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LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – Our lake informant said, “One [nuclear power station] reactor is now back online but the down-lake current still hasn’t brought the fish back to the lower lake portions. Stripers are now found up-lake around the Route 208 Bridge, Jetts Island and in and around Plentiful Creek, both at the mouth and inside on the left side, way toward the back. Largemouth bass are in a typical winter pattern. Some crappies can be found around bridge pilings and deep-water docks, but other specks have now moved into deeper layers of water throughout the lake.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – The river above Fredericksburg looked okay on Tuesday, but with the rain the chance is good that the water will rise and become discolored. If heavy rains did not materialize, slowly dragging tubes and grubs across deep holes below rock formations can result in fat smallmouth bass. Just don’t expect summer-like numbers.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – The lake has been drawn down four feet for repairs on the dam, so now is a great time to take a camera and snap photos of exposed structure that normally is covered by water. Not only that, the crappies, bass and catfish are concentrated in a narrower area; catching them might be a little easier.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Take it to the bank. There are plenty of crappies in this lake and now is a good time to go after them with live minnows, fished 3 to 5 feet below a bobber, or instead of live bait, use a 1/16-oz. hair or feather ig in white or chartreuse. Bass catches have been down, but fat catfish are waiting for a liver or clam bait dropped into the deeper layers of the lake channel.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Our lakeside reporter, Marty Magone, sent photos of several fine stripers that he caught. He said, “Uplake stripers and bass are nailing crankbaits along the main channel near Flat Creek. I had three stripers and 17 bass on Sunday.” He’s also been connecting on stripers in Poplar Creek, using a shiny blade bait, like the Silver Buddy.

KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles — Bobcat’s Lake Country Store (434-374-8381) can provide a water condition report. Up-lake stripers are possible and large catfish in the deep channel waters are almost a given if you’re patient and have weighted bottom rigs, their hooks loaded with herring or sunfish. The bass and crappie fishing has been pretty good over the past several days.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) Mike Hoke of Life’s Revenge Guide Service (804/357-8518) can deliver a good outing on this river. The blue catfish bite is heating up. That means fish between 30 and 60 pounds are almost regular catches. We heard that some stripers were caught down around the Appomattox River mouth, while the feeder creeks are giving up a decent largemouth bass now and then. The water is murky.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – River’s Rest (804-829-2753) will provide the latest water conditions. Easily the best bass feeder to the James River. The “Chick” always shows plenty of largemouth action, as well as catfish and crappies.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal resident and skilled fisherman, Dick Fox, said, “The river is about normal but very clear with a temperature of 46 degrees. We are averaging about 8 to 10 fish per trip running from 12 to 15 inches. We are still using tubes, creatures and jigs on 6-pound-test fluorocarbon line.” The weather forecast, however, called for rain which can change conditions very quickly.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Scattered catches of rockfish are possible from some upper lake areas down to the “S” Curve. Occasionally, you can even see the striper schools “busting” threadfin shad baitfish on the lake’s surface, which is ideal for casting jerkbaits and Rat-L-Trap lures. The bass and crappie fishing has been good inside some of the feeder creeks that show plenty of bottom structure.

UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles — If the rain fell as hard as was predicted, there’s a good chance that the weekend fishing will be ruined. The smallmouth bass are here, but if water levels rise, it will be tough sledding.


MARYLAND: 165 miles to Ocean City — Sue Foster, of the Oyster Bay Tackle Shop (410-524-3433) in Ocean City, mentioned that the water temperature in the resort city stands at 55.9 degrees. “A few nice stripers were caught in the surf, but the bite was very hit or miss,” she said, then added that tautog picked up inshore. “Sea bass fishing was excellent offshore. A few stripers were caught offshore, but not many. Some stripers [are close to] inshore bridges.” The Maryland DNR’s Keith Lockwood said that bluefin tunas are moving through the region. “[They] can certainly offer some exciting fishing when encountered. They are known to be in close to shore feeding on menhaden right along with the striped bass and a little farther out they will run down large bluefish like an F-16 going after a bi-plane,” Lockwood said.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach – Dr. Ken Neill, one of the top saltwater fishermen along the coast, send the following message: “We ran out of Rudee to check out the warmer water just east of the Cigar. Tuna action was good. We caught 11 yellowfin tunas. We also collected four baby bluefin tunas for Dr. John Graves, under a science permit. The little guys are off to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and other laboratories. The yellowfin tunas [we caught] are destined for the Thanksgiving Feast. On Monday, we headed back out [to the offshore wrecks] after bluefish (for a scientist in Africa somewhere). We did not do much with the bluefish, catching only one of about 12 pounds. We did very well with the jumbo sea bass, however. We loaded up with some really nice fish, weighing in seven over five pounds. [Had] a lot of sea bass over four pounds.” Meanwhile, Dr. Julie Ball (, another saltwater hotshot, reports that if the boats can get out and the wind isn’t too strong, good deep-dropping action can be had. “Plenty of nice blueline tilefish, golden tilefish, blackbellied rosefish, and a variety of grouper are lurking along the edges of the Canyon in 300 to 600 feet of water, or more. Squid, jigs, and cut bait will do the trick,”she reported.

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