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CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – Lake Anna: Professional guide Jim Hemby (540-967-3313) said the striper fishing is outstanding. The rockfish are feeding all over the lake now on 5- to 15-foot flats, over humps and points. “Just about every shallow flat and primary point on the lake and near the mouths of creeks produces nice catches,” he said and added that the striped bass are feeding all the way up the rivers down to the dam and they are not selective about what they want to eat. Largemouth bass fishing can be good and Hemby wants you to remember that normally only a small percentage of bass spawn this month, but due to the warm weather and bedding activity the majority of bass will attempt to do it this month. The crappie fishing has been very good if you concentrate your efforts around shallow docks where baitfish are present. This is especially true if there is some kind of hiding cover available, such as brush or fallen logs. The catfish are hungry.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries biologist John Odenkirk told me that he fears certain fish species’ spawning activities (such as smallmouth bass) could be impeded by the extremely low water in the upper river and even portions of the lower river. The Fredericksburg sector offers shad and catfish, but not nearly in the numbers that should be present. Some of the lower tidal sectors provide decent chances for largemouth bass.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – It’s still tough sledding for boaters since the dam repairs continue to be under way and the water is very low. Launching a car topper can be a chore.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Darrell Kennedy of the Angler’s Landing concession (540-672-3997) will provide water condition reports and other information. The water temperatures are steadily climbing and now are above 60 degrees. A few of the lake’s largemouth bass are on their spawning beds, but many others are still in a pre-spawn mode and they’ll look at soft plastics and slowly fished crankbaits. Crappies are found in any part of the lake waters that offer brush, stumps and sunken logs. Catfish like chicken livers of worm baits.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Holly Grove Marina and guide Geg Karpinski (434-636-3455) says bass can be caught on Carolina-rigged plastic woms or small minnows. Minnows will also attract fat crappies. A recent crappie catch included a 2-pound, 8-ouncer. Catfish love clam snouts, cut pieces of fish or commercially produced “stink” baitCats are also being cooperative, going for clam snouts and stink bait. Four citation cats have been boated recently. Bluegill action is slow, but should pick up soon, try red wigglers. Perch are moving to the shallows, try small minnows and spinners. The water is clear and in the low 70s..

KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles – Bobcat’s Lake Country Store (434-374-8381) can provide a water condition report. Meanwhile, bass fishing has not been easy because of the spawning activity in the lakes coves and flats. Bobby Whitlow says the crappie fishing is getting better with some of the speckled fish on their spawning beds, but others not even thinking about spawning yet. If you’re bottom fishing for catfish, remember that these lake “cats” love a bluegill, or any “fragrant” cut fish bait. The water temperature is in the 60s.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) Local guide Mike Hoke (804-357-8518) said the fishing is great. White shad and hickory shad fishing can be fine in the upper tidal portions. Some rockfish are caught and occasional 20-plus-pounders are possible. “The catfish are biting and I landed a 50-pound blue cat recently, but no flatheads last week,” said Hoke. “I’m thinking they may have started to spawn.” Water temperatures were in the mid 60s and the water is slightly stained. The white perch fishing is at its peak and if you fish with bloodworms or small jigs you can hook one on every cast. The bass fishing appears to be only fair.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – River’s Rest (804-829-2753) will provide the latest water conditions. Alton Williams says the bass fishing is hit or miss, but good crappie fishing is yours if you use live minnows or jigs and grubs under a bobber. Plenty of catfish are taken on cut eel or mud shad baits. The water temperatures stands at 67 degrees and it is slightly stained.

WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal fisherman, Dick Fox, said, “The river is in great shape, about normal height, clear with some algae bloom. The water temperature got up to 67 degrees yesterday. Smallmouth bass catches are picking up and the topwater bite is starting. Still, it’s hard to beat a tube bait. For best results, fish the shady side of the river when sun is bright.”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Locals say the striper fishing can be awesome with the land-locked rockfish attacking just about every lure in your tackle box. The same goes for crappie catches that can be outstanding. In these mountains, the bass are in a pre-spawn mode so fairly good catches can be expected.

UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles – Low water in many parts, but smallmouth bass can be caught on smartly-fished flyfishing streamers or conventional tackle lures, such as tubes, grubs, Roadrunners, or Mepps Spinners, not to mention a 3-inch Zoom Fluke soft bait.

ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 165 miles to Ocean City – Sue Foster, of the Oyster Bay Tackle Shop (in Ocean City says the flounder have been biting. Oyster Bay Tackle had one angler bring one in that weighed 8-pounds, 4-ounces. A few stripers were reported being in the surf along with small bluefish and skates. The Route 50 Bridge waters saw striper action last week and the Oceanic Pier offers tautog, skates and snapper blues. Although the wind has been a problem, some offshore trollers find a few rockfish.

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