Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORTS 2 - — Quin­ton Mayo



Kerr Reser­voir has been on an ex­tended slow fall, and was be­low 300 feet nor­mal pool ear­lier in the week. Wa­ter tem­per­a­tures have been in the low 50s for the most part. It is still dif­fi­cult for fish­er­men to find clean wa­ter and most ac­tiv­ity has been re­ported in down lake sec­tions. Lake Gas­ton con­tin­ued to run high this week and was just un­der 201 feet.

The striper fish­ing has been ex­cel­lent this week, pri­mar­ily in the Palmers Creek area, down by the dam, and in the Nut­bush Creek. All of these ar­eas have been rel­a­tively clear. Fish­er­men have re­ported catch­ing dozens of fish with good sized ones mixed in. Watch­ing for bird ac­tiv­ity has been a key el­e­ment to lo­cat­ing feed­ing stripers. An­glers are see­ing schools of stripers on their graph and trolling with ar­ti­fi­cial lures in­clud­ing min­now lures and um­brella rigs to catch them. Typ­i­cally an­glers are catch one to two dozen with a cou­ple of these be­ing over 24 inches.

The crap­pie fish­er­men has been ex­cel­lent and fish­er­men are fish­ing a wide range of tech­niques right now, in­clud­ing fish­ing over brush­piles, around bridge pil­ings and even us­ing spi­der rig­ging tech­niques. The white perch bite has also been good with many perch be­ing caught on jig­ging spoons in twenty feet of wa­ter. The white perch pat­tern can be repli­cated in a num­ber of mid-lake creeks right now in­clud­ing Grassy, Pan­han­dle and Butch­ers Creeks.

Al­though the shal­low bass fish­ing has been strong thus far, bass are mov­ing into win­ter pat­terns and suc­cess with the sus­pend­ing jerk bait is in­creas­ing. These lures have been lim­ited in ef­fec­tive­ness due to the stained wa­ter, but down-lake rocky points near the dam and into Nut­bush Creek and Palmer’s Creek will hold bass that re­spond well to the sus­pend­ing jerk­bait. An­glers are hav­ing suc­cess with both Ra­pala’s and Me­gabass jerk baits right now in a wide range of col­ors. With the stained wa­ter, brighter hues of char­treuse and orange are typ­i­cally more ef­fec­tive. An­glers of­ten find they have to ad­just the cadence based on the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture and ac­tiv­ity of the bass, chang­ing how long the lure is paused be­tween jerks. It is also im­por­tant to make sure the lure is neu­trally buoy­ant. With the lat­est lures on the mar­ket, this is less of a prob­lem; how­ever, as the den­sity of the wa­ter changes, these lures may slowly rise or sink.


Lake mid-day wa­ter tem­per­a­tures were in the mid 40’s in the lower main lake on Wed­nes­day with sim­i­lar tem­per­a­tures at the up­per end of the lake. The lake level was a few inches above the top of the dam. The wa­ter was light brown and clear in the cen­tral lake.

Blue cats and bull­heads were along drop-offs and in chan­nels in the main lake and were hit­ting live min­nows and cut bait. Most crap­pie were 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, blade baits, 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 when ac­tive were hit­ting live min­nows, small swim baits, and small jigs. Most bluegill and shell­cracker were along dropoffs or in chan­nels. Bluegill were hit­ting live worms, Nikko nymphs, and small swim­baits. Some bass and pick­erel were along shore­lines on sunny days, 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, Ryan

Beale had 12 crap­pie, 2 white perch, and 1 bass. Tom Porter had 1 bluegill, 21 crap­pie, 4 roach min­nows, and 1 pick­erel.

Lake level nor­mal and clear wa­ter tem­per­a­ture in the low 40s fish­ing pres­sure light. Bass con­tinue to be the best bet as nice fish are be­ing re­ported on jerk baits, jigs, and spin­ner baits in 3-10 foot wa­ter. Cat­fish ac­tion con­tin­ues to be good on min­nows and cut bait. No­table catches: Dan Jones 24-pound cat­fish, 12-pound cat­fish; John Mancini 5-pound bass; Marc Ac­ton 16 bass, cat­fish, bowfin on Ex­ter large min­nows; Danny Grat­ton/Ryan Grat­ton 15-pound bag; Ron Cram 5.2-pound bass; Wil­liam Allen/Mike Martinez

17-pound bag; Kris Cal­bert 5.2pound bass; Bill Ma­son 14-pound crap­pie; Tom Ha­gler 15-pound crap­pie; Nate Kirby 6-pound bass, 12-pound bag.


Salt­wa­ter: Big rock­fish are be­ing caught al­most daily. Weigh in are oc­cur­ring in the Cape Charles area, but most of the big fish are com­ing from ar­eas north, such as Tang­ier and 59A. Wed­nes­day pro­duced some big fish from the 42 area, so the fish are get­ting closer to the mouth of the bay. Many of the big­ger fish are com­ing from live eels, which is typ­i­cal for this time of year. The eels are usu­ally rigged ei­ther with a float, or tight lined with var­i­ous egg sinker weights. Trolling swim shads, buck­tails, and tan­dem rigs, are what’s mostly work­ing in­side the rivers. The York, Rapp and James are yield­ing keep­ers con­sis­tently. Night time seems to be work­ing bet­ter on the York. Big specks are still be­ing caught from Lynnhaven In­let, and Rudee In­let has just pro­duced some qual­ity-sized fish re­cently. Good lures right now are the sus­pend­ing jerk­bait, Mirr-o-lure twitch baits, and pad­dle tailed plas­tics on jig heads. There has been some trout re­ported from the Elizabeth River re­cently also. There has been a lot of small tau­togs caught from the CBBT, with a fair amount of keep­ers also. Fresh crab is best. In be­tween the blows, ocean an­glers are catch­ing seabass, and trig­ger­fish from struc­ture ar­eas. Some of the char­ter boats out of Nags Head are re­turn­ing with good num­bers of big eye tuna, and black­fin tuna. Surf an­glers are still catch­ing balck drum, and sea mul­let.

Fresh­wa­ter: Lit­tle Creek Reser­voir has been pro­duc­ing some qual­ity crap­pie lately, along with some pick­erel, and large­mouth. Lit­tle Creek typ­i­cally re­mains clear de­spite heavy rain. Weights were up this week for the 3rd Win­ter Se­ries Bass Tour­na­ment out of Stur­geon Creek Ma­rina on Lake Anna. 18.08 pounds was the win­ning weight, with Josh Hall and

Matt Martin be­ing the win­ners. Jeff Bai­ley was 2nd, with 13.36 pounds. Swim baits and jigs seemed to be best this week. An in­ter­est­ing note, a 3.5-pound spot­ted bass was weighed in by one of the tour­na­ment an­glers. The lower James has been good for big crap­pie, as has the Chickahominy. Bass will typ­i­cally bite well through the cold and win­ter sea­son. Jerk baits, blade baits, li­p­less crankbaits, and jigs, are the most pop­u­lar , and pro­duc­tive baits. The up­per James is slowly re­turn­ing to nor­mal con­di­tions and lev­els. It is cur­rently at 6.36 feet at Rich­mond Westham gauge. De­cem­ber is an ex­cel­lent time to tar­get big small­mouth.

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