FRESHWATER Lower James River Fin and Skin Bait Shop, (804) 795-5917, reported the following catch-and-release blue catfish citations: Wayne Howdershelt , Fredericksburg, 63 pounds; Kevin Goins , Richmond, 33, 57; Lisa White , Richmond, 30, 35; James White , Richmond, 47; Larry Jefferson , Hopewell, 38, 46. Fin and Skin also reports some medium-sized rockfish being caught, along with some good-sized crappie.
Several anglers report strong upriver winds are making fishing difficult, along with a mild cold front and clear sunny skies. Fish seemed to be skittish, and they caught maybe 10 bass from 8 inches to 14 inches. Absolutely no topwater action, but the fish that bit were on flukes and hard jerkbaits. Others reported unusually large smallmouth bass up to 19 inches.
Little Creek Reservoir
Walter Elliott reported the following catches: Keith Williams , Hanover, shellcracker to 1 pound, largemouth bass to 6¼ pounds; Mike Fowler , Williamsburg, eight stripers to 16 pounds, 16 largemouth bass to 5.6 pounds; Tim and Gerald Gorde , Newport News, yellow perch to 11½ inches; Earl Jordan , Williamsburg, largemouth bass to 3 pounds, 13 ounces.
Most of the largemouth bass caught this week were by striper fisherman using live herring for bait and fishing off points.
Lindsey Ellis at Whippernock Marina, (804) 265-5252, reported the following catch: Lee Allison , Sutherland, three largemouth bass to 5 pounds, 15 ounces, 21½ inches. Allison caught the bass on Jerry Bishop’s crankbait.
Jill O’Brien-Jones of Eagles Landing, (804) 966-9094, reported the lake is back to normal pool, fairly clear with temperature readings in the mid to upper 60s. The lake is continuing to turn over, which coupled with the wind challenged those who went out this week. Kevin Woodfin , Shannon Pence and Collin Pence , of Sandston, had 29 bass to 3 pounds with 9-year-old Collin also landing a 7-pound bowfin. John Forstner , Mechanicsville, had nine bass to 3½ pounds.
Captain Art Conway of Conway’s River Rat Guide Service, (804) 746-2475, reported panfish and bass activity in Chickahominy Lake appears to be shifting into fall patterns. Some crappie were on wood cover extending into deeper water, but most crappie were still in roving schools, frequently around mouths of creeks and sloughs in the upper lake area. Active crappie were hitting small live minnows, wet flies, small grubs and small swim baits. Bluegill and shellcrackers were widely scattered over submerged weeds and on wood cover extending into deeper water. Bluegill and shellcrackers were hitting wet flies fished on a dropper below a surface bug, live crickets, worms and Berkley Gulp baits on slip bobber rigs and small swimbaits. Bowfin, bass and pickerel were scattered on weed edges and around wood cover throughout the lake and were hitting lightly weighted plastic worms, soft jerkbaits and crankbaits. Fishing with Capt. Conway, Bruce King had seven bass to 2 pounds, two pickerel to 2 pounds, five crappie, and 13 bluegill. Bill Salerno and Steve Scotolati had 12 bass to 2 pounds and 4 pickerel to 2 pounds.
Guide Glenn Briggs is still hounding the striper population and reports good activity in the morning with topwater baits fished in the Rose Valley, Stubbs Bridge, Jetts Island and Sturgeon Creek areas. Rainfall did little to stain the lake, except for the upper regions. Bass fishing has improved due to low baro metric pressure, falling water temperatures and cloudy, rainy weather. Briggs says the grass beds in the Rose Valley area and Ware Creek are holding nice bass.
Buggs Island Lake
Guide Tim Wilson reports the lake level to be almost 300 feet with water temperatures ranging between 72 and 76 degrees. The lake is muddy between the rivers and Goat Island and is stained between Goat Island and Eastland Creek. Stripers are slowly moving uplake and anglers are catching plenty of 8- to 10-pound fish.
Ken Neill reports another week of wind and another week of fishing in the rivers and inlets. Fishing in the ocean and in the open bay has pretty much ceased. There are a few calm days in the forecast so maybe anglers can get out after those tuna at the 100 fathom curve or after those flounder at the Baltimore Channel or maybe even after some big gray trout at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The action in the rivers and in the inlets has been good. The spot bite has been on fire the past few days. Multiple citation-sized fish are being caught especially at the HRB-T and in Rudee Inlet. Speckled trout action is good in Back River and inside Rudee Inlet.
Capt. Billy Pipkin, (804) 580-7292, reported fishing continues to go well despite last week’s bumpy water and windy conditions. Cool evenings have dragged the surface water temperature down to 67 degrees locally in bay and lower river areas. Striped bass are schooling throughout the region.
Trolling action is picking up with the smaller 3- to 4-pound rockfish and blues schooling during the morning and late-afternoon hours.
Bottom fishing for spot remains productive in the lower Rappahannock River. Trout are being found with mixed results along the western bay shores and lower river locations. Speckled trout fishing has slowed, but limited numbers are being caught at the mouth of the Great Wicomico and Piankatank rivers.
Captain Jerry Thrash of Queens Creek Outfitters, (804) 725-3889, reports spot and gray trout continue to dominate catches in the Piankatank, at the mouth of the Rappahanock and off Gwynn’s Island.
Trolling for stripers is not yet productive. As water temperatures approach the high 50s, that will change. Aboard the Patriot, Thrash and crew live-baited structures using small spot Sunday and had eight keeper stripers and several throwbacks.
Keeper gray trout to 16 inches were available in the Rappahannock and the Piankatank over the weekend. Trout were hitting Fish Bites bloodworms and the larger fish were attracted to bait-sized spot fished on the bottom.
Leonard Nuchols reports that big drum are being caught from Corolla to Ocracoke Island. The best day last week was Thursday, when 15 big drum were landed at Cape Point. Fred Steinke of Farmville landed four citation drum of 40, 41, 42 and 44 inches, giving him 14 drum for the trip with seven catch-and-release citations, including a 46-inch drum earlier in the week. Joe Ouellette of Buxton had two citations Thursday morning of 46 and 47 inches. Shane Reynolds of Fredericksburg had two citations of 46 and 49 inches. The Point area also is producing puppy drum, blues, spot and sea mullet. Ocracoke Island reports good catches of big drum up to 52 inches. John Foster of Henrico landed a 42-inch and a 50-inch drum.
Hatteras Inlet reports blues, puppy drum, flounder and a few big drum. The northern beaches are seeing puppy drum, spot, blues and a few big drum, while the southern beaches report pompano, blues, spot, puppy drum and a few speckled trout. The offshore boats out of Hatteras Inlet are landing king mackerel, dolphin and wahoo, and the inshore boats report puppy drum, blues, gray trout, black drum, flounder and speckled trout. Good weather is forecast for the weekend as the water continues to slowly cool, which should improve fishing.
Compiled by Walt Amacker Oct 21, 2005