Walleye in Central Virginia? That’s right, and your best chance for catching one of these delicious fish is at Lake Orange.
Lake Orange is owned and managed by the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. For years, the Department has worked hard to establish a walleye population throughout Virginia. In many lakes they have failed, but apparently Lake Orange is clicking on all four walleye cylinders. Several 10-pound plus fish have been weighed at Orange, and there is a small group of fishermen whic are now targeting walleyes and are having consistent luck catching them.
Lake Orange has everything a walleye needs – gravel bars, ledges, spring-fed water, structure, lots of baitfish and deep channels.
Sometimes walleye are referred to as pike, but they are not. Walleye are in the perch family. The fish has a roundish, elongated body with big eyes that glow in the dark when hit with a light. They have a vicious set of dentures and it’s definitely a fish you don’t want “to lip.”
Walleye spawn in the spring, usually migrating up in tributaries. At Lake Orange, they head uplake and fall is the best time to catch a walleye, especially on overcast days. Rainy days are better. The fish are super, light sensitive. Rarely will you catch one on a bright, sunny day. Evenings are also prime fishing times.
Successful walleye anglers at Lake Orange are fishing about a foot off the bottom. Walleye feed on crawfish, baitfish, worms and about any living thing they can get in their mouths. Experienced walleye fishermen use night crawlers on Lindy rigs, and will often inflate the crawlers with air from a needle and air bottle. This makes the crawlers float upward.
One of the favorite natural baits for walleye is yellow perch, which have become well established at Lake Orange. The lake also has a good population of shad and alewives.
Artificial baits that produce for walleye are jigs bounced along the bottom, deep diving crankbaits that imitate a burrowing crawfish and spoons.
Lake Orange is located off of Route 629 from either Rt. 20 or Rt. 522.