Outdoors Bound Notebook: Fishing outlook and outdoors notes

Outdoors Bound

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — This is what we’re hearing about fishing and the outdoors from around the region and the Commonwealth.

SML Report

Striper fishing at Smith Mountain Lake has been on fire! Early morning trolling with live shiners, alewives, or bluebacks has been producing. A lot of throwback, short fish are in the mix.  The 20-inch minimum and the 30–40-inch slot throwback regulations last until midnight June 1. After that, any striper can be kept through the end of October.

Craddock Creek, Bernard’s, Gills Creek, and the dam region are the areas to target.  Late nights and early mornings have been the times those fish seem to be most active.

SML Striper caught trolling live bait

Good catches of smallmouth and largemouth bass are coming early in the morning off of shallow structure. Those fish move deeper as the sun goes higher. Soft plastics, jigs, and jerkbaits will take fish. The topwater bite has been good after dark.

Anglers targeting catfish have been taking some huge channels as those fish bulk up before the spawn. Minnows, cut bait, chicken liver, and nightcrawlers have produced.

Looking to fill a stringer for a fish fry? Panfish have moved shallow and will take a variety of offerings, including worms, Powerbait, and micro-jigs.

Practice safe boating during the holiday weekend. If you’ve ever fished or boated Smith Mountain Lake on a holiday before, you know you’ll have plenty of company on the water.

Go For a Hike, Find a Treasure

There is renewed interest in the Legend of Beale’s Treasure. As the legend goes, that treasure could be buried in some prime hiking locations near Montvale in Bedford County. You can find out more about legend here.

Trout Treasures

The VDWR trout stocking program will be wrapping up June 1. Streams around the region could receive at least one more stocking. The program is one of the most successful in the country. The Roanoke River, Glade Creek, and Tinker Creek will still hold some of those stocker trout until the water becomes too warm. The program will resume next October.

Beach Bites

Headed to the beach? The cobia fishing in the Virginia Beach area has been outstanding.  Shorebound anglers have been doing well on puppy drum. The Spanish mackerel are moving in.

Further up the coast, the folks at Captain Steve’s tell us they are still catching stripers and red drum in the surf, and that the flounder bite is on in Chincoteague Bay.

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