Jun 24 2016

Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland Saltwater

By Charlie Taylor

By Charlie Taylor

VIRGINIA SALTWATER

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.

PIERS –

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.

tunaNORTH 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.

MARYLAND SALTWATER

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.

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Jun 23 2016

Cobia fishing is fantastic!

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By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA

The Flounder Bowl is here! Captains meeting and registration Friday, June 24 at Dare Marina, fish either Saturday or Sunday (but not both), party and awards Sunday, June 26. Flounder fishing has picked up with fish being caught at all of normal flounder spots but not great anywhere. Fish are being caught from the Cell on out to the coastal wrecks. The largest flounder are being caught at the CBBT and some nice ones are being caught in the York River. There have been limits caught at Back River Reef recently.

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Cobia fishing is nothing short of fantastic. Chumming is producing a lot of fish and when conditions allow, so is sight fishing. The big red drum are still around but most are now being caught by anglers targeting cobia. Some small to medium black drum showed in the James this week.

Spanish mackerel are being caught in good numbers and size with some citation-sized macs being caught. They are being caught along the oceanfront and throughout the lower bay, especially along the Baltimore Channel.

Big sheepshead, spadefish, and triggerfish are all being caught at the CBBT. The coastal wrecks are also holding spades, triggerfish, sea bass, and flounder. The spadefish are numerous and of decent size over some of the wrecks. No reports of citation-sized spades being caught yet though big ones are being seen.

Amberjack are at the southern towers. Offshore bottom fishing is producing some really nice blueline tilefish and sea bass. A few snowy grouper are also being caught out a bit deeper.

Tuna fishing has been very good in the Norfolk Canyon area. Good numbers of yellowfin tuna are being caught with some pushing the 70-pound mark though most are averaging around 40 pounds. Bigeye tuna are also around. This should make this weekend’s Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament interesting. Dolphin catches are good and marlin have become more common.

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Jun 19 2016

ASHLEY LAUREN WINS 58TH BIG ROCK

The Ashley Lauren fishing team completed an improbable double victory Saturday, winning the 58th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament just eight days after capturing the 19th annual Keli Wagner Lady Angler (KWLA) tournament, a single-day event that kicked off the larger six-day competition.

Just as no golfer has ever won the Masters and the pre-tournament Par-3 contest in the same year, no KWLA winner had boated a blue marlin during the Big Rock that followed their victory. Ashley Lauren put an end to this 18-year jinx Tuesday when angler Doug Phillips, Garner, reeled in a 621.4-pounder to take the Big Rock lead for good.

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Ashley Lauren captain Mark Annis, Clayton, was at the helm for all winning catches. Angler Jackie Miller, Clayton, got the Ashley Lauren team on the KWLA leader board with a release of a blue marlin. Mark’s wife, Kim, locked up the KWLA victory with a second blue marlin release.

The Ashley Lauren topped a record field of 125 boats in the KWLA and then came out on top of the 174 boats in the 58th Big Rock to score the double victory.

The Ashley Lauren won $662,995 from the Big Rock’s record $1,914,100 purse for winning the 58th Big Rock. The Ashley Lauren also won $13,281 for winning the KWLA.

Marlin Gull, captained by Kenny Midgett, Wanchese, finished second in the 58th Big Rock with a 564.8-pound blue marlin caught by angler William McSpadden, Coinjock. Marlin Gull led the tournament after the first day and captured the $433,500 Fabulous Fisherman prize for landing the first 500-pound blue marlin during this year’s Big Rock. The Marlin Gull team also won $238,480 for finishing second.

The Viking 72 fishing team finished third in the 58th Big Rock with a 564.1-pound blue marlin reeled in Friday by angler Drew McDowell, Jupiter, Fla. The Viking 72 – teammates of Viking 62 which won the 57th Big Rock in 2015 – edged the catch reeled in by Piracy angler C.J. Struyk, Morehead City, who landed a 558.8-pound blue marlin Tuesday. All that separated second place from third place was 7/10’s of a pound — about two sticks butter. The Piracy’s catch finished out of the money by 5.4 pounds … roughly the weight of a bag of sugar.

It was the narrowest margin of victory by one team over another since the Big Rock changed from recognizing five place winners more than 20 years ago.

There were actually two improbable double victories during the past eight days. Inspiration captain Casey Wagner, Morehead City, captured the KWLA Winner-Take-All (WTA) dolphin prize of $49,725 with a 31.2-pounder reeled in by Morehead City angler Jeannie Fischler. Wagner then won the Big Rock WTA dolphin prize worth $130,050 with a 49.3-pounder caught by Trent Ragland, Morehead City.

Perhaps divine intervention had a hand in the double victories. The Inspiration – winner of the 56th Big Rock in 2014 – was named in memory of Wagner’s wife, Keli, who fought but lost a valiant battle with cancer in 2008. The Ashley Lauren was named in memory of Ashley Lauren Annis – daughter of Mark and Kim Annis – who passed away from a rare blood disorder in 2005.

“It’s just so special with how everybody has supported us throughout this thing,” Annis, told a newspaper reporter. “The boat was named after my daughter so we always feel she’s fishing with us when we’re (offshore).”

Bank Walker captain Bryant Montague, Raleigh, lost but then regained the Level V release division lead Friday with a third blue marlin release for the week. Montague tallied the first release of the tournament and added a second blue marlin release Tuesday. The Bank Walker won the division with 1,200 points to capture the first place prize of $88,612 plus Level I release prize money.

Islander, captained by Bobby Schlegel, Greenville, briefly held the tournament lead with the release of two blue marlins and a white marlin for 925 points. Islander finished second to receive $53,167 plus Level I release prize money.

The tournament featured an excellent billfish bite Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday that was interrupted Wednesday by a system of thunderstorms that ran through the fishing zone. The adverse weather forced competitors to dodge waterspouts and lightning and many fished more than 100 miles offshore.

The bite did turn back on late Wednesday, but just seconds too late for Viking 72. The New Gretna, N.J., based boat, that just rolled off the production line, hooked a huge blue marlin 20 seconds too late to count in the tournament. The Viking 72 team locked down the reel drag to snap the line and watched as a blue marlin “much bigger” than the one they took to the scales swam away.

Anglers released 106 billfish (45 blue marlins, 34 white marlins and 27 sailfish) and boated nine blue marlins. The tournament had a 92% release rate and 7-of-9 landed blue marlins spent time on the Big Rock leader board.

Winners of the 58th Big Rock and the 19th KWLA received their checks and trophies Saturday evening at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City. Competitors are already making plans for the 59th Big Rock set June 9-17, 2017.

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Jun 19 2016

Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland Saltwater

By Charlie Taylor

By Charlie Taylor

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.

IrwinVIRGINIA 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.

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.

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.

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Jun 19 2016

Virginia Freshwater Fishing

By Charlie Taylor

By Charlie Taylor

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.

striper mafiaSMITH 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.

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.

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