As many of you know, I love the Old Dominion State. Everything about it. Now you may have heard that Virginia is for lovers. That may very well be true. However, I’m writing this post today to try to convince you that it’s also for bass fishing lovers.
States like Texas and Florida get all the mainstream press when it comes to bass fishing. With good reason. I’m not here to tell you that Virginia deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with Texas and Florida. I just want to let you know that there’s bass to be caught in this state and there’s more than one place to catch them.
Before I describe the various bass hotspots in Virginia there is one place I recommend you visit that’s not located in Virginia. I go here whenever I get the urge to get a few tips or a new crankbait. You really should check it out. Now, on to the hotspots.
One place to try your luck is the Tidewater Region. Particularly the James River, Herring and Powell’s Creek. I’ve heard there are plenty of bass in the 3- to 4-pound range. You could also try Lake Chesdin for largemouth bass. Make sure to bring shad colored baits as there are plenty of gizzard shad in the lake that the bass like to feast upon.
Next on the list of Virgina bass fishing hotspots is the Southern Piedmont region. This region is tough to fish only because there are so many places to go. Sandy River Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake, Briery Creek Reservoir and Buggs Island are the most popular. Fish Marrowbone Creek in March or April and bring your shad colored plastics.
I have a few spots in the Southern Mountain region as well. You have probably already heard about Claytor Lake if you’ve done any bass fishing in the past. Another lake to try is Rural Retreat Lake. The lake is on the smaller side but well worth your time. Plastic jerk baits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits in crappie and shad colors are the ticket here.
The Shenandoah River and Lake Frederick are great spots for largemouth bass in the Northern Mountain area. The heavy vegetation in Lake Frederick can make it a challenge to pull out those trophies. Use natural colored lures and bring a few of the weedless variety in case the vegetation wreaks havoc on your casts. Lures representing crayfish and minnows do well on the Shenandoah. Don’t be afraid to try your plastics and jigs.
I’ve saved the Northern Piedmont area for last but it’s certainly not. It contains the bass factory of Lake Anna. Herring and shad colored lures do very well here. The Rappahannock was suffering for a while but it seems to be making a comeback. Smallmouth can also be found here. Exploring the pools in a kayak while casting for that 7 pounder can be a great way to spend a day.
I will end by reminding you that you can’t catch fish sitting at home. So get out there and enjoy your Old Dominion State!