We discuss bass fishing Virginia’s Occoquan Reservoir with Patrick Lambert. Patrick spends a lot of time on this lake and knows how to unlock its secrets to catch largemouth bass.
How long have you been fishing Occoquan Reservoir?
I have been fishing the Occoquan Reservoir since I was a kid, started fishing it with my dad out of his aluminum v bottom boat. My mom also took me to the lake a lot for panfish during the summer months.
I think the lake is a challenge and that is what I like fishing about it the most. She isn’t going to show all her secrets or her treasures right away. You have to continue to work her over and over again. Any given day you can go out and catch your personal best or nothing at all.
If you had to rank it as a bass fishery in Virginia, does it make your top 10?
Yes this lake would make my top 10 as a bass fishery and is currently ranked as one of the best bass fishery in the Northern Virginia area. If you are going for a quality of fish ranking I would probably rank it as high as 1 or 2. If you are going for a numbers ranking maybe at 3 or 4. The lake has quality healthy big fish. I think that the people that do truly fish the body of water know that any day that they fish it they might catch their personal best.
This lake is approximately 2100 acres. How much pressure does it receive throughout the year?
Being that is a major body of water in the Northern Virginia area between two counties, I do think the lake gets a good amount of pressure from recreational people, crew, and outdoorsmen.
I love small boats and love the layout of your boat. What boat setup do you have?
It is a 14ft flat bottom Jon boat, with a 10hp mercury on the back and a 35lb thrust motor guide trolling motor in the front. It has two hummingbird fish finders on it, one transducer in the rear and one mounted to the trolling motor. The boat is basically the way that I bought it, except the extra fish finder in the front and some moving of some things and some maintenance.
I really like that the boat is nimble and stable and can get into those really shallow sections very well. Its a joy to drive. When you are not catching them, throw it on plane and a smile comes across your face.
So in your opinion, is Occoquan Reservoir a trophy fishery more than a numbers lake?
Though you can catch good numbers on the lake, I would consider it more of a trophy lake if you can find the big ones. A good five fish limit on the lake on a good day is anywhere between 15 and 20 pounds, but your still gonna have to work your butt off to get it. I have seen bags closer to the 30 pound range time to time. If I have to guess, my best bag on this lake so far is around 12 to 15 pound range.
What are your favorite methods for fishing Occoquan Reservoir?
My favorite methods for fishing the Occoquan are cranking and throwing a Texas rigged worm. I think fishing thoroughly and at a slower pace are the keys to being successful with these baits on this body of water.
What do you consider the key structure or vegetation types that are important on the lake?
There is plenty of blow downs that lay into the lake and some extend a good distance, providing excellent cover and habitat for bass and the fish they eat. During the summer there is plenty of grass that lines the lake edges. It provides excellent cover during the hot summer months that the bass seem to utilize frequently.
What are 5 pieces of advice do you have for anyone trying to fish the Reservoir for the first time?
Patience: Fish slow and fish each spot thoroughly. You’re fishing such a vast area that if you fish too quickly you could be missing key points/fish by a just few feet.
Structure: There are plenty of lay downs that line the lake edges. These areas are key habitats for both the bass and the fish they feed on.
Drop offs/ledges: Deep water is relevant in this body of water lots of schooling fish off drop offs and ledges.
Main lake points: There is a lot of long main lake points that stretch out into the lake providing great feeding and staging areas.
Have a good time and enjoy the scenery: Isn’t fishing all about having a good time? The lake has some amazing wildlife surrounding it, Eagles, Osprey, Deer, Otters, and even foxes so just make sure to enjoy your time on the water while you’re out there.
Who are your current fishing teams?
Just this year I joined the Tackle Supply Depot Field Staff Team. They carry the quality tackle from the companies that I have confidence in.
Thank you Patrick. Looking forward to seeing all of your Occoquan Reservoir catches on Instagram @lambertfishing.