The lake level is a little low and clear. Water temperatures are in the upper 80s, with fishing pressure light. Fishing is definitely on the midsummer pattern. The best fishing is in the early morning and late afternoon. Best results are found in the heat of the day or in deep water on thick grass beds.
Several nice strings of bass have been reported, with a seven-pointer being the biggest fish. Best results for bass continue to be had with Sinco’s, chatter baits and frogs. Bluegill action has remained surprisingly good. The best results have been with red worms, crickets and pop and bugs in 3 to 5 feet of water. Nice strings of crappie are being caught on brush piles and in 8 to 12 feet of water, bowfin and catfish are being caught regularly on extra large minnows.
Notable catches: James Purnell, 30 bluegill; Mike Short, 12 bass; Shaun Harding, six bass, four bass; John Goodfellow, 35 bluegill; Mark Jaworski, 5.5 bass; Bob Meadows, 7.4 bass; Shawn Lee, limit bluegill; Roy Allen, limit bluegill; Jay Tate, 15-pound bag, five big fish; Jed Dickerson, 5.5 bass; Bill Meadows, 19 crappie; Joe Johnson, 6.4-pound bass.
Capt. Art Conway of Conway’s River Rat Guide Service out of Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait reported that Chickahominy Lake midday water temperatures were in the high 80s in the lower main lake and in the major creeks on Wednesday. The lake level was about 1 inch below the top of the dam, and the water was light to medium brown and slightly to moderately cloudy in the central lake, with an algal bloom in some shallows.
Some blue cats and bullheads were along drop-offs and in channels in the main lake while others had dispersed onto flats and into creeks. When active, cats were hitting live minnows and cut bait. Early in the mornings a few crappie were in creeks, along shorelines in the main lake and on flats in the main lake. But most crappie were along main lake channel edges, frequently near wood cover.
Active crappie were hitting live minnows, Wright Bait Co. and Southern Pro curly tail jigs, small tubes, Kalin crappie scrubs and small swim baits. Yellow and white perch were scattered or in loose aggregates on deep flats, drop-offs and channels in the main lake and in major creeks. When active, both species were hitting live minnows, small swim baits and small jigs. A mix of sizes of bluegill and shell cracker were scattered on shorelines and on flats out to 3 to 5 foot depths in the main lake and in some creeks.
When active, bluegill and shell cracker were hitting live worms and crickets, Nikko nymphs, flies and small swim baits. Pickerel and bass were located along shorelines early in the morning (especially under duckweed patches), around cypress trees, on flats and on channel edges. When active, bass and pickerel were hitting live minnows, top waters (especially frogs in duckweed patches), spinner baits, swim baits, stick worms, crank baits, jerk baits and jigs.
Fishing with Capt. Conway, Rebecca Steele and Ben Mitchell had 19 bluegill, two shell cracker, two crappie and one blue cat. Steve Novak had 21 bluegill, three shell cracker, seven crappie, one pickerel, one blue cat and one citation gar.
Jeff Crow reports the following from Lake Country in southern Virginia: With summer heating up and July behind us, the fishing patterns are reflecting what they should be this time of year. That being said, Kerr Reservoir has been holding steady at a level somewhat higher than typical for the middle of summer, and was in the mid-300 feet level earlier this week. Lake Gaston remains a consistent 200 feet, give or take a few inches. Water temperatures have been in the upper 80s in most areas this week.
The white perch were hit or miss this week. Those who had found them previously went back to find they were gone. Some of the key structural features, whether humps, channel bends, flats or bridge pilings might show a pile of fish one day on the graph, but the next day the same areas could be void of fish. So for those seeking the perch, it might take some time and require covering a lot of water to find them.
When you do locate a school, it is easy to catch 100-plus good-sized and good-fighting fish. It is hard to beat a 3/8 CC spoon for this action. Not only is it easy to fish, it gets down to the fish quickly and it makes checking a wide range of areas much easier.
Crappie fishermen continue to report good results on brush in anywhere from 16 to 30 feet of water, with 20 being optimal. Anglers are usually vertically jigging a mix of spoons and jigs. Bobby Garland baby shad in blue ice on a 1/16 oz. jig head works well, and tipping these jigs with live minnows can be particularly effective.
The best area on Kerr right now has been mid-lake, from Grassy to Island Creek. Fish are being caught on brush piles both in the creeks as well as in the main lake pockets and coves for several miles in and around this region of the lake. Often times a pile will only give up two or three crappie, so it is important to have a large number of brush piles to check.
Another section of the lake with good reports right now is in and around Buffalo Creek. A large number of crappie can be caught along with largemouth bass, striper, white bass and perch. Using a 3/8-ounce spoon in this situation can certainly deliver a wide range of species and is one of the things that makes this type of fishing so much fun.
Striper fishermen are reporting good results from Eastland down to the dam. Often the striper anglers also catch a mixed bag of striper, catfish and largemouth. Largemouth bass fishing has been tough on Kerr, and those reporting success right now are either fishing early on top water lures, or fishing finesse lures such as drop shots in 30 feet of water and fishing them slow.
Good reports for the largemouth are coming for those who are dock fishing and also up in the river part of Lake Gaston. Success on docks right now requires access to deeper water and also older docks with dark recesses. The ability to skip a lure up under these docks is key to success. In the river portion of the lake, larger fish are being caught around moving water primarily on black and blue jigs.
Catfish are biting in both lakes, and good reports from Kerr have been in the midlake creeks such as Grassy and Panhandle. One angler reported catching 20 blues in the range of 2 to 20 pounds by drifting in about 20 feet of water.