Things are starting to happen on the freshwater scene. Shad, herring and stripers are in the Potomac River. White perch should follow soon. Herring, perch, American and hickory shad along with stripers are now in the Occoquan River. The shad are in Fredericksburg in the Rappahannock and bass fishing has been good there, as well. Shad, white perch and catfish are now active on the Mattaponi. Bass fishing has been excellent at Lake Anna along with crappie and stripers.
On the lower James, anglers are encountering lots of big blue cats. Above Richmond, big smallmouth are biting.
Crappie are now drawing most of the attention on the Chickahominy River. Catfishing is also strong. On the Chickahominy Lake, hickory shad are hanging near Walker’s Dam. Some nice pickerel and largemouth are taking live minnows.
Buggs Island Lake is at full pool and the striper bite is good. Crappie are beginning their spawn and have moved shallow. Numerous 2-pound-plus fish have been reported. Stripers fishing is good from Nutbush Creek to Palmers Point, and from the mouth of Eastland Creek to Butchers Creek. The stripers appear to be moving up the lake, starting their spawning runs into the Dan and Staunton Rivers.
At Smith Mountain, bass are very active and crappie are moving shallow. Some 20 pound stripers have been netted on bucktails and live shad.
At Lake Moomaw, anglers are catching some monster yellow perch and brown trout are taking live minnows in deep water near the dam.
Lots of Fish, No Fishermen
The Outer Banks is basically under quarantine. Only landowners are allowed on the island. Too bad, because there are tons of fish willing to bite. Especially stripers in the sound. Capt. Reese Stecher has decided to go fishing for food, since the local Food Lion has mostly bare shelves. Reese has been filling his freezer with striper filets and says that the puppy drum and specks are also active.
At Hatteras, Ramp 55 anglers had nice catches of sea mullet as did Ramp 49 along with some puppy drum. Lots of sea mullet and good numbers of blow toads were caught at the Point.
With a very mild winter, it should be outstanding fishing on the Outer Banks – when they let fishermen back on the island.