There's still some Shad and White Perch action happening in the tidal James and Rappahannock Rivers, but things have slowed dramatically. Some of the Rappahannock reports are better than the James, but many have turned their efforts towards the Bass and Catfish on the tidal rivers.
The Bass fishing on the tidal rivers is excellent right now, particularly the James, Chickahominy, and Rappahannock Rivers. Bass are in spawning mode. So, catch and release is encouraged. A huge variety of baits are being used with great success.
Fresh Shad are prevalent and should be used for the large Cats inhabiting the James and Rapp. Daytime fishing is still good, but the night time bite will take over soon—especially in mid-May. Cut eels work well also.
The Bass fishing at Kerr is till good, with many of the Bass still in spawning mode and being caught shallow. Spinnerbaits, topwater baits, flukes, many presentations are working great. The water is stained in much of the lake, but Nutbush Creek has the cleaner water, if sight fishing is preferred.
Many, or most, of the Crappie at Kerr have spawned. Targeting boat docks in 10' of water or better is a good tactic right now. Better success is achieved by skipping jigs under the boat docks. Some of the Crappie have moved to brush piles, but they have been smaller than the dock fish in general.
Most of the Kerr Stripers are traveling up the rivers, but some are being caught in the mouths of the creeks, on the longer points, and humps. Anna Stripers are responding well to live bait presentations and topwater baits. Pencil poppers are a local favorite now.
Sight fishing for Bass is still taking place in many of the lakes still, but there are post spawn patterns emerging also. This is a great time for topwater baits, even on bright sunny days. Many post spawn patterns consist of targeting 5-8' of water. Vegetation is emerging also, so weedless frogs can be a great choice, especially in ponds.
The upper James is in good shape, and should definitely be considered at this time. Here too, a wide variety of baits are useful now. Senkos, flukes, crankbaits, etc. Look for the Sunfish bite to ignite soon, as they usually spawn around the full moon in May.