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Courtesy of Danny Feathers
Gracyn Flippen of Columbia, Md., caught this big carp during a recent visit to grandparents’ Chris and Wayne Flippen’s home on Smith Mountain Lake.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
The heat is on.
Summer is officially underway, and the weather is doing what we'd expect. It's hot, humid and we have those daily threats of thunderstorms. Fishing patterns are moving into what we'd expect for the season.
On the region's larger lakes, the best fishing is taking place early in the morning, late in the evenings and at night. That suits most anglers fine because the lakes are best left to recreational boaters during the day.
River fishermen can do better throughout the day because smallmouth bass tend to be more aggressive.
Keep in mind a couple of safety issues this weekend. High water has left a lot of debris in local lakes.
Also, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Operation Dry Water this weekend means added patrols to enforce boating under the influence laws. Stay sober.
Topwater poppers such as the Rico and Pop-R are working well late in the evening at Claytor Lake, reports Mike Burchett at Rock House Marina. After dark, the popular approaches of using chatterbaits and noisy spinnerbaits such as the Jolt are also working reasonably well.
The lake's alewives are still spawning, so topwater plugs are working after dark, but the action is slowing.
Nighttime catfish action is pretty good for anglers soaking live shad or nightcrawlers on the bottom.
Live shad or bluegills are producing some flathead catfish at Smith Mountain Lake. Channel cats can be had on nightcrawlers or prepared catfish baits.
The best action is around ledges and humps, as snapping turtles will be bothersome in shallow water.
Joel Janacek of the Smith Mountain Striper Club reported finding lots of thick schools of stripers around major creek mouths on a recent early-morning outing, but the fish weren't cooperative.
John Mays at Twin River Outfitters (www.canoevirginia.net) in Buchanan said smallmouth bass action was great over the weekend on the James River as the river finally cleared up. Storms on Tuesday stained it, but action should pick up as the water clears again.
New River smallmouth action has been good.
Trout fishing remains steady on native and wild trout streams.
Cobia fishing continues to improve in the lower Chesapeake Bay, according to Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) with chumming and sight-fishing both producing. Spanish mackerel also have arrived.
Weather Journal7 wintry scenarios for Sunday