The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
OVERVIEW: With summer patterns and extreme heat, few fishermen are getting out on the water. Plenty of opportunities are available for those who give it a shot.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: Chris Hicks at Hicks Landing reports that few fishermen on the river are reporting good fishing. Bass fishing, while not great, is consistent. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are good bet. Also, soft plastics have been producing. Catfish are also biting well, although most are targeting the big fish at night. Cut-up small catfish have been the hot bait lately.
POTOMAC RIVER: Bass fishing remains good in the river and creeks. An early morning topwater bite seems to be consistent. Fish slower and deeper mid-day. Fitzhugh Johnson got a nice surprise when he landed an 11-pound snakehead while fishing with Billy Gordon near Marlborough Point in Potomac Creek. He was fishing a grass frog at dusk when the big boy came calling. Downriver, rockfish are everywhere in the river; unfortunately it is hard to find any keepers. The early morning and late evening seem to be the best time to target these breaking fish. Topwater lures produced well for Rainey O’Malley this past weekend between Maryland Point Light and McTompkins Bar.
LAKE ANNA: The bass are really starting to school up in the mornings down lake and are willing to take just about any top water lure. Look for them on shallow points close to deep water busting threadfin shad and blue back herring out of the water. This action usually starts at first light and can last up to two hours after sun up. After the top water schooling action is over you can still catch these fish by locating them with your electronics. Look for bass in other areas of the lake to be holding on deep boat docks, bridge pilings, brush piles and rock piles. Deflecting your bait off of the cover will get you a reaction strike. The stripers are actively feeding on herring and shad around the splits all the way down to the Route 208 bridge. You can find them swirling and breaking at sun up and catch them on a variety of top water baits. Live bait such as gizzard shad and blue back herring will work for you but you must be on the lake well before the sun comes up and be good at throwing a cast net in order to get your bait. The crappie fishing is in the summer time lull at the present time. If you are going to try and catch them, small minnows on a slip bobber or on a jig head will be your best bet. The bridge pilings in 18–26 feet of water has been the hot zone.
MOTTS RESERVOIR: The reservoir is clear and the water is warm. Bream are an easy target with worms and red wigglers. Bass fishing is good with most fish coming from deeper structure. Catfish are always hungry and chicken liver seems to be the best bait.
LAKE ORANGE: Darrell Kennedy of Angler’s Landing (540/672-3997) reports that the water is clear with temperatures in the upper 80s. Fish are still chasing balls of bait fish around the lake with good numbers of largemouth bass being caught with top water lures and crank baits along with live minnows. Crappie are suspending in 10–12 feet of water around brushpiles with live minnows bringing on the bite. Catfishing is strong throughout the lake on live bait and chicken livers.
CHESAPEAKE BAY: Croaker are everywhere in the lower bay. Cobia are also available. Cobia seem to be trending on the smaller side this year, although some big ones have been caught. Some speculation is that the warm water is keeping everything farther out than usual. Flounder fishing has been ticking upward lately with a lot of fish being reported along the CBBT, inshore wrecks and the Cell. Spadefish are also available along the CBBT and the Islands. Spot are being caught in Lynhaven and Rudee Inlet. Bluefish are all over the place as well, though generally small.
—Compiled by Michael O’Malley