POTOMAC RIVER TIDE INFORMATION
Date High Low High Low A.M. P.M.
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 2033
Mon. 5/5 0943 1711 2243 0405 0537 2034
Tue. 5/6 1021 1751 2322 0447 0535 2035
Wed. 5/7 1106 1835 — 0533 0534 2036
Thu. 5/8 1159 1922 0009 0625 0533 2037
Fri. 5/9 1301 2014 0105 0723 0532 2038
Sat. 5/10 1411 2108 0205 0828 0531 2039
Sun. 5/11 1522 2203 0304 0936 0530 2040
? POTOMAC RIVER — D.C. — Bass are spawning in the river. Better fishing areas now include any suitable spawning areas, such as Columbia Island Lagoon, Washington Sailing Marina, Oxon Cove, Washington Channel and the Spoils. Jig ‘n pig, plastic worms and grubs and rattling crankbaits are the preferred baits. The area around Fletcher’s Boathouse is thick with stripers up to 20 pounds. White perch are available in the deeper holes, while catfish action is red hot. Bottom fished baits of cut herring, are taking cats up to 20 pounds. Herring schools are thick. Shad action is good, early and late in the day.
? POTOMAC RIVER — BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE –Most of the fish have not moved into the creeks. Best action is found in the main river grassbeds and sand or gravel flats. Carolina-rigged plastic worms and lizards, in red and blue colors are taking good fish. Crankbaits are taking a lot of good fish, when fished on the downtide side of points with good tidal flows. Bass are also spawning in the backs of the creeks, where Rapalas, twitched over the beds, will take the fish. Some fish are also taking spinnerbaits, rattling crankbaits and occasionally, topwater baits. Crappie are schooled up and taking small minnows and tiny jigs. White and yellow perch may be found on the bottom in the deeper holes in some of the creeks. Fish these holes with small plastic grubs, nightcrawlers and live minnows. Catfish are suckers for cut bait, particularly herring. Fish the flats adjacent to the river channel for the trophies.
? OCCOQUAN RIVER — Herring, shad, a few crappie and good numbers of bass are being caught here, even though the river is high and stained. The herring and shad are found in the rocks in the back of the river, while crappie and bass are found near the boat docks and structure around the Route One Bridge. Catfish action is great throughout the river, with the larger fish coming from around the islands at the mouth of the river. Striper action is iffy, on large Rapalas, Rebel Minnows or Cordell Redfins. Some fish are taking Rat-L-Traps or Sassy Shads.
? OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR — Water conditions are excellent, with bass spawning. Those bass that are not spawning, are taking spinnerbaits in the back of main lake coves and on main lake points. Most of the bass are running 4-8 pounds. Crappie fishing is excellent, with plenty of large fish. Catfish are turning on, taking cut bait from the old river channel.
? BURKE LAKE — Bass are on the beds all around the lake. Best baits are small plastics and minnow imitators, such as small Rapalas or Thundersticks. Crappie and bass action is generally good, with bass hitting crankbaits and plastic worms around brushpiles and points. Crappie are taking small jigs and live minnows on dropoffs and over brushpiles. Some walleye, 2-8 pounds, are taking live minnows at the base of the dam and on points.
? LAKE BRITTLE — A good number of bass in the 3-7 pound range, are taking lures in this lake. The larger fish are taking live crayfish. Crappie and bluegill are biting well in the clear water.
? FARM PONDS — Lots of action from largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie and channel catfish. Better baits are topwater lures, bottom-fished plastic worms, flyrod poppers, nightcrawlers and live minnows. Check for spawning beds in the shallows. Fish small plastic baits through the beds or small minnow imitators over the beds.
? POTOMAC RIVER — UPPER — The water is high and stained, but smallmouth bass are biting on chartreuse plastic grubs, tiny crankbaits and small spinners or spinnerbaits. Work baits along the shoreline weedbeds during the morning and in the middle of the river during the afternoon. Topwater baits should also be good for some good fish, early and late in the day. Largemouth bass are spawning in the feeder creeks off the main river. Catfish are taking live minnows and cut bait, fished on the bottom, in the deeper holes. Lots of big, spawning bluegills may be caught on nightcrawlers, spinners, Beetlespins and flyrod poppers, around the shoreline weedbeds.
? RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER — Big blue catfish, to 30-plus pounds, are taking cut shad and herring baits, fished on the bottom, in the outside bends of the river. Bass fishing has slowed, as the bass have begun to spawn. Herring, white perch and hickory shad are being caught around the Route One Bridge. The river is loaded with stripers. Above the city, smallmouth bass, 2-5 pounds, are taking Tiny Torpedos.
? SHENANDOAH RIVER — Good action is being had by anglers fishing for catfish, sunfish and smallmouth bass. Catfish are taking cut bait and nightcrawlers, fished on the bottom. Sunfish are taking nightcrawlers and Beetlespins, while smallmouth are taking topwater baits and plastic grubs.
? MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS — Shad and herring are thick in the rivers. White perch and catfish action is excellent, on bloodworms, minnows, peelers and cut bait. Bass are being caught on topwater baits, crankbaits and plastic worms throughout the rivers, while crappie are taking small minnows and jigs.
? LAKE ANNA — Bass are in various stages of spawning on the lake. Plastic lizards and topwater twitch baits are the most effective lures, although some fish are being taken on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Best patterns appear to be crankbaits on main lake points as far up the North Anna as possible. In addition, fish spinnerbaits around boat docks in 6-8 feet of water, tossing the bait up on the shore and bringing it past the pilings to the deeper water. Most of the fish will be taken from 2-3 feet of water. Striper fishing is best early and late in the day, with Zara Spooks, Cordell Redfins and pearl colored Sassy Shads, fished on the shallow flats adjacent to main channel points. Good catches of the linesided fish are coming from the Dillard’s Bridge and Harris Pond areas of the lake. Crappie fishing remains excellent, with the tasty fish being caught on live minnows and tiny jigs around beaver huts, bridge pilings and suspended over creek channels.
? LAKE ORANGE — Excellent fishing for large bass this past week, prior to the spawn. Crappie fishing is good and bluegill fishing is excellent for spawning fish. Catfish anglers are taking some fish to 10 pounds, on cut bait.
? JAMES RIVER — Smallmouth bass are taking live minnows, plastic grubs and worms and small topwater lures above the city. The best pattern for largemouth bass in the tidal stretch, is flippin’ the standing cypress trees with small plastic worms, grubs and jig and pig. Catfish action is good on cut herring and shad, fished on the bottom, on the outside bends of the river channel. The cats are running to 50-plus pounds.
? LAKE CHESDIN — Bass action is excellent. The preferred baits are spinnerbaits, plastics and rattling crankbaits. Crappie action is excellent, with the fish taking minnows around submerged brush. Stripers are putting in an appearance, as quite a few were taken this past week on rattling crankbaits and jumbo minnows. Catfish action is fair on bottom baits.
? CHICKAHOMINY RIVER — This river is in excellent shape. Lots of bass in the 3-4 pound range are being taken on small crankbaits, plastic worms and grubs and topwater lures. Big gar are being caught by anglers using large minnows, in and on the edges of the lily pads. Lots of big bream are taken on nightcrawlers, along with herring and shad on small gold hooks and spoons at Walker’s Dam. Stripers are thick in the river, particularly at Walker’s Dam. Catfish action is red hot, with many in the 10-15 pound class being taken.
? CHICKAHOMINY LAKE — Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic worms, fished in the grass, are taking good stringers of bass, as well as an occasional gar, lots of bowfin and lots of pickerel. Crappie action is outstanding on minnows. Bream are taking topwater poppers, crickets and nightcrawlers. Catfish action is excellent on nightcrawlers, minnows and cut herring.
? LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR — Lots of 6-7 pound bass are being taken from the beds on plastic lizards and topwaters, while citation yellow perch and pickerel are taking artificial baits. A few stripers are also mixed in the creels.
? BACK BAY — The bay is in excellent shape. Grass has appeared in the coves and along the ditches. Lots of catfish and bass are being caught. Better areas are the canals in Knott’s Island, West Neck Creek and Blackwater Creek. White perch, sunfish and crappie are also biting well. Nightcrawlers and cut bait are taking the cats, while worms and spinnerbaits are accounting for most of the bass. Hellspoint Creek is producing some big channel catfish.
? SUFFOLK LAKES — Fishing for bream and shellcrackers is great, as the big sunnies are spawning. Bass fishing is excellent with most of the fish being caught on plastic worms and crankbaits in less than two feet of water. Live jumbo minnows are accounting for a number of gar being taken from Lake Prince. Lake Meade and Western Branch are producing good numbers of striped bass on live minnows. Lakes Smith and Whitehurst are producing bass to six pounds, along with a few stripers, lots of catfish, some crappie and a few walleye.
? LAKE GASTON — Fishing is excellent, with striper fishermen catching fish on live shad and bucktails, cast up on the bank in the upper end of the lake, near Kerr Dam. Catfish action is good for anglers fishing live shad on or near the bottom. Largemouth action is good, with topwater lures accounting for a few good fish in the back ends of coves. Bass are spawning in the back end of the warmer creeks.
? BUGGS ISLAND LAKE — Downlake, bass are spawning in the back of creeks and coves. They are also present on secondary points, where Carolina-rigged lizards will take some good fish. With the water level at 306, the brush is flooded and bass are deep in the buck brush. Above the Clarksville bridge, bass are staging for the spawn, holding on drops in 8-12 feet of water, taking any kind of plastic bait, as long as it is not watermelon or green pumpkin. Almost every angler on the lake is throwing these color plastics and the fish have become used to them. Try a red or blue bait instead and see if you don’t pick up fish behind them. Use the lightest sinker possible, as these fish are looking for a slow falling bait. Fish the backs of coves and pockets, particularly those with brush, adjacent to a creek channel. Since the brush is flooded, the fish will be holding tight in the brush, adjacent to the creek channel. Do not pass up ?nothing? type banks. Just because they don’t have cover on them does not mean there are no fish available. Topwaters, such as gold or teal colored Rattling Rogues, will entice some bass, particularly early and late in the day. When the sun is up, toss blue flake power lizards into the middle of coves. Crappie are on brushpiles in eight feet of water and are taking live minnows. Stripers are up in the Dan and Staunton Rivers on their annual spawning run. Excellent white bass fishing in the upper reaches of the lake.
? BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS — The big bass are turned on at Briery Creek, with six bass over the eight pound mark being taken last week. One angler caught two bass over eight pounds and released them. Most of the fish took either plastic worms or jig ‘n pig. Large red-eared sunfish are taking nightcrawlers, red wigglers and crickets in eight feet of water. Crappie fishing continues to be good.
? SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE — Bass are beginning to go on the beds. Some are being caught in the backs of coves and on shallow banks, using chameleon colored plastic worms. The better bass fishing is in the Blackwater River arm of the lake. Stripers are biting well, with a 20+ pound fish being taken on live shad this past week. Crappie fishing is also excellent.
? LEESVILLE RESERVOIR — Striper fishing is good in the Staunton River, with live shad, bucktails and Cordell Redfins being the best baits. Walleye are mixed in the catches. Bass fishing has slowed, but catfish and crappie action is good.
? LAKE MOOMAW — Largemouth bass have turned on in the lake, with two over the five pound mark being weighed this past week. Crappie action is holding up. A few large catfish are also being caught. Trout action is heating up, with a number of fish over the four pound mark being caught this past week.
? PHILPOTT LAKE — Bass are taking spring lizard baits. Walleye are taking the same bait, in addition to live minnows and crankbaits. Crappie fishing is excellent. The Smith River is producing some rainbow trout in the 4-5 pound class and was restocked this past week.
? NEW RIVER — Carp, catfish and smallmouth bass, to five pounds are the fare. Water level is high and stained, with most of the bass being caught at the mouths of creeks. Occasional musky are being taken by bass anglers. The big news is stripers, 6-8 pounds, running out of Bluestone Reservoir. Best action is to be had at Shumate, Narrow Falls and State Line Falls. The fish are mixed in with the white bass schools.
? SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR — Crappie fishing is excellent, with minnows being the best bait. White bass are hitting small spinners. Smallmouth bass are also biting aggressively. Fish the flooded bushes with plastic worms or lizards. Some trout are being caught, primarily in the Tennessee section of the lake.
? FLANNAGAN RESERVOIR — Bass are on the beds, but crappie and catfish are taking up the slack. A few small trout and walleye are also seen in the creels.
? CLAYTOR LAKE — There is a good run of white bass in the upper lake, along with 4-6 pound striped bass. Crappie and yellow perch are taking baits around the boat docks and brushpiles. Smallmouth bass are located about 10 feet off the bank and are taking crankbaits, spinnerbaits and plastics. Flathead catfish are turned on, taking crayfish and chub minnows.
? TROUT STREAMS — Excellent trout fishing throughout the state. Spin fishermen are have good success using Dardevle spoons and Roostertail spinners. Fly fishermen are finding good fishing with maribou muddlers in sizes 8-10 in the larger streams and size 14-16 dry flies in the smaller streams.
? CHINCOTEAGUE — Good catches of flounder to five pounds are being made between the No. 2 and No. 5 buoys, behind Wallops Island, Black Narrows and in the vicinity of buoys 4 and 5. The best area may be around Four Mouths, near buoy 7. The whole area is inundated with large croaker. Squid baits are taking the fish. Tautog are biting well on the inshore ocean wrecks. Large skates and blowfish are available in the surf. Sea trout and taylor blues are beginning to show in the catches.
? WACHAPREAGUE — Grey trout and bluefish are mixed in the catches of flounder from the channel in front of the old Coast Guard Station. Green and Drawing Channels are also producing excellent catches of large flounder. Anglers are taking lots of tautog and sea bass on the inshore wrecks, while the bay is producing lots of big croaker.
? ONANCOCK — A few tautog are being caught on the outcroppings at Stone Rock and nearby wrecks, while grey trout are the fare at Pocomoke Sound. Speckled trout are biting well in the grassbeds at Watts Island. Croaker to three pounds are being caught in Pungoteague and Chessennex Creeks, with small spot and flounder mixed in the catches. Speckled trout and red drum are beginning to bite. Black drum have appeared off Saxis.
? QUINBY — Flounder fishing has been fair to good. Bottom fishermen are catching lots of croaker, some sea bass and trout. Several schools of drum have been spotted on shallow bars in the Quinby area, searching for newly shedded crabs on flood tides.
? CAPE CHARLES — Sporadic catches of grey trout and flounder are reported, particularly in the Oyster area and at the Kiptopeake State Park Pier. Flounder action is steady at Oyster and red drum are being taken just north of Smith Island and inside Magothy Bay. Good numbers of big croaker are taking bottom baits, with the larger fish being in deeper water. Fair numbers of tautog are found on the mussel beds near buoy 36A. Local crabbers are catching tautog and croaker in their pots, as these fish move through the area. The first black drum of the season were taken from the Cabbage Patch this past week.
? LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA — The most stable catches in the area are tautog. These fish are being taken along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, at the entrance to the Salt Ponds, Chub Rock, around the rocks at Fort Wool and on the hard bottom off Buckroe Beach. Bottom anglers drifting the Small Boat Channel and First and Second Islands are catching a few flounder, spot and croaker. Inside Lynnhaven Inlet, a few speckled trout are taken, while the Lesner Bridge area is producing a few flounder. Croakers and sea mullet are being caught on Poquoson Bar, while river anglers are taking blowfish, croaker and a few grey trout. A few flounder are reported at the mouth of the Back River, while the fish were ?stacked up? between Factory Point and the north channel. The Twin Stakes area is producing some grey trout and flounder, amid the blowtoads. Fair numbers of speckled trout are available inside Mobjack Bay, at the North and Ware Rivers. Speckled trout and puppy drum are reported at the VEPCO warm water discharge on the York River.
? MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA — Striped bass, 6-25 pounds, are showing up in the chum lines on the Southwest Middle Grounds. Mixed in with the rockfish, are bluefish in the 8-15 pound class. Trolling with parachute jigs, Sassy Shads, spoons and Mann’s Stretch 25s are producing good sized fish around the Buoy 40 area. The Cut Channel is producing good numbers of spiny dogfish (sand shark) for chummers. Speckled trout are being caught at the Target Ships. Croaker, flounder and grey trout are showing heavily in the creels of anglers fishing the channel edge just south of Smith Point Light. Plenty of croaker are being taken throughout the lower Rappahannock River. Most of the fish are being taken on bloodworms, squid or peeler crab.
? UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA — Rockfish anglers are trolling the edge of the main shipping channel and taking striped bass, suspended in the top layer of the water column. Best baits are large Tony Acetta and Crippled Alewife spoons and Parachute rigs, dressed with Sassy Shads.
? OCEAN CITY — Some striper schools are available for anglers casting topwater lures and spoons from the jetties. Best action is on swift moving tides. Offshore, yellowfin tuna are available in the canyons, along with an occasional marlin. Weather has hampered most offshore fishing. Inshore, headboats are loading up on sea bass and tautog from the inshore wrecks.
? VIRGINIA BEACH — Good catches of sea bass and tautog around the Triangle Wreck and the Tower Reef. Action is beginning for chopper bluefish around the Chesapeake Tower Reef. Yellowfin tuna action is available for offshore anglers, with the center being just north of Triple O’s in 25-50 fathoms of water. Rudee Inlet is the scene of good speckled trout and flounder action, while shore anglers are taking blowtoads, taylor blues and sea mullet.
? JAMES RIVER — Lots of croaker, to two pounds, with spot, taylor blues, pan trout and stripers mixed in the catches.
? GRANDVIEW — Croaker provide consistent fishing action, while flounder and speckled trout are frequent visitors.
? BUCKROE BEACH — Croaker, flounder and grey trout provide fair to good action, along with lots of stripers.
? HARRISON — Croaker are biting consistantly, with flounder and sea mullet also providing lots of action.
? LYNNHAVEN — Sea mullet provide dependable action, with a sprinkling of croaker, blowfish and small skates. Plenty of stripers and lots of bluefish.
? SEA GULL — Small sea bass and a few tautog around the pilings and rocks.
? VIRGINIA BEACH — Croaker and sea mullet provide the best catches on moving tides, while bluefish and speckled trout provide variety. Plenty of skates and large rays are also reported.
? SANDBRIDGE — Croaker, sea mullet, sand perch, bluefish and lots of rays are the fare here.
? OUTER BANKS, N.C. — Surf anglers are catching croaker, sea mullet, bluefish, speckled trout and grey trout. Oregon Inlet anglers are taking puppy drum to 11 pounds and taylor blues. Offshore, the charter fleet is finding good numbers of yellowfin tuna in the 20-70 pound class. Fair to good numbers of gaffer dolphin and several wahoo are mixed in the catches. Blue marlin and sailfish are being caught and released. Best action is centered around the Point. Inshore, taylor bluefish remain abundant at the 65 and 102 Degree Towers, where king mackerel are also reported. Red drum continue being caught off Hatteras Island. On the north end of Ocracoke Island, low water is the time to wade and fish the nearshore bar, with red drum 30-40 pounds being caught.