Virginia Fishing Reports – March 2007
By Captain Max King
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Virginia Fishing Reports – March 2007
By Captain Max King
The coldwater temperatures have really slowed down the striped bass fishing off the Virginia Coast. But many striped bass anglers are looking for the southwest winds and higher temperature that will warm the inshore water to help bring the stripers back into the three mile limit before the Coastal season closes on the 31st of March.
With the slowing of the striped bass bite, many anglers are looking for sea bass and tilefish with a great deal of success. These fish are being found in water depths of 250+feet. Through out the month these fish will move to shallower wrecks and edges as the month progress.
There will be major changes in regulations for flounder in Virginia this coming spring season. There are as many as four different options that are being considered. Everyone can expect a small bag limit with larger keeper size for the upcoming year.
Everyone can look forward to some great tautog action on the inshore and offshore wrecks as we get closer to April. The rivers and creeks of the Chesapeake Bay can expect the first croakers towards the end of March. Just like the past couple of year’s squid and bloodworm fish bites will be the bait of choice.
Virginia Freshwater Fishing Report – March 2007
By Mark and Missy Fike
The freshwater portion of the Virginia reports is back after the passing of Jack Randolph. Mr. Randolph did a great job with it while he was at the helm and we have been told by our sources that he was a great man to speak with on the phone as well as in person. We will miss him.
Winter finally hit much of Virginia in February and closed down or slowed down much of the freshwater fishing. However, we do have some reports and of course we have updates for readers on what is soon to come.
Northern Virginia anglers have found the waters to be mostly ice covered in February, but March will bring good smallie action for large fish in the upper Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. Ring perch are moving into the upper reaches of rivers to spawn. Try minnows. Aquia Creek, Occoquan River and feeder creeks in the Potomac are good. Curtis Lake is providing some bass action on suspended flukes and cranks. Crappie are hitting in area ponds on slow-fished jigs and minnows. Be patient.
In Fredericksburg, Cossey Pond has given trout anglers good opportunities with red wigglers and Power Bait. It will not be long before the big blue catfish will be hitting in the Rappahannock. Right now the wait is on for white perch. They will be followed by herring and shad.
Lake Anna striper guide Jim Hemby reports many giant bass are being caught downlake on suspending jerkbaits and jumbo minnows suspended 10' below bobbers over primary and secondary points. If the water warms up considerably in the next few weeks these hogs will pull into pre spawn coves nearby.
Stripers have moved into the 3rd Dike area and can be caught in the current in low light conditions on Pencil Poppers. The larger fish are hitting live bait pulled on planer boards and free lines.
Crappie are schooled deep now (20 to 30 feet) on ledges but are lethargic. March warming water should get em going moving them up to bridge pilings and brush piles in 10 to 15 feet of water. Slow moving baits work the best. For a good striper trip contact Jim at Lake Anna Striper Guide Service, 540-967-3313 or by EMAIL
Northern Neck anglers are finding jackfish to be hitting in the millponds.
RW at RW’s Sports Shop (804-529-5634) in Callao noted that some pond anglers are also taking bass. Use crankbaits and spinnerbaits at this time of year. Crappie are also coming on in the ponds.
Ring perch are hitting on Piscataway Creek according to Surfside Bait and Tackle, 7520 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 (804-730-2238). The catfish action has been fair this winter but should pick up this month. White perch are on the way and croaker will not be too much longer either for those fishing the York River. In local ponds near Mechanicsville bass are coming on in the prespawn mode.
In the Scottsville area on the James River, Mark Stevens of Coleman’s (434-286-2547) told us that before the real hard freeze the crappie and smallmouth fishing was great. He expects that by print time the action to pick back up. Look for this fine fishery to take off in March. The fish are schooled tight at this time of year. For the smallies, use grubs and for the specks use jigs or minnows.
Down at Buggs Island we spoke to Bob Cat at Bob Cat’s Lake Country (434-374-8381) about the fishing at the lake. He told us that the fish will begin moving into the shallows very soon. The best fishing will occur right after a three day warm spell, particularly the first one. This includes crappie and bass. The blue catfish will soon be heading to the upper end of the lake. Use heavy gear for the bruiser cats that cruise the lake! During March the striped bass will be frequenting the Clarksville area. Try live bait to peg one of these fine eating fish.
Over in the Virginia Beach/Suffolk area we spoke to Bobby at Dashiell’s Sporting Goods. He told us that the cold was shutting things down at press time but by the time you read this he expects that the shad, herring and ring perch will be running hard in the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers. The bass will pick up once the water hits 50 degrees. Crappie should turn loose soon and pickerel are already spawning. Look for impoundments in the Beach area to be good for pickerel, white perch and bass this month.
On the Chickahominy it really has been slow with a lot of folks getting out and about on the water, but the four groups of folks that have been willing to get out have caught a mixed bag of catfish, crappies and ring perch.
Tom Jones from Richmond goes out using a "Riverside Ripper" blade bait jigging the drops and has caught up to a 15 1/2 inch crappie, and numerous ring perch the past two weeks going up to 13 inches.
Hugh Kent from Saluda, is a regular crappie "Guru" here. He uses a mini jig in chartreuse/red and the secret is to fish it slow and when you think you are retrieving it slow enough, slow down even more.
The ring perch should be good through the end of March and then crappies will start turning on and entering the shallower waters.
There is always a good catch of blue catfish using eels, and live shad for the ones that cast net their own. Catfishing is great here all year long.