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Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon
May 15, 2013
BEECH FORK – The reservoir level is slowly rising to summer pool. Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304-525-4831 for more information. Bass can be caught throughout the day. Try fishing near downed trees, old stumps, and near points. Crappie are abundant in Beech Fork and can be caught on a variety of light lures. Hybrid striped bass and white bass can be caught using shad imitating lures or with live bait suspended below a bobber.
BLUESTONE – The lake is currently high and muddy so fishing is poor, however, once it begins to drop and clear fishing will pick up. Spring is here and fish are moving and feeding in preparation for spawning. Crappie may be found near any structure such as downed trees or brush piles. They will be hitting small minnows or doll flies. Bass are being caught off rocky points and around downed trees using live bait and artificials such as spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Anglers should look for points that have some cover such as stumps, logs, or weed beds. Try slow rolling a spinnerbait, bumping off the stumps. Some hybrid striped bass may be caught using large minnows. Anglers should try spots such as the mouth of Indian Creek or up the Bluestone Arm as these fish, even though infertile, still make mock spawning runs upstream. Smallmouth bass are being caught in the tailwaters. Successful anglers are using tube jigs in pumpkinseed or motor oil colors. Anglers should be careful wading and wear your personal flotation devices. A new boat launch was recently completed at ‘the Pit’. The old launch was becoming silted in and will be off limits during the construction of the new bridge over the Bluestone arm of the lake. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-466-0156. Be aware that in the future, the access at the Pit will be reduced due to the construction on the Bluestone arm bridge. Construction equipment and trucks will be on the site, be safe and be aware of your surroundings while using the Pit area to prevent any accidents. Once the construction begins, inconveniences to anglers and users of the Pit area will be reduced as much as possible as problems are sorted out over time. The construction will last through 2016. Please be careful as mentioned, be prepared to possibly wait a little longer to launch and pick-up your boat, and be sure to be courteous of others. Please bear with State Park personnel until issues can be worked out as they develop.
BURNSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool. Fishing is good. As water temperatures warm, fish are moving to shallow water. Bass are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also being caught on live bait in any type of cover. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-853-2398.
EAST LYNN – The reservoir level is at summer pool. For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-849-9861. Bass fishing should be picking up with the warmer weather. Try fishing near logs, stumps and fish attracting brush piles. Musky will begin moving toward the head of the lake. Larger crappie can be caught using live minnows and slip bobbers near standing timber or trees that have fallen into the water. Try fishing for walleye near the dam. In the tailwater, trout and walleye should be actively feeding.
R.D. BAILEY – The lake is currently turbid but as the water clears, fishing will begin to pick up. Fish are beginning to move and feed in preparation for the spawn. Crappie will spawn around standing timber and brush piles and will hit small minnows. For artificials, use doll flies in white and yellow. Spotted bass are hitting plastic jigs in crawfish colors. The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with points with downed trees another good spot to try. Remember to fish slowly! Hybrid striped bass will be making a mock spawning run up stream in May so anglers may want to concentrate their efforts in the upper lake. The trout stocked in the tailwaters are providing good fishing. Best baits are corn, salmon eggs, and small jigs. For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-664-9587.
STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is at summer pool. Fishing is good. Bass are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also hitting live bait and jigs around beaver huts and fish attractors. Reports of perch being caught in the upper end on minnows. Trout fishing has been great. The lake was stocked with trout by the Stonecoal Lake Fishing Club a month ago.
STONEWALL JACKSON – The lake is at summer pool and clear. Fishing is good. As water temperatures warm, fish are moving to shallow water. Bass are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also hitting live bait. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.
SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool. Bass are being caught in 10 to 15 feet of water. For walleye try rocky points, drop offs and at the mouth of small tributaries entering the lake. If you are looking for a back country fishing experience, hike down in the Gauley River gorge and enjoy some fantastic fishing. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-872-3412.
SUTTON – The lake is at summer pool and clear. Fishing is good. As water temperatures warm, fish are moving to shallow water. Bass are being caught in about 10 to 12 feet. Most are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also hitting live bait. The tailwaters were stocked with trout April 25. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-765-2705.
TYGART LAKE – The lake is at the summer level. Water temperatures are finally starting to warm: 65 degrees at the surface; 63 at 10 feet, and 62 at 25 feet. The coves will be warmer than the main lake and are a good place to target bass and sunfish. In the main lake, fish are still in deeper water, 10-20 feet.
The tailwater temperature is 53 degrees. There are lots of trout and walleye in the tailwater. Walleye fishing is best during higher flows (1,500 to 5,000 cubic feet per second) and trout fishing is best at low flows (less than 1,000 cubic feet per second). Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304-265-5953 for daily lake and tailwater conditions.
NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters) – The river is in good fishing condition. Smallmouth bass are being caught in the tailwaters as well as sauger and walleye. One hour before and after sunset is the best time to fish for sauger and walleye. Minnows are the best bet but 3-inch plastic grubs are also good in white or chartreuse. Hybrid striped bass will congregate in these areas.
MONONGAHELA RIVER – Fishing for all species is good and will only get better with increasing water temperatures. Fish surveys also reveal good numbers of large muskies and drum in shallow water along the shore at this time of year. Muskies can be caught by trolling or casting large crank baits throughout the river. A good pattern now is to fish for sauger and walleye an hour before and after sunset. Sauger and walleye usually begin feeding at dusk in the tailwaters. Jigs with minnows are always good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs will also be productive.
CHEAT LAKE – The summer water level is now in effect and the Sunset Beach ramp is usable. The new Ices Ferry Fishing and Boating Access Site is also open for bank anglers and canoes/car-top boats (no trailers) launching. The best area for yellow perch is from the Sunset Beach Cove to the I-68 Bridge and also around the mouth of Morgans Run at the Cheat Lake Park. The coves will warm up faster than the main lake and bass and sunfish will be more active in these areas. Walleye are now more abundant upstream of Mt. Chateau than below the I-68 Bridge and are finished spawning. Good walleye stockings in 2010 and 2012 should now be producing 13 to 15-inch fish. Walleye are also being caught in the tailwater below the dam.
South Branch and Cacapon Rivers - Flows in streams and rivers throughout the eastern panhandle are slightly higher than normal but the water is clear. Stream water temperatures have dropped and are now in the 50’s but should get warmer by the weekend. The 2013 trout stocking season is underway so check the 2013 fishing regulations to see if your favorite water will be receiving early trout stockings. Stay up-to-date on the most recent trout stocking information http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm.
Shenandoah River - Flows in the Shenandoah River are slightly high but in good fishing condition. Try fishing slow crankbaits and plastic near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges.
North Branch River - Flows in the North Branch are currently at 1000 cfs but projected to drop by the weekend. No additional whitewater events are scheduled for this year. Flows in the North Branch can be monitored by watching the USGS stream gages or the Jennings Randolph website (http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/northBranch.html).
Small Impoundments - Small impoundments are in great fishing condition. Some some impoundments have received adult channel catfish stockings which should provide angling opportunities throughout the summer. Some impoundments are still receiving spring trout stockings so check the regulation and trout stocking hotline for up-to-date stocking information.
Jennings Randolph Lake Jennings Randolph Lake is currently near conservation pool and dropping slowly. Anglers have been doing well fishing for smallmouth bass and have been successful using both crankbaits and topwater lures. Both the West Virginia and Maryland ramps are open for the season. You can purchase seasonal launch permits from the Army Corp. of Engineers on the West Virginia side or from the Maryland DNR on the Maryland side of the lake. Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information (304) 355-2890. Recreational information can also be found at http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/mapserver/index.html.
Mt. Storm Lake Anglers at Mount Storm Lake should target striped bass, black bass and walleye. Dominion Power has reinstalled the floating courtesy dock at the public boat launch to assist boat anglers. Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges. Recent biological survey and bass tournaments have caught lots of nice largemouth and smallmouth bass. Try fishing woody structure for largemouth bass and rocky shores for smallmouth bass.
CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
Water levels are normal and clear. If you are looking for a place to go, please check the fishing regulations and the WVDNR website for a list of public access sites or call your local WVDNR district office for some advice and a place to fish. It is a great time of year to fish for walleye at the mouth of tributaries in our larger rivers. Remember to buy your 2013 fishing license before heading out. Check the DNR webpage for statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information. www.wvdnr.gov
SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
Trout stockings are winding down so anglers are encouraged to get their fill of trout fishing before the waters become too warm. Anglers should check the fishing regulations to see which waters will be stocked. For a more up-to-date list, please call the hotline at 558-3399 or check online at www.wvdnr.gov. The New and Greenbrier rivers are high and muddy and unfishable at present. Some of our lakes remain clear year round and lake anglers can find some excellent bass and bluegill fishing at Plum Orchard Lake. Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom; spinnerbaits are also good choices for the bass while the bluegill will take small jigs, red worms, or other small live baits.
SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA
Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers – Tailwater fishing should be really picking up with a return to lower flows. Jigs with minnows or live minnows under a bobber could provide some excellent catches of sauger, white bass, hybrid striped bass and freshwater drum. If artificial baits are your preference, white and chartreuse are good colors to try.
Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk, and Mud rivers – These rivers should be fishable this weekend.
Small Impoundments – Trout, bluegill and bass will be feeding and can be caught with night crawlers or artificial baits. Check the daily trout stocking report at (304) 558-3399 or on the web at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm to see if your area lake or stream has been stocked.
Rivers and Streams – Check the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) for river/stream conditions and check local landings visually before wasting a trip.
WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
This is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters. Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching white bass, hybrid striped bass, and a few other species. Lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice. Clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows. Fishing for white bass can be quite good this time of year and medium-sized white spinners work well also. Hybrid striped bass are being caught on the surface, and agitator bobbers, and large surface plugs work well for these top water feeders. Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual. Fishing along the Willow Island tailwaters is restricted due to hydro-power development. Anglers now have access only to a point approximately 150 yards below the dam, and flows have changed significantly.
Fishing for largemouth bass in area lakes has been very good. Slowly fished plastic worms or jig-and-pig combos, and spinner baits are good terminal tackle choices. Area lakes with good angling opportunities include Mountwood in Wood County, Conaway Run in Tyler County, Charles Fork in Roane County, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County, and Elk Fork, Woodrum, and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.
Crappie fishing has also been good at several lakes, these include North Bend and Elk Fork lakes, where angler are taking fish on minnows and small jigs or spinners.
Area trout fishing opportunities are winding down. Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County is the only lake in the area that receives trout in May. Trout anglers can use a variety of baits including small worms, mealworms, salmon eggs, cheese, or trout power bait. Small spinners, joe type flies, and trout magnets also work well, for anglers casting the shoreline or fishing from boats. Trolling small lures is also affective.
Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend, and muskies are quite active. Hot spots this time of year include areas both upstream and downstream of fast moving water. Musky anglers should try medium to large lures. Middle Island Creek, the major streams in the Hughes River system, and the Little Kanawha River are good area musky waters.
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