Fishing Report - November 11, 2016
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Bass are located in deeper water adjacent to structure. Dropoffs are the better choices, particularly when submerged wood cover exists. Small plastic grubs, jig 'n pig and small crankbaits are the better choices for lures. Live bait is working well for those who are using it. Choose a bank that drops into 10-20 feet of water and fish the baits down the drop for best results. When using live bait, put one bait up on the shallow portion of the bank while fishing the deeper water with a second bait. This will enable you to catch the fish that come up into the shallows to feed. Crappie are schooled and biting well on live minnows in Washington Channel, around the boat docks and submerged pilings. The Spoils, Fletchers Cove and Belle Haven Cove are other good locations for crappie. Catfish are available on cut and live bait throughout the river channel. Yellow perch are active around Roosevelt Island, taking small minnows, plastic grubs and horsehead jigs. At least one angler is catching keeper sized walleye above Fletcher's Boathouse. Walleye are normally on the point at East Potomac Park this time of year.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Bass are holding in deeper water throughout the river. Main river and creek channel dropoffs with cover adjacent are the better choices. Jig 'n pig, plastic grubs, Shakey Heads and spinnerbaits tipped with pork frog, work best in the deeper water, while small crankbaits, retrieved very slowly, will take the fish in the shallows. Live bait is working better than artificials throughout the river system. Crappie are biting well in some of the creeks, notably Aquia and Mattawoman. Small minnows are the ticket. Stripers are biting around the channel markers in the river, from Potomac Creek to Colonial Beach. The most successful baits are Sassy Shads, bucktails, 3/4 oz. Rat-L-Traps, trolled Manns 30+ lures and parachute rigs.
POTOMAC RIVER - COLONIAL BEACH - Stripers have arrived in force in this area. The Morgantown Bridge pilings are giving up stripers consistently to anglers using Rat-L-Traps, Sassy Shads and swim baits. The flat below Colonial Beach is giving up stripers on minnow imitating baits on the outgoing tide, early and late in the day. All the lower tidal creeks are harboring feeding stripers. They are found around any current-breaking cover.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Crankbaits, worked along the rock wall, are taking a few bass in this river. Most of the bass, however, are being caught in deeper water, on dropoffs. Better baits include live minnows, plastic worms and grubs, Shakey Heads, jig 'n pig and Silver Buddies. Crankbaits that root the bottom in 15 feet or more of water will occasionally turn a good fish or two. The rock wall along the North shore, rocky points and submerged pilings are some of the better areas to fish. Crappie and bluegill are taking small minnows around the boat docks, where the occasional good bass will also hit. Catfish are being caught by crappie fishermen on minnows, but there are few anglers fishing for them. Stripers showed up in the back end of the river earlier this week. Sassy Shads, Rat-L-Traps and minnow shaped lures are taking the fish.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Most anglers are doing quite well on this lake, as they fish large spinnerbaits, jig 'n pig and live bait around the blowdowns on steeply dropping banks. Main lake points and rock walls are also giving up some good bass.
BURKE LAKE - Nightcrawlers and minnows are taking panfish, while bass anglers are using live bait, plastic worms and grubs, and jig 'n pig baits.
POTOMAC RIVER - GREAT FALLS - The normal influx of walleye are here. Lots of walleye are being caught by bank fishing regulars. Sizes range up to 6+ pounds. Better baits include twister tail grubs, live redside minnows and small spinners and crankbaits.
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Smallmouth action is slow and primarily limited to the deeper holes in the river. Fish jumbo minnows in the holes for the larger fish. Hair jigs with pork frogs attached will also tempt the fish, if they are fished very slowly in the deeper water. Crappie are being taken at the mouth of Goose Creek and Broad Run. The mouth of the Dickerson Power Plant discharge canal is producing some smallmouth bass and channel catfish on live minnows and plastic grubs. Occasional tiger muskies are mixed in the catches. Don't neglect topwater poppers. They will occasionally outfish any other bait.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Live minnows are taking good numbers of smallmouth bass above the city. Tidal stretches are producing crappie action around downed brush. Live minnows and tiny jigs are the key. Bass action is slow, but some fish are being taken from the shoreline structure, particularly where the channel hugs the bank. Jig 'n pig, plastic grubs and shad imitating crankbaits are the better choice of baits. Catfish, many of them large, are still taking strips of cut shad, fished on the bottom, in outside bends of the main river channel.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - Few anglers were out, but those who did fish are reporting yellow perch, crappie, a few pickerel and some catfish. Small stripers are also available on main river points, where the tide is running strong. Bucktails, Sassy Shads and large Rat-L-Traps are the most productive baits.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - Most anglers are hunting and no reports are available.
LAKE ANNA - Striper fishing is good at this time. The stripers are working the shad schools on top in the early morning and late evening, and marauding the schools in the depths during the day. Topwater plugs are taking good numbers of 8-10 pounders off the rocks at Dike #3 at daybreak. The roaming schools are also present from Stubbs Bridge to Terry's Run. After the fish quit working the surface, Cordell Redfins and Sassy Shads are the better baits. Largemouth bass are being found at all depths and the better baits are jig 'n pig, Hopkins Spoons and live minnows. Crappie fishing is good under the bridges, around brushpiles, under boat docks and suspended over creek channels. Tiny Hopkins spoons, tiny jigs and live minnows are the choice for baits.
BACK BAY - Good fishing for white perch, small bass and a few catfish in the creeks. Minnows and red wigglers have been the more successful baits. Striper fishing has been good on the seaside, along with some large bluefish.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Crappie, yellow perch and stripers, 7-10 pounds, are the fare at Western Branch. Lake Prince is reporting stripers and some citation yellow perch, along with a few crappie, pickerel and bass. Smith anglers are reporting small white perch, small bass, small catfish and a few walleye.
JAMES RIVER - Smallmouth bass are the talk on this body of water. Lots of big smallmouth are being taken in the city of Richmond. Mad toms, live minnows and crayfish are taking the fish. Below the city, lots of smallmouth, largemouth and crappie are being caught on minnows, fished along the dropoffs and brushpiles throughout the river. Catfishing is good to excellent, with the better action being on cut bait in the outside bends of the tidal river, particularly in the warm water around Dutch Gap Power Plant.
LAKE CHESDIN - Crappie fishing is excellent, with lots of good fish available. Bass fishing is running hot and cold. Best results are coming from small crankbaits, jig 'n pig, live minnows and plastic grubs. Good numbers of stripers, to 14 pounds are also being caught.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Lots of anglers fishing the river are taking striped bass, catfish and crappie. Most of the bass are being caught on live minnows, but some bass are being caught on small crankbaits in shallow water. Best luck seems to be at the mouths of the feeder creeks on the outgoing tides. Drop shot rigs, fished on the dropoffs in good tidal flow, are producing good catches of bass. Bottom fishing jumbo minnows in the main river channel is also producing good sized channel and blue catfish. Yellow perch are feeding heavily, with some citation perch being taken. Anglers fishing around Walker's dam are taking nice coolers of crappie to 1 1/2 pounds and scattered catches of striped bass.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Chain pickerel are very active and taking jumbo minnows. Crappie are schooled up tight and may be caught on small minnows, while largemouth bass fishing is slow.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - With the colder weather this week, bass will move out to the winter haunts in 15-25 feet of water. Blade baits, tail spinners and Rat-L-Traps will start to produce more big fish. Pan fish will be hanging out along the remaining grass in 10-12 feet of water. Crappie are moving to any wood cover close to 10 feet of water. Small minnows and jigs will take all the panfish. Catfish are on the move to deep water, with some holding in 40+ feet. Stripers are also moving to deeper water, following the bait and taking smaller baits. Slow down, fish deeper and catch the largest fish of the year.
LAKE GASTON - Crappie are stacked around the boat docks and submerged brushpiles in 14-16 feet of water. Largemouth bass are hitting jig 'n pig baits and slow-rolled spinnerbaits. Stripers are holding around the bridges, with the better action in Pea Hill Creek and at the mouth of Songbird and Lizard Creeks. Trolled Redfins and Rebels are taking the fish. Stripers are also being caught below the dam.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Bass fishing is good throughout the lake, with the bass holding in pockets, coves, and bluff banks. Rat-L-Traps, ripped through the pockets and coves, are producing 2-5 pound largemouths. Stripers are being caught while trolling with bucktails and live shad around the Clarksville area. Crappie are stacked along the bridge pilings.
BRIERY CREEK AND SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Crappie and pickerel are the fare at Briery Creek, while anglers at Sandy River are finding bream, crappie, pickerel and catfish. Bass action is slow at both lakes.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Lots of topwater action available as stripers and bass are busting schools of shad on top. The activity begins before daylight and continues at intervals throughout the day, with dawn and dusk being the more dependable times. Most of the stripers are in the 10-12 pound range, with bass to over five pounds also being caught. Stripers are also taking live shad, trolled slowly behind boats. A few large fish, up to 20 pounds, are also being caught but these are being caught by the locals who are fishing almost non-stop this time of year. Walleye and largemouth bass are taking live shad, fished on the bottom along the main lake points.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - No report available this week.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Lots of bass, to six pounds, are being caught on live crayfish and live minnows. Crappie fishing is fair to excellent at Union Bridge and Twin Ridges. Trout fishing is good when the water flow through the generators is stopped. Anglers fishing the Smith River are reporting good catches of nice sized trout.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Anglers are catching some smallmouth bass. Largemouth bass, to six pounds, are also showing in the creels. Stripers are running to 20 pounds. Live bait is the most successful bait.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Very little action, with only a few crappie and smallmouth being caught.
LAKE MOOMAW - The reports show that a few trout, crappie, yellow perch and bass being caught. Few anglers are out, as most have opted for hunting.
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 County.
SALTWATER - The ocean run stripers have arrived in the Bay. There are currently large schools feeding around Windmill Point at the mouth of the Rappahannock, around buoy 59A. Trolling is the proper method and the fish are running 20-40+ pounds. Other typical late fall spots are producing fish in the 5-9 lb. class when the ebb tide is running hard.