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LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Concessionaire Darrell Kennedy, of Angler’s Landing (540-672-3997) for the latest water conditions. Currently, it’s mostly fair to good catfish chances, and if it’s bass you’re after, get there early and fish stickups and sunken wood.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Good bass chances in the creek mouths early in the day. Poppers and jerkbaits can do well in low-light conditions, but as the sun warms the upper layers of the water, switch to plastic worms and craws.

KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles — A potential world record blue catfish of 143 pounds was caught by Nick Anderson, 29, of Greenville, N.C., last weekend. If approved — and there is no reason to think it won’t be — the blue cat exceeds the current mark by 13 pounds. Of course, it will also be a state record, beating an earlier mark this spring of 109 pounds. This lake is becoming the top blue catfish water anywhere. Crappies and bass are possible, as are stripers. What a lake!

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) I suppose there’s no joy on the river as it now becomes only the second best blue catfish water in the state. Look above this item and you’ll see who the top dog in the state is now.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – Fair to good bass chances along wood cover and marsh banks.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal’s Dick Fox reports that the fishing in the river currently is good, but most of the smallmouth bass have been in the 10- to 12-inch class. That’s only fair as far as smallmouths are concerned. The river is up and showing a stain. Water temperatures are 78 degrees. Te best fishing points to early and late hours. Dick says you can score with topwater lures, inline spinners (such as the Mepps or. Topwater ,inline spinners and tubes work best for us. Rain however is predicted for the rest of the week.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Stripers have been taking sunfish and herring baits during the dark hours. The creeks give up bass that like plastic craws and medium-diving crankbaits.

UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles — It probably will not be the best place to come to if you seek smallmouth bass because of the many recent rains. Maybe by the weekend, but that’s an iffy guess.


MARYLAND: 153-175 miles – The Ocean City Fishing Center (410-213-1121) says offshore fishing really took off for charter captains who have been traveling to the Wilmington Canyon area where warmer water from the Gulf stream is noticed. The Fishing Center said several blue marlin in the 500-pound range have been boated and then released. A mix white marlin, yellowfin tuna, dolphin and a smattering of bigeye tunas round out the bluewater fishing. As you come into the inshore waters, there have been false albacore, dolphin (fish), bluefish, sharks and bluefin tunas. In the waters behind the resort city, the flounder fishing is improving. Sue Foster, of the Oyster Bay Tackle Shop in Ocean City, Md., and Fenwick Island, Del., said the surf has been turning up kingfish, croakers, tiny sea trout and a number of sharks and large cownose rays.Stripers and blues are still in the inlet and the Route 50 bridge gives up large bluefish at night — now and then. The headboats locate sea bass.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach – The fishing dentist, Dr. Ken Neill, says sea bass can be found on the coastal wrecks where triggerfish are also possible. “Offshore bottom fishermen are finding some tilefish and sea bass mixed together,” he reported and added that amberjack are at the South Tower but are not available in large numbers just yet. “The offshore boats have been encountering a good early season marlin bite. Boats are coming back to Virginia Beach flying multiple release flags. Dolphin fishing is very good and there are yellowfin tuna around,” said Neill.

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