Fishing Report - November 24, 2017


POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Largemouth bass in the city are to be found on shallow sand, rocky or gravel banks adjacent to dropoffs. These areas are feeding grounds for the bass, as they come up from their holding areas in deeper water. Jig 'n pig, small plastic grubs and small crankbaits are the better choice for artificial baits. Fish deeper water with Silver Buddies, small plastic grubs or drop shots. The outflow from Blue Plains is holding large numbers of bass, along with crappie, gizzard shad, carp and catfish. The Spoils are giving up some good catches of largemouth bass. Smallmouth bass are cooperating nicely on live bait, fished along the Virginia shoreline, above Key Bridge. Some walleye are reported from the upstream point of Three Sisters Islands and in the coves above Fletcher's Boathouse.

POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Most of the action here is to be found on main river points and creek mouths. Shallow flats with some grass are producing good largemouth bass for anglers fishing patiently with small baits. These areas are particularly good in the late afternoon when the sun has warmed the water. Best method is casting plastic grubs and small wide-wobbling crankbaits in 2-3 feet of water, and slowly working them down the dropoff. Plastic grubs and jig 'n pig, fished at the base of the dropoff, will also produce fish. Yellow perch and crappie are active around submerged cover, particularly on outside bends of the creek channels. Some pickerel are available in the lower creeks. Main river anglers will do best by fishing wooden structure in 15-20 feet of water. The Mount Vernon dock is a good example. Slow presentations of plastic grubs and jig 'n pig are successful.

OCCOQUAN RIVER - Yellow perch are to be found on the flat below the Route One Bridge. Largemouth bass are available along the rock wall in 8-15 feet of water, and on the rock points along the southern shore. Hopkins Spoons, Silver Buddies, plastic grubs, jig 'n pig, drop shots and live bait are the preferred choices. Plenty of bass are available under the baitfish schools in the mid section of the river. Crappie are taking live minnows and tiny jigs around the boat docks below the Route One Bridge. Stripers are reported, taking Sassy Shads, in the deep water around Hoffmaster's Marina.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Anglers with access to the lake will do well by fishing main lake points and rock walls with jig 'n pig, plastic grubs and slow-rolled spinnerbaits. Crappie fishing is excellent for anglers dunking live minnows over creek and river channels where the tasty fish are suspended.

BURKE LAKE - Few anglers out. No reports available.

POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Anglers are catching some smallmouth bass in the deeper sections of the river on small plastic grubs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jig 'n pig baits. Smallmouth bass and large catfish are also available at the outflow from the Dickerson Power Plant. Live minnows and plastic grubs are taking the smallmouth. Don't neglect topwater baits, as the water is warmer than the main river. Lots of crappie are being caught, along with the largemouth bass, at the mouths of the feeder creeks.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - Some activity for largemouth bass and crappie is noted in the tidal stretches. Blue catfish, to 30 pounds, are taking cut shad baits in the deeper portions of the channel. Crappie fishing is said to be good around the blowdowns just below the city.

SHENANDOAH RIVER - Excellent fishing for smallmouth bass and sunfish. Small, floating crankbaits, fished slowly, are taking good numbers of the scrappy fish. Live minnows and nightcrawlers are also producing, with an occasional catfish nipping the hook.

LAKE ANNA - Biggest news here is stripers. Most of the fish are being taken on four inch Sassy Shads, Hopkins Spoons and bucktails. Better areas are around the 208 Bridge, the mouth of Pigeon Creek and around the Splits. Trollers are taking fish on deep diving Cordell Redfins and Rebel FasTrak minnows over the river channel off Jett's Island. Some bass activity on secondary points in the creeks, but most are taken in the backs of coves with small creeks. Jig 'n pig and Shakey Heads are the chief baits. Jigging with Silver Buddies and Hopkins Shorties are also producing some big largemouth bass, particularly around bridge pilings, as well as deep main and secondary points. Crappie are biting well. Schools are to be found in the back of creeks, suspended over the main channel.

JAMES RIVER - Catfish action is excellent in the Dutch Gap area. Best bet is fishing large pieces of cut shad or eel on the bottom in the outside bends of the river channel. Use heavy tackle, as these bruisers can run upwards of 50 pounds. Gar action has picked up, with cut bait being the more successful lure. Crappie action is still good in the barge pits, while bass action has slowed. Live bait, fished along the river side of the islands in the Dutch Gap area, should produce a mixed bag of smallmouth and largemouth bass, along with some crappie. Striper action is still excellent around the Benjamin Harrison Bridge and the power lines just downstream. Best lures are Rat-L-Traps, Sassy Shads and shad colored crankbaits.

LAKE CHESDIN - Crappie anglers are catching some nice bass, mixed in with the crappie being taken from the bridges. The fish are being taken on live minnows and crappie jigs.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Some bass are being taken on live minnows by dedicated anglers. Most of the fish are being caught in stump fields and at creek mouths on moving tides. Some crappie, catfish and yellow perch are also available. Stripers are still taking Rat-L-Traps and trolled Redfins near Walker's Dam. Crappie anglers are taking some citation fish near Walker's Dam at twilight, from the bank, on live minnows.

CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Bass to six pounds and pickerel dominate the action, with both species being taken on live minnows, fished deep. Crappie anglers are also taking good stringers of fish on live minnows.

LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR (TOANO) - All species are biting well along the grass bed edges in the afternoon after the sun has warmed the water. Bass will take jerk baits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic worms, worked along that edge. Crappie are moving into the shoreline wood, as are yellow perch. Try small or medium minnows, jigs or grubs. Lots of stripers are showing in 25-30 feet of water.

BACK BAY - Very few catches of bass, but some nice white perch are reported from West Neck Creek on minnows. Catfish anglers are scoring well on clam snouts.

SUFFOLK LAKES - Most of the action in Lakes Smith, Western Branch and Prince is centered on stripers. Live bait, and trolled deep diving minnow imitations are the chief baits. Some bass are reported, but few large ones. Most anglers are concentrating on crappie.

LAKE GASTON - Live bait and deep-trolling are producing some good striper catches, although the fish are running small. White perch continue to be caught, jigging in the creeks with Hopkins Shorties. Walleye are taken along with the white perch. Crappie anglers are taking good stringers of fish on live minnows, as the schools suspend over the creek channels. Bass fishing is so-so, with fish being caught on long points in 10-14 feet of water, on crankbaits and Carolina rigs. Lots of patience is required.

BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - Largemouth bass anglers are catching fish on topwaters and deep suspending jerkbaits, fished adjacent to the brush, early and late in the day, and jig 'n pig and Carolina rigged plastic grubs during daylight hours. Most of the striper activity has moved downlake, below Clarksville, with the mouth of Eastland Creek being particularly good. Live bait is the key. Crappie are being caught around the bridge pilings on live minnows and tiny grubs. Overall, fishing is good.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Scattered catches of stripers on live bait, "in the woodlot" are reported, with fish to 20 pounds. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught on slow rolled spinnerbaits, jig 'n pig and deep running crankbaits on main channel points. Crappie are being caught around brushpiles, in the creeks.

LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Bass are being taken on lipless crankbaits, with a stop and go retrieve. Most of the hits are coming while the bait is falling.

LAKE MOOMAW - Fishing activity has picked up. Some good sized smallmouth and largemouth bass are being taken by die hard anglers. Crappie anglers are having good success on live minnows and tiny jigs. A few brown trout in the 4-5 pound class are reported being caught around the Fortney area.

PHILPOTT LAKE - Smallmouth bass fishing is reported to be very good, with large numbers of fish being taken on live minnows. Fifteen pound limits of smallmouth are not uncommon. Crappie anglers are catching good numbers of fish on live minnows. The Smith River is giving up some nice trout for flyfishermen.

SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - A few bass and lots of crappie is the word here. Live minnows and jigs are the choice of bait. Walleye anglers are jigging a few fish on Hopkins spoons. Trout fishing is good below the dam, when the turbines are running.

CLAYTOR LAKE - Striper fishing is hot in Peake Creek, with lots of fish being caught on topwaters, such as the Zara Spook, and on chartreuse Roadrunners. Bass action is good in Dublin Hollow, where Gitzits and Silver Buddies are taking their toll on both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

NEW RIVER - Although the river is high and clear, a few fish were taken this past week. Reported catches include mostly small fish.

TROUT STREAMS - All scheduled stockings are continuing with no weather delays. Water conditions are good throughout most of the area and most streams still fishable.

SALTWATER - Striper fishing is excellent for the big sows that come into the Bay from the Atlantic Ocean this time of year. Best action seems to be centered just below Reedville. Most of the fish are taken by trolling umbrella rigs and parachute rigs, with Sassy Shads at 32-35 feet. Watch for working birds. There are reports of large grey trout under the schools of stripers. These fish are taking jigging spoons, such as Stingsilvers.