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Courtesy of Mike Burchett
Brady and Ben Moles won the Tuesday night bass tournament at Rock House Marina thanks to 8-year-old Ben’s 5.59-pound lunker largemouth.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Fishermen who have been waiting for the New River to drop to its normal summertime levels before fishing have been doing a lot of waiting this summer, and not a lot of fishing.
But while the river has been running much higher (and cooler) than normal, it has been fishing well when it’s not really raging and brown.
The more robust flows require some adjustment, including decent boat-handling skills.
Small soft plastics, such as 3-inch tube lures, which normally excel in July and August, also are probably not the ideal approach under the current conditions.
Instead, lures such as crankbaits and spinnerbaits are a good bet. That makes sense, really. The river and its fish are acting a lot like they do in spring, when those noisy lures are traditionally effective.
Dewayne Lamb at Captain’s Quarters marina said that bass fishing has been good at Smith Mountain Lake, where nighttime tournament anglers continue to hit the scales with impressive weights. Lamb and his partner, for example, had a solid 15.6-pound bag in the Captain’s Quarters tournament on Tuesday and they didn’t even get a check.
Lamb said crankbaits and big-profile soft plastics continue to be the best bass producers. The best fishing on Tuesday, he said, came before dark around rocky points on the main lake.
Stripers remain in schools, which can be found around mouths of the larger creeks. Lamb said anglers soaking live shad on the bottom at depths of about 30 feet have been having good action.
Bass action has been only so-so at Claytor Lake, but the good news is that the lake has pretty well cleared of floating trash.
Chicken livers are taking a few channel catfish on area lakes.
Guide Matt Miles reports that fly fishing with poppers has been excellent on the James River the past couple of weeks. Clients have caught some good fish, including a couple in the 19- to 20-inch range. Spin anglers are getting in on the topwater action with lures such as the Heddon Torpedo.
On the New River, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are working well. Noisy topwater lures may pull up some fish, too.
Virginia’s offshore fishing has been excellent, with trollers catching impressive numbers of large bigeye tuna.
Cobia continue to thrill sightfishing anglers in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
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