Sat12202014

Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

   201412metrocast

Fishing to look forward to this month

This cold spell has been quite frustrating to say the least. About the time we get a somewhat warm day, the weather turns sour again. However, rest assured that the fish will start to bite more consistently.

Meanwhile, look for shad and herring (no take on herring) to arrive in Fredericksburg in the next two weeks. The peak will likely occur mid April. Small spoons, jigs with bright colors and even darts will take fish.

Remember that only hickory shad may be kept and they may only be kept on the Rappahannock BELOW the Rt. 1 Bridge. Hickory shad populations are stable so that is why they may be kept. However, keep only what you will use. Cast across current or downstream and jig your lure back sharply after letting it fall close to the bottom. Once you find the right combination of retrieve keep it up and you will keep reeling in fish until they move through. You may have to try a few places to keep up with them. It used to be that you could easily cast from shore along the banks of Old Mill Park and catch them. The silt has really filled in there and upstream construction sites, developers making their money building homes and even some farms have allowed run off to basically ruin the river in this area. The lesson is that we should do something about it before the problem worsens. Meanwhile, fish downstream and use a boat if you have one.

I personally like to eat the roe (poor man’s caviar) for breakfast. Using a pair of shears to open the fish up from the gills along the belly is the best way to remove the roe that I have found. Be careful not to pop open the egg sac. Snip the connections free, front and back, and carefully place in a bowl or baggie until you are ready to cook the roe. Fry it with Old Bay or just salt and pepper or you can lightly boil or broil it. Some people like to serve it on toast. I prefer it alone and with sausage or corned beef. It is also good with bacon. It is vitamin rich and very healthy for you. Again, take only what you need as taking too many females out of the stock will deplete the population.

White perch are already on the scene. Fishing in Fredericksburg is very tough above the City Dock due to the HORRIBLE silt problem that Army Corps of Engineers appears reluctant to do anything about. Fish downstream in deeper holes from the City Dock. Bloodworms are very expensive. Garden worms, small strips of cut bait and even Fishbites will take perch. Clams or shrimp bits will also work.

Bass are starting to go prespawn in ponds and smaller lakes. Most areas are seeing bass deep but shallow ponds warm faster. Prespawn means the bass are moving into areas where they plan to situate for spawning. Generally they will feed or strike lures. White seems to be a popular color in the spring but crayfish colors will draw angry strikes too. Spoons, spinnerbaits and jigs are really good baits.

20130327out1

Crappie stringer with lures---Crappie are near prespawn mode. Use brightly colored jigs and spinnerbaits to entice them to hit.

Crappie are moving into shallower waters now in ponds and lakes. Once we get a few days of warm weather, things will take off quickly. Look for crappie near any structure. Currently they are generally found in 5-10 feet of water where available and near drop offs. As soon as it warms they will go for the shoreline and have their noses in mere inches of water. Crappie are incredible at populating a small body of water. If there are a lot of small crappie present, that is a sign that you need to harvest more of the smaller fish to free up resources for the fish to grow. Within an hour’s drive of King George, the best public waters to fish for crappie would likely be Lake Anna and Lake Orange. Both have incredible populations of these tasty fish. Small jigs in bright colors put at the same depth as the fish are very efficient at taking home dinner. Some anglers use a float and hang their jig below it and jig it back allowing the jig to fall to the exact same depth each time. This is typically used in a very small pond where depths are shallow anyway. When you find what color they want switch all lines to that color.

 

Until next week tight lines and Happy Easter!

 

narfe

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