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Gene Mueller’s Fishing Report
Good fishing returning after recent heavy rains
LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Darrell Kennedy runs the Angler’s Landing (540/672-3997) concession. You might encounter cloudy water, but some bass and hefty catfish will be hooked in the next several days.
LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – The lake’s upper portions around Allen’s Creek have been fine for freshwater stripers that will jump on surface lures, such as the Rico. Bass catches are possible in the feeder creeks, with “fat” worms, such as the Senko and Strike King’s Zero doing a good job whenever the spinnerbaits and crankbaits won’t.
KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles — Bobcat’s Lake Country Store (434-374-8381) can tell you the latest water conditions. Catfish are on the menu, for sure. And we’re talking about whopper blue or flathead “cats.” The crappie fishing soon will get into high gear when cooler water convinces them to start schooling in 5 to 10 feet of water. The bass catches could be better, but they’ll perk up by the weekend.
JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) The fishing guide Mike Hoke (804-357-8518) can be called for bookings. By Saturday, the water will be in good enough shape for catfish and bass outings. Things are still settling down after last week’s nasty weather, but they are settling.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – Check with River’s Rest (804-829-2753) for the latest conditions. Give the bass fishing a shot. Catches have been good this week, so have the catfish hookups.
SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal’s Dick Fox said, “The river is in great shape. It is at normal level with a slight stain, perfect for fishing. The water temperature has cooled to 74 degrees which should bring the fall smallmouth bite in the near future.”
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Stripers have been hanging around the creek mouths, along with a fair number of bass. The largemouth and smallmouth bass are sure to turn on in the next several days, what with cooler night temperatures driving them to seek food.
UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles — One Virginia fisheries official said he wouldn’t hesitate to go fishing for smallmouth bass this weekend. Things have greatly improved since last week.
MARYLAND: 165 miles to Ocean City — After last weekend when the Ocean City Inlet and coastal waters were an iffy proposition for boaters, but the back bays and nearby offshore areas today appear clean and ready for fishing visitors. In the distant offshore region, the Poorman’s Canyon, for example, has been giving up white marlin by the numbers. Add to that some hefty dolphin (fish) that are found among the billfish. Bluefish are caught far out and close in, even in the back bay behind the resort city. A 51-inch red drum was reportedly caught from the beach at Assateague Island a few days ago. The Coastal Fisherman paper says the North Jetty has been giving up big croakers, bluefish and tautogs. In the bay, expect strikes from flounder, but most of them will be undersized.
VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach – A. Dr. Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) said amberjacks can be hooked on wrecks, the Chesapeake Light Tower and the South Tower. She also said that deep-droppers are having good luck in the ocean with limits of blueline tilefish, blackbellied rosefish and jumbo seabass hooked. Offshore action is picking back up, she added, and Dr. Ken Neill, who has been out hunting billfish says the numbers of white marlin that are caught is astonishing. One charter boat came back to Virginia Beach reporting 31 white marlin hookups in one outing. Ball, meanwhile, said that most of the billfish action is occurring from the the Triple 0’s area and to the south lately. “Even swordfish and spearfish were reported this week,” she added and mentioned that 50-pound class yellowfin tunas and great catches of dolphin (fish) round out catches.
• For additional outdoors news, check out www.genemuellerfishing.com.
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