May 5, 2016

Freshwater Report: Some spots delivering, others not so much - The Daily Progress: Virginia Outdoor Weekly

Charlottesville, Virginia

Freshwater Report: Some spots delivering, others not so much

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Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:29 pm

Lake Anna

Some nice fish are coming from Lake Anna reports Anna Point Marina. On March 23 Terry Kestner coaxed a 7-8 largemouth to bite his lure. On March 15, Hunter Gatewood boated a handsome 11-3 striper. Other significant fish of note include a 1-5 crappie from Greg South, a 6-2 striper caught by Tommy Queeen, a 5.40 bass landed by Kimper Sims of the Fredericksburg Fishing Club, and an 8-4 striper landed by Bill Roberts



Chickahominy River

Sandy at Riverside Camp in Lanexa says the action is heating up in her neck of the woods. Friday the 21st Mike McGee from Sandston Va caught a 5 pound largemouth bass ona rattle trap.

Says Sandy, “We had some campers this weekend that had an awesome fishing weekend. Robin Hicks and Derrick Emery from Virginia Beach caught several catfish on their trot line. The largest was 35 pounds. Robin and Derrick were using nightcrawlers, squid, bunker and chicken hot dogs.”

“We also had seven bowfins caught on the river with large minnows. There was an 8-pound bass caught last Thursdy and nice crappie have moved into the piers in front of Riverside.  


Potomac River

Capt. Steve Chaconas


Bass fishing is starting off very slowly this year. A lot of tournaments are reporting very light catches and most anglers are coming back empty handed. Some are very frustrated and questioning VADGIF 2013 catch rates reported last week and by updated catch rates showing 100 fish per hour! The snowmelt and cold fronts put a halt to fish activity earlier last week. But, a nice rebound took place toward the end of the week. Anglers need to note that while weather might be warming, cold water slows bass activity. A lot of the fish caught have silt on their bellies, indicating very inactive fish. Lures and techniques need to be slow and deliberate.  Having confidence in fishing areas is also key. Fish and re-fish areas thoroughly, noting the depth of fish activity. Punisher Hair jigs with Mizmo Baby Swamp Monster craws worked slowly, shaken and allowed to sit are the best baits. Using braid with a flourocarbon leader will help with strike detection and with hooksets. A bait spray like Jack's Juice garlic will encourage fish to hold on longer and will not interfere with the hair jig activity. To cover a bit more water, suspending jerkbaits like the Lucky Craft Pointer 100 will reach depths of 6-feet. Slight twitches and long pauses with 10-pound test will enable the bait to sit motionless and allow fish to move to it. If you don't fish slowly, the days will be long and fishless. This is the time to check out creek mouths and points, deeper docks, and drops


Chickahominy Lake

Capt. Art Conway of Conway’s River Rat Guide Service (804-746-2475) out of Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait reported that Chickahominy Lake mid-day water temperatures were in the mid to high 40’s in the lower main lake and a few degrees lower in the major creeks on Wednesday (03/19/2014). The lake level was about a foot above the top of the dam. The water was light brown and was slightly cloudy in the central lower lake.

A few blue cats were in the lower lake winter holes, but many apparently have scattered throughout the lake and up the creeks. Crappies have left the winter holes, and moderate numbers had started to filter back up the major creeks, when they were forced  out of the creeks again by the last snow and cold front. They should head back into the creeks this weekend. Most crappies were not hitting aggressively, but before the snow, active fish were hitting live minnows, Kalin crappie scrubs, other small jigs, small swim baits, and small suspending jerkbaits. Some pickerel and bass were on mid-depth flats in the backs and side-channels and in the main channels in the major creeks and were hitting live minnows, small swim baits, and suspending jerk baits. A few yellow perch were wandering in the creeks and were hitting live minnows and small jigs.

Fishing with Capt. Conway, Nick Jackowski and Eric Smith had 6 crappie, 1 pickerel, and 1 bass.


Buggs Island Lake

Bobbie Whitlow at Bobcat’s in Clarksville says the crappie bite has been good overall with some days better than others. The fish are relatively shallow and are feeding, but they are still pre-spawn Most catches have been coming from 5- to 15-feet of water. Tight-lining jigs tipped with minnows has been the most productive method. It's been tough to get the big numbers of fish, but the size has been pretty good with lots of fish over 2 pounds and a bunch over 3 already reported this year.

The catfishing has been really picking up in just the last week. Two anglers brought a 135-pound blue cat by the store on Friday and then the same two guys brought in an 81-pounder on Saturday. They are catching the fish on cut shad in the upper end of the lake above Clarksville and they are fishing in fairly shallow water.  Some are anchor-drifting and some anchoring up.

It seems that the bass are sitting on shallow points feeding on jerkbaits or shallow crankbaits. There are probably a few to be caught on Jigs too.

The stripers are up in the creeks. Wherever there are shad, there have been some stripers. They can be caught on live bait or by casting.



Lake Orange

Anglers Landing opened for spring business on March 22, and the lake was filled with anglers. Crappie are just beginning to bite but the bass are active right now, many in 7 feet or less. It’s still too cold for bluegills (mid 40-s water temoperatures) and no reports on catfish. Call Darryl Kennedy at 540-623-6085 for more information.



Little Creek Reservoir

Contributed by Park Concessionaire Diane Priestly. The water temperature is at 45, and holding finally, with a visibility of 10 feet or less. The East end is very milky green, but that will get better now. Bass to 5.8 lbs. were caught last weekend, but that pattern has changed now that the water has warmed up. We are seeing bass in water as shallow as 3 or 4 feet. So now is the time to fish jerk baits, crank baits, and Texas rigged worms. The fishing now, or soon will be, the best of the year. Crappie have moved up into the shallows, I caught 6 on Monday in 5 feet of water. Small minnows are the bait to use; the bite is soft but good. Be patient and move your bait slowly. We are seeing some bluegills. The larger ones should be taking worms, and small minnows in 12 feet of water. You may want to try in-line spinners fished slowly in these same spots. Pickerel are everywhere and easy to catch, this would be a good time, and fish, to introduce a new angler to the sport. These fish hit almost any bait, just cast close to the bank and crank her in. You may want to use braid or still leader to lessen your lure losses.


Beaverdam Reservoir

Contributed by Park Ranger David Van Atta. Bass are biting well with between 80 to 100 largemouths in brought to boat at a Little Creek tournament. All were fooled by artificials, especially spinners, jigs and soft plastics. Crappie action is hot with minnows and jigs. No word on cats or bluegill, but both should pick up in a few weeks. The water is fairly clear and 48 degrees.


Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers

Contributed by Riverkeeper Jeff Turner. Spirit of Moonpie and I are on the Blackwater below Franklin. Been out here 3 days now. When we got here water was low and 38, now normal and 44. Fishing is very slow. No shad, 3 bass, a few yellow perch, one chain pickerel, one speckle and two flier's for all that fishing. All caught jigging blade bait. Only caught 2 cats on 10 limb-lines first night. Have not checked them yet from last night. As water temperatures rebound I expect fishing to also.


James at Scottsville

Report from local Guide L.E. Rhodes, (434) 286-3366, (434) 996-5506, The James in Scottsville is running 9110 CFS, which is a little over 7 ft. The water temperature is 44 degrees. The longer days and angle of the sun will help in getting the water temperatures up and the smallmouth becoming more active. When hitting the river in these conditions please be careful and enjoy yourself.


Lake Gaston

Holly Grove Marina says that the bass bite is slowly picking up. The fish are deep, but some biggies have come up. Crappie are not cooperating, but give it a week or two and they will be more responsive. Cats can be had off the points with clam snouts. Bluegill are scarce, but as with the crappie, a few weeks will turn things around. The water is stained and in the low 40s.


Lower New River

John Zienius says smallies have not turned on yet, but should very soon. Muskies are really hot, biting just about anything, even bass lures. The water is high green and in the high 40s.


Upper New River

Contributed by local guide Richie Hughes, owner of New River Trips LLC, Two snowstorms kept us off the river last week. The next couple of weeks should produce some of the best muskie and walleye fishing of the year. Some big smallmouth can be had using tubes and jigs. Trout fishing remains good in the tributaries.


New River

Contributed by Master Angler Stephen Miklandric.

I took a little break from the blue cats and decided to head out to the New River for some walleye and muskie fishing. I figured it was time to add a few more species to this year's list. The fishing was tough to say the very least, but I managed three citations...two muskie and one walleye! The muskie was 44 ¼ inches, 22 pounds 3- 3 ounces and the walleye was a large male 25 inches, 4 pounds - 4 ounces. The weather was crazy in extremes too...snow one day...sunny and 65 degrees the next...I even got my first sunburned nose & face of the year. LOL! March is such a crazy weather month! On my second day of the trip, I awoke to find my boat full on snow! So, I took my five gallon bucket and filled it with hot water from the tub in my hotel room then poured it into the boat to melt the snow! Pretty smart. Oh, by the way, it took 24 buckets to complete the job! Well, desperate times call for desperate measures!


North and South Forks Shenandoah River

Harry Murray says that the smallmouth streams in the North fork of Shenandoah close to Edinburg, are clearing and dropping nicely.  It should give good fishing by this weekend. The water is 42 degrees, at a good level and clear. The large trout streams in the Valley are giving good fishing with nymphs in the deep pools. Good flies are: Murray's Dark Stonefly Nymph, size 12, and Murray's Olive Caddis Pupa size 12. The water is clear, at a good level and 47 degrees. The brookie streams in the mountains are too high and cold to fish.


Lake Moomaw

Contributed by local angler Bill Uzzell. Lake Moomaw is slowly starting to show some signs of improvement after a long and cold winter. Most of the ice has subsided with the exception of the Fortney Branch launch area and the back of some coves. The dam cove has some large pieces of ice floating around also. However, warm sunny weather over the past weekend and the upcoming week should have these areas accessible soon. The Coles Point and Bolar Flat ramps are usable. Use caution at Coles Point as the walkway to the dock is damaged. The fishing is tough at this time. Several anglers have reported no catches this week with one angler catching three largemouth bass up to 3 lbs. A jerk bait was the ticket to this catch. An occasional pickerel has also been reported. Presently, the water temps are 38 to 39 degrees. Won't be long until the temperatures improve and the bass will show up for the pre-spawn season. No reports of trout, yellow perch, or crappie being caught at this time. Don't forget to renew your annual parking pass if you make use of this document. These can be obtained at the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce as well as the Bolar Flat Marina.

Charlottesville, VA

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