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Courtesy of Mike Burchett
Stuart Osborne and Seth Dalton show off a pair of big smallmouths from Claytor Lake, the heaviest a 4.45-pounder that was the tournament lunker smallmouth at Tuesday night’s tournament out of Rock House Marina.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
It's hard to imagine better weather for fishing than what we're seeing this week.
At least if you enjoy the fishing part more than the catching part.
Bluebird skies typically aren't the best for fishing action. Fortunately, the longer that kind of weather pattern remains entrenched over a region, the more the fishing improves as fish thrown off by sudden weather changes adjust. That bodes well for the coming days.
Area rivers are in excellent shape, with great flow levels. Smallmouth bass, in particular, tend to ramp up their feeding activity in the fall as they fatten up for the chilly winter.
Cooling water temperatures on the region's lakes are prompting game fish such as bass to venture into shallower water, where they are more accessible to anglers.
Mike Burchett at Rock House Marina reported that bass are still pretty deep at Claytor Lake. Many are relating to brush. Burchett said dropshot rigs were responsible for some of the better catches in the Tuesday night tournament.
Smith Mountain Lake's stripers are still in schools around mouths of major feeder creeks, and are still pretty deep. Live bait on downlines remains a best bet. Smith Mountain Striper Club president Joel Janacek reported that trolling produced decent action on a recent morning, but the fish were small.
Water temperatures continue to drop and are now in the mid-70s at the surface. Look for crappies to move toward brush and docks at depths of about 10 feet when temps dip into the 60s.
Guide Matt Miles reports that fly rod poppers continue to be the hot ticket for his clients on the James River. Miles said smallies are holding tight to banks and keying on dying cicadas. John Zienius at Big Z's tackle shop in Radford said the New River is in great shape in terms of flow and color. Fishing has been a little challenging, particularly when flows are reduced out of Claytor Dam and the river level is dropping.
Crankbaits are working well, a nice bonus due to light aquatic grass due to robust river flows.
Nymphs are producing decent trout action on the Jackson and Smith river tailwaters.
The North Carolina surf around Buxton is producing good action for small red drum, pompano and whiting.
Billfish action continues to be good off the Virginia coast, with white and blue marlin the primary catches.
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?