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 low to mid 80s in the lower main lake and in the major creeks on Wednesday.The lake level was about even with the top of the dam and the water was light to medium brown and moderately cloudy in the central lake, with an algal bloom in the 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 the main lake channel edges, frequently near wood cover. Active crappie were hitting live minnows, Wright Bait Co. and Southern Pro curlytail jigs, small tubes, 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 shellcracker 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 shellcracker were hitting live worms and crickets, Nikko nymphs, flies, and small swimbaits. 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), spinnerbaits, swim baits, stick worms, crank baits, jerk baits and jigs.
Fishing with Capt. Conway, Cody Matteson and Cory Coltrain had 27 bluegill, four shellcracker, eight crappie, one blue cat, a gar and a pickerel. Karen Anderson had 24 bluegill and three shellcracker.
Ed Allen reported that the lake is murky and has had temperatures in the low to mid 90s, while the fishing pressure has been light due to extreme heat. The best fishing continues to be good in early morning and late afternoon hours. Top water sink use and chatter baits continue to be the best bait of choice mid day fishing is best in 8-10 feet of water. The biggest bass of the week was a 6.4-pounder. Bluegill fishing continues to be good, using worms and crickets in three to five feet of water. Some crappy have been reported on brush piles in seven to 10 feet of water. Catfish results have been outstanding on extra large minnows. Biggest catfish of the week was a 50-pound citation while on rental boat reported catching 27 bowfin on extra large minnows.
Notable catches: Joel Lester and Bill Barnes 15-pound bag; Donald Seay 6.1, 6.2; Justin Rags David seven pike, four bass; Willie Allen 6-pound bass; Bill Myers and David Jones 100 bluegill; Joe Moss and Bill Walls 100 bluegill; Davis Marshall 18-pound bag; Bubba Charles 50-pound blue cat; Danny Grattan and Ryan Grattan 15.9-pound bag; Ryan Grattan 6.4-pound bass; Dennis Levshin 27 bowfin on minnows.
Jeff Crow reports the following from Lake Country in southern Virginia: Kerr Reservoir has been holding steady in the range of 300.5 feet this week while Lake Gaston has held consistently in the 199.8 feet range. Water temperatures have been in the upper 80s in most areas this week. It can be a tough time of year to fish and shorter trips early and late are recommended. For those venturing out during the heat of the day, anglers should be on guard against the heat and wear plenty of sun protection and also stay hydrated. Heat stroke can strike quickly but can also be avoided to taking the proper precautions.
It is generally still too early for a thermocline but one should be setting up soon. The thermocline on Kerr Reservoir typically sets up in the 25 feet level. Once the thermocline does set up, it can actually make for better fishing as it concentrates the fish at or just above that level. By following the thermocline until it intersects points or flats at that level typically leads to good catches, particularly for bigger catfish. For more open water fishing at or above the thermocline, anglers can use slip corks or planar boards to target the desired depth. Catfishermen are currently reporting good results in the main stem of Kerr by the dam with fish holding in 15 to 20 feet.
Right now, is a good time to try a drop-shot for bass in down-lake areas of Kerr and Gaston. This finesse technique can be used in the clearer water around fish observed on electronics, or simply fished on points and cover in deeper water. It is typically best when you have located a school of bass in deep water, either suspended or holding on cover on the bottom. This is primarily a vertical presentation technique and the drop shot is lowered to the school beneath the boat.
The striped bass fishing has been good this week in mid-lake creeks with fishermen reporting solid catches and many fish over 20 inches. Fishermen are reporting pulling leadcore with tandem rigs and bucktail jigs, or 5-inch plastic shad lures on jigheads at one or two ounces. Trolling speeds to four mph are recommended. A report of a walleye catch, something quite rare, came in this week, on Kerr Reservoir. The angler reported catching the 21 inch fish while trolling for stripers using an umbrella rig with a combination of spoons and swim baits.
The white perch bite continues. Perch can be caught either trolling or by dropping spoons to them. Spoons like the 3/8 silver CC spoon are working well right now. Those opting to troll are reporting good results at the 15 feet level over 25 feet of water. White perch are also being caught on Lake Gaston and humps off the main channel are a good starting place. Over on Kerr Reservoir, anglers should focus on the lake between Buffalo Creek down to the mid-lake area around Goat Island. Other species can be caught using this technique including bass, crappie and catfish.
Crappie continued to bite well in a wide range of depths, from 15-30 feet of water during most of the day. If you are fishing early or late, shallower brush and fishing around 10 feet deep may also be effective. But primarily, the best results have been on brush about 20 feet from the surface. Anglers are using a mix of spoons and jigs. For the jigs, a 1/16-ounce jig with a Bobby Garland baby shad in blue ice is suggested. Tipping these jigs with live minnows can be particularly effective.