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Courtesy of Eddie Monger
Eddie Monger of Albemarle County pulled this nice trout from Sugar Hollow reservoir near Charlottesville.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Weather's march into spring hasn't exactly been steady, and that pretty well describes fishing's trend over the past few weeks. The up and down conditions have made it difficult to establish consistent patterns. Just when the weather seems to have settled we'll get a change that throws things back out of whack.
This week is a good example. We've had generally improving weather, with a fair amount of sun and gradually warming temps. If you can get out there today or Friday and can find fish, you've got a decent chance of setting some hooks.
Bass anglers who have been on Smith Mountain Lake this week practicing for the Everstart tourney have likely experienced improving conditions.
They, and all fishermen, could face some challenges this weekend when the next forecasted cold front arrives.
The big news on the region's lakes and ponds is the bass spawn. Today brings a full moon and that is helping to contribute to a spike in spawning action.
On lakes with both smallmouths and largemouths, smallmouths typically spawn earlier, with the first big push occurring when water temperatures hit about 55 degrees.
This spring was odd because water was really cold, then made a huge jump over a short span. Then the water temps fell again.
This spawning wave will feature a combination of largemouths and smallmouths, with smallmouths typically in deeper water.
Alewives are starting to spawn at the region's big lakes, which has helped kick start the popular night fishery for anglers casting plugs for bass and stripers.
Crappie fishing has been inconsistent on Smith Mountain and Claytor Lake. While the best action for spawning fish around shallow cover is typically over by now, cooler-than-normal water temps should ensure decent fishing for a while longer.
Tony Boggess at Pembroke Stop and Save (674-0908) said New River smallmouth fishing has been improved with the easing of high, muddy water that hurt the fishing last weekend. The James is also getting back into fishable shape.
Trout fishing has been good on stocked streams, where high water has helped disperse fish.
Big red drum have arrived in Virginia's coastal waters. Anglers fishing around shoals with cut bait are connecting with some nice fish topping 40 pounds.
Rudee and Lynnhaven inlets are producing some nice keeper flounder for shorebound anglers.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday