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West Virginia Stream Conditions

Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon

October 29, 2014 

FISHING

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.  Hybrid bass can be caught with shad imitating lures fished near the surface.  Catfish and bass anglers are reporting catches using various live and artificial baits.  With reduced temperature levels game fish are biting throughout the day.

BLUESTONE – Fishing on the lake has been good.  Bass anglers should try their luck around deeper structure such as rocky points or downed trees using small crankbaits or spinnerbaits.  Although, plastics and live bait are probably the top producing baits.  With the cooler nights we are now experiencing, anglers should see the bites really beginning to pick up as the water temperature falls.  Channel and flathead catfish are still producing some on the lake.  Anglers wanting to catch the whiskered ones should try drifting with live bait such as soft-shell crayfish, hellgrammites or nightcrawlers.  Chicken livers are also good.  When you catch one, simply motor back up and drift through the hole again or anchor.  Flatheads prefer live bait such as large chubs or a live sunfish.  Carp, hybrid stripers and smallmouth bass are hitting in the tailwaters with best baits being corn, chartreuse jigs and plastic jigs, respectively.

BURNSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool and clear.  The surface temperatures are in the 70’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  We have received reports of Musky being caught in the upper end of lake.  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 .  The lake is at summer pool.  Muskies have been caught recently using a variety of baits.  Reports of bass from tournaments being caught on soft plastics and crankbaits.

R.D. BAILEY – Fishing on the lake is good.  Some large spotted bass may be caught.  Some of the largest spotted bass in WV are found in R. D. Bailey Lake.  The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with clay points another good spot to try.  Good baits are plastic jigs in smoke and chartreuse colors or live shad.  These bass can be found moving into shallower water to feed now that the nights are getting cooler and the water temperature is dropping some.  Anglers should see the bite picking up for most species as the water temperature falls.  Hybrid striped bass feed on shad so fishermen should watch for any schools of shad because the hybrid will usually be nearby.  Best baits are lures such as rattletraps, spoons, or white/chartreuse jigs.  Anglers may also want to try chicken livers for this hard fighting fish.

STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is two feet below normal pool.  The surface temperatures are in the 60’s.  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 four feet below summer pool.  The surface temperatures are in the 60’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.

SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is 30 feet below summer pool.  The surface temperatures are in the 60’s.  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 35 feet of water.  Try minnows and small crank baits.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on August 26.  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 summer pool.  The surface temperatures are in the 60’s.  Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water.  Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows.  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 about 40 feet below the summer level.  Bass are being caught in shallow water along the shoreline.  Walleye are abundant throughout the lake and knowledgeable walleye anglers have been reporting good catches.  Start fishing for walleye at dark when they move into shallow water to feed.  During the day walleye will be in the 30 to 50-feet depths.

The tailwater temperature is 54 degrees.  There are a lot 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) – There are a lot of hybrid white bass, sauger, walleye and white bass in the tailwaters and the river is in good fishing condition.  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 crank baits are also productive.  Hybrid striped bass will also move in and out of the tailwaters and can be caught using large crank baits, casting spoons, or cut bait.

MONONGAHELA RIVER – The water temperature is around 55 degrees.  The best fishing success for sauger and walleye is during low light conditions one to two hours before and after sunset.  Sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye, and white bass are always attracted to the currents in the tailwaters.  Jigs with minnows are the best baits right now.  Troll large crank baits for muskies anywhere on the river.  The shoreline from the Morgantown lock to the mouth of Deckers Creek is always a good place to fish from the shore.

CHEAT LAKE – The lake will stay at the summer pool until November 1 when it can then be lowered a maximum of 13 feet.  Yellow perch can be caught in the flats around the Ices Ferry and I-68 bridges using small minnows or pieces of night crawlers on a 1/16 ounce jig.  Channel catfish are doing well and 2 to 3-pounders are abundant throughout the lake but are particularly numerous upstream of Mt. Chateau.  Night crawlers on a number 6 hook with a ½-1-ounce egg sinker cast into 15 to 25-feet of water will catch catfish.  The best areas for shoreline anglers are the Cheat Lake Park fishing piers and the Ices Ferry Bridge Public Access Site.  Cheat Lake has the best channel catfish population in this part of the state.

EASTERN PANHANDLE

South Branch and Cacapon Rivers - Streams throughout the eastern panhandle are slightly above average flow and dropping slowly.  Rain is still in the forecast but most streams should be in great fishing condition for the weekend.  The water temperatures have dropped to the mid 50’s at most locations.  Anglers have been successful catching channel catfish and smallmouth bass.  Flows will soon be high enough to take fall float trips and smallmouth bass are biting.  Biological surveys are still indicated good channel catfish populations in the South Branch with lots of catfish over 25 inches. 

Shenandoah River - Flows in the Shenandoah River are well above normal flow for this time of year.  Fishing plastics and topwaters 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 has increased to 225 cfs and will remain at that level for the next couple of days.  No additional whitewater events are scheduled on the North Branch this year.  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 the Jennings Randolph website (http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/northBranch.html).

Small Impoundments - Small impoundments are in great fishing condition.  Bass and bluegill are biting.  Largemouth bass are hitting topwater lures and plastics and bluegills can always be caught on worms.  Use weedless rigging techniques to prevent hooking aquatic vegetation. 

Jennings Randolph Lake - Jennings Randolph Lake is currently 26 feet below conservation pool and dropping slowly.  Anglers have been doing exceptionally well catching smallmouth bass.  Also reports of a few trout and channel catfish.  Boaters will not be able to launch from the WV ramp due to the low lake level and may need to use the Maryland ramp.  Launching fees are no longer charged for the WV ramp.  A $5 per day fee is still being collected for the Maryland Ramp.  Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information (304) 355-2890.  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.   Recent biological surveys indicate good bass and walleye populations.  Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges.  Anglers and biological surveys have been reporting good catches of striped bass.

CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

Water levels are low 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.  Check the DNR webpage for statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information, www.wvdnr.gov.

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

The New and Greenbrier rivers are continuing to provide some good fishing for smallmouth bass.  The fall season is always great fishing and great scenery too.  Reports of some large bass have come in from the Catch and Release section on the New.  This section is from the I-64 bridge downstream to the take-out at the Grandview Sandbar.  Fishermen should try plastic jigs fished slowly along the bottom.  Spots below or above shoals are good spots to try your luck.  Southern WV is blessed with many small impoundments that have good fish populations.  Waters such as Plum Orchard, Stephens, and Pipestem lakes have excellent largemouth bass populations and as fall approaches the time is prime to be on the waters.  As the water cools, anglers will be seeing the bite pick up significantly.

SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers Reports of nice catfish boated.  A number of very large blue catfish have been caught at tournaments and by individual anglers fishing during low light conditions and into the night, give it a try.  This fishery is growing and there is always a chance of a near record, or state record size blue catfish.  Hybrids are biting behind locks along the Kanawha and Ohio, try shad type lures.

Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk and Mud rivers - A few reports of very large muskies caught and released from the Elk and Coal Rivers.  This is a great time to float any of these rivers, give them a try.  Spinners, soft plastics and small crankbaits all should work well.

Small Impoundments – Catfish can be caught from small impoundments but due to fishing pressure, sunny conditions, and high water temperatures, fish during dawn and dusk and into the night.  Catfish really turn on once the sun goes down and come out to feed much more than during the day.  Chicken livers, cut bait, and marketed paste type baits all work very well.  A bobber set-up works well by presenting the bait up in the water column.  Remember, during this time of the year many lakes and impoundments set-up and have a thermocline.  Below the thermocline (change from warm to drastically cold water), there will be no oxygen and therefore no fish to catch.

Reservoirs – Check the USACOE website (http://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/) and the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) for reservoir and tailrace conditions. 

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

Early fall is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters.  Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching white bass, hybrid striped bass, and a few other species.  Pencil poppers and lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), are the lures of choice.  Clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows or shad.  Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual.  Best times for sauger and walleye fishing are during non-daylight hours.

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 has been good for largemouth bass and bluegill in area lakes.  Spinner baits and rubber worms are producing bass in areas of good cover, while bluegills are being taken on small jigs fished deep, at depths of 10-12 feet.  Good choices for area lakes include Mountwood in Wood County, Conaway Run in Tyler, Charles Fork in Roane, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County, and Elk Fork, Woodrum, and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.      

Local musky streams are not expected be fishable this weekend.


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