Occoquan River Fishing Report 12/19/17

Northern Virginia –  Occoquan River 

by Peter Arnold / BayBass Writer

It’s a parking lot out there! I decided to take this past Tuesday off to do some winter time fishing. I wasn’t the only one and I ran into 10 boats fishing the same holes that those in the know, fish winter after winter. It was nice to see everyone catching fish and several sharing what they were using along with the quality of fish (up to 3.5 lbs) they were catching. I launched out of Occoquan Regional Park around 7:30 AM. 


Lures – These worked: Nickel ½ oz Cincy Fisher blade bait, Lucky Craft 78XD (silent), Lucky Craft Stay See V2 (w/rattles), and the umbrella rig. I could not buy a bite on plastics today.  These did not work: Mann’s sting ray grub on a mushroom head, dropshoting Roboworms, and the 2.75” campground special teaser tubes. As always, I am using my Tom’s Custom Rods.  If you need a custom stick contact TCR, http://www.tomscustomrods.com/


Conditions –  Sunny, pre-cold front, temps to 62 degrees, greenish water clarity with visibility to 2-3 feet, water temp 42 degrees, little to no wind. The Occoquan River can be fished all the way to the discharge to the northwest of the launch which runs year-round and looks like a waterfall near the footbridge. This warm water attracts many species in the winter: LMB, striper, crappie, catfish, shad, sunfish, yellow perch, etc…Other good winter, hot water discharge locations near northern VA are 4 Mile Run and Blue Plains (DC license required).

Patterns – Idle around and use your electronics to find warm water and schools of bait fish.Where there are baitfish, there are largemouth bass. You can still catch bass shallow but
generally you should turn around as the bass are in large schools following baitfish in deeper water from 10-16 feet. Cover water by yo-yo’ing (on a clock, 9-12 or 8-10) a blade bait or
slowly cranking an umbrella rig. Let your lure sink to cover the 10-16 ft range before starting the retrieve. Once you locate the fish and IF the bite slows down then move to a deep diving jerk bait using pauses from 2-10 seconds. Let the fish dictate, but for me 5 seconds was about right.  Although today I did not have any luck, in the past, plastics and jigs around pilings, docks, and wood have proven successful.  

Fish – There were a lot of fisherman, fishing a few spots today, so the fish saw a lot of traffic but everyone was catching. I caught 16 fish with the largest running 4 lbs 2 oz, just shy of 20”, fat and healthy. Overall, a great day and of course it goes without saying, but wwwaaayyy better than work! For BayBass.com historical Occoquan River Fishing reports copy and paste the italicized text into google, site:www.baybass.com Occoquan River report.

Tight Lines,

Peter Arnold, BayBass Writer