Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORTS 2 - JAMES, APPOMATTOX, CHICK­A­HOMINY RIVERS AND CHICK­A­HOMINY LAKE Tom Porter David Wright Ti­mothy Reams — Com­piled by Joe Nel­son

Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait re­ported that Chick­a­hominy Lake mid­day wa­ter tem­per­a­tures were in the mid 60’s in the lower main lake on Wed­nes­day, with slightly lower tem­per­a­tures at the up­per end of the lake. The lake level was about 3 inches above the top of the dam. The wa­ter was light brown and clear to slightly cloudy in the cen­tral lake and quite murky on down­wind shore­lines.

Blue cats and bull­heads were scat­tered on flats, along drop-offs, and in chan­nels in the main lake and in some creeks and were hit­ting live min­nows and cut bait. Most crap­pie were on deeper flats, on drop-offs and in chan­nels in the main lake, es­pe­cially near wood cover. Ac­tiv­ity var­ied, with ac­tive crap­pie hit­ting live min­nows, Wright Bait Co. and South­ern Pro curly­tail jigs, small tubes, Kalin crap­pie scrubs and small swim baits. Yel­low and white perch were scat­tered or in loose ag­gre­gates on flats, drop-offs and chan­nels in the main lake, and when ac­tive were hit­ting live min­nows, small swim baits and small jigs. A very few small bluegill were still scat­tered along shore­lines on sunny days, while larger bluegill and shell­cracker were away from the shore­line, usu­ally on the deeper edges of flats or along drop-offs in 4 to 12 feet of wa­ter, fre­quently on brush piles. Bluegill were hit­ting live worms, flies, Nikko nymphs and small swim­baits. Some bass and pick­erel were along shore­lines, but most bass and pick­erel were on deeper flats, along drop-offs or in chan­nels in the main lake and in creeks. When ac­tive, bass and pick­erel were hit­ting live min­nows, spin­ner­baits, swim baits, stick worms, crank baits, jerk baits and jigs.

Fish­ing with Capt. Con­way, had seven bluegill, three crap­pie, two yel­low perch and three bass.

The lake level is nor­mal and clear with wa­ter tem­per­a­ture in the up­per 50’s. Fish­ing pres­sure has been light fish­ing good on nor­mal

fall pat­terns.

Bass fish­ing is ex­cel­lent on chat­ter baits, crank mates, jigs and ex­tra-large min­nows. Bass have been found in 3 to 10 feet of wa­ter. Crap­pie ac­tion is heat­ing up, and some small min­nows have been found in 10 feet of wa­ter. No­table catches: Dan James, 6.0pound; Jay Dot­son, 66-pound cat­fish;

Jared Dick­er­son, 18.5-pound bags; Danny

Grat­ton and Ryan Grat­ton, 15-pound bag;

Jed Dick­er­son 5.0-pound; Mar­quis Chan­dler 7.25-poumd; Joey Cook, 5.3-pound;

Rick Arthur and Alan Howard, 17 fish on xl min­now (nine bass, three cat­fish, three bowfin, two pike); Mar­quis Chan­dler and John A. Mancini, 18.2-pound bag; Jeb Dick­er­son and Aron Keener, 13.5 pound bag.


SALT­WA­TER: Rock­fish catches are def­i­nitely on the in­crease. Most are be­ing caught in­side the rivers like the Rap­pa­han­nock, James, Eliz­a­beth and Po­tomac. Six-inch baits are work­ing best. The lighter 2-ounce jig heads are work­ing bet­ter for the 20 to 28-inch fish. Some are us­ing lighter jigs and smaller baits for work­ing the pil­ings and light lines of bridges. Li­p­less crankbaits are work­ing along the rocks of the is­lands of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Bridge Tun­nel. Wa­ter tem­per­a­tures are in the low 60’s. Re­ports have fallen off for tau­tog this week, but look for the bite to in­crease as the wa­ter temps drop, fresh crab is usu­ally best. The speck­led trout ac­tion is cer­tainly on the rise. Folks are hav­ing good luck in­side Lynnhaven In­let, Eastern Shore creeks, the Piankatank River and Mob­jack Bay. Some are also be­ing caught at the mouth of the York and ar­eas just to the north. Most are re­ported be­ing caught on soft plas­tics and Gulp! Along with the trout, puppy drum are be­ing en­coun­tered. A few big floun­der were caught this week from ocean struc­tures. Not that many peo­ple are tar­get­ing the floun­der, but they are avail­able. Off­shore char­ters have been bring­ing back good num­bers of yel­lowfin tuna and black­fin tuna. The in­shore boats are catch­ing specks, blues and rock­fish. Look for the big reds to show up in the surf, as they of­ten do, come Novem­ber.

FRESH­WA­TER: Six­teen pounds was the win­ning weight of the sin­gle-day Elite 70 event on the James, and 29 pounds was the win­ning weight for the two-day Fed­er­a­tion event over the week­end. Tan­ner Grif­fith of Ch­ester­field was one of the Fed­er­a­tion win­ners. Many re­port catch­ing fish on jigs and crankbaits. The Chick­a­hominy re­ceived a fair amount of the fish­ing pres­sure for th­ese events. Not many re­ported much of a top­wa­ter bite this week­end. The up­per James level is at 5.48 feet at the mo­ment. This is an ex­cel­lent level for this time of year. The small­mouth typ­i­cally re­spond to craw­fish crankbaits, and some­times spin­ner­baits, in Novem­ber. Jigs should al­ways be brought along for the small­mouth. Ni­nee­teen pounds won a sin­gle-day event on Lake Anna over the week­end. The stripers on Lake Anna are re­spond­ing bet­ter to dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of baits now. Li­p­less crankbaits, swim­baits, top­wa­ters, and of course, live bait. Novem­ber is an ex­cel­lent month for the crap­pie on Lake Anna and many other bod­ies of wa­ter around the area. The bridges in the up­per por­tions of Anna are es­pe­cially good for crap­pie. This is an ex­cel­lent time for pond fish­ing, as turnover is typ­i­cally over by this time.


Kerr Reser­voir was in the range of 301 feet ear­lier this week. Mean­while, Lake Gas­ton lev­els have sta­bi­lized un­der 200 feet nor­mal pool. Wa­ter tem­per­a­tures have dropped sub­stan­tially and are in the mid 60’s this week.

Much of Kerr re­mained heav­ily stained this week from all the rain. Fish­ing from Blues­tone down to Clarksville has been poor as the wa­ter is par­tic­u­larly stained in this area. Even the mid­lake re­gion around Ivy Hill and East­land is still heav­ily stained. The best course of ac­tion right now is to fish fur­ther down­lake near the dam or in Nut­bush Creek for the clear­est wa­ter. An­other al­ter­na­tive is to check in the backs of cer­tain creeks as many are clearer than the main lake.

Striper fish­er­man are re­port­ing suc­cess down near the dam, par­tic­u­larly around Palmers Point. They re­port pulling pla­nar boards and mul­ti­ple hookups with some fish over 25 inches. Ad­di­tional striper re­ports are com­ing in from Nut­bush Creek with stripers up to 30 inches be­ing re­ported. Slowly re­trieved swim­baits were the ticket for at least one an­gler this week.

Late fall bass fish­ing is well un­der­way on both Kerr and Gas­ton, and that means shal­low wa­ter with bait­fish and lures such as spin­ner­baits and crankbaits. An­glers should look for wind­blow points and pock­ets, and also be sure to fol­low the birds as a key in­di­ca­tor as to where the bait is lo­cated. A nice fea­ture of late fall fish­ing is it is of­ten bet­ter to go dur­ing the mid­dle of the day when the sun and tem­per­a­tures are higher. As bass are feed­ing up be­fore win­ter, big lures mov­ing slowly of­ten equals suc­cess. This is why jigs and spin­ner­baits are of­ten the ticket this time of year.

Amer­i­can Bass An­glers Open Se­ries Area 8 held their cham­pi­onship on Kerr Reser­voir on Nov. 3-4, and of Lex­ing­ton, N.C., won the event with a two-day to­tal of 39.14 pounds. The tour­na­ment launched out of Nut­bush Park in Hen­der­son, N.C. Wright also caught the big bass of the tour­na­ment at 5.74 pounds. Wright re­ported catch­ing his fish on wind­blown points us­ing a crankbait. The sec­ond-place fin­isher, of Oak­land, Md., jumped 14 spots on Day 2 by catch­ing 16.62 pounds. Reams re­ported catch­ing his fish in stained wa­ter on a spin­ner­bait and a jig. The ma­jor­ity of the an­glers re­ported suc­cess on jigs and spin­ner­baits.

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