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Courtesy of Jeff Cohen
Jeff Cohen caught this chunky smallmouth bass during a recent chilly New River float with his dad, Dan Cohen, and guide Shawn Hash of Tangent Outfitters.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
A week ago in this spot, I wrote that recently rain-swollen rivers were falling in to nice shape just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
A day after the report ran, I happened to be riding my bike along the upper New River near Allisonia. The watershed had gotten more rain, and the river was so high and muddy that it might as well have been the Amazon.
Oops. I probably should leave the forecasting to Roanoke Times weather guru Kevin Myatt.
Still, looking at the forecast, it appears that conditions should be dry until late this coming weekend.
All these rivers? They're in great shape, with plenty of water for floating, but not so much to keep anglers away and/or fish from actively feeding.
Instead of rain gear, a key bit of gear for fishing over the next few days will be sunscreen and plenty of it.
Alewives remain in spawning mode, and that's translating to some fun nighttime fishing on the region's lakes that have good populations of the forage species.
Spawning alewives skitter around in the shallows after dark, and the peak of activity tends to get later at night as the spawn progresses. The alewives attract predators, including bass, stripers, walleyes and catfish.
Hawk Lamb at Captain's Quarters Marina at Smith Mountain Lake said pluggers are taking lots of fish after dark. Popular lures include the Storm Thunderstick and big floating Rapalas.
Bass anglers working points with Rapala DT-10 crankbaits are doing well on bass, Lamb said. They are also tangling with plenty of big flathead catfish.
Crappies are down about 8 feet, around brush and boat docks.
At Claytor Lake, night fishing also has been good for bass and stripers. Catfish are picking up, and finesse tactics are taking some decent bass.
Warm weather this week is starting to trigger an increase in topwater action for smallmouth bass on the New and James rivers, as well as their mid sized tributaries. Spinners, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are still working well.
Delayed Harvest trout waters open to general trout rules on Saturday. Waters won't be as crowded as on Heritage Day, but will be plenty busy.
Cobia are cruising off the beach along North Carolina's Outer Banks, offering good sight-fishing action.
Croakers are abundant in the Lower Chesapeake Bay, with great action off the area's piers.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday