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Courtesy of Billy Martin
Billy Martin of Moneta used a Fluke to catch this 7.32-pound largemouth bass, which won this past weekend’s Smith Mountain Lake fishing tournament sponsored by the Roanoke Valley Optimist Club and Challenger Little League Baseball.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
It appears that the rain that has smothered the region for the past few days will be out of here in time for the weekend. But the impact of the precipitation will be felt for a while yet.
The region's big rivers were really rolling on Tuesday afternoon. They dropped a little bit but then came more rain on Wednesday.
As the rivers drop over the next few days the impact will be felt downstream as lakes absorb the high, muddy flows. Boaters also will need to use extra caution to avoid trash - both natural and man-made - in the water.
While thunder showers could have an effect on small streams, many of which are attracting attention from trout anglers, most should be in decent shape by the weekend.
Small ponds also would be a good bet for the weekend.
Morgan Williams at Rock House Marina said bass fishing has been fair at Claytor Lake. Many fish are still on spawning beds, where soft plastics on drop-shot rigs are a favorite tactic.
Crappies are still in shoreline brush, spawning. Striped bass action has been fair after dark for fishermen tossing topwater plugs.
Slow-waked topwater plugs are working well for bass and stripers after dark at Smith Mountain Lake. Many of the top bass and the top two stripers in this past weekend's Optimist Tournament were caught on topwaters such as the Storm Thunderstick.
Competing in the tournament, Ben and Jake Rosenberger of Roanoke caught about 40 nice crappies. They said using minnows fished under slip floats at depths of about 6 feet near cover was the key.
Live shad on the bottom is working well for flathead catfish.
Anglers who hope to fish moving water over the next few days will be best served by heading to smaller streams, which are the fastest to recover after high water.
Fortunately, with trout stocking season still in swing, there are plenty of small stream options. (Visit www.huntfishva.com for updated stocking information.)
Big rivers will likely be out of play for a few days. The James River at Buchanan, for example, was rolling along at nearly 35,000 cubic feet per second on Wednesday afternoon, compared with a norm of about 2,000 cfs.
Poor weather conditions have limited fishing on the coast. When anglers can get out they are finding good action on red drum in the Eastern Shore surf. Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlet continue to produce a few keeper flounder.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us