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Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon
August 27, 2014
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. Due to current hot weather, try fishing for all species during low light and into the night. A cloudy day with a little rain is also a great time to try for your favorite fish. 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.
BLUESTONE – With the nights beginning to cool, the fishing on the lake should begin to pick up. Anglers should try their luck around any downed trees or weed beds using worms, small minnows or jigs for sunfish. Bass anglers should concentrate their efforts along areas with good structure such as downed timber, rocky drops, or weed beds. Top-water baits such as rapalas, tiny torpedoes, and sluggoes are excellent choices but anglers will find the best topwater action early or late. Bluegills can provide anglers with some fast action. Best baits are worms and small jigs. Anglers can have a blast fishing for sunfish. Channel catfish are also hitting in the lake primarily at night on chicken livers and worms. Carp and channel catfish are hitting in the tailwaters with best baits being corn, and nightcrawlers, respectively. Occasionally, anglers have been catching some other species such as smallmouth bass in the tailwaters on jigs and minnows.
BURNSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool and clear. The surface temperatures are in the 80’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. Trout still remain in the tailwaters from the spring season. 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. Due to current hot weather, try fishing for all species during low light and into the night. A cloudy day with a little rain is also a great time to try for your favorite fish. 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.
R.D. BAILEY – Some spotted bass should be hitting on the lake but as the cool nights increase in frequency, the fishing should pick up. The bass will be found along the rocky drops with points another good spot to try. Good baits are plastic jigs in black and chartreuse colors or live shad. Bluegill are providing consistent action in the standing timber. Best baits are worms and small jigs, respectively. Hybrid striper and channel catfish fishing is good off of shallow points at night. Best baits are chicken liver and soft-shell crayfish. Anglers should concentrate their efforts early and late during periods of extreme heat. Carp are also providing a lot of fun for night anglers. Best baits are corn and dough balls.
STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is at normal pool. The surface temperatures are warming and in the 80’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 two feet below summer pool. The surface temperatures are in the 80’s. Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows. Trout still remain in the tailwaters from the spring season. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.
SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is at summer pool. The surface temperatures are in the 80’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 80’s. Bass are in about 10-12 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are also hitting on jigs and live minnows. Trout still remain in the tailwaters from the spring season. 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 back at the summer level after rising seven feet last week. The water temperature is 78 degrees from the surface to 10 feet, 74 degrees at 25 and 50 feet, 73 degrees at 75 feet, and 72 degrees at 100 feet. Bass tournament have been very successful with smallmouth bass being caught using drop shot rigs in 25-40 depths. Fish for crappie in the fish shelters between the boat ramps at the marina and in downed trees along the shoreline. 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 72 degrees. There are a lot of trout in the tailwater. Walleye numbers are as high as they will be for the year in the tailwater, and this is the best place in northern West Virginia to fish for them. 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. Fluctuating water temperatures have decreased bass tournament success rates this year.
MONONGAHELA RIVER – The water temperature is 76 degrees which is lower than normal for this time of year. 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. Channel and flathead catfish are abundant throughout the river. Carp are being caught from shore at the Ruby Park and at the Star City ramp. 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. Fluctuating water temperatures have decreased bass tournament success rates this year.
CHEAT LAKE – Crappies are being caught using minnows around downed-trees along the shoreline. 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 easiest way to fish the lake for all species is drifting along the shoreline with a night crawler or minnow on a hook with a couple of split shot at a depth of 10 to 15-feet. Cast small rooster-tail spinners for large bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish in downed trees along the shoreline across from the Sunset Beach cove to the I-68 Bridge. 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.
Try the tailwater fishing pier for sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye and white bass. Jigs with minnows or 3-inch power grubs are the best baits. White or chartreuse are good colors. Start fishing at dark when sauger and walleye begin feeding. The pier is located entirely in West Virginia about 25 minutes from Morgantown and is lighted for night fishing and is handicapped accessible.
South Branch and Cacapon Rivers - Most streams throughout the eastern panhandle are below normal flow for this time of year. Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s at most locations. Anglers have been successful catching channel catfish and smallmouth bass in the riffles. 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 near 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 are currently near 200 cfs and projected to remain at that level over the next couple days. No additional white 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. Small impoundments are stratified so anglers should fish in less than eight feet of water. Cacapon State Park Lake, Edwards Run Pond and Fort Ashby Lake have received adult catfish stockings that can be caught throughout the summer.
Jennings Randolph Lake - Jennings Randolph Lake is currently ten feet below conservation pool and dropping slowly. Anglers should target smallmouth bass with crankbaits and topwater lures. The WV ramp is open for the season and 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 normal and clear. 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 season has concluded but holdover trout should be available throughout summer months at some locations as long as stream flow remain normal. Check the DNR webpage for statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information, www.wvdnr.gov.
SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
The New and Greenbrier rivers are providing some good fishing for smallmouth bass. Anglers should try white/chartreuse buzzbaits, white plastic grubs, or small crankbaits or live bait such as helgrammites or softshell crayfish. Spots below or above shoals are good spots to try your luck. Fishing is still best early and late in all of the small impoundments in southern West Virginia and you should catch some fish. Try spots at the end of points, weed beds, or fallen timber. Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom, spinnerbaits are also good choices. Lakes such as Plum Orchard, Horse Creek, Hawks Nest, and Pipestem will all provide good bass fishing. Channel catfishing is good in areas like Hawks Nest Lake and some of the other small impoundments. Best time to fish is late night and very early morning with chicken livers or softshells. This is a prime time to take a child or anyone fishing! There is no better way to introduce a child or novice to fishing than to take them out for an evening of carp fishing. Try chumming with creamed corn upstream of where you are fishing and use shredded wheat dough balls or whole kernel corn for bait. The secret to the dough balls is to mix in a little flavored jello powder as you make the dough ball. Make sure your rods are anchored down with a rock and the drag is loosened or a carp may take it!!! Good spots to catch a carp are Bluestone and R.D. Bailey lakes, New and Kanawha rivers.
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. Dawn and dusk are the best times to try as well into the night for these hard fighting fish. Look for flowing water and the fastest current - fish the edges of this water as hybrids will sit in the slack water beside the faster currents and dart out into the fast water to pick off baitfish, and other food items. At this time of the year, they will usually be very close to the lock structure to get maximum benefit from food coming through the lock and also the fast flowing water directly below the lock. Due to the water churning as it goes through the lock, water directly below the lock structure holds more oxygen than slack water downstream. As a general rule, most game fish will be close to the lock structure right now, fish accordingly.
Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk and Mud rivers - A few reports of very large muskies caught and released from the Elk, and Coal Rivers. Be sure to handle them carefully at this time of the year and return them to the water quickly due to warm water temperatures, which reduces the chance of full recovery after being caught if left out of the water for extended periods of time. The Guyandotte and Coal Rivers look very good the past few days for a float due to water released from R.D. Bailey Lake and recent rains in the Coal River watershed. A float through would be no problem with minimal areas to walk a kayak or ‘duckie’ through. Justice to Wylo would be a good float to try right now for example. Try small soft plastic baits and/or surface lures for explosive topwater strikes.
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.
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
Late summer 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. Lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice. Recently, heavy metal lures have also been successful. Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual. Schools of hybrid striped bass will periodically move up to the surface to ambush prey, so keep a look out for this activity. When this activity is seen, agitator bobbers fished with rubber minnow imitations or fresh bait fished with surf casting equipment, generally provides the best result. 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
Elsewhere on the Ohio River fishing for catfish has been good. Channel catfish anglers should use night crawlers, chicken liver, or prepared catfish type baits. Live fish should be used for flatheads. Good fishing sites for catfish include deep areas along islands and tributary mouths.
Fishing has been good for largemouth bass in area lakes. Spinner baits, rubber worms, crank baits, and surface lures are producing bass in areas of good cover. 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. These lakes can also supply good bluegill fishing. For these sunfish use trout magnets or spinners, small jigs, or small worms.
Local musky streams should be fishable this weekend. This time of year musky anglers use large crank baits or jurk baits and best spots are usually around fallen trees or riffle areas.
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