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Courtesy of Jerry Satterwhite
Jada Satterwhite, a second grader at Herman L. Horn Elementary in Vinton, connected with this great whiting during a summer trip to the North Carolina Coast.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Though the weather has felt more like summer than early autumn over the past few days, fall is creeping up on us and that means fishing should soon start to improve on the region’s lakes and streams.
Early fall is an especially good time to hit one of the larger rivers in Western Virginia for a float fishing trip in a canoe or kayak. After a summer of much-higher-than-normal flows on the rivers, they have dropped to levels that are safe for non-expert paddlers. Plus, river fish really get aggressive in September, which one could argue is the best month of the year for all-day smallmouth bass action.
On the region’s larger lakes, bass will be moving out of the depths where they’ve spent the past couple of months sulking. As water temperatures continue to drop, bait fish will start balling up into schools and those bass and other predators such as stripers will be right there in the mix.
Bass fishing has slowed at Claytor Lake, according to Mike Burchett at Rock House Marina. Burchett said water temperatures climbed a few degrees and he suspects that put bass in a funk. Burchett said he hasn’t heard any reports on striper or catfish action.
At Smith Mountain Lake, bass fishing is so-so. Fish remain keyed on deep brush and rocky points.
Stripers are still in schools at major creek mouths.
Muskie fishing has been excellent on the New River, reports John Zienius at Big Z’s in Radford. Zienius said a Radford University student recently stopped by the shop and purchased a big in-line spinner to try for muskies. The young man connected with a 45-incher, and was back in the store with two buddies to buy more spinners.
Smallmouth bass action is also good, according to Zienius, who said the river is in great shape.
James River smallmouth action also has been good, and the river is producing quite a few muskies, too.
Smallmouth fishermen willing to put in a few miles should consider the Shenandoah system, which is producing loads of 12- to 16-inch fish due to recent excellent spawning classes, according to DGIF fisheries biologist Steve Reeser.
Flounder action has been excellent in the lower Chesapeake Bay, reports Julie Ball. Big flatfish are hitting live bait and jigs around Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel structure, but there is also good fishing around Lynnhaven Inlet, which is small water easily fished with modest-sized boats.
Good-sized spot are also plentiful around the lower bay, with pier anglers loading coolers with the tasty panfish.
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?