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RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (★★★) — Waders do okay in the upper river, above Fredericksburg, as smallmouth bass inhale small topwater lures or -ounce tube jigs. Tidal water bass around Hicks Landing, Port Royal or Potobago Bay has been slow, but some fat bass are scored with plastic worms.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (★★) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Slow on bass, but good if it’s catfish, sunfish and crappies you like.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (★★★) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Catfish are your best bet early in the day; ditto for bass. Lots of sunfish if you care to fish with flyrod popping bugs.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (★★★) — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake resident Marty Magone said the Eaton’s Ferry Bridge area continues to deliver good bass fishing on a variety of lures. Boat tarffoc on weekends can be mindboggling.

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (★★★) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Above average catfish and bass chances this week, but it has been a bit windy. Upper lake bass catches have been good as jerkbaits, swimbaits and plastic worms do the job.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (★★★) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Blue catfish are the the best bet, but it’s not as red-hot this month as it will be in the fall.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (★★★) — (Williamsburg area) Catfish again this week, plus some fair bass and striper chances in the middle and upper parts of the river. Try loud popping lures around grassy river points before sunrise. Stripers might be waiting.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (★★★) — (Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas) Dick Fox, of Front Royal, said, “Smallmouth bass like any kind of flashy spinner or tube jig. The water continues to be low, but it’s very fishable.”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (★★★) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Nighttime rockfish fans sit in the “S” Curve and wait for a striper to pick up a whole bait sunfish. Largemouth bass, some smallmouths also, hang around shoreline rock formations and will look at a short plastic worm or small crankbait.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (★★★) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Waders find smallmouth action with surface plugs, spinners, or flyrod streamers and poppers. Catfish are biting.


MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (★★★) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) Flounder are a good possibility in the backwaters at Ocean CVity, but keepers aren’t easy to come by. The inlet at the resort city sees some striper action, but they must be 28 inches long if you want to keep one. The surf is mostly good for small stuff, kingfish, snapper blues and even a croaker now and then. Offshore charter boats connect on dolphinfish, many of them small, but the catches are good. The canyon waters produce some decent billfish and yellowfin tuna.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (★★★) — Virginia Beach’s Julie Ball ( reported that tollers are enjoying Spanish mackerel action along the coastal areas from Cape Henry to Sandbridge. “The promise of a king mackerel encounter is enticing many anglers to the ocean front in the hopes of hooking a smoker, but finding the fish can be a challenge. The king mackerel bite is a little slower this week, and most fish are ranging to around 10 to15-pounds,” she said. Tarpon action on the Eastern shore is mostly sighting of fish, some jump-offs, and one or two landings. “Amberjacks are active on wrecks and navigational towers, with the Chesapeake Light Tower also offering a shot at big barracudas, she added. Deep offshore regions are good for billfish, including white marlin, some blue marlin and sailfish. “Nice gaffer dolphin and a few big wahoo are also available,” Ball said. For charters, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/491-8000.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday, and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: