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Courtesy of David Miller
Silas Miller was fishing at Douthat State Park in May when he landed this 21-inch rainbow trout.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
This weekend brings another full moon — the peak will actually be early Sunday morning — and that will help contribute to what will likely be the final big sunfish spawning push of the season.
Moon phase isn’t the only contributor to sunfish spawning behavior, of course. But when full and new moon phases coincide with the right water temperatures, that typically creates a peak in the action.
Unlike bass, which are lone spawners, sunfish spawn in schools. Where you find one spawning bed you’ll almost always find plenty more.
The fish are so aggressive they will hit just about thing they can get into their mouths, including bait, fly rod poppers and small crankbaits.
If you want to turn a newbie on to fishing, putting them onto a colony of spawning sunfish is a great way to do it.
Summer fishing patterns are coming in to their own on the region’s large lakes.
At Smith Mountain Lake, Dewayne Lamb reports that largemouth bass are starting to relate to deep brush piles, where anglers are targeting them with big Texas-rigged worms and Carolina-rigged plastic lizards.
The alewife spawn continues to fade, with most action now coming about 1-3 a.m. A few stripers are still coming up for the alewives, but with water temperatures now topping 80 degrees the action is inconsistent. Working waking plugs right on the banks will produce some largemouth bass.
Stripers are starting to school up around mouths of major creeks. Lamb said small gizzard shad and alewives on downlines are the most effective approach.
Claytor Lake’s bass are hitting shaking head worms and small plastics on drop shot rigs. That’s going to be the go-to pattern for a couple of more months.
There’s still some nighttime striper action for pluggers, but it’s not as consistent as it was a couple of weeks ago.
Early morning trollers are catching a few trout at Lake Moomaw.
The James and New rivers got another bump in level and flow from Tuesday’s rains. As the rivers come back into shape, spinnerbaits and crankbaits will work well. The topwater bite is also picking up.
Yellowfin tuna action is picking up off Virginia’s coast, and should just keep improving as the fish head north. Cobia are hitting well for chummers on shoals in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Spot fishing has been good off Virginia’s coastal piers.
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