Outdoors Notes: What we’re hearing about fishing & hunting for April 23

Outdoors Bound

The brilliant markings on a wild Virginia brook trout.

(WFXR) — Time to talk about fishing and hunting this week!

Bass on the Beds

Before the cold snap, largemouth bass were moving on to the beds at area lakes.  A number of fish that have been caught have the tell tale signs of bed fanning on their tails.  Even with a drop in temperatures, it appears many of those fish remain bedded. Shaky heads and whacky rigged soft plastics will produce.

James and Jackson Reports

Things are looking up on the Jackson and the Upper James. Rob England of Appalachian Bronzeback Adventures tells us the muskie spawn is over, so those monster fish are about to get a lot more active. Smallmouth are on the beds, right now, so it’s hit or miss with them, but they’re catchable if you put in the work. The trout bite on the Jackson is on!


The crappie bite is on! Good catches are being reported at Smith Mountain Lake, Claytor Lake, and Stonehouse Lake.  Any body of freshwater should produce at least fair numbers of crappies, right now.  Minnows under a bobber are always a go-to method to take those fish.

A nice crappie caught during the spring Photo Courtesy VDWR

Smith Mountain Stripers

Good catches of striped bass are being reported throughout the lake, though anglers concentrating on Becky’s and Betty’s Creeks, as well as the area near Bernard’s Landing and Tranquility Point have had decent success.  Trollers pulling live bait have been taking fish early in the day.  Once the sun comes up those stripers seem to shut down and go deep.  A few have been caught trolling A-Rigs or deep diving cranks like Reef Runners.  The crank and jerk bite picks up after sundown when stripers move back into the shallows to feed. Target them by casting F-18 Rapalas, Bomber Long As, and Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogues.

Spring Turkey

The VDWR reported solid numbers of turkeys would be available this spring, and those projections appear to be correct.  There have been good numbers of birds taken.  The season lasts through May 15.  If you’re looking for basic turkey hunting tips, check out this link.

Turkey Hunting

Trout Tales

The VDWR continues its daily trout stocking program.  The Roanoke City stretch of the Roanoke River got a new batch of fish on Thursday (April21).  Stocking of designated trout waters will continue until June.

Big Browns

We’re hearing good things about Lake Moomaw.  Minnows fished deep are taking browns, some up to six pounds.  Deep trolling is also turning up fish on spoons and inline spinners.

Saltwater Report

The folks at Captain Steve’s in Chincoteague say the flounder bite is finally picking up. Be sure to check out their big flounder tournament next week. The standard squid and minnow sandwich will take fish. Stripers and black drum are still being caught in the surf.

A nice Chincoteague flounder/photo courtesy Captain Steve’s Bait and Tackley

Staunton River Update

Some walleye catches are being reported near Brookneal. Swimbaits are your best bet. Stripers are in the mix there, too. The spring walleye brood stock collection is completeon the Staunton. Good numbers of fish were collected. To see more on how this fishery is being developed, check out this link.

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