Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Courtesy of Don Johnson
Don Johnson’s big rainbow trout, caught with a Joe’s Fly, gets the attention of grandchildren Makenzie and Adrian Epperly.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Booming participation in the Oakley Big Bass Tour event at Smith Mountain Lake means the annual Optimist Club of Cave Spring's tournament is no longer the lake's most popular fishing tournament.
Still, the three-day event remains a big draw, luring roughly 500 hopeful fishermen annually.
This year's event, in which the Challenger Little League Baseball organization has come in as a partner, runs Friday through Sunday.
Don't be surprised if it takes bigger fish than normal to make the leaderboard. Water temperatures are still on the cool side, which should actually bode well for the fishing.
The event is based out of Gills Creek Marina (721-2451), which used to be Foxport Marina. Tickets are $40 and will be available at the marina until 7:30 a.m. Friday, when the tournament officially gets under way.
Sean Perdue at Franklin Outdoors (483-5608) in Rocky Mount said Smith Mountain Lake is offering good action across the board heading into Optimist Tourney weekend.
Many bass are still spawning, so daytime sightfishing is effective. The alewife spawn is picking up, so plugging the banks after dark is producing bass and stripers.
Catfish action is picking up and crappie fishing remains steady.
Perdue said he hasn't heard much about Philpott Lake, which is not surprising considering that the lake's walleye nuts are notoriously secretive.
John Zienius at Big Z's (639-1651) reports that sightfishing remains a go-to tactic at Claytor Lake.
At Lake Moomaw's Boler Recreation Area (279-4144), Don Berghauser said big browns continue to hit large shiners and alewives, and bass fishing also has been good.
The New River is in beautiful shape, and smallmouth action has been good. Pig-n-jig combos are producing some nice fish, and crankbaits are also working well. Guide Mike Coley said muskies are a bit lethargic coming off the spawn, but he expects action for the apex predators to keep improving as May progresses.
James River bass fishing also has been good, while the Jackson River tailwater is producing some good wild trout action.
Virginia's coastal wrecks produced some big tautog last week, but the season is over.
Flounder fishing is slowly improving and should experience a dramatic upshot once water temperatures climb a few more degrees.
Weather JournalRain is here; no snow