|In this edition:
- Hunting Run Reservoir Opens for
Fishing September 29
- Turkey Hunting Forecast Varies by
- What To Do With Nuisance Wildlife
- People and Partners in the News
- Hawk Migration Approaching Peak
- Five Forestry & Wildlife Bus
Tours Scheduled for October
- Ready for the 2007 Big Sit?
- VA Waterfowlers Sponsor
Duck/Goose Calling Contest
- Reminder: Application Deadline
October 1 for Deer Hunting Events for Disabled Persons
- Habitat at Home©
- Fall is Best Time to Establish
- Virginia Conservation Police
- Field reports from officers
protecting natural resources and people pursuing outdoor
- Be Safe... Have Fun!
- Rabies - Be Aware - Be Cautious
- Fish Consumption Advisories
- Virginia Wildlife
Collector's Edition Knife
- Fishin' Report
- In Case You Missed It...
- Links to recent articles of
Hunting Run Reservoir
Opens for Fishing September 29
Hunting Run Reservoir is a 450 acre reservoir owned
and operated by Spotsylvania County. The reservoir
has been stocked by VDGIF. Game and food fish
populations include largemouth bass, bluegill,
redear sunfish, black crappie and channel catfish.
VDGIF District Fisheries biologist John Odenkirk
notes, "This reservoir has one of the best
largemouth bass populations in the region." When
Phase One opens September 29, 2007, there will be
primitive access for personal boats and a small bank
fishing area. A pier, concession facility and other
amenities are planned as Phase Two. State fishing
regulations will apply for the remainder of this
year, but largemouth bass regulations are subject to
change in 2008.
Forecast Varies by Region
reproduction appears to be at or above average in
most regions of the state. Reports from the
Central and Northern Mountain Regions are perhaps
the most promising," reports VDGIF Turkey,
Furbearer, and Small Game Program Manager Gary
Norman. He adds, "Jim Clay of Winchester
reports seeing record numbers of young birds in the
Frederick County area near Winchester. Brood reports
are also very high in the counties of Giles,
Montgomery, and Craig. Further
southwest, fewer broods have been reported,
so brood production appears below average in
that area. In the Piedmont Region, southern
counties including Bedford, are also reporting good
numbers of young birds."
In addition to the
hatch, mast conditions play an important role in
turkey hunting strategies and success rates. In many
western counties the early summer drought resulted
in poor soft mast conditions. It also may lead to an
early drop in some acorns. In general, the white oak
and red oak acorn production appears to be spotty.
Hunters will need to scout out these pockets of
acorns, particularly the white oaks. Turkeys will
eat any acorn, but generally select smaller acorns.
In areas where the soft and hard mast crops have
failed, birds may be found in and around fields,
clearings and old home sites in search of grasses,
insects, and other seeds.
For the past
3 years the Department has been conducting a
survival study of wild turkey gobblers. Last year
survival rates of gobblers was the highest of any
year in the study. Harvest rates during the spring
gobbler season were the lowest of any year. We think
the inclement weather during the early part of the
spring season contributed to the low harvest rate
and high survival rate. In conclusion, we
carried-over a good population of 2 and 3+ year old
birds. This along with a good crop of jakes from
this year should lead to improved spring gobbler
populations in 2008. But, like last year, good
gobbling and good hunting conditions require good
in participating in our spring gobbler season survey
can contact Gary Norman at (540) 248-9389 or
The VDGIF needs
cooperators for our annual survey of ruffed grouse
hunters. Cooperating grouse hunters are provided
survey forms to submit information on their hunting
effort and success. Additionally, we ask hunters to
provide tail and wing feathers so age and sex of
harvested birds can be determined. Avid grouse
hunters that are interested can contact Gary Norman
at (540) 248-9389 or
Gary.Norman@dgif.virginia.gov. A copy of the
2006-07 grouse status report should be available
soon on the Department's Web site.
What To Do With Nuisance
Let's face facts...those cute and cuddly critters we see in the wild
can also be a nuisance if they decide to move in
with you or overstay their welcome. Vance Shearin,
who staffs the Information Desk at the VDGIF
Headquarters in Richmond, hears that complaint a
lot. He notes, "We get a lot of calls on nuisance
animals and nuisance furbearers especially in the
spring and fall. Someone calls in and may have a fox
in the yard, raccoon in the attic, squirrel in the
garage, or beavers cutting down trees or flooding a
road with their dam. Many of the callers are under
the false impression that we will come and remove
the wildlife for free as a public service. They are
often unaware that they may have to pay a private
trapper if they don't want to dispatch the animal
Biologist Mike Fies advises, "Nuisance wildlife laws
and regulations are complex. Most of the complexity
is due to the different Code [of Virginia] Sections that pertain
to various wildlife situations. Landowners are
permitted to trap and shoot some species of nuisance
wildlife at any time. However, you should check with
the VDGIF to make sure you are complying with all
laws and regulations before taking action. The VDGIF
provides assistance by instructing people how to
handle their own problem depending on the
circumstances, or putting them in contact with
private individuals who can provide trapping
services for a fee." Property owners need to be
aware that it is illegal to capture and relocate
most nuisance animals. There are some exceptions,
but usually you are simply moving your problem to
someone else. A
list of trappers who handle nuisance animals is
available on the VDGIF Web site. For information on
non-lethal alternatives for nuisance wildlife
for Human-Wildlife Conflict Resolution.
The Code that is
enforced by VDGIF states, "A landowner may shoot
fur-bearing animals except muskrat and raccoons,
upon his own lands during closed season. When beaver
are damaging crops or lands, the owner of the
premises, his agent, or tenant, may kill the
animals, or have them killed. A landowner and
members of his immediate family may kill rabbits or
squirrels for their own use during the closed
season. Fur-bearing animals include beaver, bobcat,
fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, raccoon, skunk,
and weasel." Animals that are a threat to public
safety, like a potentially rabid fox, or aggressive
coyote should be reported immediately to the local
animal control officer, police or VDGIF. See the
article on rabies in the Be Safe... Have Fun section
of this edition of the Outdoor Report.
For more details on
how to handle nuisance wildlife read When
Wildlife Overstays its Welcome by VDGIF Habitat
at Home Coordinator Carol Heiser.
People and Partners in the News
The annual fall
hawk migration is once again upon us. The migration
begins in early September and lasts through November
with peak numbers from late September to
mid-October. During this time, thousands of raptors
leave their breeding grounds and make their way
south to their wintering grounds. Most follow
geographical features such as mountain ranges and
coastlines. "Through use of updrafts along mountain
ranges and thermals which are created by the sun's
uneven heating of the earth's surface thus providing
areas of rising hot air, raptors are able to travel
great distances with limited energy expenditure,"
according to VDGIF Wildlife Biologist Assistant Josh Felch. Hawk watch sites are set up throughout
the Commonwealth to view and count the migrating
raptors. Raptor species that can be viewed from
these platforms include Sharp-shinned Hawks,
Cooper's Hawks, Northern Goshawks, Red-tailed Hawks,
Red-shouldered Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks,
Rough-legged Hawks, American Kestrels, Merlins,
Peregrine Falcons, Northern Harriers, Osprey, Bald
Eagles, and Golden Eagles. Black and Turkey Vultures
are usually counted at these sites as well.
Five Forestry &
Wildlife Bus Tours Scheduled for October
Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forest
Landowner Education Program, in cooperation with
VDGIF and other natural resource agencies,
companies, and associations, will be holding their
31st Annual Fall Forestry and Wildlife Field Tour
Programs starting Oct. 5. The tours promote wise
resource management on private forestlands and will
focus on science-based forestry and wildlife
management practices, public and private sources of
technical and financial management assistance, and
networking among landowners and natural resource
professionals. The field trips feature demonstration
stops on private, industry, and public lands that
center on multiple-use management opportunities and
practices. Pre-registration is encouraged, as space
is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. For
dates, locations and registration information, visit
www.cnr.vt.edu/forestupdate or contact Jennifer
Ready for the
2007 Big Sit October 14?
The Big Sit is an
annual birding event held all over the world.
Participants observe all the birds seen and heard
from within a 17-foot diameter circle over a 24 hour
period. VDGIF Watchable Wildlife Coordinator Jeff Trollinger describes this non-competitive event as
a "birding tailgate party." Originally, this event
was founded by the New Haven Bird Club as a fund
raiser and is sponsored by Birder Watcher's Digest®.
Now in its 13th year, this year's event will happen
on Sunday, October 14, 2007. Virginia "sitters"
regularly rank among the top ten sites in the world
- a solid representation of the amazing diversity
of Virginia's bird life. Consider starting a circle
Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail site!
This free event is
open to everyone. For more information
check out the event's Web site.
Association Sponsors Duck/Goose Calling Contest
Waterfowlers Association (VAWFA) in partnership with
sponsor Bass Pro Shops, is hosting a sanctioned
duck/goose calling contest in Hampton, October
13-14, 2007. Visit
VAWFA's Web site for details.
Application Deadline October 1 for Deer Hunting
Events for Disabled Persons
Sportsmen in cooperation with VDGIF and volunteers
from numerous sportsmen's organizations is offering
twelve exciting hunts this fall in all areas of the
state. These special hunts are open to all
physically challenged individuals and are free of
charge. A lot of planning and logistics goes into
scheduling these special events and we hope to fill
each one with participants. Pass this information
along to anyone with a disability. If you would like
to participate in any of these hunts either as a
hunter, or volunteer to assist disabled hunters,
please complete the application form found at
vanwtf.com. All applications must be e-mailed or
postmarked by October 1, 2007.
Habitat at Home©
Fall is Best
Time to Establish Wildlife Plantings
establishing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife? "Your
timing is excellent," advises VDGIF Habitat
Education Coordinator Lou Verner. "Fall is absolutely
the best time to establish new plants, whether
you're considering trees or shrubs, wildflowers, or
if you have the space, a wildflower meadow. Remember
to seek out those species that are native to your
region of the state." Fall planting (September
through early November) gives trees and shrubs 6-8
months to establish their root system under cool,
moist conditions. This will greatly increase their
odds of surviving their first hot, often dry,
summer. One of the more common mistakes made in
planting trees or shrubs is digging the hole too
deep and not digging out two to three times the
diameter of the root ball. Directions for properly
planting trees and shrubs can be found on the
Virginia Department of Forestry's Web site:
How to Plant a Seedling. A list of native
species and their benefits for wildlife habitat,
erosion control and other benefits can be found on
VDGIF Web site.
Fall seeding of
native wildflowers imitates natural reseeding.
Changes occur to the seed and seed coat
(stratification) during winter that enhances
germination. Spring annuals may germinate and lie
dormant through the winter, while most perennials
and warm season grasses will germinate in the
spring. Properly preparing the seedbed this fall
will help develop a successful wildflower garden
One final thing to
put on your fall "to NOT do" list: do NOT deadhead
all your wildflower seed heads! Rudbeckia and
Echinacea species (Black-eyed and brown-eyed
Susans, many species of coneflowers) are especially
valued seed resources used by many of our over
wintering finches. Happy fall gardening!
information on the Habitat at Home©
program, see the
Department's Web site.
Virginia Conservation Police
To increase awareness of the activities of our
dedicated Conservation Police Officers, previously
called game wardens, we are adding a new section to
the Outdoor Report, the "Virginia
Conservation Police Notebook." These Notebook
entries provide an overview of the variety of
activities encountered by our officers who protect
natural resources and people pursuing outdoor
recreation in the fields, woods and waters of
Virginia. The Notebook entries are listed by Region.
Region 1 -
Poachers Caught 'Red-handed'... Due to
information of rockfish being taken out of season at
a ramp in Essex County, Officer Michael Morris
worked a plain clothes operation on a Friday
evening. He arrived at 10:00 p.m. and began fishing
next to four other people. Throughout the night his
neighbors talked about catching and hiding rockfish
under the seats of their SUV and in coolers inside
the vehicle. Just after midnight one subject caught
a rockfish and called it a catfish and promptly put
it in a cooler in their SUV. At 1:30 p.m. another
subject caught a rockfish and put the fish in the
same cooler. Officer Morris approached the subjects
when they began to clean the fish. Summonses were
issued for possessing two rockfish during the closed
season. One subject was given a summons for fishing
without a saltwater license about three weeks prior
to this arrest.
Region 2 - South
Nabbed by Neighbor's Tip... In September,
Officers James Slaughter and Brandon Edwards were
contacted by a Franklin County landowner stating
that his neighbor was spotlighting deer. The
officers went to the area of the complaint and set
up a surveillance operation. While the officers were
there, they heard a gun shot and then immediately
observed a white pickup fitting the description
given to them by the complainant come into view and
drive slowly up the road. The pickup truck then
turned around and came slowly back down the road.
The officers got behind the truck and followed it
back to a residence. The truck was stopped at the
residence and the driver was confronted about the
shot which was fired. The man finally admitted that
he was spotlighting and had shot at a deer. Charges
were placed against the man for hunting during the
closed season, spotlighting, hunting after legal
hours, and hunting from a vehicle. The prudent
actions of a concerned citizen, combined with the
quick response and tenacity of the two officers, led
to the timely capture of this poaching suspect.
Region 3 -
Gear Aids in Arrest... Officers Frank Gough
and Wes Billings were conducting a late night boat
patrol on Claytor Lake in August. There were two
fishing tournaments taking place and boat traffic
was busier than usual. Night vision equipment was
being utilized during the patrol to locate boaters
violating light requirements. With the aid of the
night vision equipment, Officer Billings located two
kayaks that were not displaying the required lights
150 yards from the shoreline. He also observed a
bass boat quickly approaching the kayaks. At the
last second the bass boat swerved to avoid a
collision with the kayaks. The officers approached
the kayaks, which were occupied by two young males,
and loaded the kayaks and the operators into the
patrol boat and transported them to the state boat
ramp. Summonses were issued for failure to display
proper lights, underage possession of alcohol and
purchasing alcohol for an underage person.
Region 4 -
Mountain & Valley
With Good Detective Work... One Sunday
evening in September, Conservation Police Officer
F.G. Mundy was at his residence when he heard shots
coming from an area nearby. Officer Mundy was aware
that an individual who lived in the area of the
shots and others who frequented the location were
rumored to be involved with illegal hunting and
other violations. Officer Mundy went to the scene
and observed two men standing by a pickup truck.
There was fresh blood in the bed of the truck and on
one of the men's camouflage pants and boots. Mundy
called the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office for
assistance as one of the suspects was a known felon.
During his search of the property, two doe deer
carcasses were found hidden in one of the
outbuildings and two stolen firearms were recovered.
The two suspects were then placed under arrest and
transported to the Rockingham County Jail with the
assistance of Conservation Police Officer E. W.
Felony charges were
placed for possession of a firearm while being a
convicted felon, possession of stolen property and
numerous misdemeanors, including Reckless Handling
of a Firearm, Taking Deer During the Closed Season,
Hunting on Sunday, Trespassing to Hunt on Posted
Property and Transporting Illegal Deer. Officer
Mundy contacted the rightful owner of the stolen
property as part of his investigation to confirm the
identity of the firearms. The owner expressed his
gratitude for Officer Mundy's diligence and is
eagerly awaiting the return of his firearms after
the cases are adjudicated.
Region 5 -
Host Fun Day for Wounded Warriors... On
September 7, 2007, Virginia Conservation Police
Officers and Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors
assisted with a Wounded Warrior event at the Shady
Grove Sporting Clays Course in Remington. Twenty-one
disabled veterans from Walter Reed Hospital were
given the opportunity to shoot on the sporting clays
course, with skilled coaching by police officers and
volunteers from the VDGIF. The event was organized
in part by Steve Rogers and Delegate Scott
Lingamfelter, with assistance from the Virginia
State Police Officers Association, the National
Rifle Association, Smith Tractor, and others.
Conservation Police Hunter Education Specialists
Philip Townley and Robert Riggs (himself a veteran
of the Iraq war) led the group of Volunteer Hunter
Education Instructors, who included Al Killion,
Emmet Pilkington, Bud Hitchcock, Sharon Townley, and
Rob Zepp. This group maintained safety on the range
and helped everyone to succeed in hitting the
fast-moving clay targets.
Be Safe... Have Fun!
Rabies - Be
Aware - Be Cautious
Rabies in wild
animals is common in Virginia, so you should act
with caution around any wild animal. VDGIF
Veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Sleeman advises, "To
prevent exposure to rabies, enjoy wildlife from a
distance; don't approach, or pick up any wild animal
that appears friendly or sick. Symptoms of rabies in
wild animals vary, but can include very aggressive
behavior, exceptionally tame behavior, or
disoriented movement. It is important to remember,
as well, that wild animals may be shedding the
rabies virus without appearing sick at all, so it's
important to avoid direct contact with any
wild animal. Never keep wildlife as pets;
it's not only dangerous, but illegal."
If you encounter an
animal you suspect may be rabid, do not attempt to
capture or kill the animal. Get indoors or away from
the animal and call your local animal control, or
911 emergency to note the location. Be aware that if
your pet dog or cat is exposed to a wild mammal, you
should contact your local health department to
discuss the situation to see what might be the best
course of action. The health department may
recommend that your dog or cat receive a rabies
booster and/or that the wild mammal be tested for
rabies. Local authorities can also tell you how to
handle a dead wild animal safely in case it should
be secured until testing can be performed.
The virus is
carried in saliva and while the most efficient way
to be exposed to this virus is via a bite, you
should also alert your local health department to
other types of exposures like wet saliva contact in
open wounds, eyes or mouth. If you think you have
been exposed to rabies it is critical that you get
medical treatment immediately. If untreated with the
vaccine, exposure to the rabies virus is almost
always fatal once clinical signs develop. For more
information visit the following sites:
Department of Health (VDH) has modified several
existing fish consumption advisories and added three
new advisories due to mercury and polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) contamination. Recent test results
show mercury and PCBs levels exceed the amount
considered safe for long term human consumption.
Mercury Advisories have been added or modified for
the following water bodies:
River Basin- Motts Run Reservoir and Chandlers
Mill Pond (both new)
- Chowan and
Dismal Swamp River Basin- Nottoway River (new),
- Roanoke River
Basin- Roanoke (Staunton) River, Kerr Reservoir
and Dan River
details on these new or expanded advisories,
including affected water body boundaries and
localities, type of contaminant and species
visit the VDH fish consumption advisory page.
2007 Limited Edition
Virginia Wildlife Collector's Knife
Collector's knife has been customized by Buck
Knives. This classic model 110 folding knife is 8-½"
long when fully opened and has a distinctive,
natural woodgrain handle with gold lettering. Each
knife is individually serial numbered and has a
mirror polished blade engraved with a fox. Our
custom knife comes in a solid cherry box with a
collage of foxes engraved on the box cover.
Virginia and neighboring states want to know "how
are the fish bitin'?" To provide some answers, more
than 25 license agents, marinas, fishing guides and
bait shops have volunteered to serve as contacts for
information on recent fishing conditions for primary
rivers and lakes throughout the state. Sarah White,
outdoor writer and regular contributor to
Virginia Wildlife magazine, prepares this
Fishin' Report from interviews with these contacts
the week prior to publication of the Outdoor
The Fishin' Report
is only available as part of your free subscription
to the Outdoor Report.
The rivers and lakes featured in the Fishin' Report
are listed by VDGIF Administrative Regions so you
can quickly locate the area in which you are most
interested. Consult the regional location map to
find the major river or lake you want to know about.
For regulations and
conditions on saltwater fishing, visit the
Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Web site.
concludes his story, A River Runs through It,
with these words:
things merge into one, and a river runs through
it. The river was cut by the world's great flood
and runs over rocks from the basement of time.
On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops.
Under the rocks are the words, and some of the
words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."
It's easy to
dismiss Maclean as an old fisherman waxing
philosophic about his favorite fishing spot; but
true anglers know better. The true angler is haunted
by waters; by his favorite places to cast his line.
He has come to these places so many dawns, so many
dusks. Has seen the water grabbing at the moon with
a thousand hands and seen it cut into dancing pieces
by the sun. He has spent much time thinking there,
and much time simply being. The fishing place
becomes a real friend. And the true angler is a good
friend; he is active in water and the conservation
of watery places. After all, he wants someday to
introduce his granddaughter to his old, old friend.
Region 1 - Tidewater
Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir: Chuck Hyde
reports that bass are moving around in the cooling
nights. Crappie are also stirring and appearing
around the dock. Cut bait or shrimp will likely land
you a cat. New Orleans angler Michael Raboteau
landed a 7.5 lb. bass. The water is clear and the
temperature at the dock is 74 degrees.
Chickahominy Lake: Mike Elfwick told me that
fishing is good at the lake. Largemouth bass are
hitting well as are chain pickerel. Bowfin and cats
are also biting, as are gar, shellcrackers and
bream. The most successful lures are live bait,
especially night crawlers and red wigglers. During
the last two day Bass Classic the winning weight was
25.60 lb. brought in by Havier Smith and Richard
Sweeney. The water is clear at 74 degrees.
Chickahominy River: Charlie Brown says that
there is not much action in his area. The cats are
doing fairly well, responding to fresh and cut bait,
also shad and eel. Charlie jokes that the crabbing
is also good as the local crabs like the same baits.
One lucky angler landed a 33 lb. blue cat. The water
is clear and 75 degrees.
Little Creek Reservoir: Walter Elliot tells
us that Largemouth can be had at 15 - 25 feet of
water. For these fish it is best to use top water
baits early in the morning. After that time it's
best to use soft plastic worms and deep diving crank
bait. Yellow perch are going for night crawlers and
red wigglers as are shellcrackers. Hasten McCoy of
Prince George County landed 20 shellcrackers up to
11 inches long. Chain pickerel are responding to
minnows and plastic worms; Rocky Sylvester of
Hopewell came in with one that was 11 inches long.
Also biting on minnows are stripers, which can be
found in 15 - 30 feet of water. The reservoir is
clear with temperatures in the low 80's.
Mike Gazara reports that largemouth bass are
attacking minnows and rubber worms. Crappie are
going for small minnows and chain pickerel are going
for big minnows. The water is clear and the
temperature 74 degrees.
Region 2 - Southside
James River (at Lynchburg): Tom Reisdorf at
Angler's Lane tells us that the smallmouth bass are
going for sub-surface imitation minnows and
imitation crayfish. Later in the day, use top water
lures. The trout streams in the area are
"dangerously low," making it hard for the fish to
survive. Most anglers are humane enough to leave
this overly stressed population alone until better
times. The water in all areas is clear and cooling.
Kerr Reservoir: Bobby Whitlow of Bob Cat's
Lake Country Store reports that fishing is "tough."
Largemouth bass are somewhat catchable early morning
and late evening on deep diving crankbaits near deep
structures. Crappie can be found on the main lake,
12 - 25 feet deep, near rock points and deep ledges.
The water is clear, 6 feet below normal with
temperatures in the low 80's.
Leesville Reservoir: Fred Tannehill at Tri
County Marina says that crappie are doing well on
small minnows. Bream are going for live worms. Cats
are attacking live worms and dead minnows. The water
is dingy and at 65 degrees.
Philpott Reservoir: Shawn Perdue at Franklin
Outdoors let me know that stripers are doing well on
live bait and bucktails. The crappie are biting
minnows and jigs. Other than that, things are quiet.
The water is clear and cooling down.
Smith Mountain Lake:
Mike Snead of the Virginia Outdoorsman reminds
boaters that the water level is still low and that
they should check ahead of time the conditions at
the ramp they plan to use. Schools of baitfish are
bringing largemouth and striped bass to the surface,
especially "in the backs of creeks in the morning."
Stripers and largemouth can also be caught in many
places in the lower lake. Trolling umbrella rigs and
Sutton spoons works well in these areas. Stripers
are also attacking live bait such as shad or
shiners. Cooler, more beautiful weather is coming to
the area, so get out there and have an amazing time!
Region 3 - Southwest
Claytor Lake: Greg Osborne at Rock House
Marina reports that smallmouth bass fishing in the
area is picking up. Local stripers are going for
shad, shiners and night crawlers. Cats are
responding to live bait, especially shad. The water
is murky and at 76 degrees.
Flannagan Reservoir: Rodney Fleming of
Primetime Sports says that smallmouth bass and
hybrids can be caught with top water lures like
Sammie's Lucky Craft. Walleyes are hitting fairly
well on Long A's. The water is clear and in the
New River: John Zienius of Big Z's tells us
that stripers are doing fairly well. The waters are
low, but waders are catching fish using some senkos,
crankbaits and flukes. The water is clear and
New River - Giles County to West Virginia line:
Alert readers Paul and Alisa Moody report that the
area is "still producing nice (3 - 4 lb.) Smallmouth
Bass." Baitfish are crowding around the grass beds
and the bass are coming after them. In the morning
use top water walking lures. Later in the day,
"focus on tail end on the mid-stream weed beds."
North Fork of the Holston River: Ricky
Nutter reports that both smallmouth bass and redeyes
are going for jitterbugs. The water is very low and
clear, and is cooling down.
New River and
Claytor Lake: Joe Richardson says that
smallmouth bass are "pretty good in the river, not
in the lake." For this fishing, use top water lures,
flukes, soft plastics and surface baits. With Fall
come the Muskies. The water is clear and low, with
temperatures in the low 70's.
Region 4 - Mountain &
Lake Moomaw: Larry Andrews at The Bait Place
told me that both largemouth and smallmouth bass are
"steady." Both kinds of fish are going for plastic
worms, jigs and crankbaits. The cats are coming in
at around 8 - 10 lb. Yellow perch are doing "so-so."
The trout are slowing down. The water is down 16
feet below normal, and is clear at 75 degrees.
Lake Robertson: Barbara Steinbrenner didn't
have much to say, but she did tell me that some big
cats have been caught on chicken livers. The water
is clear and at 75 degrees.
North Fork: Harry Murray reports that on
both the north and the south fork of the river,
fishing is good. The best fishing to the north is
around Edinburg. The best to the south is from Luray
to Front Royal. At 68 - 75 degrees, it is too cold
to wet wade comfortably. The best flies for these
areas are the Shenandoah Sunfish Slider 6, and the
Shenandoah Blue Popper 6 on top water; underwater
use Murray's Hellgrammite 6 and the Pearl Marauder
6. The water in the mountain streams is very low and
clear, but still fishable with a cautious approach
and small flies. The temperature is 54 - 58 degrees.
The best flies to use are Murray's Flying Beetle 16,
Mr. Rappidan Dry Fly 18, and McMurray's Black Ant 16
Region 5 - Northern
James River (fall line): Captain Russ Cress
told me that the water had been too low to get his
boat in, and thus he had not fished. The area is "hurtin'
for water" at 3 - 4 feet below normal.
Lake Anna: Jim Henby of Lake Anna Striper
Guide Service says that "all species of fish are
moving to the banks, up lake and the backs of the
creeks, following the baitfish." Most fish "are
being caught on points, humps and flats in 15 feet
or less." Stripers are going for Gizzard Shad on
free lines. Bass are attacking crankbaits, and
crappie are 2 -3 inch tube baits or minnows. Cats
are hitting on live and Stink Baits. The water is
low and clear with the main lake at 80 degrees and
up lake and the backs of creeks at 75 degrees.
James River: Mike Ostrander reports that the
water is very low. Smallmouth bass are going for
grubs and top water spoons. Cats are attacking live
bait. The water is clear and in the high 70's.
The one that got away?
The one that didn't?
and it might get used in the Fishin' Report!
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