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Virginia’s Big Three Rivers – the James, Shenandoah and New – fished well last weekend, but for the coming week? Not so much. Torrential mid-week rains have the waters muddy and roiled, but this is good news for summer angling as water tables have filled and when the Dog Days hit, we should have lots of water and hungry fish in the rivers.
It could be that June is one of the best months to fish for trout this year. The Game Department is winding down the stocking, but continued to stock in the high water. In high water, the fish get spread out and there will be lots of natural insect life to sustain holdover fish. The Tye River is one of Virginia’s top stocked streams, especially when the fish have the opportunity to disperse. The Bullpasture and Jackson rivers will also be excellent choices.
Native trout streams are in near-perfect condition with lots of high, cool water.
Contributed by Darrell Kennedy of Anglers Landing (540.672.3997) Water temperature is around mid 70s and clear with numbers of bass schooling up on baitfish. Bass are being caught on top water. Crappie are being caught on small minnows and jigs in 8 to 10 ft. of water. Bream are spawning with some nice stringers being caught on red wigglers. Walleye have been caught on night crawlers and minnows worked along rocky areas.
By Capt. Steve Chaconas
With warmer water and getting clearer, the summer pattern for topwater fishing is here. Water temperatures are holding in the mid 70s and the stage is set.
With cloudy skies and clear water, fish topwaters later in the day before dusk. Lower water is best or close to marsh banks or pad edges at higher tides. In the clearest water, Lucky Craft G-Splash 65 in Shad patterns and be worked over cover on 10-12 pound test Gamma Copoly line. Make long casts and vary presentations. Pop and stop or pop, pop, pop. Use the larger G-Splash 80 in darker patterns when the water is stained. Walking Gunfish is a good idea too, don’t stop when fish miss. Work topwaters on either 20-pound Gamma Torque braid or 10-pound Copoly.
Find grass and use depth specific presentations. At low tide, find deeper edges and pitch soft plastics. Texas rigged Mizmo tubes; green pumpkin variations on 14 pound test Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon line can be pitched to all cover. As the water rises, Mann’s Baby 1-Minus on 12-pound Edge can be snapped over grass and deflected off wood cover. When the water rises, go deeper with chatterjigs, spinnerbaits, and deeper cranks. Buoyant Lucky Craft BDS 4 crankbaits, in shad patterns, can get down to deeper grass and pops free for a reaction bite.
High tide with sun is a good time to hit the docks. Texas rigged Mizmo tubes and Quiver Stix on 3/0 Mustad Mega Bite hooks can be pitched and skipped into shaded areas and along pilings. Soak in garlic Jack’s Juice Bait Spray.
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 high 60’s to low 70’s in the main lake and in the major creeks. Fishing with Capt. Conway, Rick Bell and Chuck Willard had 2 bluegills, 20 crappie, 1 white perch, and 1 bullhead. Karen Anderson had 19 bluegills, 2 yellow perch, 1 blue cat and 1 channel cat. Joe Shmokler and Dominic Puglisi had 1 shellcracker, 1 citation yellow perch, 1 pickerel, 1 bowfin and 2 bass. Tom Porter had 48 bluegill, 16 crappie, 5 white perch and and 2 pickerel.
Bass action is steady and crappie bite is picking up. Some nice stripers have been busting bait at The Splits, Bluegills are on the beds and are very aggressive.