Fishing reports for the entire United States coastline and freshwater systems.
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This fishing report is provided as part of the VDGIF Virginia Outdoor Report. Click here to subscribe to the VDGIF Virginia Outdoor Report
Region 1 - Tidewater
Beaverdam Swamp: Chuck Hyde says that the recent Big Bash Tournament was a huge success, with Fred Seminario and Mike Samuels of Hampton taking first place with 14.45 lbs of bass. Second place went to Jason Carlton and Dennis Mitchell of Gloucester landing 13.70 lbs worth. Wes Zabdyr of Williamsburg won third place by landing 13.45 lbs.
The crappie fishing is good, with minnows as the preferred bait. The water is clear at 55 degrees.
Chickahominy River: Charlie Brown of River's Rest reports that the herring are running, but not many shad. A few crappies have come in, but it's not a hot time for them yet. Cats are going for fresh cut herring. Stripers have not been coming in really big numbers, but they are consistent. The water is clear and warming.
Norfolk Lakes: Drew Dixon of Dashell's Show Room tells us that the shad have finally "shown up" and are hitting shad darts. The rockfish are biting hard. Crappie are attacking minnows. Bass are going for both crankbaits and live bait. Check your VDGIF Fishing Regulations at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov for the regulations in your area. The water is clear and 58 degrees.
Little Creek: Walter Elliot reports that largemouth are attacking jigs and rattle traps in shallow waters. Paul Linton of Lanexa came in with two largemouth at 5.14 lbs and 7.3 lbs on a jig. Ron Jones of Sandston got a 7 pounder on a Rattle Trap. Crappie are responding "decent" to small minnows in 5 to 10 feet of water. Chain pickerel have been giving lucky anglers a good fight when caught on spinnerbaits and large minnows. Hal Hampton of Richmond landed a 14 inch yellow perch on a minnow. The water is stained and in the 50s. The water level is 12 inches below full pool.
North Landing River and Back Bay: Dewey Mullins of West Neck Marina reports that several citation-sized white perch had been brought to boat, with some over 16 lbs. Perch seem to like spinner baits and beetle spins. Crappie are doing well when tempted with small minnows. Cat angling is slow, but the fish are there to be had. The water is clear and in the high 50s and low 60s. Note the new regulations for anadromous fish for this river system featured above.
Nottoway River: Jeff Turner tells us that small stripers are to be had in good quantities. They are really going for large stick crankbaits. Shad have also showed up and are biting shad spoons and darts. As the water temperature rises, the shad population should also rise. The water is clear and clear and 54 degrees. The river is flowing fast. Note the new regulations for anadromous fish for this river system featured above.
Region 2 - Southside
Kerr Reservoir: Bobby Witlow of Bob Cat's Lake Country Store reports that local anglers are landing crappie with small minnows and jigs. Bass are going for spinners, crankbaits and jigs. Catfish are doing really well with cut bait and live shad. The water is clear and warming.
Smith Mountain Lake: Mike Snead reports that stripers are going for jigging spoons and flukes in deep water during daylight hours. Dawn and twilight hours find them in shallower waters. Crappie are responding well to small minnows near deep structures. Bass fishing in the lake is "mixed" - some do very well, some strike out. Pig and jig lures seem to be effective. In deeper water, try football jigs, jigging spoons, swim jigs, and lipless crankbaits. A citation muskie, over 40 inches, was brought in by Jesse Saunders. Macky May landed a 26 lb 9 oz striper. Trout fishing is good in stocked areas, with Popeye hair jigs being very productive. The water is clear and 50 degrees. For a more detailed report, go to http://www.virginiaoutdoorsman.com.
Philpott Lake: Shawn Perdue of Franklin Outdoors says that crappie are hitting small minnows. Walleye are going live baits and crankbaits. Stripers are active in the evenings, when they attack top water lures, especially Redfins, Thundersticks and Giant Jitterbugs in solid black. The water is 54 degrees and clear.
Region 3 - Southwest
Claytor Lake: At Rock House Marina the big story is the stripers. They are weighing in at 19 - 24 lbs. Crappie are also doing well. The water is clear and warming
Lower New River: John Zienius of Big Z's reports that smallmouth bass are going for little crankbaits and jerkbaits: a recent smallmouth tournament in the river recorded good numbers. Crappie action is not "hot" yet, but should be soon. Bass anglers are landing muskies by accident, so if you're going for the big muskie, try some big bass lures. All in all, John says that fishing is "very good." The river is stained and warming.
New River and Claytor Lake: Victor Billings of Sportsman's Supply says that stripers are going for live bait and Cotton Cordell plugs in rainbow and black colors. Bucktails are also attracting stripers. Smallmouth are attacking jigs, minnows and crankbaits. Crappie and walleye fishing is "slow". Largemouth are going wild for ET lures and soft plastics. Muskie are warming up; while the walleyes are slowing down. The water is clear and 42 - 43 degrees.
Region 4 - Mountain and Shenandoah Valley
Lake Moomaw: Larry Andrews of the Bait Place called in that smallmouths are spawning and going for minnows. Crappie fishing is picking up, minnows, silver buddies and crappie jigs are a good bet. Trout fishing is still slow. Yellow perch are picking up as they go for minnows. The water is dark green, 44 degrees and at full pond.
North Fork of the Shenandoah: Harry Murray reports that the smallmouth streams in both the North and South forks of the river are at full level. The best flies to use are Murray's Heavy Hellgrammite sizes 4 and 6, and Murray's Road Kill Nymph size 6, and Chub size 8. The water in these streams is slightly stained and 52 degrees.
The trout streams in the valley are at a good water level and "many nice trout" are there to be had. These fish will go for small streamers and nymphs. The water is stained and 42 degrees.
The mountain trout streams are finally fishable again! The water level is fairly high and it is best to approach by coming into the streams from the top of the mountain. Good dry flies to use are Mr. Rapdan sizes 14 - 16, and Royal Wulff size 14. The water is clear and 42 degrees. Harry reminded me that he has a Web site that can be found at http://www.murraysflyshop.com that is upgraded every Tuesday and Friday.
Region 5 - Northern Piedmont
James, Fall Line: Mike Ostrander reports that he has been landing blue cats over 5 lbs on cut shad. Shad fishing is picking up and gold and silver spoons and shad darts are top baits. Fly fishermen are also successful using sinking line and chartruse flies. The water is stained and in the mind 50's.
James, Fall Line: Russ Cress tells me that hickory shad are doing well on chartreuse flies. He also says that the water is still too cold to be really active. The water is stained and 53 degrees.
Lake Anna: C.C. McCotter tells us that largemouth fishing should be picking up. Try fishing shallow with jerkbaits and swimbaits. Small crankbaits should also be effective. Remember, where the herring and shad are, the bass will be too. Stripers are going to be most plentiful at low light hours. At these times, use swimbaits and suspending jerkbaits. Crappie should be spawning and will attack small minnows. The water is clear and warming.
Scott Hammer, also on Lake Anna, reports that bass will be "holding on main and secondary points in the main lake". They will go into shallow areas as the water warms up in search of bait fish. Crappie are hanging out around deep structures like bridge pilings and brush. Small minnows and grubs are effective. Stripers are becoming more active above the dam. Dike 3 is a good place to start, especially when the plant is pumping. In open water, use live bait. In creeks and creek mouths try flukes. In general your best lures on the lake will be suspending jerkbaits in blue/chrome and black/chrome, Carolina rigged plastics (lizards) and jigs. When using plastics, stick with natural colors. The water is somewhat stained and 45 to 50 degrees.
Potomac Area - Brought to us by Charlie Taylor
D.C. Area: With warm weather comes the spawning of the bass, they aren't spawning just yet, but look out as weather continues to warm up. Bass action is lively, with plastic grubs, silver buddies, jig & pig, and rattling crankbaits. White perch are starting to hit well. Channel cats are hugging the bottom, going for their usual baits. Remember, striper and shad season is closed, so the fish must be released. The water is clear and warming.
Below Woodrow Wilson Bridge: Largemouths are hitting well on a variety of things: live bait, silver buddies, worms and plastic grubs. These should be used during the early and middle parts of the day. When things get warmer small, shallow running crankbaits are a better bet. Most of these fish can be found in the shallows. It's also good to look for vegetation. The local perch are hanging out in lower creeks and are hitting small twister tail grubs and spinners. Some pickerel have been seen in Nanjemoy Creek. Cats are active in creek channels, feasting on herring and white perch. Bear in mind that a 15 inch minimum size limit is in effect in the Potomac and its tributaries until June 15th. The water is clear and warming.
Upper River: A high, muddy river can be hard to fish, but some smallmouth are being landed on tiny crankbaits. Try the vegetation beds along the banks. Cats are cooperating by attacking night crawlers, cut bait, clam snouts (Yum!), and bloodworms. Carp are going crazy, and going for almost anything. A few white suckers have been brought in. The river is muddy and warming.
Occoquan River: The herring have arrived, and more are on their way. Bass have gone to deeper waters, but should be returning to the shallows soon. Crappie can be had on the boat docks, flooded brush, or suspended in deeper water. To go for shad, use tiny shad darts. According to Charlie "don't be surprised at what you catch. Just about any fish in the river will take these lures." White perch can be tempted by bottom rigs with night crawlers, live minnows, tiny Hopkins spoons, or very small grubs. Largemouth are in the shallows, going for slow rolled spinnerbaits, small shad colored crankbaits and small plastics. Channel cats are attacking clams snouts and cut herring. The water is clear and warming.
Occoquan Reservoir: The main lake coves are the best place to go for bass; they seem to like jig & pig, and slow rolled spinnerbaits. The males are in the shallow coves, while the females are in a little deeper water. Crappie are hiding in the brush, going for minnows and tiny jigs. Cats are fair, but will get better as water warms. The water is clear and warming.
Burke Lake: Bass angling is fair in the lake. Some good ones have been landed with crankbaits, plastic lures and buzzbaits, in the Northern side of the lake's shallow coves. Some muskies have been brought to boat on large spinners. A few small crappie have been taken. The water is clear and warming.
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