With a little assist from early October rains, the VDGIF has resumed its fall trout stocking program and a number of streams (listed below) have been stocked. More stocking will continue in future weeks.
October 12, Wythe County Cripple Creek (Ravens)
October 12, Bath County Back Creek
October 12, Washington County Beartree Lake
October 11, Bland County Lick Creek
October 11, Giles County Big Stoney Creek
October 11, Scott County Bark Camp Lake [
October 11, Scott County Stock Creek
October 11, Fluvanna County Hardware River
October 11, Bath County Douthat & Wilson Creek
October 8, Wythe County Cripple Creek (Rt. 94)
October 7, Franklin County Pigg River
October 7, Madison County Robinson River
October 7, Patrick County Dan River
October 7, Tazewell County Lincolnshire Lake
October 7, Tazewell County Lake Witten
October 7, Page County Hawksbill Creek
October 7, Rockingham County South River
October 7, Augusta County South River (Ridgeview Park)
October 7, Bath County Douthat & Wilson Creek
October 7, Smyth County Middle Fork Holston River (Marion)
October 7, Smyth County Middle Fork Holston River (Chilhowie)
October 6, Henry County Smith River (Lower)
October 6, Nelson County Tye River
October 6, Bath County Jackson River (Rt. 623)
October 6, Dickenson County Cranesnest River
October 6, Dickenson County Russell Fork River (Bartlick)
October 6, Dickenson County Russell Fork River (Haysi)
October 6, Dickenson County Pound River (Flannagan Dam)
October 6, Smyth County South Fork Holston River (Buller Dam)
October 6, Giles County Wolf Creek
October 6, Pulaski County Peak Creek
October 5, Craig County Potts Creek
October 5, Carroll County Chestnut Creek
October 5, Pulaski County Peak Creek
October 5, Albemarle County Sugar Hollow Reservoir
October 5, Lee County Martin’s Creek
October 5, Wise County Middle Fork Powell River (Appalachia)
October 5, Lee County North Fork Powell River
October 5, Wise County South Fork Powell River
Angler’s Lane reports that the rainbows and browns in the lower Jackson are hitting nymphs. The water is at a good level, clear and in the high 50s. Brookie streams are somewhat high, which makes for good fishing. waters are very clear and in the mid 50s.
The Right Wind
Last week, winds out of the east clogged fishing spots and boat ramps with dead grass. North winds should clear out the grass to expose the living grass remnants and to make launching much easier. Also, docks could come into play.
Using 1/4-ounce Mann’s Classic spinnerbaits with white skirts, locate isolated clumps of grass. At higher tides move to the bank, as the tides fall, look for deeper water with grass. Clear water isn’t the best to fish with spinnerbaits, so find some stained water. Slow retrieves using 12 pound test GAMMA Edge fluorocarbon line. Also the chatterjigs with white skirts.
Small suspending jerkbaits like the Lucky Craft Pointer 78 in clown patterns will also produce, especially in areas with clearer water. Make long casts. Edge fluorocarbon 10-12 pound test is good, also try 10-12 pond test Copoly. Tap and pause. Vary the length of the pause and how hard the taps are.
Crankbaits are also worth a toss on 12-pound Edge. Mann’s Baby 1-Minus in a variety of colors from reds to Shad patterns. Also cover water with Lucky Craft LVR D-7 lipless crankbaits. Engage the grass with these bait and snap free. At higher tides try the Lucky Craft 1.5 rattling cranks.
Capt. Steve Chaconas is a guide on the Potomac River. firstname.lastname@example.org
Crappie are on two different patterns depending on what part of the lake you are fishing. From Clarksville downstream, the fish can be caught vertical jigging with bucktails around brush and other structures on ledges and points. On the upper end of the lake in creeks such as Bluestone and Buffalo, fishermen are beginning to haul in some nice catches of fish by tight-lining jigs and minnows in 5 to 12 feet of water around drop offs and shallow flats.
James at Lynchburg
From Angler’s Lane, Tom Reisdorf says that recent rain has made the James a bit too high for really good fishing, but things will soon have the smallies biting. Try crayfish and baitfish patterns. Once the level goes down, Tom expects some of the best fishing of the year as fish fatten up for winter. The water is cooling, stained and high.
Smith Mountain Lake
Captain Travis Patsell reports.
Stripers: With the rain we received and cool nights, water temps are on the decline. Several large schools are still showing in the lower lake areas. Downlines and weighted planers baited with alewives will be most successful in baitfishing.
Crappie: Fishermen are on the brink, the fish will to be moving shallows soon.
Catfish: Currently, night and low light will be the best times. Live and cut bait will be a bait of choice 10- to 25-ft. down. Look in the mid to upper reaches of the river arms.
According to Shawn Hash, fishing for smallies is incredible as they are killing them with cranks. Muskies are still scarce, but they might go for an inline spinner, big bulldog, big crank or live bait. They will turn on soon as the weather cools. The water is in the 60s, stained but clearing and at a normal level.
The bait shop ad marina, Angler’s Landing, is closed for the season but the lake is open 24/7. Good action for walleye, catfish, crappie and bass is underway.