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West Virginia Fishing Report

Fishing reports for the entire United States coastline and freshwater systems.

West Virginia Fishing Report

Postby troutfisher » Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:55 pm

I'd like to report on the fishing for West Virginia for anyone interested.

Weekly Fishing Report -- Updated every Wednesday afternoon

November 14, 2007


BEECH FORK – Lake is currently being drawn down to winter pool and will continue through the month. For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-525-5092. Fishing is picking up again for all species with decreasing temperature levels. Catches of all species reported.

BLUESTONE – Fishing on the lake has been good. Bass anglers should try around deeper structure such as rocky points or downed trees using small crankbaits, or spinnerbaits. Although, plastics and live bait are probably the top producing baits. With the cooler nights we are now experiencing, anglers should see the bites really beginning to pick up as the water temperature falls. Channel and flathead catfish are still producing some on the lake. Anglers wanting to catch the whiskered ones should try drifting with live bait such as softshell crayfish, hellgrammites, or nightcrawlers. Chicken liver are also good. When you catch one, simply motor back up and drift through the hole again or anchor. Flatheads prefer live bait such as large chubs or a live sunfish. Crap, hybrid stripers and smallmouth bass are hitting in the tailwaters with best baits being corn, chartreuse jigs and plastic jigs.

BURNSVILLE – The lake is approximately six feet below summer pool, clear and fishing has been good this week. Bass have moved off in deeper water. Fishing in the evenings or early mornings is the most productive this time of year. Crappie have been hitting minnows around fish attractors. Anglers are reporting some nice catches of flathead catfish on live bait. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-853-2398.

EAST LYNN - Lake is approximately two feet below summer pool with a surface temperature of 60 degrees. For more information call the Corps of Engineers recorded message at 304-849-9861. Fall drawdown is ongoing and will last through the month. Fishing is picking up again for all species with decreasing temperature levels. Reports of catfish, saugeye, carp, and some nice crappie being caught in the tailrace.

R.D. BAILEY – Fishing on the lake is good. Some large spotted bass may be caught. Some of the largest spotted bass in West Virginia are found in R.D. Bailey Lake. The spotted bass will be found along the rocky drops with clay points another good spot to try. Good baits are plastic jigs, live shad or crayfish. These bass can be found moving into shallower water to feed now that the nights are getting cooler and the water temperature is dropping. Anglers should see the bite picking up for most species as the water temperature falls. Hybrid striped bass feed on shad so anglers should watch for any schools of shad because the hybrid will usually be nearby. Best baits are lures such as rattletraps, spoons or white/chartreuse jigs. Anglers may also want to try chicken liver for this hard fighting fish. The lake also has a good walleye population and anglers can expect to catch this fine eating fish along clay points or rocky drops. Best bait is probably live minnows or jigs.

STONECOAL LAKE – The lake is five feet below summer pool, clear, and fishing has been good. Trout fishing has slowed. Bass have been caught in 10 to 15 feet of water. Crappie and bluegill are hitting minnows around fish attractors. A few catfish have been caught in the evenings.

STONEWALL JACKSON – The lake is approximately five feet below summer pool, clear and fishing has been good. Bass have moved off in deeper water. Fishing in the evenings or early mornings is the most productive this time of year. Crappie have been hitting minnows around beaver huts. A few nice catfish have also been caught in the evenings. Bluegill are being caught on worms throughout the lake around structure. Yellow perch and crappie are being caught on live bait. For more information contact Corps of Engineers at 304-269-7463.

SUMMERSVILLE – The lake is approximately 36 feet below summer pool, clear and fishing has been good. Fishing is good for bass. Fishing in the evenings or early mornings is the most productive this time of year. Walleye have also been caught off of rock points in about 20 feet of water. Brood trout were stocked in the tailwaters on October 17. If you are looking for a back country trout fishing experience hike down in and enjoy. For more information call Corps of Engineers at 304-872-5809.

SUTTON – The lake is approximately 15 feet below summer pool and clear. Fishing is fair. Fishing in the evenings or early mornings is the most productive this time of year. Bass are in about 10 to 15 feet of water. Crappie have been hitting minnows around beaver huts and blown down trees. The tailwaters are clear. The tailwaters were stocked with trout on October 17. For daily information call Corps of Engineers at 304-765-2705.

TYGART LAKE – The lake is approximately 35 feet below the summer level and falling slowly. Walleye are being caught using minnows or nightcrawlers on jigs at depths of 30 to 40 feet. The water is clear and most fish will hold offshore in 20 to 30 feet of water during the day. At night fish will move into shore to feed on crayfish that are concentrated because of the falling water level. White bass are concentrating in the upper part of the lake above Sandy Creek. Spinners, crankbaits and casting spoons are good baits for white bass. Fish the shoreline with crankbaits or tube jigs for largemouth or smallmouth bass. The lake has a good population of large channel catfish that can be caught using chicken liver at night. The Doe Run sub-impoundment on the Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area north of Philippi is a convenient and safe place for bank anglers and their families.

The tailwater temperature is 54 degrees. 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 hotline at 265-5953 for the current lake level and tailwater conditions.


OHIO RIVER (New Cumberland, Pike Island, and Hannibal pools and tailwaters): Fish are in their fall feeding pattern and fishing in all the tailwaters is very good. These are the best areas on the river to fish since most species of fish will be concentrated in these areas. The most convenient tailwater is the Hannibal Lock and Dam tailwater at New Martinsville. Picnic and restroom facilities make this a good place to bring the family. Channel catfish and hybrid striped bass can be caught using cut bait or minnows throughout the day and night. 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 will also be productive. White or chartreuse are good colors. Hybrid striped bass will also move in and out of the tailwaters and can be caught using large crankbaits. Look for hybrids breaking the water on the surface as they chase baitfish.

MONONGAHELA RIVER – The river is at a normal fall level and the fishing is good. Shoreline anglers have several good areas to fish: the mouth of Buffalo and Paw Paw creeks in Marion County; and the mouths of Whiteday and Deckers creek in Monongalia County. The Star City boat ramp and handicap pier is a good place for carp and large drum. Drum up to 10 pounds can also be caught from the Morgantown tailwater using nightcrawlers. This is also a good place for channel catfish with chicken liver being the preferred bait. White bass and hybrids will also move in and out of the tailwater and can be caught with casting spoons or shad colored crankbaits. Sauger and walleye are always attracted to the currents in the tailwaters of the locks and dams. Start fishing for sauger and walleye about an hour before sunset because they will begin feeding at dusk. Jigs with minnows are particularly good baits but 3-inch plastic grubs will also be productive. White or chartreuse are good colors. Warm water discharges at the Rivesville and Morgantown power plants attract fish because of the temperature differential. A pier at the Morgantown plant makes fishing safe and convenient. Largemouth bass anglers should concentrate on the weed beds between the Star City ramp and the Pennsylvania State Line, particularly around the mouth of West Run.

CHEAT LAKE – BOATERS NOTE: The winter boat ramp at Cheat Lake Park is now open. The Sunset Beach ramp cannot be used when the lake elevation is below 865.

A recent fishery survey produced numerous 2 to 3 pound channel catfish, large pumpkinseed sunfish, smallmouth bass, and 12 to 16-inch walleye. Fish are feeding activity as they establish winter patterns. Yellow perch can be caught trolling at depths of 10 to 15-feet using minnows or worms on plain hooks with split shot. Try the area between the I-64 and Ices Ferry bridges, or the shoreline immediately downstream of Sunset Beach. Channel catfish can be caught all winter from the I-68 bridge to Cheat Lake Park by shore anglers. Look for walleye throughout the main lake. Keep track of the lake elevation and predicted daily changes in elevation on the Cheat Lake website at

Try the tailwater fishing pier for walleye, sauger and many other species. The pier is located entirely in West Virginia about 25 minutes from Morgantown, but you have to drive from, and park in Pennsylvania to get there. Take U.S. Rt. 119 from Morgantown to Point Marion, PA, turn right after crossing the Cheat River and proceed 4 miles to Cheat Dam. The pier is lighted for night fishing and is handicapped accessible.


South Branch and Cacapon Rivers

Flows in local streams and rivers are extremely clear and flows are below normal. The South Branch and Cacapon may be difficult to float in some sections. Water temperatures are currently in the upper 40’s and 50’s so use slow moving plastics. Many smallmouth bass in the South Branch have been tagged as part of a fish movement and fish health study. If you catch a tagged fish please clip off the tag and return it to DNR for a reward.

Fall trout stocking is complete and many eastern panhandle streams as well as Rock Cliff Lake and Brandywine Lake have been stocked. Check the 2007 fish regulations to determine if your favorite stream will receive fall trout stockings.

North Branch River

The flows in the North Branch are near 200 cfs and in excellent condition for wade fishing. Anglers are catching trout in all sections of the river.

Small Impoundments

Small impoundments are clear and in excellent fishing condition. Bass and bluegill are actively feeding and anglers have reported bluegill catches between 1 and 1.5 pounds in some impoundments. Adult channel catfish were stocked at South Mill Creek Lake and Cacapon Park Lake earlier in the summer and lots of fish remain. Adult channel catfish are typically between 18 and 22 inches.

Jennings Randolph Lake

Jennings Randolph Lake is currently 38 feet below conservation pool. The boat launch on the West Virginia side is now closed for the winter. If you have purchased a seasonal pass for the West Virginia ramp don’t forget that the pass is also valid on the Maryland ramp which is still open. Smallmouth bass have been actively feeding particularly around structure and with numerous reports of smallmouth in the 3-4 pound range. Try crankbaits for smallmouth just before dark. Anglers are also catching trout on a variety of baits. Several anglers have been successful catching walleye throughout the lake but most are just under the minimal size limit. Jennings Randolph Lake has a new dedicated phone line for up-to-date recreational information (304) 355-2890. Recreational information can also be found at ... ecinfo.htm.

Mt. Storm Lake

Anglers fishing at Mt. Storm are still having good success. Anglers are still doing extremely well catching hybrid striped bass and lots of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Recent bass tournaments had catch rates well above the state average and bass caught in tournaments are averaging 1.5 pounds. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are actively feeding in the near shore areas and crankbaits over rocky substrate has been effective.


Water levels are on the rise due to recent rains. The fall trout stocking has been completed. The Buckhannon River, Spruce Knob and the Elk were stocked, along with many others. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good on area rivers. Please take a kid fishing this weekend and have fun. Check the DNR webpage for statewide trout stockings and updated fishing information. (


The New and Greenbrier rivers are continuing to provide some good fishing for smallmouth bass. The fall season is always great fishing and great scenery too. Reports of some large bass have come in from the Catch-and-Release section on the New River. This section is from the I-64 bridge downstream to the take-out at the Grandview Sandbar. Anglers should try plastic jigs fished slowly along the bottom. Spots below or above shoals are good spots to try. Southern West Virginia is blessed with many small impoundments that have good fish populations. Waters such s Plum Orchard, Stephens, and Pipestem lakes have excellent largemouth bass populations. Anglers need to get out on the water before the bite slows in the colder weather to come.


Lower Ohio and Kanawha rivers – Fishing is good along the navigable rivers and their locks. Try white jigs, streamers, and live bait suspended under bobbers for hybrids, walleye, sauger and other gamefish. Due to their affinity for cooler water, this is a great time to try for walleye and sauger. Additionally smallmouth and walleye have been caught by anglers using various techniques. Try your favorite or try something new. Rapala, Cotton Cordell, Smithwick, and Reef Runner all have a variety of new baits made for walleye fishing (see the May 07 In-Fisherman issue or their website for more details.

Guyandotte and Coal rivers – Reports of catches of bass, and catfish from multiple locations on the Coal and Guyandotte. Target any woody structure you can find for big flatheads.

Poca River – No current reports.

Elk River – Reports of bass, catfish and a few muskie hooked below Clendenin.

Mud River – No current reports.

Small Impoundments – Fishing is good right now due to fall temperature levels but concentrate your efforts during the warmer parts of the day for greater success. Try your favorite lures and bait for bass and bluegill. Bluegill in our small impoundments also offer a great opportunity to introduce a young angler to fishing during the summer. Use a bobber and wigglers or small pieces of nightcrawlers. Catfish can be caught on liver, a gob of crawlers, or cut bait.

Reservoirs – Check the USACOE website ( and the USGS website ( for reservoir and tailrace conditions. With decreasing water temperature levels all species will become active again and can be caught under most conditions. Remember, fish are cold-blooded and will react accordingly to environmental conditions. Wise anglers will keep this in mind with the upcoming change of seasons to be consistently successful. For example early in the a.m. fish areas warmed first by the sun for bass and other species. As the overall temperature levels rise and the sun gets high in the sky, choose shaded or deeper habitat. Fishing now is a time of transition, for the angler and for most species of gamefish. Also, the drawdown itself can greatly impact fishing for all species. Once the water drops and stabilizes, fishing usually picks back up again.

Rivers and Streams – Check the USGS website ( for river/stream conditions and check local landings visually before wasting a trip. Due to cooler temperatures concentrate your efforts during the warmer periods of the day. A warmer than usual overcast day is a great day to go during this period. Fish slow, be patient, and use your favorite baits and lures. Large bucktails and mepps muskie killers are excellent for muskie as are rigged suckers for those that prefer bait. In many small tackle shops one may purchase a card with an internal rig and a matching needle used to thread the rig into a minnow. These are deadly on many gamefish! Give them a try, especially during higher flows after a brief rainstorm. For catfish use stink baits and cut baits for channels, and live bait and/or fresh cut bait for flatheads.


Now is the time to be thinking about combining fishing with your up coming deer hunting trip. The West-Central part of West Virginia offers a variety of opportunities for this combination. Musky streams are expected to be fishable this weekend and excellent musky populations can be found in the following waters: The Little Kanawha River, The Hughes River and its major Forks, Middle Island Creek, and Mill and Sandy Creeks in Jackson County. Fall musky anglers use large crankbaits or jerkbaits and riffle areas are hot spots.

Anglers seeking bass after the hunt also have many choices of water to consider. Conaway Run Lake in Tyler County, North Bend, Tracy and Pennsboro lakes in Ritchie County, Mountwood Lake in Wood County, Charles Fork Lake in Roane County and Elk Fork, Woodrum and O’Brien lakes in Jackson County all have excellent largemouth bass populations. Slowly fished bass lures are the baits of choice this time of the year.

Deer hunters along the Ohio River also have great opportunities for the combination. The fall is an excellent time to fish Ohio river tailwaters. Anglers fishing below the Belleville and Willow Island dams are catching sauger, walleye, hybrid striped bass, and a few other species. Lead headed jigs with twister tails (white or chartreuse), which are fished along the bottom, are the lure of choice. Clever anglers are tipping their jig hooks with minnows or shad. Best spots to fish these areas include eddies and back-current sections, and anywhere that river flows are unusual.

I love bluegrass, politics, and FISHING!
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Postby allingeneral » Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:15 pm

Hi troutfisher. Thanks for the report. Stop by and report anytime. If no one else is interested, I am :fishin:
The only way you'll ever catch fish is to Go Fishing Forum (.net)!! :)
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Postby troutfisher » Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:19 pm

No problem, and will do!

I love bluegrass, politics, and FISHING!
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:05 pm
Location: On the Lake

Postby RACN35 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:23 pm

ME TOO !! I read every word !
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