just outside the inlet. A major influx of medium croaker has hit the inlet.

CAPE CHARLES - Lots of cobia and red drum are being caught at Latimer Shoals, while pan trout, croaker and spot are plentiful off Kiptopeke. Spadefish anglers are catching a few at the Cut Channel. Best action occurs on the slacking tide, chumming with ground clam and drifting clam baits on #2 or #4 hooks. Two citation spadefish were caught at the Cell. Flounder fishing is only rated as fair at Oyster.

LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - The First and Second Island areas are giving up fair numbers of flounder, croaker and black drum. Large grey trout are easily available around the islands, but flounder are off and on. Flounder and pan trout are showing well in the Small Boat Channel and inside Lynnhaven Inlet. Chumming off Buckroe or Grandview Beach, and around Bluefish Rock, is producing citation cobia to 70 pounds, while bottom fishing is showing excellent numbers of croaker and pan trout. Red drum are also being taken from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel rock islands. Lots of spadefish are being taken from the Third Island. Bottom fishing is excellent for spot, croaker, pan trout, sea mullet and flounder in the mouth of the York River, near Y-9. Twin Stakes and the Poquoson River, near the #4 Buoy are also providing good bottom fishing. Tower Reef is giving up lots of good spadefish, along with chopper blues and amberjack.

VIRGINIA BEACH - Yellowfin tuna are the big news among the offshore boats, with billfish also showing. Dolphin, Bluefish, bonito mackerel and false albacore are on the same grounds, mixed in with the tuna. Hammerhead shark action is excellent. Best action has been between the Fingers and the Hot Dog. The South Tower is loaded with amberjack. Headboats are catching good numbers of croaker and pan trout. Inshore, spot, croaker and snapper blues are being taken by small boaters, while shore anglers are taking croaker, with an occasional flounder or snapper bluefish. Schools of spadefish are found on most ocean wrecks and the Tower Reef. Spanish mackerel schools are found at Cape Henry, while cobia schools are moving up the bay.

PIERS -

JAMES RIVER - Flounder and croaker provide good action, with spot numbers improving. A few trout are being caught at night. Taylor blues make sporadic appearances.

LYNNHAVEN - Mostly flounder, croaker, spot and sea mullet. Spanish mackerel and snapper blues are caught by casters during clear water conditions. Pan trout are available after dusk. Crabbing is improving.

VIRGINIA BEACH - Excellent fishing for spot, croaker, flounder, sea mullet and pan trout. Casters are taking Spanish mackerel and stripers when the water is clear.

SANDBRIDGE - Snapper blues, speckled trout, flounder and Spanish mackerel are the main fare, although bottom fishermen are taking fair numbers of spot. Occasional cobia are decked.

MARYLAND SALTWATER

MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Stripers are still thick in the chum lines of charter boats plying the Southwest Middlegrounds and the mouth of the Potomac River. Mixed in the lines are bluefish around the change of tide and an occasional cobia. Bottom fishermen are taking good numbers of spot, croaker, pan trout and whiting from Kedges Straits and Blackberry Hang. Drifters are taking flounder and grey trout from the Cornfield Harbor area. Smith Point Light and Jetty are producing large grey trout and flounder. Just off White Stone, anglers are catching some #1 spot, with decent croaker mixed in. Spanish mackerel are found at the mouth of the Rappahannock River, off Bluff Point and at Blackberry Hang. Trolling small spoons in 30 feet of water produces the best results.

UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Throughout the upper bay, snapper blues may be taken trolling the channel edges. Shallow water along the shorelines are producing good flounder action, while spot, croaker and spot are being taken by bottom fishermen near Cook Point and Sandy Point. Anglers fishing the Broom's Island area and the mouth of the Choptank River, are taking good catches of spot, croaker, flounder, grey trout and an occasional black drum.

OCEAN CITY - Anglers fishing from the jetty are catching bluefish, grey trout and some rockfish. Anglers drifting the back bay are taking good hauls of flounder. Offshore sharkers are finding plenty of 150-300 pound makos at the 20 Fathom Fingers. Some bluefish and occasional white marlin are also taken. Headboats fishing the wrecks are making good catches of tautog and sea bass.

NORTH CAROLINA SALTWATER

OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Spot and croaker dominate the catches from area piers, with sporadic catches of Spanish mackerel and consistent numbers of snapper blues. Fair action for cobia from the piers, with a number of king mackerel and amberjack. Night time anglers are taking good numbers of grey and speckled trout, while large bluefish are being taken on cobia and king mackerel rigs. Offshore action is excellent, with dolphin making a strong showing. Tuna fishing is above average, with both bigeye and yellowfin being caught, along with a scattering of wahoo and king mackerel. Billfish action is considered good, well south of the Point, while the main concentration of tuna has been well north. Inshore boats are taking a fair mixture of Spanish and king mackerel and taylor blues, with a few false albacore mixed in. Headboats are taking good numbers of croaker, pigfish, flounder, triggerfish and sea bass.