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LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – My lake reporter says the recent cooler nights and lots of rainstorms have already cooled the lake a few degrees. Low-light conditions, both morning and late afternoon, are again producing good topwater action for largemouth bass. Shaky-head worms also work, but be sure to stay on the main lake, targeting docks, willow grass and points. He added, “If you can get your hands on some live herring, striped bass find them irresistible. Trollers are also taking decent stripers from the downlake regions.”

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – The rains haven’t done any real damage. If anything, it helped put a little “color” into the upper river and perhaps raised much-needed water levels. The fishing for smallmouth bass should be good this weekend. Tidal parts have been very slow as far as largemouth bass catches are concerned.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – The summer doldrums have taken hold of these kinds of lakes. Bass catches are few and far between. Sunfish and catfish, however, are well supplied and they are willing to snatch up worm baits.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Darrell Kennedy runs the Angler’s Landing (540/672-3997) concession if you have questions. Slow going on bass, a little better if it’s channel catfish or bluegills you want. Haven’t heard of any walleye hookups this week.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Our fishing pal Marty Magone agrees with Holly Grove Marina (434) 636-3455 and fishing guide Craig Karpinski regarding the good bass action currently. Topwater lures and Carolina-rigged plastic worms have been working very well over many parts of the lake. Magone has been whacking the bass in Hawtree Creek.

KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles — Bobcat’s Lake Country Store (434-374-8381) can tell you the latest water conditions. Bobby Whitlow says that things have slowed down because of the hot weather, but a few bass are hooked on crankbaits and plastic worms rigged Carolina-style. Crappie fishermen are doing well at night. In fact, one fisherman caught a 3-1/4-pound crappie last week. That’s a monster. Bottom-fished cut baits or live sunfish produce catfish of note. The water temperature is well over 85 degrees.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) The fishing guide Mike Hoke, (804-357-8518) says that bass have looked at crankbaits and plastic tubes and worms in chartreuse or watermelon colors. Catfish catches have been fair as anglers suspend a live bluegills in 12 to 15 feet of water. Currently, the catfish anglers try to keep the baits off the bottom because of a presence of blue crabs.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – Check with River’s Rest (804-829-2753) for the latest conditions. The bass bite has been good this week, with plastic worms and shallow crankbaits doing the job.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal’s Dick Fox said, “The river has risen slightly what with all the rain we’ve had, and it is expected to rise more. The water has cooled to 82 degrees. The smallmouth bass fishing has been fair, with mostly small fish. The cooler water has made the bite better in the late parts of the day when the water [apparently] warms up. Use tubes, small plastics and in-line spinners.”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – The bass hookups have steadily declined during this hot weather. Some can be caught on deep-fished plastic craws or worms during the day, and some even found close to shore at night when topwater lures can draw hits. Striped bass are ganging up in tight groups now and if you deep-jig and catch one, you’ll probably get into 10 or 15 of them.

UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles — The fishing guide L.E. Rhodes (434-286-3366) hopes that rains will raise water levels a bit. The smallmouth bass fishing, he says, is good as spinning gear users cast small topwater lures, such as the Tiny Torpedo, and small plastic tubes, grubs and worms. The flyfishing crowd does well with poppers and streamers.


MARYLAND: 153-175 miles – Sue Foster of Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City says the water temperature in the resort city stands at 75.4 degrees, with a decent flounder bite possible for visitors who like to drift baits in the back bay. The anglers will also notice increasing numbers of snapper bluefish. In the close-in ocean waters, boaters find flounder (many of them too small to keep). The surf gives up kingfish, spot and sudden onslaughts of marauding, but small, bluefish. The far-off canyon waters give up some tunas, white marlin, dolphin (mahi-mahi) and wahoos, says Sue.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach – A. Dr. Julie Ball ( reports

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