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
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.
GREEN TOP REPORT
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.
LAKE COUNTRY, KERR RESERVOIR, LAKE GASTON
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.