Arlington Fairfax Chapter

of the

Izaak Walton League of America

Fishing in the Chapter's Pond in Centreville *

This 1 1/2 acre pond supports a good population of Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Red-Ear Sunfish and Bluegills. In addition, it is usually stocked with rainbow trout in the spring. The depth of of pond varies from less than a foot on the southern side to more than twelve feet near the dam.

In the summer lily pads grow thickly in the shallower water (4 feet or less). The larger bass are often found lurking under them in the morning and late afternoon. Fishing a texas rigged worm with a light bullet weight can be a very effective method for catching bass under these conditions.

When using spinner baits or inline spinners, you will probably find that lures with gold blades will yield the best results. The one exception is that the rainbow trout that are stocked in the spring will generally respond better to inline spinners with silver blades.

Bluegill Sunfish

Bluegills feed on a many different types of insects and insect larvae, worms, very small fish and algae. Most people who fish for them use earthworms or nightcrawlers. Small inline spinners, jigs and poppers also work well. The best success fishing for bluegills can be achieved by using a small bobber when fishing with live bait and to fish very slowly when using artificial lures. During the summer bluegills can be found in water 18 inches to 4 feet deep wherever there is some sort of structure such as lily pads, rocks or debris.

Red Ear Sunfish

Called redear sunfish due to the thin red stripe on the edge of their gill flap, they are also known as Shellcrackers because they feed heavily on snails and other freshwater molluscs. The best success fishing for shellcrackers can be achieved by using a small bobber and fishing with worms as bait. They tend to inhabit the same areas as bluegills and other panfish.

Largemouth Bass

The edges of lily pads, submerged logs and rocks in the water are good places to start looking. Bass are sight feeders that are attracted by movement and shiny objects especially those that mimic sunlight reflecting off the scales of a baitfish. Surface lures such as poppers and prop baits are quite effective at night and in the morning.

Crappie

Minnows that are one to three inches long are by far the best bait for Crappie, although worms and rubber jigs will also work well.

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish will eat almost anything. In nature they will eat live fish, carrion, amphibians, crayfish, worms, mollusks, plant material, insects and almost anything that smells like food and that they can swallow. The list of baits that are used for attracting catfish is almost endless. The most common would be cut bait(pieces of fish), shrimp, nightcrawlers, crayfish, minnows and shiners, sunfish, hot dogs, dough balls, clams and clam snouts.

On occasion channel cats will also bite on artificial lures particularly soft plastic lures that are white.

Rainbow Trout

Water clarity in the pond is often poor in the spring. The most consistently successful bait are earthworms fished at a depth of five or six feet on a size 6 or 8 aberdeen hook. 1/8 ounce jigs with black or white soft plastic grubs, silver bladed rooster tails or silver Mepp spinners up to 1/6 ounce will work as well.

Generally the catch limit in the pond for stocked trout is two per day.

General information on Freshwater Fishing

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* All pictures on this page are of fish caught in the IWLA Pond.