Gilmer Free Press
Fishing Report – 06.07.12
The reservoir water level is at summer pool. Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304.525.4831 for more information. Bass fishing should be hot right now with many hungry bass coming out of the yearly spawning period. Channel catfish may be slower right now as these fish begin to enter the nesting season. Hybrid striped bass and white bass can be caught using white lures.
Fishing on the lake is improving. Bass have spawned for the most part due to the warm spring. Target post-spawn bass now in Bluestone. A number of key points need to be recognized by the angler: 1.pay attention to schools of shad, the predators won’t be far behind, 2.weather fronts will still play a part in determining how fish behave and where they are, this affect will diminish as we progress into the summer and conditions become more stable, 3.bass will be hungry due to the effects of the spawn. Striped bass are also being boated by following schools of shad in the lake. 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. 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 at summer pool. Lots of bass are being caught in and around cover. Crappie and bluegill are also being caught on live bait in any type of cover. Trout were stocked in the tailwater on May 29th. 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 beginning to spawn so fishing may be slower than usual. Try crappie fishing 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. 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 fishing has been great. Try trolling a shallow running plug or jig. Trout were stocked in the lake March 17th, April 13th and May 4th 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 clear. Fishing is good. Bass are being caught in and around cover. Bluegill and crappie are also hitting live bait. Reports of large musky being caught with spinner baits this week. Channel catfish have also been caught. Trout were stocked in the tailwater on May 29th. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304.269.7463.
The lake is at summer pool. 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 June 5th by helicopter from the dam to the mouth of the Meadow River 5 miles). If you are looking for a back country fishing experience, hike down in the Gauley River gorge and enjoy some fantastic fishing. For more information contact the Corps of Engineers office at 304.872.3412.
The lake is two feet above summer pool and clear. Fishing is good. Bass have moved deeper because of warm water temperatures. 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 May 29th. 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.
Nine fish were tagged in Tygart Lake for the Cabela’s million dollar fishing contest. Get details at cabelas.com/fishformillions . The lake is at the summer pool level. The heads of coves will warm faster than the main lake and are good areas for bass and sunfish. White bass schools can be seen breaking water throughout the lake. Cast crank baits, plastic grubs, or spoons to the schools as they surface and move around. Largemouth and smallmouth bass will be moving into shallow water to spawn. Bass tournament success 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 striped 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 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. Warm water discharges at power plants will attract fish all spring.
The river is at a normal level and in good fishing condition. Bass tournament success has been very good the past few weeks. Fishing is good in the Morgantown tailwater for sauger and walleye and white bass. The shoreline from the Morgantown lock to the mouth of Deckers Creek is always a good place to fish from the shore. Smallmouth bass are also abundant in this area. This is also good time for catfish throughout the pools in 15 to 20 feet of water.
The lake is at the summer recreational water level and will be maintained until November 01. The embayments at the Cheat Lake Park will warm up faster than the main lake and are good areas for bank fisherman to catch sunfish and largemouth bass. The shoreline across from the Sunset Beach cove to the I.68 bridge is a good area to catch large sunfish. Channel catfish are doing well and 2 to 3.pounders are abundant throughout the lake. Nightcrawlers 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 are below normal flow and the streams are clear. The water temperatures have dropped to the 70’s and it is a great time for fishing. Smallmouth and largemouth bass have completed spawning and sunfish are now on spawning beds. 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 top water lures in shallow areas and just off the shore. 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 spring trout stocking season is complete but lots of trout still remain. Anglers have been catching lots of trout in both streams and impoundments and trout stocking rates have increased due to surplus trout at the hatcheries. Check the 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 remain below normal but in great fishing condition. Try fishing for smallmouth bass with crankbaits and top waters 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 are near 25 cfs and expected to remain at that level over the next couple days. No additional white water events are scheduled for the North Branch this spring.
Small impoundments are in great fishing condition and anglers have been doing well in impoundments stocked with trout. Recent biological surveys have indicated excellent largemouth bass population in small impoundments. Many small impoundments are starting to stratify. That means low oxygen levels could occur in deep water so fish shallow. A new impoundment has been created at the Edwards Run Wildlife Management Area in Hampshire County and received channel catfish stockings a few weeks ago.
Jennings Randolph Lake
Jennings Randolph Lake is currently one foot below conservation pool and dropping slowly. Anglers have reported good catches of smallmouth bass on crankbaits and top waters. 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 Mount Storm Lake 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. Biological surveys have indicated excellent bass and walleye populations. Anglers have been doing well catching largemouth and smallmouth bass over the past couple weeks.
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 on a place to fish. Go out and enjoy free fishing weekend on June 9th and 10th. You do not need a fishing license to fish in West Virginia during the free fishing weekend. Give it a try and go see what you have been missing. Spruce Knob Lake, Laurel Fork of Holly, Cranberry and Williams rivers and the Buckhannon River from the rail were stocked the past few weeks, just to mention a few.
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 trout streams have been stocked; 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 p.m. District 4 waters including Glade Creek of the New River, Summit Lake and Anthony Creek were recently stocked by WVDNR personnel. 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. By early June, District 4 anglers are beginning to have good success with spinners and flies on various trout streams. Try rooster tails and ‘basic’ fly patterns like hare’s ears, woolly buggers and standard dry fly patterns such as the royal coachman or various caddis imitations. But beware, there are many major hatches that come off this time of the year through the summer, be sure to carry a good variety of local flies or else you might get caught out by not having the proper fly at the right time.
SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA
Lower Ohio and Kanawha Rivers
As the water in the tailwaters begins to clear the fishing for sauger, walleye, white bass and hybrid striped bass will start to pick up. Jigs with minnows could provide some excellent catches; if artificial baits are your preference white and chartreuse are good colors to try. Blue, flathead and channel catfish activity is picking up as the water continues to warm.
Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk, and Mud Rivers
These streams should be fishable by the weekend.
Bluegill and bass will be feeding and can be caught with nightcrawlers or artificial baits. Catchable sized channel catfish have been stocked in selected impoundments. Trout fishing will be slowing down as waters begin to get too warm for these species.
WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
This 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. 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. Hybrid striped bass are being caught on the surface, and agitator bobbers and large surface plugs work well for these top water feeders. 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.
Also along the Ohio River this year, fishing for black bass largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass has been excellent. Bass Anglers are using spinner-baits, rubber worms, jig-and-pig type combos and shad colored crank baits. Largemouth are being caught along embayments, and the smallmouth and spots are being taken from the river.
Fishing for largemouth bass in area lakes has been very good. Slowly fished plastic worms or jig-and-pig combos, and spinner baits are good terminal tackle choices. As the water warms, surface baits will also be productive. Area lakes with good 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. Fishing for bluegill in our small lakes is also good this time of year. Small baits and lures work well for these panfish.
This is also a good time to fish for catfish in area waters. Most public lakes have good channel catfish populations. Night crawlers, chicken livers, or prepared catfish baits fished along the bottom is always a good method for catfish. Adult catfish were recently stocked into several area lakes. These include Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County; Cedar Creek State Park Lake in Gilmer County; Mountwood Lake and Fort Neal Pond in Wood County; North Bend State Park Pond in Ritchie County, Turkey Run Lake in Jackson County, and the Wirt County Pond. Also, the slowly moving and muddier water that is found in the upper portions of lakes, just after rain events are great places to find channel catfish.
Larger Stream and rivers hold channel catfish, but flathead or mud catfish are also available to catfish anglers. Tactics used in lakes work well for channels in these streams, but flatheads prefer live bait. Large minnows that are fished along deeper areas are the trick for these large catfish.
|Ohio River (Wheeling)||High||Clear|
|Big Sandy (Preston)||Low||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)||Low||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|