Catching Striped Bass and Walleye —and a Flathead Catfish— at Fletcher’s Cove

Kosar striped bass 05-2019
This happened—after bouncing 3/4 ounce bucktail-type jigs with trailing sparkling plastic shad and worms (4 to 6 inch) off the bottom with quick snaps of the wrist.

But this also happened, which was utterly unexpected. He weighed 12 to 15 pounds, and took a few minutes to bring to the boat. Young blue catfish came up on the jig-plastic rig too. The 15-pound leader attached to 10-pound line handled these beasts, to my amazement.

Kosar flathead catfish 05-2019

 

Walleye also jumped at the jig (sans plastics), but in early season are best chased with green worms popped on a round jighead (1/2 to 3/4 ounces). Drag it along the bottom on the Virginia side of the river, where the bottom is more gravelly and sandy. (Sorry, no photo!)

Fletcher’s Cove, by the way, is here, and offers rowboats you can rent out.

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Review: Fishing Lake Medina in Medina Township, Ohio


This drone video will give you a good sense at the size of Lake Medina. (Directions here.)

My video above will give you a good look at the side of the lake nearest the parking lot. We scored a rock bass here, saw plenty of bluegills and sunfish, along with largemouth bass. And I nabbed a northern pike in a very small branch of Rocky River next to the lake. Others report catching channel catfish, crappie, perch, and walleye.

You do not need a fishing license to fish here. The water is clear, the shored are rocky, and there’s a huge amount of space to shore fish.

Canoes and kayaks can be put in on the northern side of the lake — although it is about a 500-foot haul from the parking lot just off Granger Road. (I have not clue what the southern side of the lake looks like. I never made it there.)

Review: Fishing Ranger Lake in Strongsville, Ohio

They stock this small lake with “largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, crappie, and rainbow trout. The lake is stocked with trout in the winter for ice fishing.”

You can see what fish are in there any particular season at https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/mill-stream-run-reservation/ranger-lake.

The parking lot (directions here) is small, and this little lake has maybe 100 feet of shore fishing. This looks to me like a good place to put in a canoe or kayak, which you’d need to lug maybe 75 feet.

You will not see any fish caught in this video. We stopped by after an early morning rain and right before another rain—less than ideal conditions for chasing panfish and bass. But, this video will provide you with a view that will help you judge whether you want to visit Ranger Lake. For sure, I’ll return to try it again—with a kayak, and maybe even a fly rod.

How to Catch Shad at Fletcher’s Cove in Washington, DC


Folks can land shad various ways. Fly fisherman often feast on them. Standard rod users too. The trick is to put something small and flashy in front of these lust-crazed fish’s eyes. (Shad, you may know, are plankton eaters. They strike lures out of reaction not hunger.

Let me here address landing them on standard gear.

A rig of split-shot and a spoon or a shad dart and a spoon is very effective—from the shore and a boat. See here for more details. In simplest fashion, tie a shad/herring spoon at the end of your line. Then 18-24 inches above add weight, either in the form of splitshot sinkers) or a shad dart. Continue reading

My first shad of 2019, caught on March 16

Kosar shad 03-16-2019.jpgI saw a post from uber angler Alex Binsted on Friday, April 15—he had caught a shad near Fletcher’s Cove. I contactd a fishy friend and learned that his son had been on with Binstead and also had bagged a shad. A check of the water temperature showed me the time had come—the Potomac was 50-51 degrees. That’s the temperature to start chucking for shad, and the perch who often can be found with them.

So there I was at 7:30am in the brisk morning air (mid-40s, 15mph cool wind), right after sunrise. It took half an hour, but then the hit came—a load on the big Nungesser spoon. It took maybe 30 seconds to get the fish in, who ran left and right and leapt out of the water. It was a beautiful fish, around 17 inches, and thick. I got the spoon hook out of the top of its mouth and soon it was rocketing back into the depths.