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Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon
March 4, 2015
BEECH FORK – Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304-525-4831 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/bbfns.htm for information and current lake levels. No current fishing reports, the lake is at winter pool.
BLUESTONE – During the winter season, anglers should fish slowly and methodically. Fish will still feed but have a slower metabolism. A few bass are being caught off rocky points using live minnows. Anglers should look for points that have some cover such as stumps, logs, or ledges. Some hybrid striped bass may be caught using large chubs. Anglers should try spots such as at the mouth of the Bluestone Arm or near the dam. With any warm, stable weather, fish may become more active. Try to pick a day that is bright and sunny which warms up areas of the lake, especially dark or mud banks. A few degrees can make a difference! Right now the tailwaters are high and unfishable with more rain expected. Anglers should be careful wading this time of year due to the cold water and slippery conditions. Wear your personal flotation devices at ALL times!
BURNSVILLE – The lake is at winter pool and frozen in places. Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice. Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows. The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 11. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-853-2398 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/busns.htm .
EAST LYNN – For information on current lake levels call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-849-9861 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/eltns.htm . No current fishing reports, the lake is at winter pool.
R.D. BAILEY – During the winter season, fish are still active but have a slower metabolism, so anglers should fish slowly and methodically. Spotted bass are hitting plastic jigs in crawfish colors. The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with points another good spot to try. Walleye are starting to be creeled by local anglers. Best places to try are along the shallow clay flats either early or late. As the year progresses, walleye will be moving up the river to begin spawning. Best baits are jigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers. With any warm, stable weather, fish may become more active. Try to pick a day that is bright and sunny which warms up areas of the lake, especially dark or mud banks. A few degrees can make a difference!
STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is at normal pool and frozen in places. Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice. Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows. A few walleye have also been in about 10-15 feet of water.
STONEWALL JACKSON – The lake is at winter pool and frozen in places. Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice. Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows. The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 11. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.
SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is at winter pool and frozen in places. Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice. Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows. Walleye are being caught off rocky points in about 10-15 feet of water. Try minnows and small crank baits. The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 4. For more information contact the Corps of Engineers at 304-872-3412 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/sugns.htm .
SUTTON – The lake is six feet above winter pool and frozen in places. Fishing has been challenging with the cold and ice. Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows. The tailwaters were stocked with trout February 11. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-765-2705 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm .
TYGART LAKE – The lake is at elevation 1,067 feet and is predicted to rise more than 30 feet in the next day due to heavy rains. Lake water color is milky. The tailwater outflow is about 5,050 cfs and muddy. Outflow is expected to increase over the next couple of days. Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304-265-5953 for daily lake and tailwater conditions.
NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
TROUT STOCKING - Several trout stockings have taken place across northern West Virginia. Visit www.wvdnr.gov for the latest trout stocking reports.
OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters) – The river flow is increasing due to recent precipitation, which may trigger walleye and sauger to move into tailwater areas below dams. Walleye and sauger will start feeding about an hour before sunset and then throughout the night. Jigs with minnows are particularly good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs and deep-running crankbaits are also productive.
MONONGAHELA RIVER – The river is becoming high and muddy with recent heavy rains. However, increased river flows should cause fish to move into dam tailwater areas. Fishing below the Morgantown lock and dam can be very productive and is the most accessible of the Monongahela River dams in WV.
CHEAT LAKE – Cheat Lake is heavily iced near the Ices Ferry bridge. The embayments at the Cheat Lake Park and Trail are a good area for bank anglers when not iced over. The tailwater fishing pier can be very good for walleye and sauger. The pier is located entirely in West Virginia about 25 minutes from Morgantown, but you have to drive from, and park in, Pennsylvania to get there. Take U.S. Rt. 119 from Morgantown to Point Marion, PA. Turn right after crossing the Cheat River and proceed 4 miles to Cheat Dam.
TROUT STOCKING: Several trout stockings have taken place across northern West Virginia. Visit www.wvdnr.gov for the latest trout stocking reports
South Branch and Cacapon Rivers – Water levels throughout the area below normal flow for this time of year and most streams and rivers are frozen. Water temperatures are still at 32 degrees and most locations are unfishable. Warmer temperatures and rain will cause streams to rise and become turbid over the next couple days. The spring trout stocking season is underway and many streams will begin receiving weekly trout stockings. Don’t forget you will need 2015 fishing licenses? The daily trout stocking report can be found at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm
Shenandoah River - Flows in the Shenandoah River are below normal flow for this time of year but will be rising over the weekend. Fishing plastics near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in the eddy’s is always a good strategy.
North Branch River - Flows in the North Branch are currently 150 cfs but expected to increase over the next couple of days. White whitewater events on the North Branch will start in April. Check the Corp or Engineers webpage for specifics or schedule changes. Flows in the North Branch can be monitored by watching the USGS stream gages or by calling (410) 962-7687 for a three day projection of outflows.
Small Impoundments – Small impoundments are ice covered so use extreme caution if attempting to ice fish. Warm temperatures and rain will cause ice to become unsafe. Some small impoundments have already received trout stockings and some anglers have been very success catching trout over the past week. Check the 2015 fishing regulations to see if your favorite water is on the January or February stocking schedule.
Jennings Randolph Lake - There has been no recent reports of angler success at Jennings Randolph Lake. The West Virginia boat launch is closed for the season due to the low lake level so boaters should use the Maryland ramp. A $5 per day fee is collected for the Maryland Ramp. Recreational information can also be found at http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/DamsRecreation/JenningsRandolphLake.aspx
Mt. Storm Lake - Anglers at Mount Storm Lake should target striped bass, black bass, and walleye. This is a great location for winter fishing since the lake doesn’t freeze. Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges.
CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
Water levels are high, milky and some still with ice cover. 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. The March trout stocking is rolling and going well. Make sure you purchase your 2015 WV fishing license. For statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information check the DNR webpage www.wvdnr.gov.
SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
The New and Greenbrier rivers are high and off color right now with more rain expected so fishing may be slow there. Sometimes high water improves the fishing at Kanawha Falls so anglers may also want to try their luck there for musky or walleye ( use big chubs for bait ) or lake anglers can find some excellent bass fishing at Plum Orchard Lake and Stephens Lake. Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom, spinnerbaits are also good choices. Anglers should call ahead to make sure that the ramps are not iced over.
SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA
Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers – Hybrid bass can be caught behind lock areas and some hardy catfish anglers target blues by sinking live or fresh cut bait in the deeper holes this time of year, but no reports to date. A number of large muskies have been caught and released from below the upper locks on the Kanawha (London, Marmet) and Elk rivers. A few close to 50”. A warm day or a series of warm days create a good scenario for catching fish; try fishing in the afternoon during the highest temperature levels. If you venture out be prepared, be safe, and be sure to inform someone where you will be and when you plan to return. Cold weather and water at this time can be fruitful for catching large fish, but can also be deadly, use extreme caution if you venture out. Limited reports of anglers having success targeting sauger and walleye below various locks. Sauger and walleye will begin congregating behind locks, tributary mouths and along shoal areas in preparation for their spawn as soon as the water warms a bit, be ready! R.C. Byrd tailrace is a great place to try. Try bait, and small brightly colored jigs fished slow close to the bottom. Added scent or a small piece of bait or nightcrawlers attached to the tail end of jigs really helps at this time of the year. Fish S-L-O-W.
Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk and Mud rivers - A few reports of very large muskies caught and released from the Elk and Coal rivers using slow moving baits and soft plastics (large tubes).
Small Impoundments – Trout stocking season is underway across the state, check for links on the WVDNR webpage or call 304-558-3399 for current reports. Anderson and Ridenour lakes have been recently 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
No area lake will be safe to fish this week due to dangerous ice conditions, and anglers should not attempt to fish anywhere!
This is a good time to fish Ohio River tailwaters. Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching a few sauger, walleye, and a few other species. Suspended minnows or lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lures of choice. When the river is running high and muddy, clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows. Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual slow. 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.
Warm water discharges associated with industrial facilities hold fish in the winter along the Ohio River. Best bet for lures here include crank baits and rubber jigs. Expect to catch white bass, hybrid striped bass and a few other species at these hot spots.
Musky streams are not expected to be fishable this weekend.
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