With the passing of Labor Day, the summer is over for most. However, the fishing season is still in full swing. Anglers may have to work a little harder for many species such as flounder but many are still having success with live and cut bait. The cobia are on the move, Spanish mackerel are responding to trolled spoons, and sheepshead can still be found along the entire span of the Bay Bridge Tunnel. The amberjack, speckled trout, and billfish are still around as well but soon the fall species will begin to capture the attention of anglers as the waters begin to cool and the summer favorites prepare to make their exit for warmer waters.
(Photo: Dedicated Tidal Fish Poster mwills98 reported that after having a slow start to their day they finally caught this nice 40 inch cobia.)
|Kerr Lake Bassmasters of Henderson
|September 15, 2012
Closed ... Local club established in the early 70's that gets together for friendly competition, fun, and fellowship. Currently we are not affiliated to any federation groups. We have 12 tournaments a year fishing several lakes in the area. If interested in membership please contact us using the email address or phone number. firstname.lastname@example.org
|Kids Fishing Day
|Kerr/Buggs Island Lake
Staunton View Park
|September 15, 2012
Open ... Kids Fishing Day ... Hosted by The Catfish Showdown. Registration starts 7:00 AM. Fishing 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM. Lunch/Games 11:30 until. Prizes/Awards 2:00 PM. Bring your child. lawn chairs, and join us for a Free Fun Day. Website: http://www.thecatfishshowdown.com Email: email@example.com
|Last Capital Bass Club
|Kerr/Buggs Island Lake
|September 16, 2012
Open ... Last Capital Bass Club open bass tournament Registration will began at 5:30 am at ramp. Start time is 6am to 3pm. 5 fish limit, all fish must be over 14 inch minimum. Entry fee $100.00. Includes $10.00 for big fish. Pay back on big fish is 100%.Payout is 80%. Paying one place for every 5 boats. Need any more info contact me. Any cancellations or ramp changes will be posted on club website. Club website http://lastcapitalbassclub.com/ or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Butcher Hollow Hunt Club
|Smith Mountain Lake
|September 22, 2012
Open ... 90.00 entry fee, 10.00 big fish pot optional, safe light till 3pm, 80% payback, 1 place for every 7 boats.
|Reel Drag BASS Anglers & Smith Mt. Dock and Lodge
|Smith Mt. Lake
Smith Mt. Dock and Lodge
|Sept. 23, 2012
Open ... Entry fee $70.00 lunker included, 5 fish limit all 14" or over. 80% payback, Lunker 90% payback.
Rules and release form at registration.
Reg. starts at 6am, event time 7-4. Smith Mt. Dock and Lodge is offering a discount to fishermen that book a room for this event the night before.
For info and to book a room call 336-280-1920. Rooms reg. $119.00 night plus tax. Book now for $75.00 plus tax. Other discounts available.
You may come by water to this event. email@example.com
|Virginia Bass Fishing Teams
|Kerr/Buggs Island Lake
Occoneechee State Park
|September 23, 2012
Open ... Must be a member 2 weeks prior to tournament. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Warren County Bass Club
|Kerr/Buggs Island Lake
|September 29, 2012
Open ... Team/Individual...
$40/boat if Team
$20/boat if Individual
5 fish limit...
lake size limit applies(max 2 under 14")
MUST HAVE one MEMBER per BOAT***$40 membership fee...
10 Regular Season Tournaments plus CLASSIC...
More info email email@example.com
|September 29, 2012
Open ... We are hosting a number of Bass Fishing Tournaments that will conclude with a Classic Tournament starting in March and going through September.
-Entry Fee will be $100 per boat (INCLUDES Big Fish)
-80% to paid at each tournament (10% will be held for the CLASSIC Tournament)
-**MUST fish at least five of the listed tournaments to be entered into the Classic Tournament**
-Late entry will be accepted until 10 minutes before Safe Light the morning of the tournament.
*NOTE: A $10 LATE FEE WILL BE APPLIED!!!
-ALL blast offs WILL be held at SAFE LIGHT!
NOTE: The order of take off will be determined by the order in which entry is submitted.
From IGFA Virginia Beach Representative Julie Ball:
Although Labor Day marks the end of summer for many folks, local anglers know it is nowhere near the end of the good fishing for Virginia. The fall species will begin to earn more interest as the waters cool and the summer favorites prepare to leave for the season.
Flounder anglers are working a little harder for their catches this week, but those using live bait and drifting with cut bait near the third island of the CBBT are finding some nice fish. Drifting along the Thimble Shoal and Baltimore Channels are also good places to try right now. The Cell and buoy 36 areas are also producing limits of flatties to around 22 and 24-inches lately. Offshore wreck flatfish are also a good alternative. Strip baits bounced over the structure works well for wreck flounder, where keeper seabass and grey triggerfish will also take your offerings.
Cobia are on the move in the lower Bay and along the Ocean Front, generating some outstanding top water action. The recent front kept many boats at the dock, but catches should resume once boats can get back out. The best bounties are coming from casting live bait and jigs to large pods of cobia swimming on the surface heading towards the mouth of the Bay. Many of these fish are ranging in the 40 to 60-pound class. Pier anglers are also getting in on the top water scene, with a nice 65-pounder landed off the Sea Gull Fishing Pier this week.
Spanish mackerel are still responding to trolled spoons along Sandbridge and Dam Neck, as well as around the artificial islands of the CBBT. A few king mackerel are also striking trolled baits a few miles off Sandbridge, but there are no confirmations of landings as of yet. Sharks are still a big event here, where a variety of toothy critters continue to thrill anglers.
Speckled trout are showing more presence in Lynnhaven Inlet, the Poquoson flats, the seaside of Oyster, and the Elizabeth River. Although many fish are on the smaller side, this action and the size of the fish will only improve as the waters cool. Some bigger trout are mixed in, with some fish pushing to over 8-pounds caught on the Eastern Shore this week. Plenty of small puppy drum are still available to those casting jigs or offering fresh bait within Lynnhaven or Rudee Inlets. The Elizabeth River is also producing pups lately. Big red drum will begin to group up as they prepare to leave the area.
Sheepshead are still taking offerings along the entire span of the Bay Bridge Tunnel, along with a decent number of keeper sized tautog. Spadefish ranging around 3 to 4-pounds are still around the 3rd and 4th islands, although this action has slowed, but hungry trigger fish are happy to take over.
Decent-sized spot are showing along the ocean front and the lower Bay shorelines, rivers, and inlets. Some spot are available within both Lynnhaven and Rudee inlets on a moving tide, as well as off the Hampton bar and Ocean View areas. Medium sized hardheads are showing in these same areas, as well as along the southern small boat channel. The folks at Chris’ Bait and Tackle report that the croaker activity out of Oyster slowed up recently, but many anglers a showing an interest in newly discovered odd ribbon fish bite off of Kiptopeke.
Amberjack are still available around at the South Tower for those willing to make the run, and deep droppers are finding the usual mixed bag of blueline tilefish, black bellied rosefish, and scattered barrelfish and seabass.
Billfish. That’s all that needs to be said about offshore right now. Billfish of all varieties are invading trolled spreads, contributing to several grand slams. One boat even sported a rare super grand slam this week. Captain Jake Hiles, skipper of the ‘Matador’ out of Rudee Inlet, was the lucky captain. Jake awarded his crew a swordfish along with white marlin, blue marlin, and a sailfish on a recent overnight trip to make a super grand slam. Boats are reporting dozens of releases for mostly white marlin, but some sailfish, spearfish, and blue marlin are also visiting trolled spreads. Several swordfish are coming from overnighters, with a few bigger fish beginning to show. The new pending state record swordfish weighing in at a whopping 446-pounds was a product of one of these overnight trips this week. Dolphin action is good, with many gaffers over 30-pounds hitting the docks. Nice wahoo are also becoming more common in 50 to 100 fathoms.
Virginia Saltwater Reports by Charlie Taylor:
CHINCOTEAGUE - Snapper bluefish, flounder, weakfish, blowfish and sea bass are the catch by bottom fishermen. Fair numbers of croaker remain at Turner's Lump, along with some pan trout. Offshore, fair numbers of yellowfin tuna, dolphin and white marlin are available in 30+ fathoms of water, while shallower water holds plenty of false albacore, skipjack tuna and Atlantic Bonito. Sea bass and tautog action is improving on the inshore wrecks. Red drum action is good in the Assateague Island surf.
WACHAPREAGUE - Several large flounder have been caught in the past few days, with the best catches coming from around the mouth of the inlet and along the channel in front of the Coast Guard station. Offshore boats are finding Yellowfin tuna just east of the 21 Mile Hill, along with a mixture of white marlin, wahoo and dolphin at the Washington Lumps and Washington Canyon.
ONANCOCK - Good bottom fishing in Pocomoke Sound. Large spot are found in 20-50 feet of water. Mixed in with the spot are blowfish, sea mullet, porgy and taylor blues. A few croaker remain. Flounder are still available, biting fresh cut spot, drifted along channel drop-offs. Peeler crab baits, fished around
the islands and marshes outside the harbor, are being taken by speckled trout and red drum.
QUINBY - Excellent bottom fishing for 1-2 pound trout, with the best action being along Eggen Marsh, where spot, mullet, sea bass and taylor blues also provide steady action. Some anglers are anchoring, while others are drifting the squid strips. Large flounder are surprising bottom anglers.
CAPE CHARLES - Fair numbers of red drum are available in the C-10 area, while fair numbers of croaker and spot are being caught around C-12 and the Artificial Reef. Flounder fishing remains consistent from C-10 to the Cement Ships, but lots are small. Speckled trout are biting well in the creeks. Seaside, muddy water conditions prevail, but trout to six pounds were caught, along with hogfish, big spot and croaker.
LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Good catches of flounder, croaker and spot are being taken from all the rock islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Several red drum have also been landed around the Second Island. Inside Lynnhaven Inlet, some flounder, croaker and speckled trout are available. The
Fourth Island is yielding taylor blues, triggerfish and sea bass, in addition to the flounder. Good spot and croaker action is available just off Factory Point and at the entrance to the Salt Ponds. Twin Stakes anglers report good bottom fishing for porgy, sea mullet, croaker and an abundance of "yellow-
bellied" spot. Good bottom fishing for spot and croaker in the Small Boat Channel, located just off Back River. Some grey trout are showing around Thimble Shoal Light, while flounder action has been best on Plum Tree Bar and around Forts Wool and Monroe. Spot and croaker are also available off Cheatham
Annex. The York Spit area is good for taylor blues, while speckled trout are hitting inside Mobjack Bay, around the mouths of the Ware and North Rivers. Cobia are still thick throughout the area, with Bluefish Rock, most bridge pilings and lower bay buoys prime spots.
VIRGINIA BEACH - Offshore boats are finding yellowfin and bluefin tuna, and dolphin action in the vicinity of the Cigar. Plenty of white marlin are also available, blind trolling, with catches of up to nine to the boat reported. Inshore, skipjack tuna, false albacore and a few king mackerel are being caught, with fish showing from the CB Line to the Tower Reef to south of Sandbridge. Amberjack remain plentiful at the Tower Reef.
Potomac River reports from Captain Ken Penrod:
On the Tidal Potomac, the water is 80 degrees with algae and dead grass in some areas with the full moons and new moons causing extra high and low tides. Bass fishing has been okay…certainly not great.
The WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE/BELLE HAVEN MARINA: the absence of vegetation is still pretty stingy—and the absence of vegetation accounts for that fact. The river has become quite salty and while that is not a negative for black bass you may want to hose your boat trailer after every use now.
The catfish in this area seem to be sickly, with sores and lesions. The best areas here include a few small areas in Smoot Bay, back end of Broad Creek, Hog Island and Bulltown Cove across from Mount Vernon.
MATTAWOMAN VICINITY: bass fishing inside the creek has improved somewhat and we do best by casting Penrod Special spinnerbaits to shallow wood cover.
Near Smallwood State Park, those grass beds get pounded every day but there are still cooperative bass that tend to like frogs, Magic Stiks and Swimming jigs.
Grass beds on either side of the river south of Mattawoman have been the best bet here. Look for narrows beds and the areas between Chickamuxen and Tugboat Cove has been hot lately.
Virginia Freshwater Fishing Reports:
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Smallmouth and largemouth bass are being taken from the Virginia shoreline above Key Bridge on crankbaits and spinnerbaits, but patience and bright colors will be required. Catfish are thick throughout the area, taking cut bait and clam snouts. Crappie are schooled up and biting aggressively on small minnows. In the city, bass are holding on main river structure. Crankbaits and plastic worms are the preferred baits. Some fish are available on outgoing tides on the grass bed along the Fort McNair seawall in Washington Channel. Plastic worms, spinnerbaits and topwater frogs are the
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Most of the bass action is on main river cover, although the middle of the creeks should be holding many bass as well. The fish are orienting to points, lily pads, grass beds and submerged wood, with grass beds being the preferred cover. Small crankbaits, Senkos and floating plastic worms are the baits of choice. Main river bass are holding on wood cover, dropoffs, points and in grassbeds. Crappie are schooled in the creeks, with live minnows and tiny jigs taking good stringers. Stripers are cruising all over the river. Any crankbait or spinnerbait, fished on the main river, is liable to be slammed by a foraging striper or blue catfish.
OCCOQUAN RIVER - Bass action is picking up, with fish holding on submerged wood and points. Crankbaits, Silver Buddies and plastic worms are the preferred baits. Catfish action is slow, but crappie are schooled and holding on boat docks in the back of the river. Stripers are available in the back of the river on crankbaits, bucktails and Sassy Shads.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR - Bass are holding in the main channel, adjacent to points and rock walls. Don't look for large catches as the recent rains will have the water high and muddy. When they move onto the points and walls to feed, they may be caught on crankbaits, plastic worms and jig 'n pig. Crappie are schooled up and biting well on small minnows and tiny jigs. Catfish are taking nightcrawlers, cut shad and clam snouts, but action is slowing for the year.
BURKE LAKE - Bass are attacking crankbaits viciously, when retrieved down the dropoffs adjacent to the grassbeds and brushpiles. Plastic worms and jig 'n pig are taking the fish on points. Nightcrawler or minnow-tipped jigs, worked slowly across the bottom, near the dam, can result in some nice walleye being taken. Crappie are thick and biting well on small minnows. Catfish action has
POTOMAC RIVER - UPPER - Before the rains came, smallmouth bass were biting on small crankbaits, tubes, Senkos, and plastic grubs, fished in the holes in the middle of the river. A topwater bite might be available early and late in the day along the banks, but it is recommended that anglers stay off the river
until the water recedes. Crappie are beginning to school at the creek mouths, while catfish are taking cut bait, live minnows, and nightcrawlers, in the main channel.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER - This river is too high and muddy to be of any use to anglers for the next week or so. It is also quite dangerous for boaters as there is lots of debris in the water, not all of it floating. Partially submerged wood can be extremely dangerous.
SHENANDOAH RIVER - This river is also running high and muddy. It should be at least a week before it returns to a fishable condition.
MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS - The lower reaches of the river should be fishable and anglers should have success with Bass, pickerel, yellow perch, bluegill, catfish, gar and bowfin. Lower water temperatures have started fish feeding heavily. Better choice of baits include spinners, stick baits, plastic worms and peeler crab. The lower ends of the rivers are also giving up lots of stripers.
LAKE ANNA - Water color should be stained in the upper portions of the lake and the back ends of the creeks, but this does not mean that the fish will not bite. Use brightly colored lures in the stained water. Bass are moving to the back of the creeks and coves, holding on cover with deep water access. Topwater baits are working well, early and late in the day, while crankbaits, plastic worms, grubs and jig 'n pig baits are taking fish in 12-18 feet of water when the sun is high. An excellent pattern is to fish plastic worms on main lake and secondary points. Select those points that drop off into deep water and contain brush or rocks. If grass is present, fish the worms from the bank to the edge of the grass beds. Most of the hits will come as the worm is pulled out of the grass edges. Crappie are schooling around bridge pilings. Stripers are becoming active around Stubbs Bridge and Jetts Island. Live shad is the bait of choice, although topwaters are taking the big fish, early and late in the day.
JAMES RIVER - The river is basically unfishable above Richmond, due to the high, swift and muddy water. Below the city, crankbaits, fished around shoreline structure, are taking good numbers of bass, as are jig 'n pigs and plastic worms, fished on deep structure. Catfish are being caught in the main river channel on cut shad. The creeks are giving up bass on plastic worms, topwater baits and small crankbaits. Crappie are beginning to turn on in the barge and gravel pits on live minnows and tiny jigs.
LAKE CHESDIN - Crappie fishing down lake is good. Catfish are taking liver and nightcrawlers. Bass are taking plastic worms, jig 'n pig and crankbaits. Some stripers are showing.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER - Top water baits, spinner baits and buzz baits, worked along the grassed edges, are accounting for good numbers of bass, while plastic worms and Zoom Flukes are taking the fish back in the pads on incoming tides. Zoom Horny Toads and floating worms, fished over the hydrilla beds, are taking some bass, particularly when the grass is in three feet or more of water. Crappie fishing is excellent around submerged brush and in creek mouths. Catfishing remains excellent on nightcrawlers, turtle livers and clam snouts.
CHICKAHOMINY LAKE - Live minnows, buzzbaits, and crankbaits are the prime baits in this lake, as the bass, bowfin and pickerel are feeding heavily. Zoom Horny Toads, worked across the thickest grassbeds in the lake, will produce good bass for patient anglers. Anglers working the baits along the vegetation
edges are taking good stringers of fish. Plastic worms and grubs are also taking fish, when worked through the lily pads and submerged brush. Catfish are active, taking clam snouts and live minnows.
LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR - Recent rains have raised the water level to full pool and the fish are responding well. Stripers are drawing most of the attention, being caught on live bait on points. Carolina rigs are producing the larger bass, while smaller bass are being taken on crankbaits, Texas rigged worms
and live minnows. The bass are generally suspended at 15-20 feet. Crappie are taken on minnows in 18 feet of water, while other pan fish are concentrated in 10-12 feet of water.
BACK BAY - Yellow and white perch, catfish, crappie and bass are available in the creeks, along with lots of small stripers.
SUFFOLK LAKES - Bream and crappie are very active, taking crickets and red wigglers. Lots of bass, to six pounds, are being caught on topwater baits, plastic worms and crankbaits. Stripers are very active, taking Shad Raps, Rat-L-Traps and jumbo minnows. Catfish are taking cut squid and live bait.
LAKE GASTON - Crappie are holding in 12-15 feet of water, hitting live minnows and tiny jigs. Largemouth bass are holding on main lake points and boat docks, adjacent to creek channels. Up lake, the fish are generally in 6-10 feet of water, while they are a little deeper down lake. Crankbaits, plastic worms and jig 'n pig baits are the choice, although topwaters, fished early and late in the day, are accounting for their share of fish. Stripers are suckers for trolled baits and the one ounce Cordell Hot Spot, near the dam. White perch are taking jigged Hopkins spoons at creek mouths.
BUGGS ISLAND LAKE - When fish are found, anglers can load the boat, but finding them is the trick. The best action is coming from midlake and down lake areas, and seems to be centered around the points halfway back in the creeks and in the edges of the flooded cover in the coves. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms and jig 'n pig are taking most of the fish, although topwater baits are accounting for some fish early and late in the day.
BRIERY CREEK AND SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS - Fishing is fair. A number of catfish, numerous bass and crappie are being caught.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught by anglers fishing topwaters, plastic worms and jumbo minnows around boat docks, adjacent to deep banks. Stripers are taking live shad and bucktails above and below the "S" turns on the Roanoke arm and around the mouth of Gill's Creek on the Blackwater arm. Fish the bucktails in 8-12 feet of water. Topwater lures are also taking stripers early and late, from Hales Ford Bridge uplake. The fish are also being caught trolling, on Sutton spoons, Sassy Shads and Little Macs. Good numbers of 14-19 pound stripers are also being caught by jigging Pet Spoons in 50 feet of water off main channel points.
LEESVILLE RESERVOIR - Largemouth bass are hitting with regularity on crankbaits and plastic worms, while white bass schools are attacking small spinners, jigs and crankbaits. Anglers are catching a few stripers by trolling over the points and fishing live shad in coves, but action is not consistent. Walleye anglers are taking good stringers, fishing live minnows on the bottom.
LAKE MOOMAW - Bass action is picking up. More successful anglers are fishing topwater baits early and late in the day over main lake points and live minnows when the sun is high. Ringworms, fished in 18-20 feet of water, are also producing bass. Trout action is off. Some catfish are being taken, along with large bluegill. The 'gills are located in 20-30 feet of water.
PHILPOTT LAKE - Crappie are the big news here. Schools of 1-2 pound fish are being found moving down lake in mid-channel. Live minnows are the preferred bait. Walleye are also biting well. Nightcrawlers and minnows, slowly drifted across points, are taking 4-7 pound fish. Smallmouth bass fishing is improving. The Smith River is producing small fish on bluewing olives in sizes 20-22.
NEW RIVER - Some good smallmouth bass and catfish are being caught, along with some small muskies.
SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR - Crappie fishing is excellent on fly and minnow combinations. Bass are biting well on rocky points, on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish action is picking up at the mouths of coves on stinkbaits. Walleye anglers are catching a few fish by trolling.
CLAYTOR LAKE - Lots of catfish and a few crappie are being caught. Some trophy smallmouth bass are being taken on topwaters and spinnerbaits. White bass are schooling in Peak Creek.
TROUT STREAMS - Most streams throughout the state are far too high and swift for wading. Respect the power of the water and wait a week or so. The fish will still be there.