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Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon
March 25, 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 summer pool almost due to recent rains.
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 summer pool almost due to recent rain.
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 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 304-765-2705 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm .
TYGART LAKE – The lake level is about 40 feet above summer pool and all boat ramps are currently closed. Lake elevation is expected to decrease over the next few days. The tailwater outflow is about 15,000 cfs and muddy. Water temperature is 40oF. The tailwater boat ramp has been under water for the last few days and shoreline access is minimal during these high flows. Once water flow decreases, younger walleyes should be readily available as they have moved through the dam into the tailwater during high flow events (above 5,000 cfs). Walleye fishing is best during higher flows (1,500 to 5,000 cubic feet per second). Trout were last stocked in early February 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) – Over the next week, warming water temperatures and high flows should trigger walleye and sauger to move into tailwater areas below dams. Jigs with minnows are particularly good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs and deep-running crankbaits are also productive.
MONONGAHELA RIVER – Water temperature has warmed over the last week and is about 44oF. The river is high and muddy, but increased water temperatures and flows should cause fish to start moving upstream and congregate at tailwater areas just below the Morgantown, Hildebrand, and Opekiska dams.
CHEAT LAKE – Recent heavy rains and warmer temperatures have caused ice to break up. Debris may still be scattered around the lake due to ice damage last week. The winter boat ramp at the Cheat Lake Park near the dam is the only public ramp currently open. 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: 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 have dropped over the past week and near or slightly below normal flow for this time of year. Water temperatures are in the mid 40’s at most locations and the water is clear. Anglers are starting to catch a few smallmouth bass. 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 near 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 but projected to drop over the next couple days and there should be some great trout fishing opportunities by the weekend. The first white whitewater event on the North Branch is scheduled for April 11 and 12. 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. 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 scheduled to open for the season next 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. 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 – 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). Try for walleye and sauger behind lower and upper falls as they congregate with warming water temperatures to go through their spawning rituals.
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
So far this month, trout have been stocked into the following area lakes: Rollins and Turkey Run lakes in Jackson County, Tracy Lake and Pennsboro Water Supply Reservoir in Ritchie County, Mile Tree Lake in Roane County, Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County and Cedar Creek State Park Ponds in Gilmer County. Additionally this month Mountwood Park Lake in Wood County will be stocked again. 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. Lure anglers like small spinners, Joe type flies, and trout magnets also work well.
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.
Fishing for largemouth bass can be good during warm sunny days in area lakes. Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos are good terminal tackle choices. Area lakes with good winter bass 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.
Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend. Winter musky anglers use medium to large lures, and they concentrate their fishing efforts around brush piles or other areas of good cover. 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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