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It is not uncommon to catch Citation Bass during the day using Herring pulled behind planner boards worked over areas ranging from 40 foot flats nearby the 208 bridge to 5 foot flats anywhere in the lake during low light conditions. More and more anglers are putting a Jumbo minnow on a bobber pulling it behind their boat while casting artificial for Bass with great results. The artificial lure pattern that produces the largest Bass probably is working a suspending jerk bait down lake on primary and secondary points next to deep water. Position your boat no deeper than 18 feet throwing your bait toward the shallows. The Bass can see your injured bait a great distance in the clearer water and will chase it down usually attacking it on the pause. Points with stumps, rocks or some structure will hold better Bass. Once locating productive points jig and pigs and tube baits cast to the structures will catch the more lethargic fish. Bass also love swim baits this time of year. Bass will also congregate nearby the bottom over 25 to 30 feet of water. Vertical jig a spoon or blade bait around these arches on your depth finder will put fish in the boat.
Due to the mild winter we have been experiencing fish are still feeding all over the lake. The water has been warm enough to prevent icing consequently bait and fish are reluctant to leave the upper portions of the lake and are behind in their annual migrations.
There are numerous patterns to try but the easiest for most anglers is to work the gulls. Anglers using artificial baits can catch plenty of Stripers using 3 to 4 inch Sea Shads, Sassy Shads, Toothe ache spoons and Bucktails. Cast your bait as far as you can, count it down to the depth you see fish on the depth finder and use a slow retrieve to catch schooling Stripers. For topwater fish try waking a Redfin over shallow humps and points nearby deep water. Suspending Jerk baits work exceptionally well in the clearer water with a jerk, jerk, pause, jerk pause retrieve allowing the bait to suspend motionless on the pause. Also casting an Alabama rig or trolling umbrella rigs and drop rigs work but expect to catch a lot of smaller Stripers using this method. Live bait fisherman should run planer boards and downlines.
Warmer water will keep the slabs feeding on the bridges up lake as well as the major breaks. Crappie are easy to locate on a good depth finder, they are schooled up now are feeding on small threadfins about 2 inches long. Rocky primary point ledges in the 20 to 30 foot range hold large schools of fish. Deep bridge pilings and brush piles will also hold Crappie this month. The 522 bridge in the North Anna and Dillards bridge are sure places to score Crappie using small jigs and small minnows. Temps in the low to mid 50’s
Carlos at High Point Marina