Some exciting catches of Crappie are occurring at Kerr Lake, as a 7-fish limit of 15.37 pounds won a well-known Crappie Trail tournament. The big fish of the tournament was 3.27 lbs. The 2nd place finish had 13.64 lbs. There were many fish over the 2-pound trophy mark caught during the tournament. The whole lake is outstanding for Crappie, but normally the upper sections are where the biggest fish are caught. The current level of the lake is 302.24 feet. Stained conditions are being reported for much of the lake, but the creeks inside of Nutbush have the clearest water. Bass are being caught shallow, as well as deep. Swimbaits, jerkbaits, A-rigs, jigs, and lipless cranks are taking fish.
Lake Gaston is being reported as stained also, with the Pea Hill Creek area being the clearest. 16 pounds was the winning weight during a tournament last weekend. A slightly less heavy 16 pound bag took 2nd place. Crankbaits and lipless cranks were reported as being highly used.
Now that March has arrived, the Crappie and Bass will be biting better as the days get longer and warmer. North banks can be key, especially late in the day, as these banks receive the most sunlight/heat. The sun has a great effect on shallow flats also, particularly on tidal waters. This is where many of the Yellow Perch will be found.
The rivers have not been exactly ideal, as muddy/stained conditions have been present. The Perch are here, but many are not chasing them just yet. Look for the Pamunkey and Mattaponi rivers to turn on for the Yellow Perch soon, as they usually produce later than the Rappahannock and Chickahominy Rivers.
The Rapp has been producing good catches of Crappie, and will continue to improve. Look for the lower James to turn on soon for the Bass. The James has many pits connected to it, particularly between Richmond and Hopewell.
The Appomattox River also has some backwater areas worth checking for Bass and Crappie. The Chickahominy River is almost always a great choice this time of year. The Chick is producing Perch, Crappie, and Bass right now.
The upper James is high again, as the Westham gauge is currently at 12.55 feet, which is slightly above flood stage. Many of the smaller, horsepower-restricted lakes will be a good bet for this weekend, as they will clear quicker than the larger bodies of water. Some examples are Lake Amelia, Orange, Sandy River, and Briery, just to name a few. All of these mentioned have a track record of producing trophy Bass.
We also have some outstanding opportunities for Chain Pickerel in central Virginia. Both Swift Creek Reservoir and Chickahominy Lake are a couple of places that should be explored for the Pickerel. Lake Chesdin is another smaller lake that offers trophy opportunities for Bass and Crappie.