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Virginia Fishing Reports Ė October 2008


Click here for Fishing Report Archives        Click HERE for Freshwater Fishing Report


Northern Neck Charter Boat Directory


Virginia Saltwater Fishing Reports

By Captain Rick Lockart 

October's Forecast

October is a month of change. Although the fall season is upon our state, it is October that sees the most noticeable change. Not only is there change within our vegetation, there is significant change within our wildlife, particularly the fishes of the Bay. Many are on their way to warmer climates. In order to make the often long trips, they will be feeding heavily, making them easy targets for the saltwater fishermen. October is also the reopening of the striped bass season. For those of us in the upper portion of Virginiaís Bay, this fish will be the only fish that is readily available to us until late in the spring.

Eastern Shore
Offshore, things have been slow. All of the trollers are hoping for a return of the tuna. Bluefish have been the only species of consistency. Give Capt. Bill Letora (888-389-5603) a call to see if fishing has picked up. Bill will be fishing primarily for the different tunas. Capt. Dale Ballard (757-641-5094) will be moving his operations from oceanside to bayside for the month of October. He will be fishing primarily for flounder and tautog. Capt. Mike Handforth (757-336-6861) is hopeful that the water remains warm throughout the month so the flounder will remain within the sounds.

Capt. Ron Bennett (757-681-4744) will be fishing for stripers and tautog. Capt. Steve Wray (757-481-7517) will be wreck fishing for flounder and king mackerel. Farther inshore, Steve will fish for stripers and red drum. Capt. Kenny George (757-548-6991) has high hopes that striped bass, flounder, and tautog will be the ticket for his parties, while Capt. Max King (757-650-3176) will fish for tuna off shore and striped bass inshore. Capt. Nolan Agner (757-200-0200) will offer both off shore and inshore trips. Off shore for Nolan will be primarily tuna, though wahoo might still be around should the weather cooperate. Inshore, he will target bluefish, red drum, and king mackerel. The flounder bite has the potential to be excellent.

Capt. Chandler Hogg (757-876-1590)
fishes for flounder, tautog, bluefish, and gray trout during the month of October. Capt. Jerry Olson (757-288-1081) will be targeting the same species as Chandler, while Capt. Bill Mershon ( 757-870-7265) will fish primarily the York River for spot. Many of these fish will top the one pound mark.

Middle Peninsula
Capt. Bill Bailey (804-776-0255)
plans to still be fishing for spot early in October. He will concentrate on stripers and gray trout after the spot leave. Capt. Don Bannister (804-776-0629) will fish for flounder early, but will have dates available for those who wish to fish for stripers. Capt. Bobby Jenkins (804-798-1775) will start with spot and change over to stripers as the spot numbers decrease. Capt. Randy King (804-239-2990) fishes the river for spot primarily and offers an inspected vessel that can fish up to 18 people. Capt. Ed Lawrence (804-693-5673) will continue fishing in Mathews County for the elusive spotted trout.

Northern Neck
Capts. David Rowe (804-529-6725)
and Chuck OíBier (804-529-6450) will be fishing for striped bass in the Potomac River. Capts. Ryan Rogers (804-453-5812), Jeff Gurr (540-825-2804), and Leroy Carr (540-867-9605) will be fishing for stripers primarily in Maryland waters. Capts. Jim Deibler (804-580-7744), David Fisher (804-580-2548), and Ferrell McLain (888-229-3474) will be fishing the Northern Neck Reef.

If you donít own a boat or you have put your boat away for the winter, find yourself a member of the VCBA by using your computer and going to If you have your own boat but donít know whatís biting or where, give one of the captains a call. We are all willing to help you catch fish. 

Virginia Freshwater Fishing Report
By Missy Fike  

Fishing this month will improve dramatically all over the state.


Mountain Regions
Fishing will particularly improve for trout in mountain streams and lakes. Troll the lakes with deep crankbaits to score. Moomaw is particularly a good place to try this month. Walleye and striper fishing is also good. Look to Claytor Lake for good mountain striper action and donít forget about Smith Mountain Lake either! Crappie fishing can be good this month but you have to begin fishing slower. Minnows and jigs are the ticket.


Southern Piedmont Region
Buggs Island Lake
is hot for fishing most of the year but striped bass action is really good in October as the water temps cool. Look for the fish to be busting bait uplake in open water but you can also find them in the creeks under birds at times. Crappie and bass fishing will go a bit deeper this month when it gets colder but the fish will relate to bait and structure. Use the fish finder to locate the bait and then you will find the fish.


Northern Virginia
Lake Thompson
is drained now and fishing is out until the dam is repaired. However, Lake Orange, Germantown Lake, Motts Run, Hunting Run, Curtis Lake and Occoquan Reservoir are all good quiet places to find a fat bass on crankbaits this month. Motts and Occoquan will close their public ramps this month so get in there while you can! All the names lakes will offer great crappie angling. Look for submerged brushpiles to hold fish. Use a suspending crankbait or jumbo minnow near structure to take large bass on these lakes too. Northern Pike are common in Motts and there are even a few walleye there for anglers to fish for. Troll deep diving crankbaits in chartreuse or silver to get strikes. Some really nice white perch and ring perch are also being hauled in at Motts and as the water cools they will continue to bite.


Burke Lake in Fairfax is home to a nice bass population and a really nice musky population. Use jumbo size lures to get those stubborn musky to bite. Donít forget to fish erratically with those lures. Make your presentation different than those that they see each day.


On the upper Potomac River the musky, walleye and smallie population is enthusiastic this month. Go with live bait such as whole bluegill, jumbo shiners or crayfish to get a trophy. Spinners, cranks or jigs with plastics will also work. Fish deep holes near ledges for the largest fish. Donít forget about the catfish either. They are everywhere and are willing to hit anything.


Lake Anna is a great October fishery. Bass will be staging off points in ten to fifteen feet of water but will come shallow on warm days. Fish structure such as stumps and trees or boulders. Crappie are on the same structures but also can be found near the bridge pilings and deepwater docks. Use jigs and ultralight rods to get these tasty fish. The striped bass are really feeding at Anna and will continue to do so. Find some bait and you will find the fish. Birds can help but the fish finder used at the mouths of the coves, tributaries and the rivers on the upper end are good places to begin your search. Topwater lures on feeding fish are a lot of fun too!


The upper Rappahannock is a good float option now that we have some water in the river. Smallmouth will be in sunlit pools near trees and ledges. Jigs with crawlers or plastics are good bets. Fish live bait deep and slow as you drift and hold on to those rods!


Northern Neck

The lower Rappahannock is pure dynamite for catfishing of all sizes in October. The smaller eating size fish are given. Mark can get his fill in one trip and anyone else can too. Use Pure Fishingís Blood baits or the Fish Bites products to get an easy meal. Live or cut eels or fresh cut perch or bream are good for the large fish. The largemouth fishing is very good in the creeks this month. On a string of warm days the bite can be good on top near and in creeks.


The middle Potomac River is good for bass in the creeks now and they will hit cranks and plastics fished on the edges of the dying vegetation and in the creek headwater on wood structure. Try shad colors and oranges. A few striped bass are still hanging around the Dahlgren area and hopefully they will continue to do so. They are looking a little better now that summer is giving way to fall. Spoons and jigs are the going lures for rockfish. Catfish are hitting shrimp and cutbait wherever you want to fish for them and a few perch are also in the mix. Small spinners are good for them. Try headwaters of tributaries for perch or jackfish. Spoons are also good bets.


Middle Peninsula

The Chickahominy River will be another great place to catch the big catfish this month. Crappie will still be biting well using minnows and small jigs. The largemouth bass will continue biting on topwater frogs, and plastic worms.


On the James River the large catfish will be biting well. The blue and channel cats will be biting well on cut bait and night crawlers. The flathead like the live bait and will be hitting well on goldfish and bream. The largemouth bass will be hitting on spinner baits, minnows and night crawlers.


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