Meherrin River - Fishing Opportunities
Downstream from the Emporia Dam, the Meherrin River offers a wide variety of species eager to take a lure or live bait. Starting in early spring and ending in June, American and Hickory shad make their annual spawning trips up the muddy waters. During this time fishermen can catch these "poor man's tarpon" on a variety of fishing lures such as shad darts, spoons and the occasional fly. The "hot spot" for shad fishing is at the base of Emporia Dam in May, where the fish congregate looking for upstream passage. Extensive herring runs are also available, especially in tributary streams such as Fountains' Creek. Blueback herring and alewives can be caught on many of the same lures and flies as the shad.
The river has bluegill, white and black crappie, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and the occasional smallmouth bass and walleye. Since 2001, five species of fish have been reported for citations in the Meherrin River. Citations have included largemouth bass, rock bass (which is probably Roanoke bass), sunfish, walleye and even gar. Live bait fishing is a good all around option for fishermen wanting to catch "whatever is biting". Many fishermen use crickets for sunfish and minnows or worms to catch bass, catfish or crappie. However, to target largemouth or smallmouth bass, throw small crankbaits or jigs that imitate crayfish in the slack water areas behind mid-channel boulders and log jams. Many predatory fish lie and wait for bait before they strike at prey items as they float by. Redhorse suckers and long-nose gar are abundant for fishermen targeting some "non-traditional" species.