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LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – My lakeside friend who wishes to remain anonymous passed along the following: “The lake is bath water-warm and any serious fishing is done early or late in the day. A dock pattern continues to work on the bass but don’t overlook throwing a topwater lure against the willow grass at first light. Trollers are finding stripers while dragging large, deep-diving crankbaits or spoons in the midlake and downlake waters around Pigeon Creek, Rose Valley, the mouth of Sturgeon and Contrary creeks as well as from Dike 1 to the dam. Catfish are taking chicken liver baits.”

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – The river is low and definitely wadeable. The better smallmouth bass catches are made around the Rapidan junction where small topwater baits and various tubes and spinners will get action. In the tidal parts below Fredericksburg, a few largemouth bass are hooked on soft plastics or medium-depth crankbaits cast into flooded shoreline trees and spatterdock. The Green Bay area has turned up catches of lagremouths. Catfish, meanwhile, are everywhere and they’ll take cut baits, worms or clam necks.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – The best times to fish here, needless to say, are the earliest possible morning hours when bass are still cruising obstacled shorelines in search of small sunfish and minnows. Catfish and bluegills are biting.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Call concessionaire Darrell Kennedy, of Angler’s Landing (540-672-3997) for the latest water conditions. One wag said that the bass are so lazy right now, they’re laying on the bottom, sweating. It isn’t that bad, but the past few days have not been stellar although catfish and bluegills have no trouble coming to worm baits.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Lakeside resident Marty Magone is using Rico topwater poppers and whacking the bass early in the day. “The uplake pattern seems to be fishing the points and grass lines closer to the channel because there’s grass eradication under way on the flats. Any noisy topwater bait, vibrating Chatterbait or plastic worm will do the trick. If you get out early, a striper bite is possible in the area of the Smith Creek railroad bridge,” said Magone. Forget weekends here. It can be a jet ski zoo.

KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles — Bobcat’s Lake Country Store (434-374-8381) is the place for local information. The lake water is very warm, but deeper layers of the lake turn up large flathead and blue catfish, while early hours in the upper lake show a few stripers chasing bait. Bass catches are holding up surprisingly well in flooded brush.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) Catfish mostly, but some bass are possible in side pockets and feeders, such as the downstream Chippokes and Walker creeks.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – Check with River’s Rest (804-829-2753) for the latest conditions. Bass boaters find action in sunken wood and in the deeper drops alongside marsh banks. Crappies have gone on strike, apparently, but for those who want some panfish for dinner, there are perch and sunfish.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal’s Dick Fox said, “The river is at its lowest level this year. The fishing is still good, but light line, long casts and stealth are required. It’s working for us. The water temperature is 81 degrees and small Senko type baits, flukes, in-line spinners and some topwater lures do the job. Deep-water pockets behind fast water seems to work best..”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Deep-water trollers connect on stripers, but even the shallower waters turn up the landlocked rockfish, especially after sunset or just before daybreak when they chase baitfish into shoreline stretches where the largemouth bass often hang out. Feeder creeks have been fairly good for largemouths that like jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and a variety of soft plastics. Some smallmouth bass are taken on jigged bucktails and plastic grubs along rock walls and stone ledges.

UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles — Low water conditions, but fair numbers of smallmouth bass are possible if you use flyrod streamers and poppers or spinning tackle tubes, jigs and grubs.


MARYLAND: 153-175 miles – Sue Foster of Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City says that the flounder fishing was good this week, but as we said previously, there are a lot of undersized specimens. Live minnows and white Gulp artificial bait has been working well. Sue added that nice-sized bluefish are being taken from the Route 50 Bridge. “The surf is seeing a lot of small panfish early in the morning, such as spot, kingfish, sand perch, and croakers,” the tackle shop owner said. Shark fishing can be better when the sun sets. Blue-water offshore boats find tuna, wahoo and dolphin fish, while the boats working the waters closer to shore connect on sea bass and flounder.

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

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