Lake Country

by Chris McCotter

Lake Gaston

  By mid-February the water level on Gaston was around 199.89’ (200’ is full pool) and Dominion was holding the level steady. Water temperature was 46-50 degrees. Anglers can expect 50-60 degree water temperatures this month in most parts of the main lake.

   For March on Gaston, BASSMaster Elite angler and guide Rick Morris  says the most consistent bass bite will be in the first and middle third of creeks like Poplar and Lizard in 5-15’ of water. Morris says to continue to fish on the bottom using 3/8 to 1/2 oz War Eagle jigs for fat spotted bass and the occasional largemouth using braid with a flurocarbon leader and a spinning rod. 

    The bass will probably move shallow around the full moon at the middle of the month, so you can begin to target them closer to docks then. By the end of the month, Morris says to try spinnerbaits along grass lines and shakey worms on rocks and docks.

  Gaston has a thriving population of spotted bass. Fish up to five pounds are not uncommon. They will spawn earlier and deeper than largemouth bass and prefer rocks to wood. Morris likes to use a Damiki rig for spots in March if he finds them schooled deep, otherwise they will bite suspending jerkbaits just fine around rocks.

    Holly Grove Marina is a family-friendly tackle shop, boat ramp, restaurant/gathering place on the upper end of the lake and we’re glad to have them with us. Holly Grove is located about 10 minutes off I-95 at the Bracey exit on Rt. 903. 

Kerr Reservoir (Bugg Island)

  The water level on Kerr Lake by the W2 late February deadline was 299.45’ and rising (about two feet higher than last month). 300’ is full pool. Daytime water temperatures were around 47-51 degrees depending on the region of the lake late last month. 

   This month, anglers should expect a slight rise in water temperatures – to around 51-60.   

   Guide Rick Morris says Kerr Lake largemouth will begin to follow baitfish into creeks like Rudds, Eastland, Grassy and Bluestone. In March he likes a lipless crankbait, War Eagle spinnerbait and War Eagle jig. Morris says if you locate  bass around bait this month you might be able to use a shallow-diving crankbait especially in the back of ravine-like creeks. There is still a jerkbait bite on deeper banks and you can target individual bass with forward facing sonar. Main lake points and secondary points are where this pattern is best.

  Striper anglers will begin fishing the Clarksville area this month. The striper make their annual migration into the Roanoke River but will linger around the mouth of creeks near Clarksville to eat gizzard shad.

   Casters will want to use swimbaits or soft plastic jerkbaits on jigheads. Also good for striper this month are Alabama rigs.   

   Before you head out onto the lake, be sure to stop by Bobcat’s Bait and  Tackle to get a current fishing report and all the gear you could possibly need.

   The next Bobcat’s VA/NC Team Crappie event will be held March 25. The February 25 event was won by the team of Josh Morris and Ryan Smith with a seven fish limit weighing 13.59 pounds.  

   The lake’s big blue catfish are also feeding heavily now. This is where the state and world record came from (143 lbs.), so if you like catching big catfish, Buggs is a fine place to start.

   Before you head out onto the lake, be sure to stop by Bobcat’s to get a current fishing report and all the gear you could possibly need.

   Congratulations to Josh Morris and Ryan Smith for winning the final event of the VA/NC Cappie Masters Trail with a two-day total of 14 fish weighing 22.03 – good for $970. Team Whitlow was second with 22.22 and won $530. Frank Nelson took third with 21.99 and won $260. The Whitlows took Team of The Year.

   Stinger Supply in nearby Boydton is the area headquarters for Garmin gear. You’ll find excellent in stock supplies of Garmin Livescope sonar units, Force trolling motors and Alpha dog tracking collars. Rick Morris

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