Fishing Report - June 24, 2016
FISHING REPORT By Charlie Taylor
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Main river bridge pilings are holding largemouth bass and channel catfish. These fish are taking deep-diving crankbaits, plastic worms and grubs, and jig 'n pig baits on falling tides. The Washington Channel grassbed is giving up some bass to anglers working spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, frogs and plastic worms in the grass. Rattling crankbaits, retrieved parallel to the dropoff, are also taking some nice fish. The structure outside Blue Plains is giving up some good bass on plastic worms and frogs, topwater baits and spinnerbaits. Submerged barges are also giving up bass to anglers fishing jig 'n pig and plastic baits along the deeper edges. Fox Ferry pilings are holding lots of good fish. These fish are taking crankbaits, plastic worms and jig 'n pig on ebb tides. Topwater baits are taking some fish early and late in the day.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Largemouth bass are firmly entrenched in the grass beds, both in the main river and in the creeks. Buzzbaits, plastic frogs, Senkos & spinnerbaits, worked over and around the grass on higher tides will take limits of 2-6 pound bass, while dark colored plastic worms,+++ swim jigs and Senkos seem to work better on falling tides. From the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to Mattawoman Creek, bass are found in the backs of creeks, on dropoffs, and isolated wood cover on the main river. Buzzbaits, plastic worms, jig 'n pig and crankbaits are the favored baits. Northern snakeheads are present in the grassbeds as well, surprising many bass anglers. Zoom Horny Toads in bubble gum colors are working well, as are Senkos. Catfish are thick in the river, biting well on cut bait, clam snouts and cut crab baits. Crappie are available on minnows around boat docks and pilings.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Crappie are taking tiny jigs around boat docks. Bass are taking plastic worms and crankbaits around wood cover and on rocks. Bass have moved into the grass bed at the mouth of the river and in Belmont Bay, taking spinnerbaits, weightless stick baits, gold Rat-L-Traps and plastic shad imitations. Catfish like clam snouts in the river channel.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Bass are being taken early and late in the day on main lake points. Jig 'n pig, plastic baits, and crankbaits are taking the fish from 12 feet of water. Crappie schools are found suspended over main lake points, at 12 feet, in 25+ feet of water. Catfish are taking chicken livers and clam snouts. The fishing pier is providing lots of crappie, along with a few bass in the 1-2 pound class.
BURKE LAKE - Bass are taking plastic worms and jig 'n pig baits on dropoffs and weedbed edges. Some small bass are taken on crankbaits from the face of the dam. Catfish and crappie bite well. Lots of muskie follows, but few fish.
FARM PONDS - Flyrodders are having a field day on bass and sunfish. Small poppers and crayfish imitations are working well. Doodling plastic worms in deeper water near the dam works well for bass and catfish.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Anglers are catching lots of good smallmouth. Better lures are plastic grubs, Zoom Flukes, Baby Chug Bugs and small crankbaits. Fish banks early and late in the day, and the main river channel when the sun is high. Catfish are taking crab, clam snouts and chicken livers, while carp are taking doughballs and cut corn. Flyrodders are having a ball, catching smallmouth bass and big bluegills. Poppers and foam spiders are working well during the day, while light cahills in size 12-14 are tearing them up at dusk.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Bass are taking spinnerbaits and shad colored crankbaits in the tidal sections. Best action is in the Green Bay area. Blue catfish are taking cut bait and eel sections in the main river channel. Above the city, smallmouth bass, to five pounds, are taking topwater baits, early and late in the day. When the sun is high, fish live bait or plastic grubs in the holes in the river channel.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Lots of smallmouth bass to four pounds taking plastic grubs in smoke/metal flake and pumpkinseed colors, Rapalas, Baby Chug Bugs and small crankbaits. Flyrodders are loading up, using poppers and Wooly Buggers. Catfish and sunfish are biting well throughout the river.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Excellent fishing above West Point for bass, stripers, catfish, crappie, bream and perch. Lower sections are inundated with croaker and pleasure boaters.
LAKE ANNA - Bass anglers are taking fish in 12-20 feet of water, on Pop-R's and buzz baits early and late in the day. Stick with dark colored plastic worms on shaky heads and deep-diving crankbaits after the sun comes up. Stripers are taking Cordell Red Fins and free-lined, live shad. Best areas are around the Splits and in the area between the 208 Bridge and Sturgeon Creek. Crappie are suspended at 12-20 feet, taking minnows, tiny jigs and grubs. Some walleye are taking crankbaits, nightcrawlers and live leeches. Best action is early and late in the day.
JAMES RIVER - From Dutch Gap to Petersburg, blue and flathead catfish to 60+ pounds are taking cut bait. Above Hopewell, anglers are catching bass from the wing dams. Below Hopewell, fish are being caught from cypress trees at creek mouths, on plastic worms and lizards, and in lily pad fields in the creeks. Above the fall line, smallmouth bass to five pounds, and bream are caught on pumpkinseed grubs, buzzbaits and Tiny Torpedos.
APPOMATTOX RIVER - Bass anglers are taking fish on ebb tides, from the blowdowns and wing dams, from Petersburg to Hopewell, on dark colored plastic worms, 1/4 oz. spinnerbaits and bone/orange colored crankbaits. Lots of catfish are being taken on chartreuse crankbaits on the same tide and cover.
LAKE CHESDIN - Bream on crickets, crappie on live minnows and bass on plastic worms, buzzbaits and crankbaits. Walleye are being taken from points on nightcrawlers and minnows. Catfish are taking almost anything put in the water.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Bass are taken from lily pads on spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, plastic worms and frogs. Larger fish are being caught on main river channel dropoffs on plastic baits, jig 'n pig and deep diving crankbaits. Crappie are taken on live minnows, bream on crickets and catfish on turtle livers and nightcrawlers.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Bass are taking topwater baits and live minnows, early and late in the day. After sunup, fish swimming worms or hollow frogs in the lily pad edges and over the grass beds. Large bream are taking red wigglers and nightcrawlers. Yellow perch, bowfin, large gar and pickerel are also being caught.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Flyrodders are taking bream on poppers. Crappie and yellow perch are found in the grass at about 12-14 feet, while bass and pickerel are found in 12-20 feet. Points and grassbed edges are the focal point. A few catfish are caught, along with large pickerel, in 12-20 feet of water. Most species are taking jigs, plastic worms and minnows. Occasional stripers are being caught along the dam.
BACK BAY - White perch are available on shell rock bottoms, on grass shrimp. Bass anglers are doing well in the upper bay, around the creek mouths, on spinnerbaits, frogs and spoons in the grassbeds. Other catches include small bass, large catfish and yellow perch.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Action is red hot in all lakes, as all lakes are producing citation shellcrackers and bream on red wigglers. Largemouth bass, to seven pounds, are taking plastic worms. Stripers are being caught around the aerators at Western Branch in the evenings. Crappie, gar, pickerel and yellow perch round out the catches.
LAKE GASTON - Bass are deep, taking plastic worms on main lake points and boat docks. Carolina-rigged lizards are the most productive baits. Uplake, live shad are taking stripers and large bass, suspended in the main river channel. Plastic frogs and floating worms are taking bass from the grass edges on points. Crappie action is good around boat docks. Catfishing is excellent.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - With the lake level at 301 and stable, bass are found on main lake points. Best pattern appears to be fishing Carolina-rigged plastic baits on main lake and secondary points. Topwater baits are taking some fish early and late in the day, in main lake coves. Stripers are biting well on trolled bucktails, Cordell Redfins and live shad in Nutbush Creek, from the mouth to Buoy L. The Eagle Point area, around Buoys 9 and 10, is also producing fish. Crappie are caught near bridges at 18-22 feet. Some white bass are taken around Bluestone Creek and the Clarksville Bridge, mixed in with crappie.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Anglers fishing deep, are taking bream, crappie, some catfish and a number of slot limit bass. Dollar pads are producing good numbers of bass on flukes and Senkos in Briery Creek.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Stripers, to 20+ pounds, are being caught near the dam, and at Becky's and Gills Creek. Live shad, fished on balloons at night are the ticket. Anglers fishing during the day are trolling Red Eye or Sutton spoons and deep-diving minnow imitations at 16-22 feet. Bass fishing is fair at night on Zoom lizards and plastic worms in junebug color. During the day, boat docks are the preferred location for bass, with live minnows, Senkos and smoke, metal-flake grubs taking most of the fish. Crappie and catfish action is good from dusk until just after dark.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Topwater lures are taking largemouth early and late in the day, but better success is coming on plastic worms after the sun rises. White bass are also taking topwaters, when the schools can be found. Crappie action is hot with large stringers coming on live minnows. A few stripers are being taken on trolled Cordell Redfins.
LAKE MOOMAW - Brown trout to almost six pounds are being caught on live minnows at night, under the lights. Daytime trolling has produced some catches of trout to five pounds. Bass anglers are doing well on spinnerbaits, topwater and plastic worms. Yellow perch fishing has exploded, with limits being caught daily. Catfish and crappie anglers are also catching fish at night.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Some walleye and bass catches are reported, caught at night. Crappie and bream fishing is good, with fish to over a pound not unusual. The Smith River is giving up brown trout to six pounds.
NEW RIVER - Bass and catfish are "biting like crazy". Bragging size fish are scarce, but the action is non-stop. Topwaters, plastic worms and grubs, and live baits are preferred.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Walleye anglers are taking lots of fish, trolling nightcrawlers after dark. Shad Raps and Rapalas are also effective along the shoreline after dark. Smallmouth bass, crappie and catfish are cooperating nicely. Flyrodders are taking the bass on poppers and streamers, while crappie are taking live minnows, and catfish are inhaling doughballs. Some trout are biting near the dam.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Check out www.thefishingwire.com/story/349815 for locations of the deep water fishing reef sites. Stripers, 14-16 pounds, are taking live shad. White bass are schooled, taking topwater baits. Good catches of crappie and catfish are being taken at night. Some nice catches of bass are being made on salty grubs.
TROUT STREAMS - The Western streams have improved with the recent thunderstorms. Pale Evening Duns and Sulphur Duns in sizes 16 & 18, and Light Cahill in sizes 14 & 16 are active flies working well at the present time. Brown trout action is excellent in the Jackson River.
CHINCOTEAGUE - Most catches involve flounder, with croaker, snapper blues, sea mullet and pan trout mixed in. Fishing is not as good as in prior years, but appears to be improving daily. Crabbing is also improving daily. Offshore, 40-90 pound bluefin tuna are available to anglers chunking butterfish, 25-30 miles from the inlet. Yellowfin tuna and large dolphin are being caught in Washington Canyon. Tautog are still active on the ocean wrecks, while surf anglers are taking plenty of spot, some pan trout and snapper blues.
WACHAPREAGUE - Lots of white marlin are available, along with yellowfin tuna and large dolphin, at Washington Canyon. Bluefin tuna, to over 100 pounds, and king mackerel are found at the 21 and 26 Mile Hills. Inside the inlet, anglers are catching plenty of croaker, fair numbers of spot, along with some flounder.
ONANCOCK - Excellent bottom fishing in Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds, with croaker, 1-2 pounds, pan trout, spot, small sharks, porgy, grunt, sea mullet, blowfish and bluefish. Flounder catches are small, but sport larger fish.
QUINBY - Croaker fishing is excellent, along with some spot, pan trout and a few flounder.
CAPE CHARLES - Plenty of croaker, spot, mullet, pan trout and taylor blues for bottom fishermen. Cobia, to 55 pounds, are biting well in the area. Seaside, flounder catches are rated excellent, while tarpon releases are becoming more frequent at Oyster. Offshore, bluefin tuna are showing well on the 26 Mile Hill.
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Catches of flounder improved this week, with the best flounder catches being around the First Island and between the Third and Fourth Islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Black and red drum continue to be caught around the rock islands. Lots of spadefish and sheepshead are being caught at the Fourth Island. Grey triggerfish are being caught along the pilings as well. Lots of croaker are being caught inside the Lynnhaven complex, while a few grey trout are being caught at night, under the Lesner Bridge. Cobia remain the big catch at Bluefish Rock, Latimer Shoals and the Cabbage Patch. Plenty of spot and croaker, plus some pan trout and bluefish at Twin Stakes in 20-25 feet of water. Croaker action remains good on the lower York River, with some flounder hitting in the Gloucester Point area. Offshore, amberjack remain a sure bet at the Southern Tower on live bait, while at the Cigar, white and blue marlin, large dolphin and yellowfin tuna are the main catch. Trollers are taking Spanish mackerel around the mouth of Mill House Creek and off Fort Wool.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Anglers are routinely seeing cobia on or near the surface. Some fish were caught around the Tower Reef, but amberjack were a more likely catch. Live baiting with spot, croaker or menhaden remains the favored method. Surf anglers find small to medium spot, sea mullet and a few flounder. Inside Rudee Inlet, small flounder and spot are the rule. Offshore, white and blue marlin catches are good, along with yellowfin and bluefin tuna, large dolphin, large bluefish, king mackerel and some nice wahoo. Better action is available at the Cigar, Norfolk Canyon and the Fingers.
LYNNHAVEN - Spot fishing is best in the morning, but consistent catches are being made all day. Mixed in with the spot are a few flounder, sea mullet and snapper blues. Spanish mackerel are showing in the evening and pan trout show under the lights. Crabbing is good.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Sporadic catches of spot, croaker, sea mullet and flounder. Crabbing has improved with the hot weather and is rated very good. A few Spanish mackerel and taylor blues are being caught from the end of the pier.
SANDBRIDGE - Daytime catches are limited to a few spot, trout, sea mullet and flounder. Spanish mackerel and taylor blues are being caught in late evening hours under clear water conditions. Occasional cobia are caught.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Excellent catches of croaker and spot are made just off Lewisetta and at the mouth of the Coan River. Spanish mackerel catches improved this week, with some of the better ones being made off the Great Wicomico River, Dividing Creek, Bluff Point and around the Smith Point Light. Snapper blues and Spanish mackerel are roaming the Southwest Middlegrounds, while Blackberry Hang and Tangier Sound are loaded with spot, croaker and pan trout. Speckled trout action is improving, with larger fish showing in the grassbeds off Windmill Point, inside Dameron Marsh and around the Smith Point jetty. Croaker action is good at the White Stone Bridge, Butler's Hole and the Silos, on the Rappahannock River. Croaker to 1.5 pounds and medium spot have moved into the Morattico Bar area. The Cell is sporting lots of spadefish and some flounder.
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Medium spot and croaker are being taken in the mouth of the Choptank River. Some bluefish are caught on surgical eels and medium spoons around Sharp Island and the Gooses. A few drum have been reported from Stone Rock and the rocks North of Poplar Island. Good catches of 10-12 inch spot are being made using bloodworms and peeler crab over oyster bars and channel edges in Tangier Sound. A few grey trout are also taken in the evenings along the shore. Choptank River piers report spot and white perch on grass shrimp and peeler crab. Good catches of catfish on cut bait. White perch and spot are also being taken off the mouth of the Magothy River to Key Bridge on bloodworms, grass shrimp and peelers. Hackett's Bar is producing good numbers of bluefish, 3-4 pounds. White perch are present in Longford Creek, Chester River, Swan Point Bar and around Eastern Neck Island.
OCEAN CITY - Flounder are being caught, drifting channels at the Route 50 Bridge on squid and live minnows. Nice catches of spot are reported along with a few small bluefish and puffers. At the inlet, grey trout are being caught on bucktails along the jetties at high tide. A few bluefish are mixed in the catches. Pier anglers are taking trout and bluefish. Surf anglers are taking bluefish on cut squid and mullet. Offshore, good catches of tuna, white marlin and blue marlin. Sea bass and tautog fishing is excellent on the wrecks. Assateague Island surfcasters are finding black tip and sand sharks to six feet.
NORTH CAROLINA SALTWATER
OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Good numbers of spot, sea mullet and taylor blues are being caught from the surf. Fair to good numbers of flounder are found at the Inlet, but most are small. The Little Bridge to Manteo is producing some speckled trout, spot and croaker. Pier anglers are taking jack crevalle, cobia and king mackerel, and hooking tarpon daily, along with the spot, croaker and taylor blues. Offshore, dolphin fishing is excellent south of the Point. Yellowfin tuna and wahoo catches improved, and good catches of king mackerel were reported. Sailfish and blue marlin releases are excellent. Inshore, taylor blues and Spanish mackerel catches are good, while headboats return with mixed catches of triggerfish, croaker, spot, sea bass and trout.