My dad and I ventured to Occoquan Reservoir for the first time yesterday morning.
Below is a picture I captured at Lake Ridge Marina prior to fishing.
Occoquan Reservoir is a 2,100-acre body of water that forms at the border of Fairfax County and Prince William County. It’s about a 25 minute drive from D.C. without traffic. This place is known for largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, northern pike, bluegill, and perch. Moreover, it’s been dubbed one of the best places to go bass fishing in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Here’s another shot of the mighty Occoquan.
Compared to other fishing spots I’ve been to, Occoquan was more picturesque and tranquil. There were plenty of opportunities to see and hear wildlife. Blue herons (pictured below) are quite common at Occoquan Reservoir.
My dad and I fished for about four hours. In the process, we caught nine crappie/bluegill fish collectively. (Pictured below.) Although we didn’t catch any largemouth bass and lamented over a lost catfish, we weren’t disappointed with Occoquan Reservoir. In fact, I enjoyed the frequency of bites my rod had. It’s a good indication that this place is replete with fish. (Arriving early morning is recommended for catching big game fish.)
Before you decide to go fishing at Occoquan Reservoir, note several things:
1) Always have your Virginia Freshwater Fishing license on you. Yesterday, the local Virginia Department Game and Inland Fisheries warden made his rounds at Occoquan Reservoir to ensure all anglers were licensed. They will check up on you. Don’t forget to have it with you!
2) Rent a boat. It’s worth the $39.
3) Note limits on fish you can catch and keep.
The daily bag limit for bass is five per day. There is no minimum size limit.
Bluegill (bream) and other sunfish may be harvested without size restriction. Anglers are limited to 50 per day in aggregate (combined).
Black and white crappie may be harvested without size restriction from Occoquan. The daily limit is 25 per day in aggregate.
Catfish (Channel and Flathead)
There is no minimum size limit for catfish, but anglers are limited to 20 fish per day of each species.
The minimum size limit for northern pike in Occoquan Reservoir is 20 inches and anglers are limited to 2 fish per day.
4) Don’t bring alcohol on your boat. (It’s a no-no.) Instead, have water and light snacks.
I foresee myself coming here again in the future. Fellow Virginia residents should make the trip to Occoquan Reservoir if they are looking for good fishing, opportunities to kayak/paddleboard, and nature. Undoubtedly, this is a great escape from the concrete jungle.
I’ll be taking a brief hiatus from fishing for a few weeks, so expect my next “Angling Right” post in early or mid-August. Happy fishing!