The freshwater scene continues to provide great opportunities for multiple species. The tidal river Shad bite is wide open, and the White Perch bite is right there with it. The downtown Richmond area is crawling with activity from the anglers and the fish alike. The Perch are usually caught better with live or cut bait. Minnows, worms (particularly bloodworms), and cut Shad or Perch work well. These offerings will also draw strikes from Catfish of all sizes.
The pits and larger creeks along the James are producing nice catches of Crappie. The Chickahominy River is producing good catches of Crappie also.
The Bass fishing continues to get better on the James, Chickahominy, and Rappahannock Rivers. 23 lbs was the winning weight from the James/Chick over the weekend, in which 23 lbs was also the second place weight. Strong weights indeed. 19 lbs was the winning weight from this week's Tuesday evening tournament. These are three-hour events. Anglers are reporting catching fish on chatterbaits, topwater baits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics on Texas and shaky-head rigs. The Bass seem to be setting up for the spawn. Many of the area lakes are full of spawning Bass right now.
Smith Mountain Lake is on fire right now and has been since March. 23 lbs was the winning weight over the weekend there, in which many reported catching them by sight fishing. Lake Anna anglers are reporting much of the same. 22lbs was the winning weight there over the weekend. These two lakes are also producing good catches of landlocked Stripers. Live bait is hard to beat, but this is a good time for topwater baits and open-hook swimbaits. The next two weeks should offer outstanding fishing for the Bass, Stripers, and Crappie, as we are in a favorable moon phase between the new and the full.
The Crappie fishing is hot on Kerr Lake and many other places for that matter, but especially Kerr. More 3-pounders were weighed in over the last week. Lake Anna Crappie are cooperating well also. Beaver huts, grass beds, and stumps are where many are being caught.
The Bass and Crappie are biting well in private ponds and lakes also. The smaller, horsepower-restricted lakes such as Swift Creek Reservoir, Sandy River Reservoir, Briery Creek Lake, and Amelia Lake are all good destinations right now.
Unfortunately, the upper James River has risen greatly in the last few days. So, anglers will have to wait for the levels to decrease to chase the Smallmouth there.