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LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – Crappie, bass and catfish hookups are practically guarantee if you use live minnows or, in the case of catfish, bottom-fish with clam snouts. The crappies can also be fooled with a 1/16-ounce white hair jig, fished some 3 or 4 feet under a bobber.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Darrell Kennedy runs the Angler’s Landing (540/672-3997), but the concession has been shut down until spring 2012. Upper lake’s shoreline dropoffs and sunken brush holds bass that like dark color craw baits, while standing wood and brush piles near the boat launch can give up decent numbers of crappies, especially if you can buy some small minnows and fish them under a plastic float.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Our inside reporter, Marty Magone, says the bass catches have declined this week. “It hasn’t been very good,” he said and he does not know why. One thing is certain, the lack of a bass bite will not last long. This lake will turn on again quickly.

KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles — Bobcat’s Lake Country Store (434-374-8381) can provide a water condition report. The bass fishing has not been great and the water levels are very high right now. Your best bets are the crappies in flooded brush, or deep-water channels where the blue catfish hang out, hoping someone drops a large chunk of freshly-cut fish to the bottom.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) Bass catches are only so-so even the local tournament angler say, but blue catfish can make up for a lack of bass excitement.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – River’s Rest(804-829-2753) will provide the latest water conditions. This is where so many James River bass boaters come to when they hope to hook a largemouth — and they’re not leaving disappointed. The bass catches are good; crankbaits and soft plastics do the job. Upper river brush and log piles hold crappies.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Dick Fox, of Front Royal, says, “Fishing on the Shenandoah River has been great for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, although it is starting to slow down a little. Water is at normal level with a temperature of 54 degrees.We are still doing well with tubes, although other baits will work.Lots of leaves are in river and that will hamper those who operate jet drive boats.”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Largemouth bass and stripers promise to keep you busy this weekend. Both species are in good supply and currently they are willing to look at lures and baits. The crappie fishing in the creeks is getting better every day.

UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles — The weekend will have johnboaters and scattered waders find smallmouth bass action in the rock beds and along shoreline ledges. Tubes, small crankbaits and such topwater lures as the Lucky 13 will be looked at by the fish.


MARYLAND: 165 miles to Ocean City — Sue Foster, of the Oyster Bay Tackle Shop (410-524-3433) in Ocean City, said that the bluefish can still be caught in the surf and a few kingfish are possible. The tautog fishing has been outstanding, said Sue, while some striped bass hookups are noted in the Indian River and Ocean City inlets. Offshore boaters who brave the wind find scattered schools of large bluefish, but the tuna bite has pretty much disappeared. They’re heading south.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach – Dr. Ken Neill went offshore from Virginia Beach and reported, “We went back to the Triangle Wrecks and found the bluefish waiting. Capt. Rick Wineman was already there jigging them up. He said that everyone on his boat had caught multiple citation-sized fish and that they were off to the canyon. We caught all of the large bluefish that we could want [on both, trolling and jigging].” Dr. Neill said the biggest bluefish were caught while trolling. Most of the fish were released, but some were kept for the smoker. “Five [weighed] between 16 pounds and 17-1/2 pounds.”Meanwhile, the fishing dentist, Dr. Julie Ball ( said, “Wahoo are around, along with a few yellowfin tuna, and scattered bailer dolphin. The tuna bite further south, out of North Carolina, is going strong this week. Once overnight trips resume with more regularity, swordfish are a possibility.

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