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Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon
March 5, 2014
BEECH FORK – Anglers should call the Beech Fork Corps of Engineers office at 304-525-4831 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/bbfns.htm for information and current lake levels. The lake is currently at winter pool, no current fishing reports available. The tailwater was stocked with trout on February 21.
BLUESTONE – During the winter season, anglers should fish slowly and methodically. Fish will still feed but have a slower metabolism. A few bass are being caught off rocky points using live minnows. Anglers should look for points that have some cover such as stumps, logs, or ledges. Some hybrid striped bass may be caught using large chubs. Anglers should try spots such as at the mouth of the Bluestone Arm or near the dam. With any warm, stable weather, fish may become more active. Try to pick a day that is bright and sunny which warms up areas of the lake, especially dark or mud banks. A few degrees can make a difference! Right now the tailwaters are high and unfishable with more rain expected. Anglers should be careful wading this time of year due to the cold water and slippery conditions. Wear your personal flotation devices at ALL times!
BURNSVILLE – The lake is at winter pool and frozen in areas. You may be able to fish by the weekend if ice melts. Trout still remain in the tailwaters. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-853-2398 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/busns.htm .
EAST LYNN – For information on current lake levels call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-849-9861 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/eltns.htm . The lake is currently at winter drawdown level. Anglers need to be aware that from February 14 through April 1, 2014, East Lynn Lake will be drawn down an additional 5 ft. to allow work to be completed on bridge pilings near the campground. This will make all access to the lake inoperable during this time period. We are sorry for this inconvenience during this time period. The tailwater was stocked with trout on February 21.
R.D. BAILEY – During the winter season, fish are still active but have a slower metabolism, so anglers should fish slowly and methodically. Spotted bass are hitting plastic jigs in crawfish colors. The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with points another good spot to try. Walleye are starting to be creeled by local anglers. Best places to try are along the shallow clay flats either early or late. As the year progresses, the walleyes will be moving up the river to begin spawning. Best baits are jigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers. With any warm, stable weather, fish may become more active. Try to pick a day that is bright and sunny which warms up areas of the lake, especially dark or mud banks. A few degrees can make a difference!
STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is at normal pool and frozen. You may be able to fish by the weekend if ice melts.
STONEWALL JACKSON – The lake is at winter pool and frozen in areas. You may be able to fish by the weekend if ice melts. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.
SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is at winter pool and frozen in areas. You may be able to fish by the weekend if ice melts. The tailwaters were stocked with trout on 2/12/14. Flows have been high in the tailwaters and lots of trout still remain from the fall. For more information contact the Corps of Engineers at 304-872-3412 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/sugns.htm .
SUTTON – The lake is at winter pool and frozen in areas. You may be able to fish by the weekend if ice melts. The tailwaters were stocked on 10/16/13. Before heading to the lake please call Corps of Engineers at 304-765-2705 and go to http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/suens.htm .
TYGART LAKE – The lake is about 50 feet below the summer level and ice-covered. It is unsafe to ice-fish because the level fluctuates under the ice.
There are a lot of walleye in the tailwater. This is one of the few places with open fishing water now. Walleye fishing is best during higher flows (1,500 to 5,000 cubic feet per second) and trout fishing is best at low flows (less than 1,000 cubic feet per second). Call the Corps of Engineers telephone hotline at 304-265-5953 for daily lake and tailwater conditions.
NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters) – There may be some fishing opportunities in tailwaters and at heated discharges. Boat ramps are ice covered and unusable.
MONONGAHELA RIVER – There may be some fishing opportunities in tailwaters and at heated discharges. Boat ramps are ice covered and unusable.
CHEAT LAKE – The lake is ice-covered and unsafe to fish. The tailwater is fishable.
South Branch and Cacapon Rivers - Streams and rivers throughout the eastern panhandle are high but the water has become clear. Stream temperatures have dropped to the lower 30’s but should rise over the weekend. Some anglers have reported catches of smallmouth bass especially on the warmer days. Citation smallmouth bass have been reported from the South Branch over the past couple weeks. Biological surveys indicate that smallmouth bass are schooled in eddies and female fish are feeding more than the males at this time. Spring trout stocking season is underway and many streams have been stocked with trout. Check the new 2014 fishing regulations to see if your favorite stream is on the list and get daily stocking information on the web at www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm . Don’t forget to purchase your new 2014 fishing and hunting license.
Shenandoah River - Flows in the Shenandoah River are high but will be dropping to a good fishable condition by the weekend. Fishing plastics near the head of pools around the bedrock ledges and in the eddy’s is always a good winter strategy.
North Branch River - Flows in the North Branch are currently 350 cfs and project to remain between 350 and 500 for the next several days. Whitewater events will begin in April, so keep checking the Corp or Engineers webpage for specifics or schedule changes. Flows in the North Branch can be monitored by watching the USGS stream gages or the Jennings Randolph website (http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/northBranch.html).
Small Impoundments – Small impoundments are frozen but not thick enough for ice fishing in most locations. Ice will likely melt at some locations over the weekend and provide open water for fishing. Bass and bluegill have moved to deeper water and some small impoundments have received trout stockings. Check the new 2014 fishing regulations to determine if your favorite water was scheduled to receive trout stocking. Don’t forget to purchase your new 2014 fishing and hunting license.
Jennings Randolph Lake - Jennings Randolph Lake is currently 12 feet below conservation pool and rising. The WV ramp is closed for the winter season so boaters will need to launch from the MD ramp. Jennings Randolph Lake has a dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information (304) 355-2890. Recreational information can also be found at http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/DamsRecreation/JenningsRandolphLake.aspx
Mt. Storm Lake - Anglers at Mount Storm Lake should target striped bass, black bass and walleye. Fish can be caught throughout the lake but many anglers do well fishing with chicken livers near the discharges. Anglers have been reporting good catches of striped bass. Mount Storm Lake provides a unique winter fishing opportunity since it does not freeze.
CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
Water levels are high and milky. If you are looking for a place to go, please check the fishing regulations and the WVDNR website for a list of public access sites or call your local WVDNR district office for some advice and a place to fish. Don’t forget to buy your 2014 fishing license. The trout stocking is underway with a few waters stocked, but it has been difficult with the snow. The Williams River, Shavers Fork, Glady and Watoga Lake to name a few. Check the DNR webpage for statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information, www.wvdnr.gov.
SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
The New and Greenbrier rivers are high and off color right now with more rain expected so fishing may be slow there. Sometimes high water improves the fishing at Kanawha Falls so anglers may also want to try their luck there for musky or walleye (use big chubs for bait) or lake anglers can find some excellent bass fishing at Plum Orchard and Stephens lakes. Best baits are plastic worms fished slowly along the bottom, spinnerbaits are also good choices. Anglers should call ahead to make sure that the ramps are not iced over.
SOUTHWESTERN WEST VIRGINIA
Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers – No current fishing reports.
Guyandotte, Coal, Poca, Elk and Mud rivers – A few reports from hardy winter anglers targeting muskies, but no other fish reports. Slow moving large soft plastics and glide baits are producing.
Small Impoundments –Trout stocking for 2014 has begun check the hotline (304-558-3399) or check online to see if your favorite waters have been stocked. Bad weather has delayed recent stockings. Recently stocked D5 waters include Wayne Dam, Lick Creek Pond and Rockhouse Lake. Paste type baits, salmon eggs in varying colors, and live bait have all been producing for early season trout anglers. Be very careful around water at this time of the year. Hypothermia is a serious threat and should not be taken lightly. Be safe and have fun!
Rivers and Streams – Check the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) for river/stream conditions and check local landings visually before wasting a trip.
WEST-CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
Trout have been stocked into several lakes throughout the area; these include Rollins and Turkey Run lakes in Jackson County, Tracy Lake and Pennsboro Water Supply Reservoir in Ritchie County, Mountwood Park Lake in Wood County, and Cedar Creek State Park Ponds in Gilmer County, and Mile Tree Lake in Roane County. In February, Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County received trout and Rollins and Mountwood lakes received their second stockings. Check the Daily Trout Stocking report for the latest at (304) 558-3399 or on the web at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Stocking/DailyStock.shtm. This information is updated daily at 4:00 p.m., January through May. Trout anglers can use a variety of baits including small worms, mealworms, salmon eggs, cheese, or trout power bait. Lakes may be frozen, and anglers should use caution before venturing out upon frozen lakes. Four inches of new clear ice is the minimum thickness for travel on foot, however there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice! When lakes are not frozen, small spinners, Joe type flies and trout magnets also work well.
Winter is an excellent time to fish Ohio River tailwaters, and sauger fishing has been red hot this winter! Anglers fishing below the Belleville dam are catching sauger, walleye, and a few other species. Riggs using suspended minnows or lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuses), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice. When the river is running high and muddy, clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows. Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections and anywhere that river flows are unusually slow. Warm water discharges associated with industrial facilities hold fish in the winter along the Ohio River. Best bet for lures here include crank baits and rubber jigs. Expect to catch white bass, hybrid striped bass and a few other species at these hot spots. 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.
Winter fishing for largemouth bass can be good during warm sunny days in area lakes. Slowly fished rubber worms or jig-and-pig combos are good terminal tackle choices. Area lakes with good winter bass 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 and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County.
Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend. Winter musky anglers use medium to large lures, and they concentrate their fishing efforts around brush piles or other areas of good cover. Middle Island Creek, the major streams in the Hughes River system, and the Little Kanawha River are good area musky water.
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