Gene Mueller’s Fishing Report

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LAKE BRITTLE: ** — (Route 793, off Route 29) Not the best for bass, according to bass electro-shock studies, but some can be caught on scented worms or spinnerbaits. However, the crappie fishing can be quite good.

LAKE ORANGE: *** — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Get your fly-rod out of mothballs and search for your popping bugs. The bluegills are sitting on the beds. Fat catfish and a few bass are hooked as well.

LAKE GASTON: ***(Route 46, Gasburg) Marty Magone recommends Chatterbaits and various soft baits to lure bass around creek points, creek rip-rap and weedy areas.

KERR RESERVOIR: *** — (Route 58, Clarksville) Good bass, crappie and catfish catches are made right now. I’ll take the crappies in the brushy areas around lake and creek points.

JAMES RIVER: ***(Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Blue catfish are definitely turned on to bottom-fished herring baits, but the bass catches are way down.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: **— (Williamsburg area) The bass fishing simply hasn’t been what it should be, but crappies, catfish and white perch make up for it.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: ** — (Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas) The river is clearing and it has dropped. Fair to good smallmouth catches should be made this weekend, says Front Royal river specialist Dick Fox.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: *** — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Bass are hooked, but many are still on the spawning beds. Check out quiet deep-water coves and stump fields.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: ***(Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Smallmouth bass are willing. Use tubes, spinners, streamers and such among the boulders, riffles and quiet waters.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: ***(Route 50 to Ocean City) Ed Richardson and family caught bluefish, a 250-pound mako shark and a blue shark in offshore waters at the Jackspot. Other boaters connected on bluefish as well, but the Richardsons did best, by far. Closer in catches include seabass and tautogs, with Ocean City’s backwaters, including the Sinepuxent Bay, turning up good numbers of flounder.

VIRGINIA: * * * — Ken Neill, of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association, says warm water pushed in just south of the Norfolk Canyon and it has provided some excellent tuna and dolphin fishing for Virginia’s anglers. A bit to our south, there have been some impressive bigeye tuna catches out of Oregon Inlet. If all of the tuna and dolphin are not providing enough action for you, the offshore bottom fish are there to provide some exercise. Tilefish and grouper are biting well off of Virginia and North Carolina. Spadefish are biting at the Chesapeake Light Tower and nearby wrecks. Eastern Shore flounder catches are fair to good in Wachapreague and Chincoteague. For charters, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/491-8000.

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