Weekend fishing report

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LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (**) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Bass catches have been down, but sunfish, catfish and crappies can make up for it.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (***) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Early hours have shown some bass activity, with topwater buzzbaits or poppers doing well, but when the sun rises you need to switch to soft plastics and fish deep layers around lake points.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (***) — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake resident Marty Magone said, “From the mouth of Great Creek run upriver to the flats between Hawtree and Smith creeks.The inward side of the numerous small islands protecting the flats have plenty of grass points, nooks and pockets that hold nice bass willing to slam Chugbug-type of bait.

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (***) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Catfish, catfish and more catfish. This lake is becoming a hotspot for flatheads and other bearded critters. Bass chances are pretty good if you fish 4-inch finesse or floating worms around vegetation edges or blowdowns.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (***) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) The blue catfish bite has lessened a bit, but plenty of action awaits you if you soak a juicy chunk of baitfish on the bottom long enough. Some bass are hooked in the feeder creeks like the Chippokes and Walker.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (**) — (Williamsburg area) Recent tournament activity showed that quite a few small bass live here, and they’re not bashful about hitting a lure.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (***) — (Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas) The river will give up lots of young smallmouth bass this weekend if it doesn’t rain heavily.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (***) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Early hours are fine for bass around boat houses and stump fields, with rockfish lately having been active near the dam and at nighttime in the “S” Curve. Deep-water bait dunk dunkers can score.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (***) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Fine wading and some john-boating for smallmouth bass that like just about every lure in your tackle box.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (***) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) Bluewater bots in the offshore waters find dolphinfish and tunas, but more than one visitor has told us that the bluefish schools in the Jackspot and general Hambone region are massive. Wreck fishermen return with sea bass and some tautog, but another reader complained that the fishing ought to be a lot better. In the backwaters of the resort city the flounder fishing can be quite good, but there are many undersized flatties. In the surf, expect to hook sand sharks, kingfish, maybe a bluefish.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (***) — Ken Neill reports that spadefish are biting at the Chesapeake Light Tower and amberjack are hitting baits over ocean wrecks and around the South Towers. Offshore action includes dolphinfish and some decent-sized white and blue marlin. Yellowfin tuna have been hard to find, but bluefin tunas in the 50- to 200-pound range have been hooked on the Fingers. The same area gives up king mackerel and mako sharks. Spanish mackerel are running about all the ocean fronts. For more Virginia saltwater fishing reports go to the IGFA representative Julie Ball’s web site, drjball.com. 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: gmueller@washingtontimes.com.

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