Freshwater Report: New river muskies biting

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New River


Charlottesville angler Bill Marley says “The muskies are biting” on the New River. “I went to the New River at Whitethorne Landing and was spinner fishing with a guide. I caught 2 nice muskies- one at 37-inches the other 38-inches. The guide pointed out that Muskies are definitely a fish with an attitude.



Mossy Creek/Beaver Creek


Kevin Dubois of  South Hampton Roads fish the valley streams with his friend David under the tutelage of the guides at Mossy Creek Fly Shop. Kevin hooked and landed a 22-inch rainbow and the angling pair caught numerous rainbos and browns. A fly called a Criitter-mite as the ace in the hole.


“Brian Trow guided us, gave us flies, and tips to fish the stream and within no time we had fish on.  This stream is loaded with quality wild fish.  Some of the rainbows were post-spawn and still impressive even with washed-out colors.  The browns were chunky,” said Kevin.



Shenandoah River


Ed T. reports: The weather and the water levels have been kind of a mixed bag so far this year. I’ve missed out on more than one trip, including last week. That said, yesterday was a pleasant surprise. I did the SP2 trip from the state park to Karo Landing. The river was a little bit high, just over the three foot level. Hardly any rocks showing. Made for an easy paddle though. The fishing was a little slow in the morning, only caught a few smallmouth before noon. I was using a Bomber Square Bill crankbait (crawdad). The few smallmouth I got were caught in the slack water below rock ledges. I hit the first creek and got three decent size largemouth on 4″ Senkos (green pumpkin). Hit that series of coves on the left side just past the creek for a couple of smallmouth. Continued down river tossing the plug, but like I said it was kinda slow in the morning. Many casts between bass. I hit that second creek, across from all the houses. Jackpot! I paddled all the way up to the very end of the creek and found a pooled up school of largemouth. Pretty sure they were bedding, or having some kind of bass orgy. Anyway, I pulled out five really nice largemouth on the Senko, best two were seventeen and eighteen inches. Nice. In the spring, and especially after some high water, I’ts always a good idea to check out the creeks along the South Fork. For one reason or another, that’s where the largemouth like to hide. So I was feelin’ pretty good about the largemouth and pulled back out in the river ready to get going with the smallies. Out in the river things were still a little slow, so I started switching lures. When I tied on a Rapala Jointed Floating Minnow, J-9, (silver) things started to click. Started getting hit on a fairly regular basis. Most of the action was near the ledges, as somewhat fast turbulent water seemed to produce the best. Got a few of them on the flats as well, but fast stuff near the rocks was the best bet. The rest of the afternoon was decent fishing. Never got red hot, but it was steady and enjoyable. Nice size smallmouth. Only three dinks. Everything else was over a foot.Best smallmouth was a seventeen incher to go with several fifteens and sixteens. All things considered, it was the best day I’ve had this year. Big smile at the end of the day. We’re heading into late spring and that’s a good time for a trip and a good time for fishing the South fork. The weather is getting a bit more consistent and yet we still have the good qualities of spring fishing, i.e. big honkin’ smallmouth that are hungry and aggressive enough to get caught. Believe me, when the water and weather gets warmer, the big ones get a lot smarter and a lot harder to nail. Point is, if you are interested in getting a big smallmouth, now is a very good time to make a trip. Good luck with your fishing.




.James River


It’s been up and down, mostly up following heavy showers. Should be in good shape this weekend.



Lake Anna


A Tag Team of  Gerry & Ken managed to wrestle in a 25 pound, 8 ounce blue catfish out of Lake Anna, known primarily for channel catfish. The big ‘un was caught on live bait.


Bill Williamson, an 83-year young angler with lots of experience under his belt came to Anna to visit and fish with his good friend, Kevin Dorr. Bill picked up a 3-11 largemouth for his efforts.


Guide Chris Craft and his client Susie Hust had a great day on Lake Anna.  They caught 17 bass on the  Paycheck Baits Repoman


As well as North Anna Bait Company CC MINNOW’s




Potomac River


Fish have been fanning beds. Time for the females to move up! Water has cleared up nicely after major storms last week! Water temperatures are well into the mid 60s, looking to climb into the 70s. Highs near 90 to start the week with a front coming through on Wednesday cooling things down to the low 70s and bringing a chance of showers and possibly thunderstorms the rest of the week. Overnight lows in the 50s.


Morning high tides will position fish close to the bank. Locate fish with moving lures like Mann’s Baby X crankbaits and chatterbaits. With clear water, suspending Lucky Craft Pointer 78 Jerkbaits will flush out fish. Pauses to pull fish off the bottom will be effective. Use 12-pound test GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon.


The best bait for spawners is a Texas-rigged 4-inch green pumpkin Mizmo tube with tips dipped in chartreuse dye or Mizmo flashers with chartreuse. A 3/0 Mustad tube hook is the biggest hook possible, giving better hooksets on spawners trying to bite the tails. Use 3/16-ounce pegged bullet weights. Move up to the bank, looking for bare spots. Either pitch to visible bedding fish or make long casts to the beds. For longer casts, try 10-pound test GAMMA Edge on spinning gear. For shorter presentations 12-14 pound test on casting gear.


Weightless or with 1/8 ounce bullet weight, stick worms Texas or wacky rigged also work. Drop shots cast to bedding bass are also effective. Use plenty of Jack’s Juice bait spray to get fish to hold on longer.  Catch, photo and release as soon as possible when fishing during the spawn to allow fish to return to beds.




Chickahominy Lake


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 to mid 70’s in the main lake and up the creeks on Saturday (05/10/2014). The lake level was about a foot above the top of the dam and had been dropping. The water was medium to dark brown and slightly cloudy in the central lower lake.


Blue cats were scattered throughout the lake and up the creeks. Crappie were scattered along the creek and main lake shorelines and on mid-depth wood cover and were hitting live minnows and small jigs and swim baits. Bass were primarily next to shoreline vegetation and wood cover in the creeks and were hitting live minnows and stick worms. Yellow perch, fliers, and pickerel were scattered in the creek channels and hitting live minnows and small jigs. Bluegills and shellcrackers were in scattered loose groups near traditional spawning areas and were hitting live worms and crickets, flies, and small tubes and jigs.


Fishing with Capt. Conway, Mickey Cleveland had 7 bluegill, 4 shellcracker, 13 crappie, and 1 pickerel.



Lake Orange


Crappie have moved in close to shore, some are spawning, others have finished. Walleye action has been good. The bream are fanning out beds. Nice bass continue to come to the scales.

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