LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – Bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish catches can be very good. The bass are off the beds and they’ll go after shallow water wacky-rigged worms, or in the dropoffs, a Texas-riggd 4-inch Power Worm or any kind of finesse worm. Crappies and fat bluegills will jump on a tiny white/red shad dart fished under a bobber.
LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Much the same fishing action as Lake Brittle. Crappies, bass, sunfish and catfish, but also walleyes, are available. Try flyrod popping bugs for fat bream along the shorelines.
LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Good catches of bass and stripers are reported from upper lake portions, but remember that weekends here resemble a zoo with plenty of PWCs (personal water craft) that ought to be renamed WMFH (water motorcycles from hell). Fishermen and jet skis do not get along very well.
KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles — Above average bass fishing in the mouths of the feeder creeks and main stem are giving up stripers. Catfish catches are fine. Some of the guys using cut herring or chunks of fish from other species find whopper blue catfish. Crappie chances are good in flooded brush.
JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) Blue catfish and a few bass are taken. Remember, the catfish often outnumber the bass. However, the river’s feeder creeks hold good numbers of largemouths.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – Bass boaters find action in the upper and middle portions of the “Chick.” Wacky-rigged plastic worms or hard jerkbaits can do the job around wood or marshes.
SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal river angler Dick Fox said, “The river is in great shape with near normal water levels. Around Front Royal it has a slight stain with 75-degree water temperatures in the South Fork and 72 degrees in the North Fork. Fish are biting but they’re on the small side. Use crankbaits, Mann’s Sting Ray grubs, tubes, in-line spinners and small Senko-type plastic baits.”
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Stripers and bass have been hooked in good numbers, but in the creeks it’s the sunfish and crappies that hold the attention of those who want to catch a delicious supper.
UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles – Here’s hoping that rainstorms stay away because the smallmouth bass have jumped on flyrod streamers, such as the Clouser Minnow, and others. Conventional tackle, such as spinning outfits, turn up “smallies” by the numbers if you use jigs, grubs and tube lures in an assortment of colors.
MARYLAND: 153-175 miles – Sue Foster, of the Oyster Bay Tackle Shop in Ocean City, says the water temperature reads 68.7 degrees. She adds that a few stripers and red drum are still caught in the surf. Additional hookups come when bluefish, kingfish, croakers, rays and sharks came into the surf shallows. Sue said there was a good flounder bite this week and that a number of rockfish came into the Ocean City Inlet. Offshore boats find sea bass and tautogs, maybe even a codfish. In the canyon waters, there’ll be tuna hookups, especially the Washington Canyon. By the way, if you want to check out Delaware Bay, some large drum are taken there.
VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach – Big bluefish can be hooked on the ocean seamounts and in the distant offshore waters. From the Virginia Beach area, Dr. Ken Neill said, “The Fingers are loaded with the critters.” Bluefin, yellowfin, and a few bigeye tunas are caught in canyon waters, with the Norfolk Canyon delivering a good yellowfin tuna bite.
For more outdoor news, go to www.genemuellerfishing.com
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