Albemarle Lake - Fishing Opportunities
Prior to the 15-18-inch slot limit for bass being implemented in 1988, the bass population in Lake Albemarle was overabundant and stunted. When it was sampled in 2000, the bass population appeared to be better balanced. By 2004, however, it had reverted to its pre-slot condition. Although the overall number of bass was excellent, the size structure was on the small side. Very few bass exceeded 15 inches and growth rates were relatively slow. This indicats the population needs to be thinned somewhat to promote
faster growth. As a result, the 15-18-inch slot limit was removed in 2005.
Largemouth can be found along the shoreline in shallow water during early spring as water temperatures begin to warm. Spawning season is primarily in the month of May and bass are generally feeding heavily several weeks prior to the spawn. Fallen trees and beaver lodges are good areas to fish for bass at this time of the year. As water temperatures increase during the summer months, bass move to deeper water and tend to be more active in early morning or late afternoon. As fall approaches, with cooling water temperatures, bass move back into shallower water, taking on feeding habits of the early spring months. As winter approaches, bass once again move to deeper water. Sunfish are the primary forage for bass in this lake.
Lake Albemarle has always had a good panfish population that has provided anglers with many hours of enjoyment. Sampling in the year 2004 indicate that the bluegill and redear populations continue to do very well. Bluegill, redear sunfish, and an occasional warmouth exceeding eight inches are not uncommon in this fishery, and bluegill growth rates are above the statewide average.
Sunfish spawn in this lake in May and June and can be found on spawning beds in shallow flats. As summer approaches, the panfish will move to deeper water - as do the bass. In the fall of the year, bluegill and redear will once again begin to spawn as water temperatures cool, making them once again vulnerable to fly fishing with popping bugs.
Crappie fishing in Lake Albemarle is decent, with fish up to 12 inches being available. These fish can be located in the lake in areas that have fallen tree cover, beaver lodges, or one of the 15 submerged log cribs that were built when the lake was first impounded. Live minnows or small beetle spins are excellent bait for crappie, which may even land a small bass or the larger sunfish.
Channel catfish are stocked annually in Lake Albemarle. Late evening till dusk from May through September should provide some good fishing for channel's using stink baits.