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KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles - Bass and crappies are in the feeder creeks, with many of the bigger largemouths busy with spawning chores. Main-lake bait dunkers find blue catfish, while uplake trollers might score on a striper.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles - (Tidal Richmond and downstream) The old boat graveyard south of town gives up a bass now and then, but let’s face it, this river is better known for its blue catfish. The fishing for them is superbly productive.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER : 135 miles - (Williamsburg area) This river and the adjacent Chippokes have been good to bass boaters who cast and retrieve Chatterbaits, Mann’s Baby 1-Minus lures, and small spinnerbaits. The upper “Chick” with its myriad brush and fallen tree branches, offers crappie chances.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60 to 85 miles - Front Royal’s Dick Fox says the Shenandoah is fishable. It has a good stain and runs about a foot-and-a-half higher than normal. The launch ramp in Front Royal had a lot of mud on it as did other boat ramps, said Fox. Please use caution when launching. Things can get slippery.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles - Stripers, catfish, bass and crappies can make this a fine lake to visit, but you’ll be better off if you can secure a map and learn about the various feeder creeks where the bass are about to spawn. Crappies are in the brush along various creek shorelines.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles - (Route 6 south of Charlottesville to Scottsville) Unless more heavy rain arrives, the river will be super-fine for smallmouth bass, red-breasted sunfish and channel catfish. The bass like 1/8-ounce tube jigs in chartreuse, dark green or bright red. Small crankbaits in red have done well on the smallmouths.


MARYLAND: 153-175 miles - Increasing numbers of flounder are seen arriving in the backwater of Ocean City, while croakers and a few tautogs are possible in the resort city’s inlet. The beaches at Assateague Island must begin to turn up red drum (also known as channel bass or redfish). It’s time for the surf action.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach - The Fisherman Island shallows and cuts have been home to red drum, with the deeper water also giving up an odd rockfish now and then. The island sits at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, with the ocean close by. Offshore boaters find tautogs, some codfish and occasional tilefish over the various wrecks. The fishing dentist, Dr. Ken Neill, says, “Striped bass season opens back up on May 1. The first half of May is the ‘trophy’ season where you can keep one fish of at least 32 inches long. The second half of May and the first half of June is the ‘spring’ season when you can keep two fish 18 to 28 inches long. One of your two fish can be a trophy, at least 32 inches long. All ‘trophy’ stripers kept must be reported.”

* All listed distances begin in Washington