Virginia offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the country. Whether you’re a casual angler or a serious expert, Virginia is a great place to cast your line. You’ll find picturesque rivers, lakes and streams, not to mention legendary hospitality in communities that welcome outdoor enthusiasts.
Whether you’re looking to break a record, fly fish, or catch a fish “this big”, there are plenty of locations across the state where you can get your fishing on. With so many freshwater lakes and rivers, plus an abundance of saltwater options, fishing in Virginia is top-rated.
It’s that special time of the year when anglers of all ages and levels of skill can enjoy superb fishing. Here are our top five Virginia fishing hot spots! Before you go fishing, be sure that you have purchased your 2018 freshwater or saltwater fishing licence. You can conveniently buy it online here.
Lake Moomaw, Covington
Lake Moomaw is a hidden gem in the Appalachian Mountains. It has a maximum depth of 152 feet, with a layer of cold, oxygenated water 15 feet below the surface. Lake Moomaw is known for its trout fishing; there is a zone about 15 feet under the surface with cold oxygenated water where brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout thrive. Lake Moomaw was constructed for downstream flow augmentation (water quality), flood control, and recreation. Fishery biologists have determined that Lake Moomaw is a “two-story” sport fishery. This simply means that the reservoir would be deep enough for both warm water fish (bass, catfish, sunfish, crappie) and coldwater fish (trout).
WHAT TO CATCH: BROWN TROUT
Briery Creek Lake, Farmville
Briery Creek Lake is an 845-acre lake that is owned by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is within the Briery Creek Wildlife Management Area in Prince Edward County. Briery Creek Lake is one of the most important largemouth bass fisheries in the state; it contains a variety of species such as black crappie, bluegill, catfish and pickerel. Try some large plastic worms for the largemouth bass in colors such as tequila sunrise to entice them from the dense covers.
WHAT TO CATCH: LARGEMOUTH BASS
Smith Mountain Lake, Moneta
Smith Mountain Lake was created to generate electricity, and to help manage water flows, downstream. It is a vast 40-mile long, 20,600 acre lake, with 500 miles of shoreline, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural southwestern Virginia. The lake is nationally recognized for its bass and striper fishing, so it sees considerable fishing pressure. make sure this lake is on your list for a sweet fishing hole in Virginia!
WHAT TO CATCH: LARGEMOUTH BASS
Laurel Bed Lake at Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Russell County
Laurel Bed is a Department-owned lake located in Russell County on the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area. This 330-acre lake rests on the top of Clinch Mountain at 3600 feet of elevation. Over the years, considerable effort was expended to remove rock bass from the lake as they became overabundant and stunted in size, however rock bass have returned to the lake. Smallmouth bass fingerlings have been stocked to control rock bass abundance. If smallmouth can keep the rockbass population at a manageable level, both populations could enhance and diversify fishing opportunities in the future. Laurel Bed Lake offers anglers an opportunity to pursue trophy smallmouth bass in a large high-altitude lake that is similar to what many would expect to find farther north
WHAT TO CATCH: SMALLMOUTH BASS
Claytor Lake, Dublin
Claytor Lake, a 4,475-acre impoundment of the New River, stretches northeastward across the Pulaski County countryside for 21 miles. Possible catches from Claytor Lake range from bass to carp. Smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass (collectively called “black bass”) are the “bread and butter” fishes of this lake. Claytor Lake holds fewer largemouth bass than other Virginia lakes, and they grow slowly in this mountain reservoir. Anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release of trophy-size bass from the lake. Claytor’s steep and rocky shorelines make it particularly good for smallmouth bass.
WHAT TO CATCH: BASS, CATFISH, MUSKIE & WALLEYE
With so many great fishing spots to choose from in Virginia, it’s hard to know which one is the best. We’ve taken the hassle out of it for you by providing you with this list of the best fishing holes in Virginia. Hopefully it helps you get out on the water and catch that fish you’ve been dreaming about!
According to a study conducted by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Fisheries, New York has been regarded as an abundant bass-fishing state as the bass population has increased in most waters of the state. The bass season in New York runs from the third Saturday in June through to the end of November. Before embarking on your fishing trip, there are a few things to consider to ensure a fun and safe day on the water. Checking weather and water conditions is an important first step before heading out on the boat. By checking the local weather forecast or the National Weather Service, you can collect the relevant information needed before heading out on the water to avoid potential hazards that may put yourself and others on board at risk. You will need to bring a chart for your routes which is an essential tool for marine navigation.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the best smallmouth bass fishing in New York State and arguably the entirety of the United States can be found in Lake Erie. Lake Erie is ranked by Bassmaster Magazine as first in the Northeast, claiming that the “odds for catching a 20-plus-pound limit of five smallmouth bass may be better here than anywhere. And, you can do this in any season.” – Bassmaster Magazine. Smallmouth bass are widely distributed within the lake and are typically between two and four pounds. The usual hotspots for bass are along rocky structures and drop-offs in 15-35 feet of water.
Black Lake can often be overlooked amid the many choices of fishing holes, but this largemouth and smallmouth spot should be on your list. It is quite shallow with the maximum depth hitting only 40 feet, so navigation should be handled cautiously. National publications have rated Black Lake among the top-ten bass waters in the country and hosts many fishing events throughout the year. Often, largemouth will be found in shallower, warmer bays while smallmouth can be found swimming in the drop-offs. Check out the mouth of the Indian River, around the shoreline of Big Bay, Bullhead and Conger Islands.
This lake’s bottom is the perfect environment for largemouth and smallmouth bass as it consists of reefs and rocky bars. With the introduction of zebra mussels, they have impacted the water clarity which allows the sun to penetrate, creating more vegetation for the bass to thrive off of. This lake is situated in the center of New York State, northeast of Syracuse and the Great Lakes. While you’re looking for that honey hole, don’t forget to look around and take in the beautiful scenery that this lake offers. It was created over 12,000 years ago after the Ice Age ended and was originally a vast inland sea called Lake Iroquois which covered much of Central New York.
St. Lawrence River
A variety of different fish species can be found here including small and largemouth bass during your next fishing venture. This river ranks as the largest east-west river in North America as it flows across the top of St. Lawrence County, the river forms the border between New York State and the Province of Ontario. A Canadian license is required in Ontario waters so be sure to bring along your river charts which will come in handy. Bronzebacks are the river’s “summer fish” which you can find along mainland points, island shorelines, rocky areas and large flats. In early season spinners, surface bait and tipped jigs work well and as you move to the later season and deeper water, live bait such as minnows or crawfish work far better. As for largemouth bass, the water temperature isn’t as suited for this species and as a result, the early mornings are the best time to find them in the backwaters of most large bays. Autumn is classified as the most abundant time of year for largemouths.
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to bass fishing in New York city; there really is no shortage of fishing spots, it’s just important to note the season that’s best for each specie as well as the ideal spots they hang out in. It’s also a smart idea to consider the safety tips before leaving to ensure you feel confident when heading out on the water. Hopefully you have some luck in these fishing spots in New York and have an epic fishing story to bring back home!
There are many reasons to get out on the boat this season – and fishing is on the top of this list in Fall! The months from September right through to late November are perfect for catching a plethora of species in stunning surroundings so let us walk you through what to expect, and how to maximize your haul! Continue reading…