Fishing Report – 04.26.12
The reservoir water level is slowly rising to summer pool. Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304.525.4831 for more information. Crappie fishing is really starting to pick up, with many nice fish being caught around woody structure. Bass are starting to stage in prespawning areas with the unseasonably warm water. Channel catfish can be caught throughout the lake on chicken livers and cut-bait. Hybrid striped bass and white bass can be caught using white lures.
Fishing on the lake is OK but unpredictable early spring weather is a factor anglers must consider due to its impact on angling success. Bass anglers should try their luck around deeper structure such as rocky points or downed trees using small crankbaits, spinnerbaits or jigs. During warmer periods bass and other game fish may be found in shallow water taking advantage of warmer temperature levels. Channel catfish can be caught using nightcrawlers and prepared baits. Chicken livers are also good. Flatheads prefer live bait such as large chubs or a live sunfish. Fish slow at this time of year due to cooler temperature levels. Early spring is a great time to go after stripers and hybrids in Bluestone. Try cut or live shad drifted over points and other lake features, or your favorite shad imitating lures. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.466.0156.
The lake is five feet below summer pool and filling. Boats can again be launched at Riffle Run. Water temperature is on the rise. A few bass are being caught in and around cover. Trout were stocked in the tailwater on April 18th. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304.853.2398.
The reservoir water level is at summer pool. For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304.849.9861. Bass will be holding near logs, stumps and fish attracting brush piles. Musky will be found near bush piles and fallen trees. Channel catfish and flatheads are abundant in the lake and can be caught with a variety of baits. Crappie fishing is picking up, try around standing timber or trees that have fallen into the water. A few walleye have been caught in the lake and tailwater.
Fishing on the lake is OK. Some of the largest spotted bass in WV are found in R. D. Bailey Lake. Spotted bass can be found along drop.offs and points extending into the lake at this time of the year. Good baits are plastic jigs, live shad, or crayfish. Hybrid striped bass are also available for the hearty angler at R.D. Bailey right now. 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 surprisingly as it sounds. Many locals use this technique and do well. For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304.664.9587.
Stephens is very clear, to improve the odds of catching fish, use light line, cast far, reduce noise, fish quietly and carefully. Bass anglers are successful using soft plastics and small crankbaits. WVDNR personnel recently stocked channel catfish fingerlings into the lake, which helps maintain a year-round catfish fishery available to the public. Try your favorite catfish bait or lure for success, and take a kid or someone new to fishing so they can enjoy the thrill of a fish biting on their line! Livers and nightcrawlers work well for catfish bait, as do a variety of paste and prepared type baits offered at sporting goods stores. Many find success using the ‘dippin sponge’ method, fishing it either beneath a bobber or on the bottom using a basic three way river rig. Another trick is to catch small baitfish using a piece of a worm, etc., then cut them up and use them as fresh bait. Many times this will out-fish other bait types due to its freshness, be sure to give it a try. But remember, if you use a game fish bluegill, bass.as bait, you must include it in your daily creel limit.
The lake is at summer pool. Fishing is good. Water temperature is on the rise. Bass are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also hitting live bait and jigs around beaver huts and fish attractors. Trout were stocked in the lake March 17th and April 13th by the Stonecoal Lake Fishing Club. A few perch have been caught in the upper end on minnows.
The lake is at summer pool and milky. Water temperature is on the rise. Fishing is good. Bass are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also hitting live bait. Channel catfish have also been caught. Trout were stocked in the tailwater on April 18th. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.269.7463.
The lake is 47 feet below summer pool and filling. Water temperature is on the rise. Bass are being caught in about 5 to 10 feet of water. It is a great time of year for walleye. Try rocky points, drop offs and at the mouth of small tributaries entering the lake. Trout were stocked in the tailwaters on April 10th. For more information contact the Corps of Engineers office at 304.872.3412.
The lake is 10 feet below summer pool and clear. Fishing is good. Water temperature is on the rise. Bass are being caught in about 5.10 feet of water. Most are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also hitting live bait. The tailwaters are low and clear. Trout were stocked in the tailwater April 18th. A few reports of walleye being caught in the tailwater over the past few weeks. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.765.2705.
The lake is at the summer pool level. Walleye are finished spawning. Walleye fishing success is usually better on windy days because light penetration is reduced. White bass will also be moving to the head of the lake at Cove Run and can be caught in shoreline eddies. Bass fishing continues to be good.
There are lots of walleye and trout in the tailwater. Flows are low. 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). Walleye can be caught using 1/8 to ¼.ounce jigs with 3.inch plastic grubs. Chartreuse is a good color. 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 lots of hybrid white bass, sauger, walleye and white bass in the tailwaters and the river is in great fishing condition. During normal flows, walleye and sauger will start feeding 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. Warm water discharges at power plants will attract fish all spring. Sauger and hybrid striped bass will also congregate around the mouths of tributaries. Try trolling crank baits in the pools for walleye.
Fishing continues to be very good in the Morgantown tailwater for sauger, walleye and white bass all week. Boaters have been drifting from the dam to Deckers Creek and catching their limits with jigs and minnows, or trolling deep running crank baits. Fishing has been good throughout the day. The shoreline from the Morgantown lock to the mouth of Deckers Creek is always a good place to fish from the shore.
The summer water level will be reached on May 1 and the Sunset Beach ramp will be open. The embayment at the Cheat Lake Park will warm up faster than the main lake. This is a good area for bank fisherman to catch sunfish and largemouth bass. Channel catfish are doing well and 2 to 3.pounders are abundant throughout the lake. Night crawlers on a number six hook with a ½ - 1-ounce egg sinker cast into 25 to 35 feet of water will catch catfish.
South Branch and Cacapon Rivers
Flows in most streams and rivers throughout the eastern panhandle have risen slightly but are still below normal. The water is clear and water temperatures have dropped back to the 50’s. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are showing signs of spawning and fishing should be in great through the weekend. This is a great time for fishing the South Branch and anglers continue to be successful catching 20 fish or more per day and some citation sized smallmouth bass. Try using slow moving plastics in deep pools and smallmouth are beginning to take top water lures. Many smallmouth bass in the South Branch have been tagged as part of a fish movement and fish health study, so if you catch a tagged fish, please clip off the tag and return it to DNR for a reward.
The 2012 trout stocking season is underway and some streams are receiving weekly stockings. Anglers have been catching lots of trout in both streams and impoundments. Check the new 2012 fishing regulations to determine when and where these trout stockings occurred. A fishing guide is available for the Eastern panhandle which includes a stream map. The fishing guides can be obtained free of charge from any of our district offices.
flows in the Shenandoah River have risen to normal levels and should be in great fishing condition through the weekend. Try fishing for smallmouth bass in slow moving areas near the head of pools around large rocks or other structure. The WVDNR in cooperation with Jefferson County Parks and Recreation have extended the boat ramp at the Moulton Park public access and it is now usable.
North Branch River
Flows in the North Branch is near 250 cfs and expected to remain at that level for several more days. The North Branch is in great fishing condition and lots of trout are being caught. The next North Branch white water event is scheduled for next weekend, Saturday, May 5th and Sunday, May 6th.
Small impoundments are in great fishing condition and anglers have been doing well catching trout in impoundments stocked with trout. Some impoundments are receiving bi-weekly trout stockings, so check the fishing regulations to determine which impoundments were stocked. A new impoundment has been created at the Edwards Run Wildlife Management Area in Hampshire County and will be stocked with trout bi-weekly.
Jennings Randolph Lake
Jennings Randolph Lake is currently three feet below conservation pool. Anglers have reported good catches of smallmouth bass on crankbaits and top water lures. The WV and MD boat ramps are open so don’t forget you can buy a season boat launch pass. The pass is honored at both the MD and WV ramps. Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information 304.355.2890.
Mt. Storm Lake
Anglers at Mt. Storm should target striped bass, black bass and walleye. Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges. Anglers have been doing well catching largemouth and smallmouth bass over the past couple weeks. Fish spawn early at Mount Storm Lake due to the warm water temperatures so fish will be feeding to prepare for spawning.
CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
Water levels are low 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 on a place to fish. This is a great time to fish for walleye in the Elk River. Try at the mouth of any tributary. The trout trucks are rolling and stocking is in full swing. Watoga and Spruce Knob lakes, Cranberry, Williams and Shavers Fork were stocked to name a few. Remember to buy your 2012 fishing license before heading out.
SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
The New and Greenbrier rivers are providing great fishing for smallmouth bass. Flows presently are good, allowing even for some wade fishing in the New and Greenbrier rivers. Be safe if wading and wear a PFD. Smallmouth anglers are finding success using a variety of baits and lures. Muskie anglers are currently finding success on the New River using crankbaits, jerkbaits and large soft plastics. District 4 small impoundments offer good bass, catfish and bluegill opportunities. Many are stocked in the early spring with trout, and with channel catfish at different times of the year to maintain fishable populations. A variety of district 4 WV trout streams have already been stocked or will be stocked soon also, consult the WVDNR website stocking report, WVDNR regulations or call 304.558.3399 to hear an updated report for all waters stocked each day after 4 PM. If your favorite stream didn’t get stocked, don’t be discouraged many larger streams hold carry-over trout and /or wild or native trout. Hike away from the road and access points.
SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA
Lower Ohio and Kanawha Rivers
Now is the time to hit the tailwaters for some excellent fishing for sauger, walleye, white bass and hybrid striped bass. Jigs with minnows are providing some excellent catches; if artificial baits are your preference white and chartreuse are good colors to try. Crank baits imitating emerald shiners and shad should work great at this time of low flow. Blue, flathead and channel catfish will start picking up as the water continues to warm, try fishing in a heated power plant discharge for some early catfish action.
Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk, and Mud Rivers
These streams should be fishable this week.
Trout fishing should be good in stocked impoundments. Larger panfish and bass will be feeding and can be caught with nightcrawlers or artificial baits.
WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
Trout have been stocked into several lakes throughout the area. These include Cedar Creek State Park Ponds in Gilmer County, Mile Tree Lake in Roane County, Rollins and Turkey Run lakes in Jackson County and Tracy Lake and Pennsboro Water Supply Reservoir in Ritchie County. Trout anglers can use a variety of baits including small worms, mealworms, salmon eggs, cheese, or trout power bait. Small spinners, joe type flies and trout magnets also work well for anglers casting the shoreline or fishing from boats. Trolling these small lures is also affective.
This is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters. Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching sauger, walleye 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. Fishing for white bass can be quite good this time of year and medium-sized white spinners work well. Crappie can also be found in Ohio River tailwaters. These fish are generally suspended and jigs should be counted-down to find the correct depth to fish. Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual. 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 for largemouth bass in area lakes has been very good. Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos are good terminal tackle choices. Area lakes with good angling opportunities include Conaway Run in Tyler County, Charles Fork in Roane County, Mountwood in Wood County, North Bend Lake in Ritchie County and Elk Fork and Woodrum lakes in Jackson County.
Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend, and muskies are quite active. Hot spots this time of year include areas both upstream and downstream of fast moving water. Musky anglers should try medium to large lures. Middle Island Creek, the major stream in the Hughes River system and the Little Kanawha River are good area musky waters. Those interested in trying their luck with muskies in a lake should try North Bend Lake.
|Ohio River (Wheeling)||Normal||Milky|
|Big Sandy (Preston)||Normal||Clear|
|S. Branch (Potomac)||Low||Clear|
|S. Branch (Smoke Hole)||Low||Clear|
|N. Fork S. Branch||Low||Clear|
|West Fork River||Low||Clear|
|Cherry River (N. Fork)||Low||Clear|
|Cherry River (S. Fork)||Low||Clear|
|Greenbrier (E&W Forks)||Low||Clear|
|Elk River (Webster)||Low||Clear|
|Elk River (Back Fork)||Low||Clear|
|New River (Hinton)||Normal||Clear|
|Horse Creek Lake||Normal||Clear|
|Big Huff Creek||Normal||Clear|
|Glade Creek (New River)||Normal||Clear|
|New River (Gauley)||Normal||Clear|
|Glade Creek (Man)||Normal||Clear|
|Dry Fork Creek||Normal||Clear|
|WESTERN & SOUTHWESTERN||Levels||Conditions|
|Little Kanawha River||Low||Milky|
April 25, 2012
• Big Sandy Creek
• Buffalo Creek Brooke.
• Castleman Run Lake
• Cherry River
• Coopers Rock Lake
• Cranberry River
• East Fork Greenbrier River
• East River
• Little River East Fork Greenbrier River
• Little River West Fork Greenbrier River
• Lost River
• Middle Fork River
• Middle Wheeling Lake
• New Creek
• North Fork of Patterson Creek
• Paint Creek
• Paint Creek C&R)
• Paw Paw Creek
• Rockcliff Lake
• South Fork of Cranberry River
• Summersville Tailwaters
• Trout Run
• Waites Run
• West Fork Greenbrier River
• Whiteday Creek
April 24, 2012
• Glady Fork
• North Fork South Branch
• Pinnacle Creek upper section)
• Pond Fork
• R.D. Bailey Tailwaters
• Shavers Fork Bemis)
• Shavers Fork lower section)
• South Branch Smoke Hole)
• Summit Lake
• Watoga Lake
• Williams River
April 23, 2012
• Anthony Creek
• Buckhannon River
• Camp Creek
• East River
• Knapps Creek
• Mash Fork
• Mash Fork of Camp Creek Children & Class Q)
• North Fork of Anthony Creek
• Right Fork of Buckhannon River
• South Branch Franklin)
April 20, 2012
• Coonskin Park Lake Children & Class Q)
• Glady Fork
• Kanawha State Park Pond Children & Class Q)
• Lost River
• Lower Cove Run
• Meadow Creek of New River
• Milligan Creek
• Mountwood Park Lake
• New Creek
• North Fork of Lunice
• North Fork of Patterson Creek
• North River
• Shavers Fork Bemis)
• Shavers Fork lower section)
• Shavers Fork upper section)
• Spruce Knob Lake
• Trout Run
• Tuckahoe Lake
• Waites Run