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LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles —Too murky and discolored to be of good use for bass and crappie anglers this weekend. It’ll be fine perhaps by Monday — unless more heavy rain arrives.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles — (Concession stand, 540/672-3997) Better than Lake Brittle as far as water conditions are concerned. Your chances of hooking a bass, crappie, catfish or sunfish are good.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles — The feeder creeks give up bass to rattle baits and scented worms or lizards, such as the PowerBait brand from Berkley. Crappies love live minnows under a bobber fished around boat docks or bridge abutments.

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles — Discolored water from the recent storms is seen, but it is still a prime lake for huge catfish that like slabs of herring or bream, fished on the bottom. Bass catches might be on hold for a couple days, but should resume by Sunday-Monday.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles — (Tidal Richmond and downstream) Forget it for three or four days. The river is a mess.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER : 135 miles — (Williamsburg area) The upper end will give up some crappies and white perch, while the middle portions, around marsh and weed edges, are good for bass even if the adjacent James River is not productive.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: (60 to 85 miles) — Front Royal’s Dick Fox says to stay home for a few days. “And if it rains even more, it’ll be off limits to fishing for a week.” The river is fast, high and muddy.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles — Bass and stripers are possible if the wind allows a boat to be launched. The feeder creeks show willing largemouths, even some smallmouth bass, that have jumped on lipped crankbaits.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles — (Route 6 south of Charlottesville to Scottsville) Forget it. The river took a pounding from strong rains. It’s swift, high and muddy.


MARYLAND: 153-175 miles — There’ll be a couple channelbass (red drum) hooked in the Assateague surf — and why not? They’re being hooked down the beach a bit around Virginia’s Fisherman’s Island. Look for the first flounder to show up in the backwaters of Ocean City..

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach — The fishing dentist, Dr. Ken Neill, says he was aboard a boat looking for red drum, but the boat experienced problems. They had to head back in. His pals Wes Blow and Keith Blackburn, meanwhile, went to Fisherman’s Island on the Eastern Shore and caught beautiful redfish (a.k.a. channelbass or red drum). Not to be denied, a day later Neill took his wife’s boat to the same place and hooked some drum, among them a released 48-incher. Scuttlebutt has it that a few flounder are caught in the Wachapreague backwaters.

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