Buckroe Fishing Pier (727-1486): The Buckroe Pier will hold their 2013 Fishing Season Grand Opening on Monday, April 1. Thereafter, the pier will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except when there are Severe Weather Warnings in effect.
James River Fishing Pier (715-3071): Bobby Wharton reports we are open 9am til 11 pm daily. We have had several catfish as well as catch and release stripers this week. I think it will be a good early season for catfish with all the heavy snow to our west this year!
Kayak Fishing News, with Forrest Short: Even with the cold temperatures, a few kayak anglers have been getting out and having some decent action. Catch and release striper fishing has been pretty good, with fish measuring up to 45" being caught inside the bay. Freshwater fishing has been hit or miss. Bass fishing can be good one day then completely off the next. There have been some nice 20" plus fish coming from local lakes and they are falling for crankbaits. Mixed in are some nice pickerel as well. Those fishing for perch and crappie are finding success using small jigs and minnows.
Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association News by Dr. Ken Neill III: Anglers took advantage of some fishable weather this past weekend. Boats sailing out of the Outer Banks experienced some terrific bluefin tuna action with most boats releasing multiple fish while managing to catch their one daily under 73” fish to keep. These kept fish are in the 200 pound class. Currently, recreational vessels are allowed to keep one giant bluefin tuna for the year. This has resulted in some impressive tuna to over 600 pounds being brought in. If you want to do battle with some giant fish, get out there soon as they will not hang around for too long and regulations could change at any time. Out of Virginia, tautog are the main target. Boats fishing ocean structures had good catches while those trying inside the bay did not. The bay waters need to warm up a bit before that bite takes off. It should be in full swing by April. Flounder are another fish on anglers’ radar. Flatfish enthusiasts will start giving them a try soon but it will probably be a couple more weeks before any have much success. Speckled trout and some puppy drum continue to provide some action in the Elizabeth River. Offshore bottom fishing will become a better prospect as the spiny dogfish begin to thin out over the next few weeks.
Beaverdam Reservoir (804-693-2107): The reservoir manager reports Beaverdam Reservoir is at full pool, is slightly stained, and has a temperature of 50 degrees. The fishing this week has been excellent with most of the focus being on the crappie bite. Anglers were catching nice stringers of crappie all week. Darnell Whitehead of Newport News had (23) crappie some weighing a pound and a half. The Chain pickerel are being caught in large numbers. I have had reports of anglers catching as many as 20 chain pickerel a day.
Eagles Landing, Chickahominy Lake (804-966-9094): The lake manager reports the lake is slightly above normal pool, the water is fairly clear and the temperature is in the low 50’s. The next Bass Team Tournament will be held on Sat., March 30, 2013, 7 to 3. This week there has not been much other activity with all the rain!
Ed Allen’s Boats & Baits (804-746-2475): Capt. Art Conway of Conway's River Rat Guide Service reported that Chickahominy Lake mid-day water temperatures were in the low to mid 50’s in the lower lake and in the major creeks over the weekend, but had dropped to the mid to high 40’s on Monday. On Wednesday (3/20/2013) most main lake temperatures were in the high 40’s, with similar readings near the mouths of creeks and readings in the low 50’s on the downwind sides of the backs of the creeks. The lake level was about 12 inches above the top of the dam and relatively stable. The water was brown and slightly cloudy in the lower lake.
A few blue cats and some small to medium crappies were in a few of the deeper channels and deep winter holes in the lower main lake. Medium to large crappies were in some of the staging areas outside some of the creeks. Crappies and blue cats in these deeper locations were hitting live minnows and drop shot rigs with small Gulp baits. Larger crappies were starting to accumulate in the channels of the major creeks and were hitting live minnows and trolled curly-tail grubs over the weekend, were gone from the creeks on Monday, and a few were back in the creeks today (Wednesday). The cold and precipitation Wednesday night and Thursday may run them out again, but look for crappies to return to the creeks and continue to accumulate in the channels and backs of the creeks during the next week or two if water temperatures rise again. Most bass and pickerel were scattered on mid-depth and deep flats in the main lake and were hitting live minnows, blade baits, lipless crankbaits, and plastic worms. A few small to medium bass and an occasional small yellow perch or pickerel were in the major creeks and were hitting live minnows and small suspending jerkbaits. Fishing with Capt. Conway, Pierre LaFrance had 10 crappies and 1 blue cat. Tom Porter had 18 crappies, 2 white perch, 2 blue cats, and 1 bass.
Lee Hall Reservoir: (No report).
Little Creek Reservoir (566-1702, 655-2277): The lake manager reports the water temperature was 58 degrees. and the visibility was 13 ft. Small Bass are taking jerk baits along deep banks, but larger fish are still holding along points & humps in 12 to 18 feet, some times moving up shallower at midday to feed. They will take jig & pigs at the deeper levels. You may try blade baits, or if you can get a suspending jerk bait that deep, it will work well. Crappie, crappie everywhere. You can see these fish in as little as 2 ft. in numbers large enough to cloud the water. The fish in the shallows are small but the larger fish are still in 6 to 10 ft. and will take jigs in red/black or black/chartreuse, and small minnows. If the water warms up to 50 degrees the larger fish well join the smaller males in the shallows. Stripers as well as walleyes have gotten a little more active now that we are seeing lots of small bait fish coming into the shallows. Fishing will improve soon so you need to be on the creek. Last week I gave you the wrong PH# it is 757 566 2277 or 757 566 BASS.
Waller Mill (259-3778): The hours of operation for Waller Mill Park are from March 11 – March 25, 8 AM – 7 PM; from March 26 – April 15, 7 AM – 7 PM; and from April 16 – August 19, 7 AM – 8 PM. There is a $2.00 entrance fee for vehicles from March through October
Big Bash Bass Tournament held at Beaverdam Reservoir, March 16
1st Place*Clarence Jenkins & Chuck Conger*16-4
2nd Place*Steve & Eddie Coffin,*15-13
3rd Place*Willie & Robert Countiss*15-8
4th Place*Richard Thurston*12-10
5th Place*Jerry Jenkins & Ricky West*11-9
Big Fish*Robert Countiss*6-8
Team Bass Tournament held at Eagles Landing on Chickahominy Lake, March 16
1st Place*Michael Pope, Midlothian, & Eric Tucker, Sandston*5 fish*15.56 lbs.
2nd Place*Stephen McMillan & Tim Clark, Sandston*5 fish*14.14 lbs.
3rd Place*Casey Woodfin, Sandston, & Gary Camp, Henrico*5 fish*12.24 lbs.
4th Place*Glenn Sears and Jeremy Sears, Mechanicsville*5 fish*12.23 lbs.
BIG Fish*Michael Pope*5.11 lbs. NOTE: Four separate boats had a 4 lbs plus and three boats had nice 3 pounders.
2-4*Darnell Whitehead, Newport News*Beaverdam Reservoir*Beaverdam Park
5-2*Michael Pope, Midlothian*Chickahominy Lake*Eagles Landing