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West Virginia Stream Conditions

 

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) Fishing Page

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) fishing report will be updated approximately every three months (spring, summer, fall, winter). General trends which can be expected to be useful for that season/district/waterbody type will be offered. The links found below can help anglers fine-tune their experience by finding new fishing areas, checking flows, stocking reports, and current regulations to name a few. Further information can be found by contacting WVDNR biologists listed with each district seasonal report. Please also contact us if you make a spectacular or unidentifiable catch, or have a question relating to current regulations.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/wv/nwis/rt - West Virginia (USGS) flow data
https://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Water-Information/ - Hunt. District USACOE
https://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Water-Management/ - Pittsburgh District USACOE
http://www.mapwv.gov/huntfish/ - Find locations using the WVDNR fishing mapping tool
http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm - WVDNR stocking webpage
http://www.wvdnr.gov/fishing/Fishing_regs.shtm - WVDNR current fishing regulations (2018-2019)
http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/First_Fish.shtm - WVDNR First Fish Certificate
http://www.wvdnr.gov/fishing/TroFishCitPrgm.shtm - WVDNR Trophy Fish Citation Program
http://www.wvdnr.gov/fishing/HuskyMusky.shtm - Register your legal (30”) muskellunge catch

Fish are cold-blooded, prefer a range of temperature levels and will move to find optimal overall conditions.  Fish spawn during specific seasons based on photoperiod (length of day), and to a lesser degree temperature, flow, and weather.  Carrying a thermometer and becoming a student of your quarry and their habitat will help you be more successful as an angler.  Consider all these factors on your next outing for greater success.  Below are ideal feeding temperature ranges for some of West Virginia’s most popular gamefish, and when they spawn:

Bluegill                                          58-80°F                spring
Brook Trout                                  48-68°F                fall
Rainbow Trout                               55-68°F                spring
Brown Trout                                  55-70°F                fall
Largemouth Bass                            68-85°F                spring
Smallmouth Bass                            60-78°F                spring
Channel Catfish                             65-90°F                summer
Flathead Catfish                             75-84°F                summer
Blue Catfish                                   77-82°F                summer
Walleye                                        50-76°F                spring
Sauger                                          50-72°F                spring
Muskellunge                                  55-78°F                spring

Anglers are also asked to be on the lookout for tagged fish they may catch. Biologists tag fish to learn critical information to better manage fish populations.  If you catch a tagged fish even if a reward is not offered, PLEASE forward all information to your district fish biologist or contact information given on the tag itself.  If the tagged fish was kept please also contact you district fish biologists, they may desire to examine the fish, etc. Recaptures are extremely valuable for biologists to manage fish populations, and you will be playing a large part by helping biologists manage fish populations.  After a documented recapture, biologists can usually relay past-history to the angler about ‘their catch’ which most find very interesting. Further information can be found at the link below:  http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Fish_Tagging.shtm

WVDNR SUMMER FISHING REPORT (JUNE, JULY, AUGUST)

District 1 (David Wellman, Dustin Smith) - 304 825 6787
1110 Railroad St.
Farmington, WV 26571

D1 Reservoirs -
District 1 has two large reservoirs, Cheat Lake near Morgantown and Tygart Lake near Grafton. Cheat Lake is a hydropower lake and its levels are permitted to fluctuate differently depending on the season. It’s important to understand these water level fluctuations not only for angling, but for boat access.  Throughout the summer, water levels only fluctuate two feet to enhance recreation. Sunset Marina is the only public motorboat ramp available during the summer months. Anglers can launch carry down watercraft (john boats, kayaks, etc.) at the Ices Ferry Bridge access site and at the Cheat Lake Park. Although water levels only fluctuate two feet during the summer, anglers can still check Cheat Lake’s water level at the following USGS website:  https://waterdata.usgs.gov/wv/nwis/current/?type=flow. Additionally, anglers may consider checking the flow of Cheat River at Albright as incoming river flows can influence fishing within the lake. Fishing during the summer months in Cheat Lake can be more challenging, with increasing water temperatures and heavy boat traffic during the day. Anglers can still find success targeting several species within the lake. Due to boat traffic and fish activity patterns, fishing is often more productive in early morning or late evening and in sheltered coves or embayments. Yellow Perch can be caught with success around the I-68 bridge area. A good tactic to find schools of Yellow Perch is to drift fish with live minnows, worms, or jigs at varying water depths. Although the Walleye population within Cheat Lake is improving, summertime can be challenging. Quality size male Walleye often remain in the riverine portion of the lake upstream of I-68 throughout the summer. These fish may be easier to target than females that suspend in deeper water within the main lake. Walleye in this lake are not overly abundant but grow fast and large. Anglers can find success targeting Largemouth Bass in the large embayments (Morgans and Rubles Run) and fish will often be located near woody structure. Smallmouth Bass fishing can be good from the I-68 bridge area and upstream in the riverine section.  The rocky habitat upstream holds good numbers of Smallmouth Bass. Channel Catfish are also common and can provide great fishing in the summer months. Channel Catfish can be found throughout the lake and caught on a variety of baits including chicken liver, stink baits, worms, and cut bait. White Bass are also common within Cheat Lake. Anglers should watch for schools of White Bass breaking the surface feeding on baitfish. Once the schools are found, jigs, spoons, small crankbaits can be very effective at catching several fish in a short amount of time. Cheat Lake also has excellent sunfish opportunities. Large Pumpkinseed sunfish and Bluegill can be found in coves and other nearshore areas. Sunfish will often spawn throughout the summer and anglers can look for sunfish nests to target aggressive fish.  Crappie fishing can still be productive in the summer if anglers target downed trees or submerged wood next to deeper water. Small jigs, in-line spinners, and minnows can be very effective for these tasty gamefish.  Anglers without a boat have a couple of shoreline fishing opportunities where a variety of species can be caught. Extensive shoreline areas and fishing piers can be found at Cheat Lake Park out Morgans Run Road. This area of the lake provides opportunities for Largemouth Bass, sunfish, White Bass and catfish. The Ices Ferry Bridge fishing access site is also a good shoreline area to catch a variety of species. Anglers may catch Yellow Perch, Walleye, catfish, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. A fishing pier in the tailwater area just below the dam also provides good fishing opportunities for Walleye, Hybrid Striped Bass, and Channel Catfish. 

Tygart Lake is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control lake having extreme water level fluctuations throughout the year. Summer pool elevation for Tygart Lake is 1093.5 feet above sea level. Although this level remains fairly consistent throughout the summer, anglers should be aware that heavy precipitation events and high river levels can cause water levels to increase. Like Cheat Lake, boat traffic on Tygart Lake becomes heavy in summer, which along with fish activity patterns, can make fishing more difficult. During difficult periods anglers should focus their efforts in sheltered coves or embayments, or fish during early morning or late evening hours. Tygart Lake is known as a very good Walleye and Smallmouth Bass lake, with Crappie, Channel Catfish, White Bass and Musky also available. Tygart Lake has an excellent reproducing Walleye population with most being “pan-sized”.  During the summer months Walleye will transition to deeper water especially during daylight hours, often deeper than 30 feet, and sometimes at depths greater than 50 feet. Many anglers locate fish by trolling at varying depths using crankbaits or nightcrawlers or minnow tipped jigs on bottom bouncers. Tygart Lake is steep sided and has lots of shoreline rocky habitat for Smallmouth Bass where they feed on crayfish and shiners. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, and topwater lures can all be productive.  Night crawlers, minnows, and crayfish are very good Smallmouth Bass baits when artificial lures aren’t producing.  White Bass can often be seen chasing shiners near the surface, and this is a great time to cast small spoons or roostertails for some fast action.  There are several areas throughout the lake where fish habitat structures have been placed by the WVDNR and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers including near Tygart Lake State Park and at Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area.  These are good places to cast small jigs, in-line spinners, minnows, or meal worms to catch Crappie and other sunfish.  Additionally, Walleye are found in the tailwater but catch rates often decline during the summer months.  A boat ramp is available in the tailwater, and anglers can use the shoreline also.  The shoreline provides very good access but can be difficult to navigate due to large rocks and sometimes slippery conditions.  Daily lake and tailwater conditions can be obtained by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at: 304-265-5953.                 

D1 Nav Rivers -
Both Ohio and Monongahela rivers are within District 1.  Several dams on both rivers provide good shoreline fishing access and boats are not needed or permitted in these areas due to safety. A variety of species can be caught in navigable rivers, especially in the tailwater areas downstream of dams during the summer. Jigs tipped with minnows fished near the bottom or along rocky banks in low light conditions can be very productive for Walleye and Sauger.  Tailwater areas are popular for White Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass and these species can be caught using spoons, jigs, or surface lures.  Fishing for Channel Catfish can be very productive during the summer. Monongahela River has an excellent Channel Catfish population as they are very abundant and reach large sizes. They can be caught using live bait, cut bait, and stink baits. Channel Catfish are found throughout the river in good numbers but tailwater areas and areas of the river near structure or tributaries are often productive. Flathead Catfish are less common on Monongahela River but can reach good sizes of 40-inches or more.  These fish are often slow growing and very old. Fish larger than 30 inches are often 20 years or older! For those targeting large Flathead Catfish, Ohio River is the place to go as it holds lots of large Flatheads.  These fish are active during the summer but can become more difficult to catch during the hottest periods.  Good techniques to catch Flathead Catfish are to bottom fish or drift circle hooks baited with live bait near creek mouths, in eddies, near large woody structure and off rocky banks.   

D1 Rivers/Streams -
Cheat, Tygart, and West Fork rivers are perhaps the most popular warmwater river fisheries in District 1.  Upper Cheat River offers very good Smallmouth Bass fishing and some bonus Rock Bass.  The Cheat River water trail offers very good access to this beautiful river for either float or wade fishing.  Tygart River provides opportunities for Smallmouth Bass and is becoming well known for its Musky fishery.  West Fork River has been known as a very good Musky stream, but the Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, and Flathead Catfish are all abundant.  Other notable Smallmouth Bass and Rock Bass streams within District 1 are Buckhannon River, Fish Creek, Fishing Creek, Buffalo Creek (Brooke County), Dunkard Creek and Dry Fork of Cheat River. Three-inch twister tails, crankbaits, crayfish imitations, small spinners, plastic baits such as flukes or dingers, or buzz baits can all be excellent Smallmouth Bass lures.  However, simply using live bait such as nightcrawlers, crayfish, or minnows can be just as and sometimes more effective.  Good numbers of Smallmouth Bass can be caught during the summer, but larger fish tend to be more challenging to catch.  Adequate gear for catching Smallmouth Bass in these smaller rivers would be a six-foot medium action rod and spinning reel spooled with six to eight-pound monofilament line.  Anglers can have lots of action catching good numbers of Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, and sunfish floating or wading these small streams with just a handful of lures. Anglers should target deeper pools, current breaks, large boulders, and woody debris for most species including Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Musky, sunfish, and Channel Catfish. During the hottest periods, fish will position themselves closer to current created by riffles and runs where water temperatures are cooler and oxygen levels are higher. Use the WVDNR fishing
map to gather information of streams and fishing opportunities near you:
https://www.mapwv.gov/huntfish/map/?v=fish

D1 Impoundments -
District 1 has over twenty small impoundments scattered throughout each county that provide good access and excellent fishing opportunities. These impoundments typically have excellent Largemouth Bass and Bluegill fisheries. Panfish are popular with both seasoned and novice anglers as they can provide hours of fun and are excellent table fare. Bluegill can be found near brush, downed trees, or shoreline vegetation. During summer, Bluegill spawning will continue and anglers can often find aggressive fish guarding nest sites. Fancy and expensive equipment is not needed to enjoy catching Bluegill this time of year. Crickets, meal worms, and red worms floated under bobbers on a 10-foot cane pole can be extremely effective and enjoyable. Bluegill can also be caught with small in-line spinners and small plastic or hair jigs on typical spinning or spincast reels on a light to medium action rod. Topwater lures such as small poppers and other small topwater baits can be effective and fun for catching large Bluegill in summer. Small impoundments such as Dents Run Lake, Teter Creek Lake, Fairfax Ponds, Mason Lake, and Dixon Lakes are known to have good Bluegill fisheries. Our small impoundments also provide excellent Largemouth Bass fishing, often better than our large reservoirs. Anglers may find largemouth near shoreline structure or vegetation. Topwater action can be extremely fun for anglers using buzzbaits, poppers, frog imitations, etc., especially in early morning and late evening hours. Dunkard Fork and Curtisville lakes are known for exceptional largemouth bass fisheries. Keep in mind that many small impoundments stratify during mid- to late summer, meaning that at greater depths (but sometimes as shallow as 6-8 feet in muddier waters) there may be little to no oxygen available. In these conditions, fish will be located in shallower water where oxygen is available. Catchable catfish will be stocked the first week of June in the following nine small impoundments: Tomlinson Run, Dunkard Fork, Mason, Coopers Rock, Newburg, Pendleton, Teter Creek, Hinkle, and Deegan Lakes.          

Use the WVDNR fishing map to find new places to fish near you:
https://www.mapwv.gov/huntfish/map/?v=fish

District 2 (Brandon Keplinger, Clay Raines) - 304 822 3551
1 Depot Street
Romney WV, 26757

D2 Reservoirs -
Mount Storm Lake is known as a good Black Bass (Smallmouth and Largemouth), Walleye and large Striped Bass lake.  It is important to know that Mount Storm Lake receives warm coolant water from a coal-fired power plant, frequently allowing lake water to be much warmer than what adjacent fisheries or air temperatures are!  This can cause this lake to be fickle in the summer, as bass can be lethargic over long periods of warm water temperatures.  Shad and other minnow patterns work well for these species.  Considering the schooling behavior of shad in this lake, umbrella lures (those that mimic several baitfish in a group) would work quite well.  Crankbaits and swim baits that mimic wounded baitfish are excellent bait choices.  Consider the use of live or natural bait for finicky fish.  Largemouth Bass will be found along shorelines that are laden with fallen trees, WV DNR supplemented Christmas trees, beaver dams, and aquatic vegetation.  Particularly, these habitats are found more commonly upstream into the creek arms of the lake.  Also, cooler water temperatures can often be found nearer to the stream channels that bring cool water into the lake.  Smallmouth Bass can be caught more frequently in habitats where large rock outcrops are abundant, although they too will sometimes be associated with vegetation and wood that attracts forage fish.  The dam wall and creek channels upstream provide complex rocky habitats for Smallmouth Bass.  A medium to heavy action rod would work well.  If you target Striped Bass in this lake, it’s important to have a boat to get to open water, as well as oversized fishing gear compared to what you would use for bass fishing.  Striped Bass do not appear to aggregate seasonally, but seem to stay deep where the coolest, heavier water remains.  This is especially true in the summer, as this species often seeks out cool water.  Stripers have been caught exceeding 35” in this lake!  Walleye can also be caught with trolling techniques - using jerk baits, crank baits, and inline spinners rigged with natural baits like nightcrawlers or minnows.  Walleye will congregate along drop-offs of submerged rocky ridges and the submerged creek bed of the Stony River arm of the lake during spring.  Channel Catfish are numerous and stunted: the harvest of Channel Catfish is suggested there to improve the population.  They can be caught during all seasons using baits such as chicken liver, cut bait, and stink baits.   The only public boat ramp for this lake is located right off Route 29.  It is certainly ideal to fish Mount Storm Lake with a boat, as very little shoreline access is available for public use.  It is critical to understand that if catch and release fishing is participated in during the summer, there WILL be a high degree of fishing mortality if fish are not handled properly.  It is suggested that you quickly return Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass back to the water without retaining them in a live well unless you are interested in harvesting them.  Also, Striped Bass are particularly prone to dying when caught during warm water temperatures.  Consider harvesting them during this time or refraining from fishing for them during warm timeframes in the summer. 
Jennings Randolph Lake is known for its excellent Smallmouth Bass population, Rock Bass in abundance, and a dense, reproducing Walleye population.  It also gets stocked with trout on occasion by the MD DNR in the spring which, due to a cold mid-depth layer in the lake, can be caught into the summer.  Smallmouth Bass key in on crayfish that inhabit rocky habitat along the lake’s perimeter. Unlike Mount Storm Lake, Jennings Randolph receives cool source water, and warmer timeframes does not negatively impact fish activity.  Weighted soft plastics, crank baits, and jigs that imitate crayfish are great baits to start targeting Smallmouth Bass and Rock Bass here.  If you are targeting Rock Bass, size down your baits to focus on this smaller sport fish.  Minnows are abundant in this lake and are prime targets for Walleye.  Live or dead minnows trolled on spinner rigs, jerk baits, silver-sided crank baits and swim baits would be excellent for targeting Walleye.   Inline spinners work well for catching trout.  Walleye will be more dispersed throughout the lake but will likely be feeding or suspending along rocky habitats that follow points or drop-offs along creek channels. Trolling is a particularly good method for hooking up with Walleye and Trout in this deep lake.  There are two public boat launches on this lake that operate daily.  The Howell Ramp on the WV side will remain open throughout the summer unless summer pool conditions allow the water’s surface to drop below the ramp.  The Maryland ramp is considerably long and will remain open all summer.  The lake’s water level is managed by the ACOE.  It is certainly ideal to fish Jennings Randolph Lake with a boat, as very little shoreline access is available for public use.
 
D2 Rivers/Streams -
The South Branch Potomac, Cacapon, and Shenandoah rivers are the most popular stream fisheries in D2, renowned for their fantastic Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Redbreast Sunfish, and Channel Catfish populations!  However, Patterson Creek, Back Creek, Opequon Creek, Sleepy Creek, and the Little Cacapon should not be overlooked, especially when warm weather brings considerable fishing pressure to the more popular streams.   The transition from spring to summer brings larger catches of Smallmouth Bass, Redbreast Sunfish and Rock Bass, and the Channel Catfish fishery comes into full swing! Channel Catfish are very abundant in the South Branch and Shenandoah Rivers.  Channel Catfish will be particularly abundant in the South Branch in downstream reaches.  However, smaller numbers of large fish can certainly be caught above Moorefield!  Fish that can be caught the same day and in the same streams to be used as cut bait work excellent for catfishing.  This is a safer opportunity that can help prevent the spread of disease and the possibility of bait-bucket-introductions between watersheds!  Resident sunfish, large minnows, and suckers all work well as cut bait or live fish.  Experiment with the size of the cut bait in order to reduce catches of Yellow Bullhead (if you wish) and to target Channel Catfish sizes of interest.  Other baits, like cheese bait, blood bait, chicken livers, live minnows, packaged shad, hellgrammites, and nightcrawlers, can be used to catch these fish as well.  Please pay close attention to tagged fish in the South Branch, as many Smallmouth Bass and Channel Catfish have been tagged in order to better understand angler utility, angler pressure, and fish movement in this system.  By the time that we are into the summer months, Smallmouth Bass have become very active and have concluded spawning.  The conclusion of spawning brings them out of deep pools in which they overwintered and into shallower water where abundant forage exists (see Tip of the Summer Season below).  Expect to see large Smallmouth in the backs of pools, along the margins where vegetation is growing, and in habitats where water is swifter and deeper.  Crayfish are the forage of choice for Smallmouth Bass in these streams, making up greater than 70% of the forage items they consume!  Jigs, crankbaits, tubes, spider grubs, and other soft plastic baits that mimic this forage is suggested and can pay off during any season.  However, don’t discount minnows as diet items…particularly as Smallmouth begin to become more active with the warmer water, striking more opportunistically higher in the water column at swim baits, surface plugs, flukes, and other baits that mimic shiners!  If all else fails, nightcrawlers, crickets, grasshoppers, and other natural baits will certainly catch fish.  Remember that many sport fish are much more active during morning and evening hours!  This is especially true during the summer months.  Considering the different types of baits that you could fish under different conditions; a medium action rod of moderate power would be beneficial.  Consider using a light-heavy rod.  Six to 8-pound test would work well.  Consider using fluorocarbon, as it is difficult to see underwater, and can be useful for enticing fish to bite when using soft plastics, and during conditions where water depth decreases, and water clarity dramatically increases during summer months.
If you decide to float these streams, make sure that you know the amount of water that you can cover in the time that is allocated to you.  Also, know the stream conditions and the zones you intend to float to avoid dragging watercraft during low-flow timeframes or dangerous currents when flows are high!  District 2 has an abundance of public access sites available to the angler’s advantage: https://www.mapwv.gov/huntfish/map/?v=fish

D2 Impoundments
Small impoundments in D2 are some of the most productive fisheries in the region!  Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and quality Channel Catfish (latter maintained by stocking) are available in many of these lakes!  Large Bluegill offer excellent table fare and high likelihoods of success for summer anglers, both young and experienced!  Bluegill construct bowl shaped depressions in which to lay their eggs.  They will often nest colonially during the early summer.  If you find shallow flats with soft substrate they can be easily excavated by aggressive Bluegill, chances are good that you can experience double-digit catches.  A light power rod with moderate action is good for panfish like Bluegill.
In the summer, Largemouth Bass become very active, feeding up just before the spawn in early May.  Focus on using baits that provide action under the surface of the water.  Stick baits, crank baits, weighted soft plastics and jigs work well this time of the year.  Bass become more aggressive when the water warms, and retrieves should be worked at a faster pace.  Pay attention not to fish too deeply during summer months, as fish stay in shallower water where higher levels of oxygen are available and forage gathers near shoreline structure.  Largemouth Bass feed near the lake perimeters when active and can be caught anywhere along the shoreline.  Pay close attention to shifting shoreline depths, aquatic vegetation, and sunken wood to increase your changes of strikes from Largemouth.  As midday heat significantly warms still lake waters, expect fish activities to drop.  Morning and evening fishing should be most productive.  Fishing brightly colored, darkly colored, sound emitting, and gold/copper bladed baits are more visible to fish when the water is muddy!  You can use a variety of fishing equipment styles to fish our small impoundments, considering the species available.  A medium power with moderate to fast action is good for bass fishing.

District 2 has an abundance of these small impoundments open to public fishing: https://www.mapwv.gov/huntfish/map/?v=fish

District 2 Tip of the Summer Season -

Fish the margins of Water Willow or other vegetation in our District 2 streams!  These streamside zones of habitat hold really high densities of forage fish and are also near the types of substrate that high numbers of crayfish inhabit.  Shoreline fishermen often spook these fish due to the position of their approach, but floating anglers are in a perfect position to cast to these habitats and make a retrieve without interfering with the fish.  Use unweighted soft plastics like flukes, tubes, zingers, and slug-go to stay high, visible, and enticing.  Baits like small double-bladed spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, as well as moderate size topwater plugs, also work well.  Cast as close to the bank or the vegetation as possible…Even if you must slowly drag the bait to the water on a cast that is too long.  If you get a strike form these hard reaction baits, follow up with a soft plastic substitute if you have another rigged rod to spare.   Finally, as with all habitats and fisheries in the summer, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass will be much more active during the morning and evening hours.  Keep these tips in mind when evaluating the effectiveness of the lures that you are using and the planning of your trips!

District 3 (James Walker, Aaron Yeager) - 304 924 6211
163 wildlife Rd.
French Creek, WV 26218

D3 Reservoirs -
District 3 has 5 large reservoirs all situated along the I-79 corridor in central West Virginia.  Stonewall Jackson, Burnsville, Stonecoal, Sutton, and Summersville lakes. 

Stonewall Jackson Reservoir: (U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers) is well known for its largemouth bass population, musky, and panfish. It’s a shallow lake and still contains lots of standing timber.   The lake is lowered for flood control six feet Nov-April but typically is at the summer pool level (recreation pool) by mid-April.  Largemouth will be moving from shallow water spawning locations to deeper water as the water temperatures increase.  Find areas where shallow water with cover is next to deeper water.  Rip rap banks, shallow points, road beds, standing timber as well as trees that have fallen.  Creek channels and large mats of hydrilla can be very productive summertime fishing spots.  Topwater lures and weedless presentations of soft plastics progressing to faster crankbaits will prove effective in these areas as temperatures increase.   Post-spawn bass can tough to fool, but gizzard shad imitations of the correct size will locate actively feeding fish.  Musky move to deeper water this time of year as well and head to areas that provide refuge from high surface temperatures.  Successful angers troll and cast large plugs, spinners and specialized musky baits.   Crappie, perch, bluegill (panfish) this time of year is great.  Try beaver huts, blow down trees, bridges, and hydrilla weed mats as water temperature increase.  Live bait (minnow on light jig) or small plastic jigs can produce many fish and is a great way to introduce a new angler to the sport of fishing because action can be fast.  The tailwaters of this lake can also produce many warmwater gamefish such as bass, yellow perch and crappie.  You may be lucky enough to catch a trout that carried over from the spring trout stockings.  When streams and rivers are high, tailwaters can be some of the only fishable water. Be sure to take advantage of the good access and parking.  Daily lake and tailwater conditions can be obtained by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at: 304-269-4588. 

Burnsville Reservoir: (U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers) is known for its largemouth, spotted bass, catfish, musky, and panfish. The lake is lowered for flood control 13 feet Nov-April but typically is at the summer pool level (recreation pool) by mid-April.  It’s a shallow lake and still contains some standing timber. Largemouth will be moving from shallow water spawning locations to deeper water as the water temperatures increase.  Find areas where shallow water with cover is next to deeper water.  Rip rap banks, deeper downwind sides of shallow points, road beds, standing timber as well as trees that have fallen.   Deep areas of cover adjacent to springtime spawning locations can be really productive for summertime bass.   Faster moving lures such as soft plastic flukes/worms, crankbaits and topwater lures shine as water temperatures increase.   Post-spawn bass will be in 6-14 feet of water as temperatures climb and will be holding to cover near the thermocline.  A channel/flathead catfish population is a bonus to Burnsville and fish have been caught in the 20-30 lbs. range.  Try live bait on the bottom as temperatures warm up.  Musky move to deeper water this time of year as well and head to main lake areas with ambush cover.  Successful angers troll and cast large plugs and specialized large musky baits.   Crappie, and bluegill (panfish) this time of year is great.   Try beaver huts, blow down trees and creek channels as water temperatures increase.  Live bait (minnow on light jig) or small plastic jigs can produce many fish and is a great way to introduce a new angler to the sport of fishing because action can be fast.  The tailwaters of this lake is also very productive and contains many warmwater gamefish. Discharges above 200cfs in the tailwaters can be especially good fishing as fish actively pass through the dam.  Tailwaters can sometimes be the only fishable water with good access and parking.   Daily lake and tailwater conditions can be obtained by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at: 304-853-2371.

Stonecoal Reservoir: (First Energy Corp.) is well known for its largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, musky, and panfish.  Stonecoal is a deep lake with a 9.9 hp limit that keeps the lake quiet, resulting in a backcounty feel perfect for canoe or kayak fishing.   Largemouth will be moving from shallow water spawning locations to deeper water as the water temperatures increase.  Find areas where shallow water with cover is next to deeper water.  Rocky banks, deeper downwind areas of shallow points, road beds, submergent vegetation (pondweed/lily pad beds) as well as trees/brush piles that WVDNR Fisheries staff has added.   Deeper weedlines in coves can be productive summertime fishing locations.   Faster moving lures such as soft plastic worms/flukes, crankbaits and topwater lures are good as temperatures increase.   Post-pawn bass will be in 10-15 feet of water as temperatures climb and feeding actively around areas of cover.  Walleye like to congregate around the brush piles/felled trees as water temperatures warm.   Musky move to deeper water this time of year as well and hold in areas with good ambush cover.  Successful angers troll and cast large plugs and specialized large musky baits.   Crappie, perch, bluegill (panfish) this time of year is great.   Try upper end of lake (pondweed/lily pads), beaver huts, blow down trees and creek channels as water temperature increase.  Live bait (minnow on light jig) or small plastic jigs can produce many fish and is a great way to introduce a new angler to the sport of fishing because action can be fast.  Stonecoal Lake Fishing Map can be found here: http://www.wvdnr.gov/Lake_Maps/.

Sutton Reservoir: (U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers) is known for its largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass, and panfish. The lake is lowered for flood control 29 feet Nov-April but typically is at the summer pool level (recreation pool) by mid-April. Sutton is a deep steep-sided lake with lots of rock and blow down shoreline trees.  Largemouth will be moving from shallow water spawning locations to deeper water as the water temperatures increase.  Find areas where shallow water with cover is next to deeper water.  Rip rap banks, deeper downwind sides of shallow points, road beds, standing timber as well as trees that have fallen.   Mouths of coves can also be productive springtime bass locations.   Faster moving lures such as plastic worms/flukes, crankbaits and topwater lures work well as temperatures increase.   Post-spawn bass will also be in 10-15 feet of water as temperatures climb.  Smallmouth can be found in rocky shoreline areas near the upper end of lake all the way to the first riffle up the Elk.    Crappie, bluegill, and rockbass (panfish) this time of year is great.  Try beaver huts, blow down trees, creek channels and weedbeds as water temperature increase.  Live bait (minnow on light jig) or small plastic jigs can produce many fish and is a great way to introduce a new angler to the sport of fishing because action can be fast.  The tailwaters of this lake also produce many warmwater gamefish (Smallmouth, walleye, musky and panfish). You may be lucky enough to catch a trout that carried over from the spring trout stockings.   When streams and rivers are high sometimes the tailwaters are the only fishable water with good access and parking. Daily lake and tailwater conditions can be obtained by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at: 304-765-2816.                

Summersville Lake: (U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers) is known for its natural reproducing walleye population, smallmouth bass, and panfish.  The lake is lowered for flood control 77 feet Nov-April but typically is at the summer pool level (recreation pool) by mid- April.  it’s a deep and steep sided lake with lots of rock, blow down shoreline trees, and habitat enhancement structures at various levels.   Walleye will be moving to deeper water (30-60 feet) as summer temperatures set in.  Try a minnow tipped jig or night crawler slow trolled on a bottom bouncer rig.  Trolling small crankbaits are also a very effective method for catching walleye at different depths.  Smallmouth will be moving from shallow water spawning locations to deeper water as the temperatures increase.  Find areas where shallow water with cover is next to deeper water.  Rock drop off banks, deeper downwind sides of shallow points, road beds, as well as habitat structures. Mouths of coves can also be productive summertime bass locations.   Try live crawfish or crawfish imitation lures such as plastic worms/flukes, crankbaits and topwater lures as temperatures increase.   Post-spawn bass will be in 12-25 feet of water as temperatures climb.  Smallmouth can be found throughout the lake in summer. Look for the habitat enhancement structures in Battle Run (entire cove) and McKees Creek (near Marina).  Crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, and rockbass (panfish) this time of year is great.  Try beaver huts, blow down trees, habitat enhancement structures, and shallow coves as water temperature increase.  Live bait (minnow on light jig) or small plastic jigs can produce many fish and is a great way to introduce a new angler to the sport of fishing because action can be fast.  Use sonar/electronics to find groups of fish on your screen as well as habitat enhancement locations that will hold fish.  The tailwaters of this lake is also stocked with trout February-May and contains many warmwater gamefish as well.  When stream and rivers are high sometimes the tailwaters are the only fishable water with good access and parking.   Daily lake and tailwater conditions can be obtained by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at: 304-872-3412.

D3 Rivers/Streams -
The Elk, Gauley, Little Kanawha, Greenbrier, and Buckhannon rivers are good summertime fisheries.  Focus on the Elk and Gauley for big walleye in early summer around tributaries and riffles.  Little Kanawha and Buckhannon are great for musky as the current state record musky came out of the Little Kanawha in spring of 2017.    Smallmouth Bass can be found in all the above rivers and summer time is a productive and totally fun time to fish.   Anglers should target deep pools near shoals and flats, eddies along the bank, fallen timber from the shore boulders or other current breaks.  As the water warms Smallmouth Bass will move from the back of the deep pools to the head of the pools closer to the current.  Spawning will occur in shallow areas with sand, gravel and small rocks.  Popular lures are jigs, tubes, jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and crawfish imitations.

District 3 is trout country so visit WVDNR website for daily stream trout stockings.  The river flows have been great this year and many trout (as well as golds from the Goldrush stockings) still remain in streams.  It is a more peaceful time of year to fish for trout without the big crowds but still plenty of opportunity to catch some fish.   A few streams that are included in this are:   Cranberry, Shavers Fork, and Greenbrier Rivers to name a few.  Please check the website for complete listing.  https://commerce.wv.gov/goldrush

D3 Impoundments -
District 3 has 12 small impoundments scattered around an 8-county region.  Most all of them have good bass populations, channel catfish, and excellent panfish opportunities.  Anglers can find Largemouth Bass around cover in the form of fallen trees, beaver huts, submerged timber, stumps, points, weedmats and riprap.  Several of these impoundments are stocked with trout and surprisingly the warmwater fish populations are often overlooked but can produce bass in the 7 lbs. range.  During the post-spawn find deeper areas near woody structures.  Try soft plastics, crankbaits, and topwater as water temps. warm.   Good population of crappie and bluegills with some larger-than-average-sized fish are found in several small impoundments, most notably Big Ditch and Wallback Lakes.  Find structures like stumps and submerged timber.  Use small jigs, minnow imitations, night crawlers, and wax worms.  Bluegills will move to deeper areas near submerged cover/weeds.

Catchable catfish will be stocked the first week of June in 8 small impoundments: Big Ditch, Camp Caesar, French Creek, Handley, Indian Rock, Seneca, Wallback, and Watoga lakes.

District 4 (Bob Knight, Acting) - 304 256 6947
2006 Robert C Byrd Drive
Beckley, WV 25801

D4 Reservoirs -
Anglers should find largemouth bass around cover in the form of fallen trees, submerged timber, stumps, points, and riprap at Bluestone Lake.  Bass anglers should concentrate their efforts along areas with good structure such as downed timber, rocky drops, or weed beds.  Anglers will find the best topwater action early or late in the evening. During summer months find striped bass in deeper water or where water temperatures are below 68 degrees.  Find deep water cover off of points, humps on the contour of the lakebed, old river channels.  Hybrid and striped bass are schooling fish, so use electronics to find a group of fish on your screen.  Vertical jigging is a good technique during the summer months.  Lipless crankbaits, deep diving crankbaits are also effective.  Trolling is very effective at a speed of two miles per hour and adjust as needed.  Nighttime is the best time to target stripers. Both channel and flathead catfish are abundant in Bluestone.  Use cut bait or live minnows for channels and live bait for flatheads. Good crappie fishing is available and anglers should concentrate on grass flats and submerged timber.

Find spotted bass around deep rocky breaks, points, humps on the lake bottom, suspended around deep timber and bluff walls at R.D. Bailey Lake. Popular lures include crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, jigs, swimbaits and tubes. During summer months find striped bass in deeper water or where water temperatures are below 68 degrees.  Find deep water cover off points, and humps on the contour of the lakebed, old river channels.  Hybrid and striped bass are schooling fish, so use electronics to find a group of fish on your screen.  Vertical jigging is a good technique during the summer months. Channel, flatheads, and blue catfish are available. Fatheads and blues will be in deeper water and live bait works best while channel catfish can be caught on cut bait. 

D4 Rivers/Streams -
Smallmouth Bass can be found in deep pools near shoals and flats, eddies along the bank, fallen timber from the shore, behind boulders or other current breaks.  Popular lures are jigs, tubes, jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and crawfish imitations.

D4 Impoundments -

There are approximately 18 small impoundments in District 4 in the Southeastern portion of WV. They are great places to fish for bass, bluegill, and catfish. Find largemouth bass around cover in the form of fallen trees, submerged timber, stumps, points, vegetation and riprap.  Bluegills will be around structures like stumps and submerged timber.  Some lakes are stocked with trout and will still be available even after the stocking ends.

District 5 (Jeff Hansbarger, Steven Hincks) - 304 756 1023
50 Rocky Branch Rd.
Alum Creek, WV 25003

D5 Reservoirs –
Largemouth Bass begin their post spawn period as summer progresses into June. Largemouth Bass begin to change their habits and to stage at various parts of the water column, depending on structure, cover and forage availability. The larger impoundments in the District are East Lynn and Beech Fork Reservoirs, both located in Wayne County. These reservoirs have large numbers of Largemouth Bass. Many shoreline trees have been cut and anchored as fish attractors by the WVDNR at Beech Fork Reservoir to provide more habitat for forage species, as well as ambush cover for game species. Areas with felled trees are marked with signage and can be easily targeted by anglers. GPS points for these habitat structures are posted at www.mapwv.gov. Shoreline trees are scheduled to be cut and anchored this summer as well at East Lynn.

When fishing for Largemouth Bass in East Lynn this summer target areas where the shad are concentrated. East Lynn has a large shad population, an important composition of the Largemouth Bass diet. This is the time to use a drop shot or small swimbait to mimic shad and reach the correct depth of the water column. When surface water temperatures are lower, in the morning and evening hours, the shad will move closer to the surface and differing methods can be used. Try various techniques, usually a fast(er) retrieve is warranted in the summer due to fish’s higher metabolism. One can also cover more water with searching baits in the summer, a great technique to try to find active fish. Target aforementioned areas, and for best results always attempt to “match the hatch”. In other words, mimic the size and forage species that the bass are feeding on at the time. Be aware of change in the substrate of the shoreline. The change from large rock to more pea-sized gravel on the shore will most likely continue into the water, this change in substrate will attract both forage and game species.


While searching for a pattern, a more aggressive approach can be used to target where Largemouth Bass may be staging at that time. Classic “bird dog” baits such as willow leaf spinner baits, buzz baits, top water baits, jerk baits and lipless crank baits can be very affective to cover good amounts of water during this time of the year. Once the fish have been located and a pattern has been established, anglers can zero in on a more concentrated approach of finesse fish these active areas of the reservoirs. Once a pattern is established, it should produce results with similar baits in similar areas of the reservoirs. Weightless worms, shaky head worms, wacky rigged baits, tubes and grubs are good examples of baits used in a finesse technique that can entice a Largemouth Bass to strike. These methods are extremely effective around brush piles, downed logs, rock piles and weed lines. Above all else, also remember WV lakes/reservoirs stratify in the summer. This means a thermocline forms, which below there is no oxygen to sustain life and fish. In the summer at East Lynn for example the thermocline sets up usually 7-9 feet below the surface. During the summer months fish will only be found above this depth and will concentrate on the thermocline due to it being the deepest/coldest part of the lake/reservoir with oxygen still available. Finally, as summer boating pressure increases, a good strategy is to fish at night and or concentrate your fishing at dawn and dusk.

Muskie fishing is at its peak during early June at East Lynn. Fast moving lures such as double-bladed spinners, large spinnerbaits and even surface lures like large ‘whopper ploppers’ are excellent choices to cover water and find aggressive fish. Many like to troll using large crankbaits. Muskies are moving and feeding a lot due to high preferred temperature levels in the summer. Once water temperatures reach 80 and above in the am by mid to late June, it might be time to take care of some ‘honey-do’s’ and fish later in the summer/fall for these magnificent fish. Despite swimming off, muskellunge which are considered ‘coolwater fish’ sometimes exert themselves so much they die during high temperature level encounters (80°F and above) with anglers – after the encounter. Be sure to take care in releasing muskies (and all fish), especially during summer months. Most gamefish in WV are caught multiple times in a year, if not for successful catch and release this would not happen.

D5 Navigable Rivers -
Summer is a great time to target catfish in the Ohio and Kanawha rivers. June is the spawning month of all three main species (blues, flatheads, channels). They are very active at this time due to their search for cavities to spawn if needed (flatheads, channels), food, and to find mates. Many tourneys take place on the Ohio River throughout summer months. If interested search Facebook and social media for contacts. Numerous catfish clubs also exist in the Kanawha Valley and other locations. Try live bait (skipjack preferred), or freshly cut for blues and flatheads. Channel catfish bite well on cut bait, and various commercially produced catfish baits. These offerings can all be fished under a bobber or with a river rig on the bottom.

Bass fishing is OK on the Ohio River, high flows and muddy water have made it difficult to find an established pattern this spring/summer to date. Numerous tournaments take place on the nav rivers in the summer, one can usually easily find info on social media if interested in participating. Try faster moving baits early and late that make a lot of noise during summer months – buzz baits, skitter pops, tiny torpedos, and even the tried and true jitterbug is a great lure to try under low light and night conditions. At other times of the day nav river bass anglers find success using sot plastics, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits to search embayments, and backwater areas. All fish will concentrate below the locks and dams along the Ohio and Kanawha during summer months. This is due to the oxygen that is injected into the water as it churns through the turbines and locks. At higher water temperature levels water does not hold oxygen like colder water does, hence fish’s affinity for the area below locks and dams. Also, any current break, rock, or other structure that ‘churns’ the water offers a resting and feeding area for gamefish, target these areas also. Hybrid anglers especially find success now close to the locks and dams using silver/white imitations that match baitfish. Mann’s little George or other jigging blade baits work well in these deep swift waters for hybrids. Roostertails and mepps are also great choices for fishing below locks due to how they imitate baitfish. Be sure to’’ match the hatch’ – with blade color, hook dressing and size.

D5 River/Streams -
Summer is prime time to float fish or wade on WV rivers. Many access points exist along various D5 rivers including the Guyandotte, Coal, and Elk rivers. Public access sites (PASs) can be easily found on our website using our fishing/hunting/mapping tool. Also, by knocking on a door and asking nicely many private landowners will allow access. When floating always use a life jacket of PFD and have one for everyone who is floating. Think safety, leave contact info and schedule with friends or loved ones, and recon water prior to going so you don’t get over your head so to speak when floating. Lure selections include small(er) crankbaits, jerkbaits, surface lures, and soft plastics. One needs to basically cover the surface, mid-depth, and bottom on our generally shallow rivers/streams. Try various favorite baits until you develop a pattern that you can continue to use throughout the day. Sometimes before the day is over you need to find a new ‘pattern’, to continue to enjoy success. Be ready to try new lures or different techniques if your success drops off. Another tip is to carry some new or unproven lures in unproven colors to try out. On our highly pressured waters, the angler that is quick to use new techniques and lure varieties many times are the most successful. Rod selections include personal preference. Usually two rods rigged and carried - one with a fast-moving bait and the other with a throw back lure such as a fluke or other soft plastic is a great way to start. During low(er) flows downsize your offerings as well. Conversely if the water rises or becomes cloudy, use larger brighter lures with a bigger ‘thump’ that the fish can pick up on. A chartreuse, orange, white, or black spinner in a larger size is a great bait when water is up and slightly stained. Reel slow and methodical over cover and behind rocks and structure where fish may hold to get out of the main current.

Muskie fishing is at its peak during early June. Fast moving lures such as double-bladed spinners and even surface lures like large ‘whopper ploppers’ are excellent choices to cover water and find aggressive fish. Muskies are moving and feeding a lot due to high preferred temperature levels in the summer. Once water temperatures reach 80 and above in the am by mid to late June, it might be time to take care of some ‘honey-do’s’ and fish later in the summer/fall for these magnificent fish. Despite swimming off many muskellunge which are considered ‘coolwater fish’ exert themselves so much they die during high temperature level encounters (80°F and above) with anglers after the encounter. Be sure to take care in releasing muskies (and all fish), especially during summer months. Most gamefish in WV are caught multiple times in a year, if not for successful catch and release, this would not happen. On the flip side don’t be afraid if floating overnight or if you desire to keep a few for the frying pan based on current WVDNR regs. A meal of fish cooked up streamside with friends or family during a fishing trip is a magnificent way to enjoy the overall trip!

D5 Small Impoundments -
Summer means atfishing’ on WV small impoundments. Most all WV impoundments receive channel catfish fingerlings annually. Numerous D5 impoundments will also be stocked with catchable sized channel catfish prior to free fishing weekend, June 8-9. These include Hurricane (Putnam), Laurel Lake (Mingo), Chief Logan Lake SP Pond (Logan), Rockhouse (Logan), Krodel (Mason), Coonskin (Kanawha), Lick Creek Pond (Wayne), Millers Fork Pond (Wayne), and Pettigrew (Kanawha). This is done to promote fishing, and to encourage others to take a young person, or someone who is not as fortunate and get them started fishing. For these whiskered fish try a gob of nightcrawlers, chicken liver, soap(!), or one of the varieties of catfish baits offered at fishing stores. One can also make some good homemade baits. Anything that ‘stinks’ can be easily found by catfish. Hot dogs soaked in anise (licorice) or strawberry Jell-O are a good bait for channel catfish. Try these various offerings under a bobber, or on the bottom using a basic river rig set-up. Be aware that in most reservoirs or impoundments, a thermocline sets up in the summer. This means fish will not be found below a certain depth due to the ability for light to penetrate and warm the waters, promoting life. Below this depth, will be cold, and devoid of fish during summer months. Be sure to not fish ‘too deep’ in the summer that you are below the fish! Catfish bite best under low-light or at night. Be sure to check the current regulations to determine if your favorite impoundment allows night fishing.

Summer is also a great time to target small impoundments for bass and bluegill. Try carrying a variety of lures to cover the surface, mid depth region, and bottom. Learn about what the local forage is, and match that with your lure selection/color. Small buzz baits and surface lures work well early and late. At other times try your favorite lures and see what works best. Experiment with new lures and techniques when available. A difficult lure to beat on small impoundments is the tried and true rapala minnow lure. Try various sizes and colors until you find your favorite, although the traditional gold or silver back in J7 and J9 sizes are hard to beat for bass.

District 6 (Nate Taylor, Acting) – 304-420-4550
2311 Ohio Avenue
Parkersburg, WV 26101

D6 Navigable Rivers -
Hybrid Striped Bass congregate in tailwaters and creek mouths during the warmest parts of the summer. Large individuals appear to be attracted to the whitewater created from the gates and hydropower outflows. Experienced tailwater anglers often use surfcasting rods and weighted bobbers to get their baits into these areas. Topwater baits, spoons, spinners, and jigs are popular options for this technique. White Bass and smaller Hybrids can be picky about bait size during this time of the year. If you see active fish on the surface, but are not getting bites, try downsizing your offering.

Walleye and Sauger have generally moved out of tailwater areas during summer; however, a few remain year-round. Concentrate on deep drop offs, stream confluences and embayments to catch these species. Low light and night fishing are most effective for these nocturnal predators. Their large eyes give them great night vision.

Catfishing is a great summertime angling opportunity. The best fishing for these species is at night. Bottom fish eddies, targeting outside bends, creek mouths, or tailwaters. Popular Channel and Blue Catfish baits include dough baits, chicken livers, worms, shrimp, and cut fish. Live Gizzard Shad or Bluegill are the preferred bait for large Blue and Flathead Catfish.      

D6 Rivers/Streams -
Fishing for Muskellunge has been good during recent summers. Hot spots this time of year include areas both upstream and downstream of fast-moving water, and along downed trees. Bucktails and crankbaits are useful in covering water to efficiently locate active fish, but slower baits may be what makes a fish commit. Don’t rule out fishing at night. High water temperatures push Muskies’ metabolisms to their upper limits. If you plan on releasing your catch, be mindful not to over-exert the fish while fighting, and plan on leaving the fish in the water during the unhooking process.

D6 Impoundments -
Summertime is an excellent time to go after Largemouth Bass in our impoundments. There are countless techniques to catch these fish. If fish are being stubborn, be sure to try working brushy shorelines with weightless worms, flipping jigs into weed beds and cranking deep underwater structures such as points, humps or cut-ins. Our four main impoundments, North Bend, Elk Fork, O’Brien, and Woodrum lakes all offer bass populations that meet or exceed some of West Virginia’s more famous fisheries. Elk Fork Lake has the highest total density (bass per acre) of the four and O’Brien has the highest density of large fish, with more than a few sizable bass possible in a day.

Panfish offer great summertime fishing opportunities for all ages. Nearly every area waterbody holds populations of Bluegill. During recent surveys, Conaway Run Lake (Tyler) and Woodrum Lake (Jackson) stand out as exceptional Bluegill fisheries. Even large fish have small mouths compared to their size, making hook selection important. Make sure to use a hook with a small gap to fit their mouths, and a long shank to allow easy removal. For bait, meal and wax worms or bits of shrimp are especially effective. Fish with as little weight as possible to allow a natural drop. Bobbers are great for beginners but are not always necessary. Artificials such as trout jigs, small spinners and micro crankbaits are also worth a try. Tiny topwater poppers and dry flies offer great sport. In clear conditions, the smaller the artificial, the better.

Crappie fishing is very popular in our small impoundments. These fish are usually found suspended tight to brush piles and other woody cover. Small jigs are the preferred way to fish for these predators. Fish can be very deep. Counting down your jig to find the correct depth is a great way to consistently pull fish out of cover.  North Bend Lake (Ritchie) and Woodrum Lake (Jackson) are known to be hotspots for White Crappie in District 6.

This is also a good time to fish for Channel Catfish in area waters.  Night crawlers, chicken liver, or prepared catfish baits fished along the bottom is the tried and true method.  Adult Channel Catfish are stocked into several area lakes.  These include Conaway Run Lake (Tyler); Cedar Creek State Park Lake (Gilmer); Moutwood Lake (Wood); North Bend State Park Pond (Ritchie), Turkey Run Lake (Jackson), and the Wirt County Pond.  Also, slower moving, muddy waters found in the upper potions of lakes following rain events are great places to find active Channel Catfish.

 


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