POTOMAC RIVER TIDE INFORMATION
Date High Low High Low A.M. P.M.
Wed. 4/23 0112 0727 1320 2032 0553 2021
Thu. 4/24 0220 0834 1434 3132 0551 2022
Fri. 4/25 0322 0942 1539 2228 0550 2023
Sat. 4/26 0418 1047 1637 2319 0548 2024
Sun. 4/27 0508 1144 1728 — 0547 2025
Mon. 4/28 0553 1235 1814 0004 0546 2026
Tue. 4/29 0635 1321 1858 0043 0544 2027
Wed. 4/30 0712 1402 1939 0118 0543 2028
Thu. 5/1 0746 1441 2019 0150 0542 2029
Fri. 5/2 0817 1519 2057 0221 0540 2030
Sat. 5/3 0844 1556 2134 0252 0539 2031
Sun. 5/4 0911 1633 2208 0327 0538 2032
? POTOMAC RIVER — D.C. — Bass fishing picked up this week, with the fish holding to structure or vegetation in shallow water. Plastic worms, rattling crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the better choice for baits. Crappie fishing has picked up. Fletcher’s Boathouse area is producing good numbers of fish. Species caught are white perch, catfish, hickory and American shad, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and lots of striped bass. The perch are taking bloodworms and nightcrawlers, shad and herring on shad darts, catfish and stripers on cut herring and bass on rattling crankbaits.
? POTOMAC RIVER — BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE –Bass in this area are cruising the emerging lily pads and milfoil beds. Main river milfoil beds are producing well, as are gravel and sandy banks with 3-4 feet of water on them. Crankbaits produce better on high tides, while plastic baits are the better choice for outgoing tides. Crappie action is red hot, with fish being taken in shallow water and around submerged brushpiles on live minnows and tiny jigs. Catfish action has picked up, with fish to 15 pounds being taken on cut bait. Chumming with corn kernels is producing good sized carp for those who enjoy sportfishing. Bowhunting for carp is also very productive.
? POTOMAC RIVER — BELOW ROUTE 301 BRIDGE — Anglers braving the wind are catching stripers around the Route 301 bridge, mid channel markers and at the mouth of Monroe Bay. Trolling is producing the best catches, but casters are catching their share as well.
? OCCOQUAN RIVER — Bass action is fair to good on firetiger crankbaits and plastic worms. The fish are located throughout the river, from the mouth to the rocks in the back end. Crappie action is best on minnows and tiny jigs around dock pilings. Catfish are hot in the mouth of the river, around the islands. Cut herring is the bait of choice.
? OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR — Bass action is excellent for those anglers who fish a prespawn pattern. Water temperature ranges from 60-63. Lots of large bass are being caught, primarily on spinnerbaits in shallow water. Anglers are catching good sized bass from the pier. Crappie success is slow. Catfish action is improving.
? BURKE LAKE — Bass action is good. Better action is to be had on buzzbaits, plastic worms, Rat-L-Traps and jig ‘n pig. Fish the outside edges of the weedbeds throughout the lake. Crappie action is fair. Some of the crappie being caught are the largest seen in years. Catfish are being taken on cut bait, but patience is required.
? LAKE BRITTLE — Lots of bullhead catfish and a few bass, 2-5 pounds. An occasional walleye and some crappie are also being caught off the dam or the fishing pier.
? FARM PONDS — Lots of action in these small bodies of water. Bass are taking crankbaits, topwater lures, plastic baits and live bait. Best action is centered in the deeper water in front of the dams. Bluegill action is excellent, on the edges of vegetation and along the shallow banks. Better baits are nightcrawlers, Beetlespins and flyrod poppers.
? POTOMAC RIVER — UPPER — Fishing is excellent. Chartreuse crankbaits, plastic grubs and topwater lures are taking large numbers of smallmouth bass. Catfish and carp are heavily feeding on the bottom. Bluegills are taking small spinners, tiny Beetlespins and topwater poppers, around the weedbeds.
? RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER — Herring and shad fishing is excellent. The white perch run is slow this year, but they are coming on strong. Shad darts are taking shad and herring, while bloodworms and nightcrawlers are taking the white perch. Bass, catfish and stripers in the tidal sections are active. Big blue catfish, to 50 pounds, are taking cut bait, fished on the bottom of the outside bends of the river channel. Stripers and bass are suckers for any shad colored crankbait or shad imitation plastic bait. Best action is along the Southern bank around any wood structure in the water. Above the city, smallmouth action is excellent on small crankbaits, small topwaters, four inch plastic worms and live minnows.
? MOTTS RESERVOIR — Anglers are taking good numbers of large white perch and bluegills, along with some nice largemouth bass and trophy northern pike.
? SHENANDOAH RIVER — The river is a little stained. Smallmouth bass are responding well to tiny crankbaits, plastic grubs, spinners and live bait. The key is to fish slow and thoroughly. It may take six casts to the same piece of cover, but the fish are there. Crappie action is good on small minnows, and sunfish are taking small spinners, nightcrawlers, plastic grubs, live crickets and minnows. Flyrodders should try small poppers adjacent to the weedbeds throughout the river. Catfish, 4-15 pounds, are taking cut bait and nightcrawlers.
? MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS — Lots of shad and herring are being caught, along with white and yellow perch, catfish and a few bass and crappie. Catfish are taking cut herring, perch are taking bloodworms, shad and herring are taking shad darts and bass are taking rattling crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Stripers are also thick in the rivers.
? LAKE ANNA — Big bass are taking crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms and topwater baits. Secondary points in the creeks are still producing a few good fish, with the best areas being from the Route 208 Bridge uplake. Crappie are biting well around shallow beaver lodges, submerged brush and boat docks on live minnows, tiny Hopkins spoons and jigs. Stripers are active around the
splits and the mouth of Contrary Creek. Best time is dawn and dusk on bucktails and noisy topwater baits.
? JAMES RIVER — Lots of smallmouth action, although the fish are generally small, except below Boshers Dam, where a good number in the three pound range have been caught. Small crankbaits, grubs and small buzzbaits are the preferred baits. In the city, anglers are catching smallmouth bass on nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream and catfish are also plentiful. White perch have slowed. Tidal sections of the river are producing good bass in the gravel pits on crankbaits and live minnows. Crappie action is superb in the pits, while 25-38 pound blue catfish and stripers are taking cut herring.
? LAKE CHESDIN — Crappie are biting well. Small minnows are the better choice for bait. Largemouth bass, many over six pounds, are taking plastic worms, buzzbaits and jig ‘n pig. Catfish action is excellent, with fish to 25 pounds being taken on cut bait.
? CHICKAHOMINY RIVER — Spinnerbaits, topwater baits and plastic worms are taking large numbers of bass from the edges of the lily pad fields and around cypress trees. Catfish and crappie are also plentiful. Flyrodders are taking large numbers of crappie from the base of cypress trees. Cut herring, shrimp and dip baits are the choices of bait for catfish, to 35 pounds.
? CHICKAHOMINY LAKE — Anglers working Walker’s Dam are catching herring, crappie and catfish. The lake is yielding some nice bass and pickerel on live minnows, Slug-Go’s, plastic lizards and Power Frogs. Bowfin are also taking minnows, but the best action is for pickerel. Many anglers are taking 10-20 per day. Flyrodders are filling creels with bream and crappie. Both species are also taking small grubs and Beetlespins.
? LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR — Excellent bass fishing, with most catches being made on grape and red shad plastic worms or Bomber Flat A crankbaits. Crappie fishing is excellent, with several over the two-and-a-half pound mark during the past week. A number of yellow perch citations were also issued this past week.
? BACK BAY — Lots of white perch and catfish, along with some of the best bass catches in years. The perch are taking minnows and nightcrawlers, while the catfish are taking nightcrawlers and chicken livers. The bass are taking spinnerbaits and topwater baits over grass beds. Action in the creeks is excellent with bass, crappie, white perch and channel catfish.
? SUFFOLK LAKES — Largemouth bass action is excellent. Most of the bass were caught on plastic worms, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and live minnows. Shellcrackers are biting well. Best lakes for the big sunfish are Western Branch and Lake Prince. Some nice stripers are being caught in Lakes Meade, Prince and Western Branch on white bucktails and live jumbo minnows. Crappie are biting well in all lakes on live minnows. Walleye are taking broken back
Rebels in Lake Smith.
? LAKE GASTON — Fishing is getting better, as water temperatures range from 60-63 throughout the lake. Bass may be taken on Shad Raps, spinnerbaits, plastic worms and Gitzits in pumpkinseed and electric grape colors. Devil’s Horse topwaters are also producing some good fish. Head for the back ends of the creeks, where the water is very shallow and fish amid the stumps. Crappie fishing is excellent around boat docks on small minnows and jigs. Live shad and bucktails are accounting for good striper catches. Below the Gaston Dam in Weldon, N.C., stripers are cleaning house. Catches of 50-100 in a day are not unusual.
? BUGGS ISLAND LAKE — Striper and white bass fishing is good below Kerr Dam.Bucktails and live shad are the best bait. Bass fishing is generally very slow, but the weather and water level dictates the success on any given day. Currently, the larger fish are generally on the points. Fish the flooded willow bushes adjacent to the creek channel in the back end of the creeks, when the sun is high. Flip a jig ‘n pig or crayfish imitating plastic into the middle of the bush. Early in the day, cast small spinnerbaits into the outside edges of the buckbrush, adjacent to creek channels. After the sun comes up, switch to jig ‘n pig, flipped into brush among sweet gum trees halfway into pockets in the backs of creeks. Main lake points are giving up some good fish on Carolina-rigged lizards. Crappie action is excellent on medium minnows over submerged brushpiles and around bridge pilings. Two pounders are not uncommon.
? BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS — The parade of large bass is continuing at Briery Creek, with many fish weighing from 7-10 pounds having been caught this past week. Most of the large bass were taken on plastic lizards. Nice bream are being taken from the lake, with crappie and catfish rounding out the catches. Sandy River is also beginning to give up some nice bass, as fish in the 5-7 pound class were taken this past week, along with some nice bream and a few crappie.
? SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE — Good striper action, to 25 pounds, on Cordell Ripplin’ Redfins and live shad, in the lower end of the lake. Uplake, anglers are catching largemouth and smallmouth bass, and crappie. Main lake points are the preferred location for the bass, while crappie are located around submerged brush and bridge pilings.
? LEESVILLE RESERVOIR — Good fishing, with anglers catching stripers, white bass and largemouth bass. Most stripers are being caught early in the morning on Cordell Redfins, bucktails and live shad. White bass and largemouth are taking bucktails, live shad and crankbaits. The Staunton River is giving up good sized walleye.
? LAKE MOOMAW — Largemouth bass, to six pounds, are being caught on plastic worms and spinnerbaits, off points in 12-15 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are taking jig ‘n pig and grubs in the upper end of the lake. Crappie, to three pounds, are taking small minnows, in 10-12 feet of water, at night under a crappie light. Anglers, using live minnows between dawn and 9 a.m., are catching some brown trout to nine pounds.
? PHILPOTT LAKE — Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are feeding heavily, and crappie action is good in the upper end of the lake. Catfish anglers are bringing in nice stringers. Trout fishing in the Smith River is excellent.
? SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR — Stripers and white bass are biting well on live alewives, rattling crankbaits and bucktails. Smallmouth bass and crappie anglers are reporting good success on live minnows, particularly around the bushes. Occasional nice catches of trout are reported. White bass are being caught in the river.
? CLAYTOR LAKE — Lots of action is reported, with musky, bass, walleye, crappie, striped bass, redeye bass and perch being caught. Stripers and white bass are being taken on alewives in Peak Creek. Crappies are biting well on minnows and tiny jigs. Largemouth bass fishing is fair with the fish in the pre-spawn pattern.
? TROUT STREAMS — Most streams have excellent hatches of caddisflies and mayflies. Excellent fishing is available in the National Forest and Shenandoah National Park streams on dry flies and small nymphs. Larger streams in the valley are producing well on streamers, nymphs and small spinners. Passage Creek (Shenandoah County) is producing many large rainbow trout. The
Bullpasture River (Highland County) is very productive, using small caddis imitations. Back Creek (Frederick County) has good may fly hatches in the upper areas. The Robinson River (Madison County) is producing lots of rainbows on March Brown nymphs. The lower Rose River is still carrying good water levels and trout are hitting small spinners and medium size nymphs. Other good streams are Tinker Creek in Roanoke County, Tye River in Nelson County, Big
Stony Creek in Giles County and Mill Creek in Augusta County.
? CHINCOTEAGUE — Flounder action is excellent in Queens Sound, Black Narrows and Four Mouths. Most fish are running 2-3 pounds, but a number over the sixpound mark have been caught. Taylor blues put in an appearance this past week in Chincoteague Bay. Lots of croaker available on squid baits.
? WACHAPREAGUE — Flounder, to six pounds, are scattered throughout Green and Drawing Channels. Limit catches were common. Bottom anglers are catching a few pan trout and taylor blues. Some large tautog are being taken from the wrecks, outside the inlet.
? ONANCOCK — Croaker, to four pounds, have moved into Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds, and the Fox Island area. The croaker are in 15-20 feet of water. Bloodworms are the preferred bait. Red drum are available off Onancock, hitting bloodworms, fished along the grassy edges, on incoming tides. Grey trout, to 20 inches, are being caught off Onancock and in Pocomoke Sound.
? QUINBY — Flounder fishing has been good during the past week. Some limits of flatfish have been registered. The best catches have been made from just outside the inlet to the Gap. A few pan trout are also beginning to show inside the inlet.
? CAPE CHARLES — Good tautog action on the old C-12 mussel beds and the Cement Ships. Anglers in the Oyster area are taking limits of flounder, with a few grey trout mixed in the catches. Lots of croaker were taken by bottom fishermen off Cape Charles.
? LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA — Lots of tautog are reported being caught over the entire length of the Bay Bridge Tunnel. Some flounder, grey trout and taylor blues were also reported. Striped bass over the 30 inch mark are taking trolled bucktails, Sassy Shads and parachute rigs along the Fourth Island on moving tides. Inside Lynnhaven, flounder and trout catches are off and on. The mouth of the Back River is showing an influx of medium croaker, sea mullet, spot and grey trout. Some tautog are being taken at the mouth of the Salt Ponds and at Fort Wool, on cut crab and clams. Several puppy drum have been caught around the Gloucester Bridge and speckled trout are starting to bite inside Mobjack Bay at the North and Ware Rivers. Lots of croaker, to four
pounds, are being caught at the mouth of the York River, at buoy 22, and from the #6 buoy on the Poquoson River.
? MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA — Lots of croaker, grey trout, flounder and loads of large menhaden are showing in the local pound nets. Some of the flounder weigh over four pounds. The big problem is that few anglers are fishing. Commercial netters at the mouth of the Rappahannock River are catching lots of 10-12 inch croakers, while anglers fishing the White Stone Bridge area were also loading up on medium to large croaker.
? UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA — Anglers here are fishing for white perch, waiting for the rockfish and bluefish to make their way north. Charterboats working the Solomons Island area are taking some rockfish, trolling from Cove Point to Cedar Point. Water temperatures are still in the mid 50s.
? OCEAN CITY — Action here is limited to sea bass and tautog on the offshore wrecks. Some good catches are reported.
? VIRGINIA BEACH — A number of citation tautog and sea bass were taken this past week. Speckled trout, croaker, flounder and a few puppy drum were caught just inside Rudee Inlet. No word on chopper bluefish, but this is time that they are found between the CB Line and the Tower Reef. Weather has been a factor.
? JAMES RIVER — Reporting spotty action on pan trout and croaker.
? GRANDVIEW — Reporting some catches of flounder and croaker.
? BUCKROE BEACH — Flounder are the mainstay, with a few croaker and blowfish mixed in the creels.
? HARRISON — Good fishing overall, with a few flounder, sea mullet, croaker and blowfish being caught. After dark, loads of half pound croaker are caught.
? LYNNHAVEN — A handful of puppy drum were caught over the weekend. A fair to good run of blowfish, sea mullet, croaker and bluefish also developed over the weekend, but the mainstay has been skates.
? VIRGINIA BEACH — Midweek saw strong runs of spot and croaker, plus a few sea mullet and blowfish. Water temperature was 52 degrees.
? SANDBRIDGE — Skates provide the bulk of the excitement, with a few stripers, croaker, spot, trout and blowfish mixed in.
? OUTER BANKS, N.C. — Water temperatures are still low. Beach anglers are coming up with a few speckled trout and sea mullet, although skates and dogfish are much more common. Pier anglers are catching speckled trout, sea mullet and a few spot and croaker. Cape Point anglers are taking an occasional red drum or straggler bluefish. Offshore, good catches of yellowfin tuna are being made, with a few dolphin, wahoo and king mackerel included in the catches. The bulk of the tuna action has been in the vicinity of the 280 Rocks, with most fish running 20-40 pounds. Several sailfish and blue marlin were also caught and released.