Area fishing report
Date High Low High Low A.M. P.M.
Wed. 3/12 0141 0713 1317 2034 0558 1839
Thu. 3/13 0241 0815 1427 2137 0556 1840
Fri. 3/14 0333 0924 1530 2234 0555 1841
Sat. 3/15 0419 1030 1625 2324 0553 1842
Sun. 3/16 0502 1131 1715 0552 1843
Mon. 3/17 0543 1226 1803 0010 0550 1844
Tue. 3/18 0625 1318 1850 0055 0548 1845
Wed. 3/19 0708 1409 1938 0138 0547 1846
Thu. 3/20 0752 1500 2027 0222 0545 1847
Fri. 3/21 0839 1553 2119 0307 0544 1848
Sat. 3/22 0929 1648 2215 0354 0542 1849
Sun. 3/23 1023 1747 2317 0444 0540 1850
POTOMAC RIVER D.C. Bass throughout the D.C. sector are biting well for those anglers who search them out and feed them what they want. Lots of good fish are being caught in the Spoils on Silver Buddies and small grubs, fished almost motionless on the bottom. A few good fish have been taken on buzzbaits. Other successful areas are the outflow from Blue Plains, Washington Sailing Marina, the riprap along the north shoreline from the mouth of the Anacostia River to the Naval Research Lab, the shoreline from Memorial Bridge to Haines Point and Columbia Island Lagoon. When fishing the Riprap, try Rat-L-Traps, slow rolled spinnerbaits and small shad imitating crankbaits. White perch are headed up the river to join the yellow perch which have been coming in over the past two weeks. Fletcher’s Boathouse is seeing many nice catfish being caught, along with some crappie and a few bass when the water is not too high for fishing. The cove is full of minnows and the water temperature is right on the lip for fishing to bust loose.
POTOMAC RIVER BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE Bass action below the city is good, with the fish orienting to points, dropoffs and wood structure, adjacent to deeper water. Near the wood, bass are taking small crankbaits and spinnerbaits in the shallows. Grubs are still the best lure for fishing the dropoffs. Stick with water in the 13-18 foot range, with a little cover on the bottom. Shallow sand or gravel banks, with some grass nearby, are giving up large bass to anglers casting Rat-L-Traps. Crappie are taking small minnows and grubs around wood structure such as boat docks and blowdowns. Incoming tides are best. Possum Point Power Plant has not shown its normal concentrations of gizzard shad this past week, but they should still be in the area. Some bass have been caught on Silver Buddies around the outflow.
OCCOQUAN RIVER The river is clear and with the upcoming warm weather, the water temperature should rise, setting the fish to feeding. Yellow perch are still thick in the river, with the bucks being predominate. The roe perch are waiting for another 4-5 degrees of water temperature to spawn. Bass are to be found among the perch. Better choice of lures appear to be medium minnows, Silver Buddies, Cicadas, Heddon Sonars, yellow plastic grubs and horsehead jigs. When fishing minnows or small grubs, allow the baits to sit motionless on the bottom. The perch are picking them up and going away with them. Fish the flat below the Route One bridge. Large catfish are available to anglers fishing cut bait or jumbo minnows on the bottom of the river channel.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR Reservoir regulars are taking a few good bass on jerk baits, rattling lipless crankbaits and slow-rolled spinnerbaits. Crappie action is fair to good with some nice fish being taken on structure in the backs of coves. Small minnows and crappie jigs are the better choice for baits.
BURKE LAKE Fishing action is good, with most of the catches being panfish. Some bass are being caught on jig ‘n pig or live minnows in the shallows, adjacent to dropoffs. If the weather continues to warm, try buzzbaits in the coves and crankbaits on the points. Trolling for muskie is producing a few follows, but no catches this week.
POTOMAC RIVER UPPER Smallmouth bass are on the move and are taking small grubs, jig ‘n pig and small spinnerbaits, fished very slowly. Patience is necessary, because these fish are still very sluggish and will not chase a bait very far. Live minnows, grubs and topwater baits are producing best. Best areas seem to be the deeper holes around Seneca Creek, Edwards Ferry, Nolands Ferry and below Point Of Rocks. The area just below the discharge canal at Dickerson Power Plant is giving up smallmouth bass on topwater baits. The mouths of Goose Creek and Broad Run are producing good-sized crappies. A few walleye are being taken at the base of Great Falls on live minnows and nightcrawlers.
NOTE All bass taken between Seneca Breaks and the mouth of the Monocacy must be released. This area is designated Catch & Release and no bass may be creeled.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER Smallmouth bass fishing is fair in the area of Fredericksburg. Most of the fish are being taken on crankbaits. White and yellow perch are prevalent in the lower parts of the river. Blue catfish are still biting well, with some monsters being weighed in. Best area is around Hick’s Landing. A few largemouth bass to seven pounds are being taken from local ponds.
SHENANDOAH RIVER The water level is very high in the river. A few crappie are being caught on small minnows, but little else. The smallmouth are still located in the deeper holes, but few anglers are out after them. Catfish are biting well on cut bait, chicken livers and nightcrawlers.
LAKE ANNA The water level is up in the grass on the banks thoughout most of the lake. Stripers are still being caught at Dike Three on bucktails and Sassy Shads. Catfish are biting well, with some 10-12 pounders being taken this past week, along with at least one good flathead. Lots of bass are being graphed in 10-40 feet of water, making their way into the shallows. The water temperature throughout the lake is in the high 40s but should continue to warm up over the next two weeks. As it approaches the 55 degree mark, the fishing will get better and better for the larger bass. Shad-imitating crankbaits, jerk baits, jigs and grubs are taking good numbers of bass, but live jumbo shiners are producing best. Walleye action is good throughout the lake. Gitzit grubs and live shiners are the best baits for the walleye. Crappie are schooled up and taking small shiners and jigs. Best action is found under the bridges and suspended over creek channels. Yellow and white perch are found on dropoffs adjacent to deep points. These fish are taking small minnows, jigs, and Hopkins spoons.
LAKE ORANGE Lots of smallmouth bass being caught. Crappie are also on the feed. Channel catfish are taking nightcrawlers and cut bait on the bottom.
JAMES RIVER The tidal stretches of the river produced good numbers of trophy blue catfish, particularly around the Dutch Gap Power Plant. Bass and crappie are being taken from Powell’s & Chippokes Creeks on jigs and grubs. Panfish and walleye are being caught with regularity in the city, while smallmouth bass are turning on above the city.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER Anglers at Walkers Dam are taking perch and crappie on small shad darts, gold spoons and bits of nightcrawlers. Live minnows are producing perch, crappie and a few bass. The mouths of the feeder creeks are still producing good numbers of yellow perch and bass, with an occasional catfish. Minnows are the best choice for bait. Pickerel are also active.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE Bass are beginning to move actively. Most of the better catches are coming on live minnows, fished on shallow flats, near deeper water. Pickerel action is good. Crappie catches are good, but the fish are moving into the creeks to spawn. Catfish, 7-8 pounds, are biting well and the bowfin should start feeding heavily any day. Some nice yellow perch are also being caught.
BACK BAY Action is good, with white and yellow perch, crappie, catfish and a few bass being caught. Most of the catches were made on live bait and the best area reportedly, was West Neck Creek.
SUFFOLK LAKES Lots of stripers and crappie in both Lakes Cohoon & Meade, while the bass action is concentrated in Lakes Cohoon and Prince. The bass are running 2-7 pounds and taking jig ‘n pig, spinnerbaits and live minnows. Pickerel and walleye are also showing up in the creels from Lake Smith.
LAKE CHESDIN Largemouth bass and crappie are the story here. Good numbers of large bass, to 7 pounds, are being taken by patient anglers fishing jumbo minnows, spinnerbaits and jig ‘n pig on shallow banks, near dropoffs. Crappie are schooled in the grass, near shallow spawning banks. Live minnows and tiny jigs are the ticket. Blue cats, to 20 pounds, are taken by bottom fishermen.
BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS A couple of nine pound bass were reported this past week from Briery Creek Lake. A number of fish in the 5-6 pound class were also caught and released. Crappie and pickerel action is rated good.
LAKE GASTON Water temperatures are in the low 50s, and fishing is good. Bass are being caught in the back ends of the creeks on jigs, grubs and large, slow-rolled spinnerbaits. Topwater baits, fished in the backs of coves, are taking trophy bass. Some large catfish were caught this past week. Crappie fishing is excellent, while stripers are biting well at the mouth of Pea Hill Creek. Downstream, hickory shad fishing is topping out at Weldon, N.C., with large numbers of fish being taken on Saturday.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE Some good bass are being taken on points. Fish 6-10 feet of water near rocks, using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic grubs, and Carolina-rigged lizards. Crappie fishing is excellent over brushpiles and in shallows. Slow trolling with small minnows in the back ends of coves is producing well. Striper action is slowing, but fish are still being caught off major creek points on cut shad, in 8-15 feet of water.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR Fishing is good for crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass. A few trout are coming from 10-12 feet of water.
CLAYTOR LAKE Pea Creek is clear, with muddy water around the lighthouse bridge area. Walleye are taking nightcrawlers with a vengeance. Crappie are biting well on live minnows. Stripers are biting well, with a number of fish over the 15 pound mark taken this week. Smallmouth to 5.5 pounds and largemouth to seven pounds were also caught over the weekend.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE Average to good catches of stripers prevail, with most in the 8-14 pound class. Smallmouth bass action is good with most of the fish being taken on live shad, minnows and jig ‘n pigs. Trout action has been good in the Smith River, with large, dark, weighted nymphs, big Adams and blue-winged olives being the more successful lures.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR Anglers are returning to the lake and some decent catches have been recorded. Stripers and white bass are being caught trolling deep-diving Cordell Redfins. Largemouth bass are being taken on jigs and crankbaits. Some walleye are being taken from the river.
LAKE MOOMAW Fishing is fair to good. Crappie to two pounds are taking jigs and minnows, while smallmouth to six pounds are taking slow-rolled spinnerbaits and jigging spoons. Brown trout, 3-4 pounds, are taking live minnows, fished 15-20 feet down.
TROUT STREAMS The Western streams are in excellent shape and should remain that way, barring any major rainstorms. Wild streams had very good reproduction last year and fly hatches are already starting. Most of the streams have been stocked throughout the state. Some of the better streams this week have been Cedar Creek, Whitetop Laurel and the Jackson River. Wet flies and gold spinners and spoons have been some of the more successful baits.
SALTWATER Large schools of big striped bass have been reported in the Chesapeake Bay, around the mouth of the Great Wicomico River, near buoy GW1, in 40 feet of water. One boat reported a catch of 20 fat roe-laden sows. All were returned to the water. Boston Mackerel are showing off Virginia Beach, in huge schools. Anglers are loading coolers when the wind allows. As the tasty fish move up the coast, they should be fair game for the Ocean City boats within 7-10 days and accessible for Lewes, Delaware boats within 14 days.