James, Appomattox, Chickahominy Rivers and Chickahominy Lake
Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait reported that the water level is normal and clear with water temperature in the low 90s. Fishing pressure light bass continue to be the best bet. Nice fish are being caught in the early-morning and late-afternoon time periods, and shallow grassy area bates of choice continue to be Sinco’s frogs, poppers and whopper ploppers. Midday action is better in deep water or in the thick grass mats. Catfish, bow fan and pickrell continue to be caught in one large and extra-large minnows.
Notable catches: Wayne Anderson 5-pound bass; Travis Law 5-pound bass, 5.5-pound bass and a 6-pound bass; Mark Fahnert and Nate Kirby 16-pound bag with a 5-pound big fish; Ryan and Danny Gratton 15-pound bag with a 5-pound big fish; Garrett Gouge 15-pound bag; Chase Hoffman 18-pound bag with a 8 pounds of citation bass; Randy Moss 16 pound bag; Jay Griffin and Bill Kline 17-pound bag with two 5-pound big fish; Mike Martinez 6.1-pound bass; Angela Williams 6.5-pound bass in a rental boat; Bill Clarke 20 bluegill and one 4-pound bass.
GREEN TOP REPORT
Stan Cobb of Green Top Hunting and Fishing (804-550-2188, greentophuntfish.com) reports the following:
SALTWATER: Cobia are still tops on the list of anglers as they are being caught throughout the bay. This is typically the time of year when the cobia hold to the current breaks of the buoy markers, but this bite has been slow. The drum action has been good, however. Some are being found on hard structures, others are being found chasing bunkers on the surface. This is why a jig is so versitile as it can be fished fast along the surface or jigged on the bottom. The spot bite is increasing, especially at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. They are being caught throughout the bay, but the best bite has been here. Look for the bite in Rudee Inlet to increase soon. Big catches of Spanish mackerel are being brought in to the scales now and especially over the past week. Four-pounders have been numerous this year throughout the bays like Windmill Bar, York Spit and the CBBT. Along with the Spanish, there has been catches of flounder, and sheepshead. Look for the flounder bite to increase significantly during September. The offshore boats have been doing great bringing in the mahi mahi. There has been an increase in wahoo catches as well. Also being caught are the blackfinal tuna, and the sailfish. We’re waiting for things to pick up at the Hatteras and Nags Head beaches, but for now the catches have been consistently sea mullet, and pompano.
FRESHWATER: The hot bite for freshwater right now has been the bass inside the Chickahominy River. They are hitting a variety of lures, but the better-producing baits right now are topwaters, jigs, and crankbaits. The bite on the James has been similar, but the size of the Bass have been smaller. The bass bite on the Potomac has slowed a bit but is subject to change anytime. The tidal Potomac and James are known for their trophy catfish. The bite hasn’t been as good this year as in previous years, but this too will change. Things have been looking up lately. The upper James is shaping up nicely for the fall bite. Topwater baits can be thrown all day this time of year, especially on overcast days. The area lakes have turned tough over the last few months. Winning weights have been averaging around 13 to 14 pounds. There has been some bigger fish caught from Kerr lately, which is not common. The striper action seems to be increasing in Kerr and Smith Mountain lately. Travel to the uplake areas for better bait populations.
LAKE COUNTRY, KERR RESERVOIR, LAKE GASTON
Jeff Crow (email@example.com) reports the following from Lake Country in southern Virginia:
Kerr Reservoir remained steady just below 300 feet most of the week, which is normal pool. Lake Gaston has remained at approximately normal pool and just under 200 feet. Water temperatures have been in the low- to mid-80s in most areas this week.
Crappie anglers are reporting success this week in the midlake areas of Kerr around Carter and Mill Creek, as well as across the lake from these creeks. The ideal depth has been 18 to 28 feet of water with brush eight to 16 feet from the surface. Anglers have been vertically jigging a 3/8 oz. spoon in silver. A Bobby Garland baby shad on an 1/8 oz jig can also be cast to brush and slowly brought across top of the brush. However, this is often a more difficult technique. Vertically jigging a spoon over the brush seems to be more certain in terms of getting a strike. Other creeks in this general vicinity such as Panhandle, Butchers and Eastland also can be very productive right now. Anglers should focus on the mid-creek areas out to the mouth of the creek. Crappie fishing is also good on Gaston with similar patterns. On Lake Gaston, many of the brushpiles are on or near boat docks, and creeks such as Peahill and Poplar are productive right now.
The shallow water bite for the largemouth bass is getting better s we head into fall. This is a good time of year to explore coves and pockets in the down-lake areas of Kerr and Gaston. As the water temperatures cool in the coming weeks, the baitfish really start migrating into adjacent coves. This is because the plankton will continue to flourish in these shallow, warmer areas. Keep in mind that in certain areas later this month or sometime in October, the fall turnover and associated disappearance of the thermocline could be a factor. This generally causes the water to become off-color, and it will produce an unusual odor.
The catfishing has been good this week based on recent reports. On Kerr, good reports came in from Nutbush Creek, Buffalo Creek, and Grassy Creek. Best results were using cut-bait and catfish up to 25 pounds are being caught regularly. Anglers are finding fish in 25 feet of water by dragging Santee rigs on flats. Anglers also can use baitfish, which can often be located in coves near the backs of some major creeks like Bluestone.