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Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon
April 15, 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. Bass are being caught using soft plastics and crankbaits.
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 the 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 begin trying 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.
BURNSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool. 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 . Bass are being caught using soft plastics and crankbaits.
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 slow! Hybrid striped bass will be making a mock spawning run up stream in April 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.
STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is at normal pool. 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 summer pool. 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 April 7. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.
SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool. 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 March 31. 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 two feet below summer pool. 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 April 7. 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 20 feet below summer pool level and is expected to slowly raise over the next several days. Walleye are near the end of spawning and will move into shallow water to feed or spawn at dusk. Some walleye will also move up into river at the head of the lake to spawn. Try casting large Rapalas along the shoreline about an hour before and after sunset. Drive into Cove Run and fish the river from the shore.
Walleye have been moving through the dam during the recent high water discharges. There are also lots of trout 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) – River flows have receded over the past couple of weeks. Walleye and sauger have moved out of the mouths of tributaries and into tailwater areas. Minnows are the best bet but spoons have also been productive. Other good spots at this time of year are heated discharges at power plants. One hour before and after sunset is the best time for sauger and walleye. Hybrid striped bass will congregate in these areas.
MONONGAHELA RIVER – Walleye and sauger are now nearing the end of spawning. A good pattern now is to fish for sauger and walleye an hour before and after sunset, especially in the tailwater areas below the lock and dams. Sauger and walleye usually begin feeding at dusk in the tailwaters but will be active during the day when the water is turbid. Jigs with minnows are always good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs will also be productive.
CHEAT LAKE – Channel catfish can be caught at the Cheat Lake Park. Walleye stockings from recent years have been successful and are providing a decent fishery. Yellow perch are plentiful and the I-68 area is well known for holding yellow perch.
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. 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: Smaller streams are back to normal flows and trout fishing this time of year provided many angling opportunities. 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 are above normal flow for this time of year. Water temperatures continue to rise and are now in the upper 50’s at many locations. Nearly all streams are in great fishing condition but the water could be milky at some locations. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass and the bass fishing will keep getting better as fish feed in preparation for spawning. Recent biological surveys showed smallmouth bass feeding on a wild variety of prey items. The spring trout stocking season is underway and many streams are receiving weekly trout stockings. 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 also above normal flow for this time of year. Smallmouth bass are biting and fishing plastics near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in eddies is always a good strategy.
North Branch River - Flows in the North Branch are currently 800 cfs and water level may be increased over the next couple days. The next whitewater event on the North Branch is scheduled for April 25 and 26. 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 http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/northBranch.html or by calling (410) 962-7687 for a three day projection of outflows.
Small Impoundments – Most small impoundments are in great fishing condition and some are receiving spring trout stockings. Bass and bluegill will start biting as the water temperatures continue to increase. Check the 2015 fishing regulations to see if your favorite impoundment is on the trout stocking schedule.
Jennings Randolph Lake - There has been no recent reports of angler success at Jennings Randolph Lake. Smallmouth bass will soon be biting especially on slow moving plastics and crankbaits. The West Virginia boat launch opened for the season on Wednesday April 1. The WV launch is free and 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. 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 normal and milky. 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. Trout stocking continues into April. 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
Trout stockings are in full gear now 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 – Hybrid are biting below locks with walleye still being caught as well. Catfish are biting with reports of a few large flatheads and blue catfish caught recently. Live and or cut bait seems to be the best choice.
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. Barboursville and Ridenour lakes were 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
Trout have been stocked into several lakes throughout the area. These include Tracy Lake and Pennsboro Water Supply Reservoir in Ritchie County, Mountwood Park Lake in Wood County, Rollins Lake and Turkey Run Lake in Jackson County, Mile Tree Lake in Roane County, Cedar Creek State Park Ponds in Gilmer County, and Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County. Check the Daily Trout Stocking report for the latest at (304) 558-3399 or on the web at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm. This information is updated daily at 4:00 pm, January through 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 these small lures is also affective.
This is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters. Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching sauger, walleye, 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. Crappie can also be found in Ohio River tailwaters. These fish are generally suspended and jigs should be counted-down to find the correct depth to fish. 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 rubber 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 lakes in Jackson County.
Musky streams are not expected to be fishable this weekend.
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