VA Fishing Report - FALL 2018

SEP-OCT 2018


“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d by a shortage of fishing poles..”- Doug Larson


The fall is here and the fish are biting!  I have noticed the fish are moving out of their hot weather depths into the shallows as well as staging off points and other drops offs.  I have been out on my Ranger 390V Comanche as well as pounding the banks.  Here’s what I have discovered.


Conditions / Fish:   Cooler weather, shorter days, and often windy.  Water temps are cooling and fish are active. 


Locations:  I have fished Mercer, Braddock, Huntsman, Wilson Bridge, Belmont Bay, Kane’s Creek, Laurel Hill, Jacuzzis, Northern Neck, and more. 


I have been catching lots of large mouth up to 5 lbs and had a successful striper trip at Northern Neck.


Lures / Technique:  My best luck has come on:

  • Topwater
    • Stick baits - walking the dawg.  I use it all day long in the shallows around rip rap, logs, over grass, and along the shoreline.  My favorites are the:
      • KVD Sexy Dawg Jr in bluegill
      • Super Spook Jr in babybass
      • River2Sea Rover 128 in ghost shad – for bigger fish, 3.5+ lbs
    • Whopper plopper 90 in monkey butt for the topwater bite on early mornings, late evenings, and overcast days.  I can cover ground quickly or slow down and twitch it.  This lure is used a lot so if you find the fish don’t like it switch to a stickbait.
    • War Eagle Buzz Toad in black/black.  Same as the Whopper Plopper but for covering water searching for active fish.  I don’t think the fish see this one often so it makes for a good change of pace. 
  • Crankbaits
    • Lipless Strike King Red Eyed Shad Tungsten 2 Tap in natural bream – cover water fast with a varied retrieve down rip-rap and shallow banks or yo-yo it up drop offs and in deeper water.
    • 6th Sense Crush Squarebill in Chart Black Back and Craw Bomb - cast to vegetation edges, over submerged grass, and downed wood.  Good for covering mid to high in the water column.  The more you bump it off cover, the better.
  • Bladebait
    • ½ oz Cincy Fisher Blade Bait in silver, – This lure crushes fish as the water starts to get colder.  Just yo-yo it back to the boat but make sure you have 12 lb copoly or higher to avoid tangling the front treble hook.  At this cost there is no better blade bait you can buy.  Trust me I have tried 90% of the others. 
  • Spinnerbait:
    • 3/8 to ½ oz Strike King, War Eagle, Stanley, BOOYAH, or Terminator with double willows or a willow and Colorado blade in white or white/chartreuse.  Spinnerbaits are versatile so fish it fast, fish it slow, fish it deep, and fish it shallow.
  • Striper lures:
    • 1/2 oz G-Eye jig in bayminnow and keylime with a BKD trailer in albino and chartruese glitter.
    • 5" Tsunami swim shad in perl spot.
  • Spinning tackle: 
    • 6 – 6.5 ft med, fast action rod, 2500 spinning reels with 20 lb braid and a 10 lb mono or fluorocarbon leader.
  • Baitcasting tackle: 
    • 7-7.5 ft med to med-heavy, med to fast action rod, with 12-20 lb P-Line fluorocarbon or copolymer.  I also use 40-50 lb braid with a fluoro or copoly leader tied with an FG knot. 


So, what are you waiting for, get out there and fish!!!  And take a KID with you!


Tight Lines,


Peter Arnold, BayBass writer