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LAKE ORANGE: *** — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Catfish are the best bet, but some fat bass, crappies and bluegills are available.

LAKE GASTON: ***(Route 46, Gasburg) Early and late hours are the best times to find a fat bass looking for food along the edges of grass beds and rip-rap. Loud topwater lures, soft, scented plastic worms and a few jerkbaits will serve you well.

KERR RESERVOIR: *** — (Route 58, Clarksville) Catfish rate as the best catches now, but bass and crappies are available throughout the lake. Check out occasional stripers up around Nutbush Creek.

JAMES RIVER: **(Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Blue catfish catches and, yes, we know this sounds like a broken record, but that’s the best fishing here.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: **— (Williamsburg area) Bass are taken on worms and spinnerbaits in sunken brush and fallen trees, as well as marsh bank edges.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: *** — (Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas) Front Royal’s Dick Fox said that the state has been checking the smallmouth bass and found them a lot healthier this year than in the past. The fishing has been excellent, said Fox, who uses tubes, grubs and small worms for his “brown” fish.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: *** — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Earlybird fishermen find bass around stgone formations and stump-filled areas with topwater lures and plastic baits, but striper fans do better at night down toward the dam.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: ***(Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) If the rain stays away, the smallmouth bass catches will be excellent this weekend. Small plastic grubs and jigs can score nicely.


MARYLAND: ***(Route 50 to Ocean City) You’ll find a few bluefin and yellowfin tunas, dolphin (fish), along with increasing numbers of wahoos and king mackerel in the offshore region along the 20-fathom curve. The headboats work the wrecks a little closer in and they return with sometimes meager number of tautogs and sea bass. In the backwaters behind Ocean City, expect to get some bites while drifting minnows and squid strips for flounder, but most are throwbacks. The surf is good mostly for kingfish, sand sharks and a few small bluefish.

VIRGINIA: *** — Virginia Beach’s Julie Ball ( says amberjacks are a good bet at the southern towers and offshore wrecks such as the Triangles, Ricks and Hanks. Live bait is working well, while jigs are a good alternative bait. Deep droppers are finding plenty of nice tilefish, wreckfish, and blackbelly rosefish, which can offer a break during slow trolling days. The offshore region turns up billfish near the Triple 0´s and the Cigar, where a few sailfish releases were made last week. “Although yellowfin tuna are scarce, bluefin tuna ranging from 50 to over 100 pounds are biting on the inshore lumps, with the Hot dog and 26-Mile Hill providing the best action,” she said. Big gaffer dolphin to over 50 pounds are also possible. For charters, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/491-8000.