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Fishing report for Nov. 15
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Fishing Report

Fishing report for Nov. 15

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Chickahominy Lake

Capt. Art Conway of Conway’s River Rat Guide Service out of Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait reported that Chickahominy Lake midday surface water temperatures were in the low 70s in the lower lake on Wednesday. The lake level was about 7 inches above the top of the dam. The surface water was light brown and clear in the central lower lake, with more cloudy water deeper, on windy shoreline and in some creeks.

A few small blue cats and bullheads were on flats, along drop-offs and in channels in the main lake. When active, they were hitting live minnows and cut bait. Most crappie were on deeper flats or on channel edges in the main lake and were frequently around wood cover such as brush piles or near the dam. Active crappie were hitting live minnows, tubes, curly tail grubs and small swim baits.

White and yellow perch were scattered or in loose aggregates on deep flats and channel edges in the main lake and when active were hitting small live minnows, swim baits and jigs. A few bluegill, shellcracker and flier were in creeks and on main lake shorelines and flats, with most larger fish on flats somewhat away from the shoreline or on channel edges. Bluegill and shellcracker were hitting live worms, wet flies, Nikko nymphs, Wright Bait Co. 1-inch curly tail grubs and small swimbaits.

Pickerel and bass were in the lower ends of some creeks and around cypress trees, on flats and on channel edges in the main lake. When active, bass and pickerel were hitting live minnows, spinnerbaits, swim baits, stick worms, crank baits, jerk baits, jigs and topwater baits.

Fishing with Capt. Conway: Tricia Pearsall had 21 crappie, 15 bluegill, four shellcracker, two largemouth bass and a white perch; Jack and Dave Pong had 93 bluegill, five shellcracker, five largemouth bass and one yellow perch, all on fly rods; Abe and John Longmire had 14 crappie and two white perch; Tom Porter had 14 bluegill, 10 crappie, two white perch and one shellcracker.

Green Top Report

Saltwater: Loads of red drum have been caught from the Virginia Beach oceanfront in the past week. This has slowed a bit, and hopefully so have the crowds. Large reds were caught by many, from both the surf and the pier. Most were using cut spot.

The oceanfront also is producing puppy drum and some nice speckled trout. The specks and the pups are biting quite well in many places throughout the bay. Just about all of the inlets and rivers are drawing anglers in search of these fall season fighters. Popping cork rigs, jigs and topwater baits are all working. Some are pulling in rockfish along with the trout.

Keeper rockfish are being caught from the James, Rappahannock, Piankatank and Potomac rivers, just to name a few. The Wicomico River and surrounding areas are a traditional hot spot this time of year. Anchoring up-current from wrecks or reefs and free-lining cut bait down to the structures will, many times, draw strikes and create a heavy feed. Rock jetties — anywhere they are found — can be good places to find rockfish. Casting bucktails, lipless crankbaits and topwater baits can be productive.

Folks are finding that the sheepshead bite is still strong in many areas. The CBBT, MMBT and the HRBT can all be good areas. Fiddler crabs are the bait of choice. The flounder reports have slowed, but there are still plenty around to be caught. The bite out in the ocean is more consistent, so many prefer to focus their efforts there.

On ocean structures, anglers are finding plenty of seabass. The winds have not been kind lately, so recent reports are low. The surf has been rough along the OBX as well, but the reds have been biting there.

The pier action has been a bit slow lately, with catches consisting mostly of pompano, spot and sea mullet. The surf temp has been at 72 degrees. The weather this week has not been favorable for the offshore anglers, but the inshore folks have been doing well with rockfish, speckled trout and drum.

Freshwater: The tidal rivers are bouncing back nicely, as they often do this time of year. A two-day total of 37 pounds was the winning weight from the Chick/James during the weekend. With the clouds and overcast conditions, many of the catches were made on topwater baits and spinnerbaits. Some reported having better luck from the James River rather than the Chick. However, the grass frog bite has been good wherever the vegetation exists.

The Rappahannock River continues to be good for bass, crappie and snakeheads. The upper James River is looking good and is providing great opportunities for those taking advantage of it. A wide variety of baits are working, with some working better than others, as far as fouling or not fouling with the leaves suspended in the water column. Leaves also collect against the lower unit of the outboard, possibly creating problems if ignored.

The area lakes are starting to bounce back also, as tournament weights are starting to increase. Chick Lake is one that will turn on quicker, as it is a shallow body of water. There recently was a swim-bait-only tournament in which a 6.7-pound bass took top honors. Bigger fish should be expected as the weather cools.

Look for the bass fishing to improve on Kerr and Gaston also as we experience shorter days and cooler nights. The crappie still are holding to brush piles and bridge pilings in many of the larger lakes.

It’s still a bit early for the stripers to move shallower. So the live bait presentations have been the better producers lately. Some of the area ponds are experiencing turnover, which greatly slows down the biting. Once the turnover period is complete, shallow fishing really takes off.

— Compiled by Lily Betts

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