To catch this fish, use minnows. If you're fishing in 4–6 foot deep water, use chartreuse or chrome colored jigs to capture these fish. At depths of 3–6 ft, bream can be targeted near structures. This time of year, tightlining down the bottom with crickets and worms is your best hope for bream.
Bass can be caught in 12–20 feet of water using spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and shad-colored lures. Try to find areas where there are large rocks or structure that may be hiding bass. Use a soft plastic worm as bait if possible; it's more likely to be eaten when other food is scarce.
Crappie can be found near deeper holes within the reservoir where there is cover for them to hide in. Use small jigs, grubs, and leeches for crappie.
Gillnet fishing is allowed on Ross Barnett Reservoir during the open season. A permit is required, however. For information on how to get a permit, call the WV Division of Natural Resources at 304-558-4336.
If you're interested in catching only black bass at Ross Barnett Reservoir, you should know that they can be dangerous if not handled properly. Keep children away from the water if you want to avoid an emergency response from local law enforcement.
Fishing at the river's bottom in relatively deep holes will yield decent results. Deep, swift-flowing water in the latter part of an outside curve is a good target. Try fishing outside the bends throughout the day. Fish the shallow bars and flats where baitfish concentrate at night. If you're lucky, someone will have caught some bass and be willing to show you how.
The best times to go fishing are early in the morning before it gets too hot out and around dinnertime when the heat is not as intense. The river can be fished year round, but try to avoid going during extreme temperatures; this will make fishing much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Fishing for white bass is similar to fishing for black bass, except that white bass will only eat small bait such as cutworms, apple cores, and peanut butter sandwiches. If you see someone with their boat parked on the riverbank next to some white bass, they probably just caught something nice and are waiting until later in the evening to try them. Don't worry about someone else's catch, just keep fishing in search of your own.
The most common white bass prey is insect larvae (especially mayflies in summer and caddis flies in fall). They also eat crayfish, earthworms, and frogs.
With crank baits or jigs, try fishing rocky bottom structures or near the dam. To increase your chances of catching, stay in the shallows and fish around dawn or dark. Try huge crank baits in the shallows or around the shoreline for the big ones, or slowly bounce a night crawler rig on the bottom. Catfishing may be interesting in this area. Try casting spinner rigs with plastic worms as bait.
Low lakes can be difficult to fish because there are so many weeds that float right up to the surface. Weeds also hide any structure you might want to use as a breakwater. If these problems seem like they would prevent you from enjoying your time on the water, then consider taking a fishing guide. They know where to look for signs of life in the lake and which areas will help them find it.
Fishing for black bass is really easy in low lakes. All you need is a good jerk bait (something that moves back and forth quickly) and some way to keep it afloat. Use cranks or jigs depending on what type of fish you're after. If you see others doing it, try casting past them into the wind; they'll probably follow your bait into unknown waters.
Black bear activity increases in lakes during hunting season (fall through early spring). The best times to go bear fishing are at dusk or dawn when bears are likely feeding. Don't walk away from the lake!