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West Virginia Stream Conditions

Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon

July 23, 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.  Some walleye and sauger have been reported from the tailwater area as well as stocked trout.  Catfish and bass anglers are reporting catches using various live and artificial baits.

BLUESTONE – Fishing on the lake is good as some fish are still on the spawning beds.  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.  Because some bass and sunfish are still in spawning mode, anglers may expect somewhat higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegills can provide anglers with some fast action.  Best baits are worms and small jigs.  Anglers can have a blast fishing for the 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.  Occasionally, anglers have been catching some other species such as smallmouth bass and hybrid stripers 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.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on May 27.  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.  Surface lures late and early have been producing for some anglers.  Try your favorite lure or bait, right now is a great time to fish due to temperature levels.  Zara Spooks, pop Rs, jitterbugs, and buzz baits are favorites to try now early and late.  Muskies have been caught recently as well using a variety of baits.

R.D. BAILEY – Some spotted bass should be hitting.  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.  However, with some bass still on the spawn, anglers may experience higher success rates and also chances to catch larger fish.  Bluegill are providing consistent action in the standing timber.  Best baits are worms and small jigs.  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.  Some trout are still being creeled in the tailwaters also.

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 at summer 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.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on May 27.  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.  Lots of walleye have moved to upper end of lake.  Try minnows and small crank baits.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on June 27.  Flows have been high in the tailwaters.  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.  The tailwaters were stocked with trout on May 27.  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 still at the summer level.  The water temperature is 80 degrees from the surface to 10 feet, 79 at 25 feet, 73 at 50 feet, 68 at 75 feet, and 64 degrees at 100 feet.  Smallmouth bass can be caught using crank baits or tube jigs along the shoreline.  Fish for crappie in the fish shelters between the boat ramps at the marina.  Start fishing for walleye at dark when they move into shallow water to feed.  During the day walleyes will be in the 30 to 50-feet depths where the water temperature is around 70 degrees.

The tailwater temperature is 64 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.

MONONGAHELA RIVER – The water temperature is still 78 to 80 degrees. The best fishing success for sauger and walleye is during low light conditions 1 to 2 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.

CHEAT LAKE – 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.  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.

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.

EASTERN PANHANDLE

South Branch and Cacapon Rivers - Most streams throughout the eastern panhandle are well below normal flow for this time of year and the water temperatures are near 80.  The water may be turbid at some locations due to localized thunderstorms especially the Opequon and Back creeks.  Anglers have been successful catching channel catfish but the smallmouth bass fishing has been slow over the past couple weeks.  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 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 220 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.  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 six foot below conservation pool and will be 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 spinner baits, white plastic grubs or small rapalas in black and silver or live bait such as minnows.  Spots below or above shoals are good spots to try your luck.  Fishing is still good in all of the small impoundments in southern West Virginia and you should catch some fish and have a great time but as the waters begin to warm, the bite may slow and anglers may want to concentrate on the early and late hours.  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, Stephens, 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 soft shells.  This is a prime time to take a child 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 ball or whole kernel corn for bait.  Make sure your rods are anchored down with a rock or a carp may take it!!!   Good spots to catch a carp are Bluestone and R.D. Bailey lakes, New River and Kanawha River.  Bluegill are spawning all around the state and they make an excellent quarry for a young fisherperson.

SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers Reports of nice catfish boated.  Hybrids are biting behind locks along the Kanawha and Ohio, try shad type lures.

Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk and Mud rivers – Anglers are reporting catches of game fish during float trips.  Try surface lures early and late for bass and muskie, and go to subsurface lures during the day.  Some bass anglers are having luck using various soft plastics.

Small Impoundments A number of small impoundments have been stocked recently with catchable channel catfish, some are very large, give them a try.  Laurel and Chief Logan lakes are two waters in district 5 recently stocked.  Krodel Lake in Point Pleasant also received a stocking of catchable sized channel catfish.

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

Summer is an excellent time to fish Belleville tailwaters of the Ohio River.  Anglers 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.  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.  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.  Fresh bait (small skipjack) can be caught from these areas using “Sabiki” rigs.  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.  Best fishing times will be early in the morning and during the evening hours.  These lakes can also supply good bluegill fishing.  For these sunfish use trout magnets or spinners, small jigs, or small worms.

Summer is a good time to fish for channel catfish in area lakes and streams.  Chicken livers, night crawlers, and prepared catfish bait work well.  Remember fishing at night is generally better than fishing during the day for catfish in the summer.

Local musky streams should be fishable this weekend.  Summer musky anglers use large crank baits or jurk baits and best spots are usually around fallen trees or riffle areas.  Fishing has been quite good this year for musky along Middle Island Creek, the Little Kanawha River, and on the Hughes River and its forks.


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