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NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles – Not much happening in the river, although there were reports once again of stripers hammering Rat-L-Traps around long jutting points south of Vienna just around sunrise or sunset when coupled to high tides. The Marshyhope Creek delivers a few crappies and bass, but it’s not worth paying the outlandishly high bridge tolls to get across the Bay only to find mediocre fishing.


LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – “Only about an inch of rain fell here during all those storms, so the water color ins’t bad at all,” says my lake contact. Many of the largemouth bass in the lower lake around the three dikes and dam area have already spawned, but are still hanging around near the spawning coves. Carolina rigged lizards have been the hot ticket. Striper fishing in the mid-lake region is pretty good. Start hunting for them in the mouths of major creeks such as Contrary and Mitchell. Crappies are still in fairly shallow water at docks and now along the grass edges.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries biologist John Odenkirk said the rain was very beneficial for fish and anglers alike. The shad fishing in the Fredericksburg stretch should perk up now and why no one is actually trying to hook a fat blue catfish is anybody’s guess. The “cats’ are in the river. Bass catches south of Fredericksburg are holding up well until you get to distant places like Leedstown. It’s not very productive there. In the upper freshwater parts of the “Rap,” as some locals call it, smallmouth bass should look ata spinner, tube, jig or 1/4-ounce crankbait.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – The concession stand’s Lori can be reached best during weekends at 540/219-1673. It’s still tough to launch a boat because of low water during the dam construction, but Lori said that the fishing is awesome right now. Crappies by the bucketsful are taken by anglers working the waters close to the concession. Bass are also hooked.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles – Darrell Kennedy of the Angler’s Landing concession (540/672-3997) will provide water condition reports and other information. Crappie, catfish and largemouth bass are definitely interested in lures and baits now. Find a waterlogged brush pile or a sunken tree and chances are all three species are hiding there.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles – Holly Grove Marina (434/636-3455) will help with water condition reports. One thing is certain, the crappies are biting and it is no great deal if you luck into a fat striper or a largemouth bass. It all depends where you fish. Crappies are in sunken brush and around the bridge abutments in feeder creeks. Stripers are uplake and the bass are liable to be anywhere where points just out between creek and main lake waters.

KERR RESERVOIR: 200 miles – Bobcat’s Lake Country Store (434-374-8381) can provide a water condition report. Catfish galore and they like cut slabs of any kind of fish, which includes bluegills and such. The bass are either spawning or getting ready to spawn. Check out points and backwaters in the creeks. Cast jerkbaits, soft craw baits, or Chatterbaits for good results. Rockfish are in the uplake sections.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles – (Tidal Richmond and downstream) Catfish and rockfish are possible from Dutch Gap downstream toward Walker Creek and the Chippokes. Some decent bass are possible in the feeder creeks. At the Richmond water line there’ll be catch-and-release shad and herring.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles – River’s Rest (804-829-2753) will provide the latest water conditions. The bass fishing has been up and down, which is normal during the spawning season, but some nice ones are hooked on craw baits, such as the Baby Rage Tail or Paca Craw. Crappie chances are good up the river toward the dam area.


SHENANDOAH RIVER: 60-85 miles – Front Royal fisherman, Dick Fox, said, “The river is rising slowly with a water temperature of 60 degrees. Fishing for smallmouth bass will be slow until the weekend when the weather will settle down and a warm-up begins.”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles – Lots of crappies are hooked in flooded creek brush. Locals here prefer live minnows under a bobber. The bass are possible in the main lake’s side pockets where shallow water meets deep layers and provides hiding spots. Rockfish catches are steady up and down the lake.

UPPER JAMES RIVER (at Scottsville): 130 miles – Look for the smallmouth bass to check out tube lures and inline spinners, maybe even a streamer fly. The rain has not done any damage other than help raise the water a little.


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