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Hampton Roads fishing report for Thursday, March 28


Buckroe Fishing Pier (727-1486):

The pier will hold its 2013 fishing season grand opening Monday, April 1. Thereafter, the pier will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except when there are severe weather warnings in effect.

Kayak fishing (by Forrest Short):

With the water temperatures not heating up much, most of the kayak anglers who are getting out on the salt water are finding mostly catch-and-release stripers. Most are “schoolie” size in the lower-to-mid-20-inch range, but there have been a few over 30 inches, up to as big as 42 inches.

There are also some shad around as well. Freshwater fishing has been decent, with crappie and chain pickerel leading the way.

Bass are still holding, but once the water warms up, things will really take off. Suspending jerkbaits and shallow-running crankbaits have been the ticket on the bass.

Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association (by Dr. Ken Neill III):
The first flounder were caught this past week. David Freeman caught a 16.5-inch flatfish in the York River. Catches were made out of Wachapreague this week. The first citation flounder was weighed in at 7.5 pounds, but that doormat was caught while deep-dropping for blueline tilefish.

More signs that spring is proceeding are the first catches of big red drum on the beaches of Ocracoke and Hatteras. Typically, that means we can expect the first big red drum in the Eastern Shore in a couple of weeks.

Puppy drum are already making a showing inside the inlets and in the shallows on the western side of the bay. Some calm weather allowed boats to get out this past week, which resulted in some very impressive catches.

Tautog fishing on the coastal wrecks has been nothing short of excellent. Boats are catching as many as 15 citation-sized tog in a trip. The largest weighed 18 pounds, 7 ounces, and that same boat weighed in another fish at 17 pounds, 11 ounces.

Tautog fishing has been slow inside the bay. That should pick up over the next week as warmer temperatures are forecast.

Boats running out of Oregon Inlet continue to experience impressive bluefin tuna action. Some Virginia boats have made the run south to get in on the action. There is a wide range of bluefin being caught, from around 100 pounds to more than 600 pounds.

In addition to the bluefin tuna, there are some bigeye, yellowfin, wahoo and even a few blue marlin being encountered.


Beaverdam Reservoir (804-693-2107):

The reservoir manager said the water is at full pool. it is slightly stained and has a temperature of 47 degrees.

One man had another awesome week with two 5-gallon buckets full of crappie. He also caught three very large bass (over 5 pounds). Another angler caught a citation crappie on the north side of the lake at 2 ¼ pounds.

Beaverdam Park will host the second Big Bash tournament April 20. Anglers can sign up through the website at or by calling the ranger station at 804-693-2107.

Eagles Landing, Chickahominy Lake (804-966-9094):

The lake manager said the lake is six inches above normal pool, is fairly clear and has water temperatures in the low 50s. The next House Bass Tournament is Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ed Allen’s Boats & Baits (804-746-2475):

Capt. Art Conway of Conway’s River Rat Guide Service reported that Chickahominy Lake’s midday water temperatures were in the high 40s in the lower and upper lake and in the low 50s in the backs of major creeks last weekend.

But on Monday, they had dropped to the mid-40s in the lower lake and creeks and the lower 40s up the lake. The lake level was a little over a foot above the top of the dam and rising slowly. The water was brown and slightly cloudy in the lower lake.

A few blue catfish and a few small-to-medium crappies were in some 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, and have been in these locations for several weeks.

Crappies and blue cats in deeper locations were hitting live minnows and drop-shot rigs with small Gulp baits. Medium-to-large crappies were starting to accumulate in the channels of the major creeks and were hitting live minnows and trolled curly-tail grubs over last weekend, but were mostly gone from the creeks on Monday.

The cold and precipitation Sunday night and early Monday apparently ran them out of the creeks 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 sporadically hitting live minnows, blade baits, lipless crankbaits and plastic worms. Fishing with Conway, Hollis Pruitt had 24 crappies.

Lee Hall Reservoir:

No report.

Little Creek Reservoir (566-1702, 655-2277):

The lake manager said the water temperature is 47 degrees and the visibility is 12 feet. The wind has the water churned up some.

A week ago Wednesday, anglers produced some good bass. One three-fish bag went 8.9 pounds, and another weighed in at 6.9 pounds, including one fish weighing 4.1 pounds. With a cold week, the fish are back in their deep hideouts, suspended at 15 to 18 feet again. So try pig and jigs, blade baits or lipless crank baits, and fish them slowly.

Small baitfish are in the shallows, so stripers should be nearby. Try Alabama rigs and sassy shads. Fish them both from the shallows into the deeper water, and let them sink as they come into the deeper water.

Crappie were in shallow water but the cold has pushed them out, so look for these fish in 8 to 10 feet of water. Small minnows or 1 1/2-inch jigs might catch fish, but you must keep your bait close to the bottom and fish slowly. The lake is where it was in mid-February, so if you pound those windy points and slow down, you stand a good chance of catching a big pig.

Waller Mill (259-3778):

The hours of operation for Waller Mill Park are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until April 15, then 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. through Aug. 19. There is a $2 entrance fee for vehicles through October.

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