Crappie are turning on all over it seems—especially in the tidal rivers, lakes, and small ponds. The Yellow Perch have finally showed up in big numbers (or maybe it's just that the weather has brought out more anglers). The Rappahannock has been producing very well this week, but all the tidal rivers should be producing now—although the James has never been known for its Yellow Perch.
The James River is better known for the White Perch, which usually peaks around the middle of April. A few scattered catches of Shad have begun in the tidal waters but this, too, usually peaks in mid-April.
The Chickahominy River has yielded some quality Bass over the past week. Many are still having success with lipless crankbaits, along with chatterbaits and jigs. Swimbaits are a good choice as well.
Now is the time when the tidal James will start to shine for Bass fishing. Major shallow movements are starting to occur. So, bait selection has widened. The upper James is steadily falling, but still high at this time. This weekend could be just right for the big Smallmouth. Crawfish crankbaits can be greatly effective right now.
Area lakes are warming fast, and Bass tournament weights are increasing. 22 pounds was the winning weight on Saturday at Lake Anna. And Sunday produced a 20-pound winning bag.
The weights are increasing at Kerr and Gaston also. Smith Mountain is another body of water that should be visited at this time. We are currently in a warming spell, but temps are forecast to be cooler this weekend. Regardless, the fish are going to bite! Please remember to have proper floatation devices, as these water temps are still cold to the human body.