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West Virginia Wildlife
Fishing In Cold Water
Patrick McMurtry Bundle Up And Wet Your Line

March 18, 2014
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


If you have looked around the locks and dams throughout the state this winter, chances are you haven't seen a lot of fishing.

The cold weather's been so brutal people don't want to get out, and the fish aren't really moving that much. Ryan Bosserman, a biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, works with fish and knows them well.

"It's been a long winter," Bosserman said. "Usually at this time of year, we're looking at 45 to 50-degree water temperatures. Right now, we're just at 40. We are a good two weeks behind what the water temperature should be."

That is actually good news. Now that the weather is turning better, more people will be out fishing and the warmer weather will also get the fish a lot more active.

"Water temperature is important. Around 40 degrees, the fish start to move in. It's kind of the factor that gets them to move. They are really active about 45 to 50. The walleye and sauger, this time of year, they are thinking about spawning." Bosserman said.

And water temperature, not the calendar, is the key to spawning. With a great weekend ahead, the fish should be fired up and the river will be a great place to spend the day fishing.

Ryan told us what he was using on this particular day.

"I keep it pretty simple. I use a quarter ounce lead head jig, available about anywhere, with a curly tail grub, 3-inch size. It's kind of a do-all bait. I use a snap and braided line so I can switch it out if it's too light or heavy." Bosserman said.

Ryan said be patient. The best times to fish are usually at dawn and dusk. There is plenty of access on the rivers and lakes in the state, and many are lighted to make things even easier.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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