The top spot to fish this weekend – especially for trout – could be the South River in Downtown Waynesboro. Water levels are good and the fish are biting.
Says Tommy Lawhorne at the South River Fly Shop:
The South River Catch and Release area is fishing well. Water levels are great for this time of year, Trico’s are getting started and terrestrial patterns are pulling fish up to feed. The mountain stream water levels are dropping fast, but good reports are coming in from the Shenandoah on both big fish and lots of action. The Damsels are hatching and Walt’s Blue Damsel Popper is a go to pattern for both the Shenandoah and the James. Walt’s Blue Damsel Poppers are in stock at South River Fly Shop along with all of Walt’s other great poppers.
South River Fly Shop, 323 W. Main St., Waynesboro, VA 22980, 540-942-5566, southriverflyshop.com
Morning low tides and some clouds will set up a solid topwater bite. Water is warm, into the mid 80s.
Spool up with Gamma 50 pound Torque braid and find grass edges.
The frog bite is on. Lots of brands and colors will work, but braid and a good frog rod are needed to set the hook. Open the hook gap with some pliers for better hook ups. A good frog rod, 7 feet and longer, needs to have a strong backbone and a tip soft enough to make casting easier. Work the frogs over the edge of thick low tide grass. Pause and twitch at openings in the grass. Set the hook as soon as a fish takes the bait.
As the tide rises, or in areas with sparse grass, Lucky Craft G-Splash poppers on 14 pound test Gamma Copoly will cover water and bring up big fish. Again, a 7-foot or longer rod will help pull fish from cover.
When the topwater bite slows, go to Mann’s Baby 1-Minus crankbaits on 14-pound test Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon line. Also try chatterjigs with a Mann’s HardNose Mullet trailer. Swim jigs are also good as well. For the swim jigs and chatterbaits, try black/blue, green pumpkin and white patterns. With all of these baits, make contact with the grass and pop free to trigger strikes.
|The guides at Angler’s Lane in Lynchburg say the smallmouth bite is on in the James, Staunton and New. These rivers have been on fire and it’s only going to get better as the summer continues. We have had some high water recently with the rains but the levels have receded nicely.
The fish are feeding more aggressive than they have all year. Our guides have been fishing for smallies for years and have access to some water that rarely gets any fishing pressure. Now is the time to catch a trophy bronze back!
|We have been catching most fish on streamers, clawdads and baitfish patterns but the topwater bite is turning on! You just can’t beat watching a 20″ smallmouth slurp down your bug! And to top it off, pound for pound smallmouth are the hardest fighting freshwater fish!
We are starting to fill up prime dates in July and August so call us today at 434-385-0200 or go online to book your day on one of Virginia’s premier smallmouth fisheries.
Contributed by Darrell Kennedy of Anglers Landing (540.672.3997). The water is clear with temps in the mid 80s. The fish have moved to their summer patterns with some nice crappie caught around the fishing pier and brush piles in 8-10 feet. They are feeding on small minnows and jigs. Largemouth bass are starting to school up and chase baitfish holding on brush piles in 10-15 feet, with soft plastics the bait of choice. Catfish have picked up a little with warmer temps on the upper end and are taking chicken livers. Walleye are at the deeper end among rocky areas and are hitting live bait.
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 low 80’s in the main lake and in the major creeks on Wednesday.
Fishing with Capt. Conway, Mickey Cleveland had 2 bluegills, 5 crappie, 1 white perch, 1 striped bass, and 1 pickerel. Carolyn Conway had 25 bluegills, 1 shellcracker, 1 crappie, and 1 bass. Tom Porter had 44 bluegills, 4 crappie, and 1 white perch.