ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — There is a lot going on in the outdoors in southwest Virginia and the Blue Ridge Region. These are the latest news and notes from the field.

Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Report

Dewayne Lamb at Captain’s Quarters tells us that bass have not moved into their full summer pattern, yet. Largemouth are being taken in 10 to 15 feet of water over hard and rocky surfaces. Soft plastics fished on shaky heads and drop shots are taking those bass. Larger Texas-rigged worms are also producing. Darker colors like green pumpkin and plum are out-producing other patterns.

As for striped bass, Lamb says those fish are holding in about 20 to 25 feet of water. Live bait like herring or shiners are the way to go. Slow troll those baits on weighted lines behind planer boards to target those fish. Lamb says the stripers will begin to bunch up more as water temperatures rise, and that jigging them will become more effective at that point.

Largemouth Bass. (Photo courtesy: VDWR)

Jackson River Bass Update

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is still awaiting the results of testing done on fish sent to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife lab in Pennsylvania. Smallmouth bass, rock bass, and redbreast sunfish, were collected from the Jackson below Covington, and sent to that facility to determine what is causing lesions on some of those fish.

Lesions were identified on a significant number of smallmouth bass being caught by fishing guides on the Jackson in early June. The Virginia DWR moved quickly to determine what is causing those lesions. The test results are expected back soon.

Lesions like the one in the photo are being found on smallmouth bass in the Jackson River. (Photo courtesy: Rob England/Appalachian Bronzeback Adventures)

Hunting Regulations

The new hunting regulations for the 2022-2023 seasons are now available online. The Virginia DWR just released them.

Included in those regulations are details of newly legal Sunday hunting on public lands. That measure became law on July 1.

A bull elk in the Virginia Elk Management Zone. (Photo courtesy VDWR)

Cabin Vacancies

If you want to get away to the great outdoors and need to make last minute trip plans, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) says it still has cabin vacancies at some state parks.

The view is stunning from the Tye River Overlook at James River State Park near Gladstone, Va. (Photo: George Noleff/WFXR News)

Two of the parks the DCR says has openings are James River State Park and Natural Tunnel State Park.