Lake Country

by Chris McCotter

Lake Gaston

By mid-October the water level on Gaston was around 199.60’ (200’ is full pool) and Dominion was holding the level steady. Water temperatures ranged from 64-69 degrees with the up lake section just below Kerr Dam the coolest. Anglers can expect 55-60-degree water temperatures for November in most parts of the main lake.

Guide Rick Morris has been enjoying his full fall season since retiring from the BASSMasters Elite Series trail. He now spends his days putting clients on largemouth and spunky spotted bass, even crappie and white perch using a variety of tactics while sharing stories of fishing the Elite events.

For November on Gaston, Morris says you might be able to continue to target largemouth bass schooled on and feeding on baitfish using topwaters, then soft plastic jerkbaits, then swimbaits and crankbaits. You can also skip an almost endless supply of docks with a jigs.

Morris targets the lake’s ample spotted bass population using shaky head worms and drop shot rigs in 10-20’ of water around rocks and main lake points. Birds will indicate schools of baitfish now and bass (both largemouth and spots) can be under them. Gaston also harbors striper and November is a good month to start targeting them with lures.

Call or email Morris for guided trips on Gaston.

Holly Grove Marina is a family-friendly tackle shop, boat ramp, restaurant/gathering place on 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 October deadline was 298.76’ and steady (about a foot lower than last month). 300’ is full pool so this was a good level for late summer. Daytime water temperatures varied from 62-67 degrees depending on the region of the lake late last month. This month, anglers should expect a significant decrease in water temperatures – to around 50-55 degrees.

This month you’ll still find large schools of baitfish in most creeks – you just have to find the creeks with bass in them! They will probably be closer the creek mouth than the back this month.

Many bass anglers use crankbaits on the lake in November. Some like to use swimbaits. If you find some off-color water you can also use a spinnerbait. You can also try fishing shakey head worms and crankbaits around humps and points with underwater cover like rocks and brushpiles. Kerr’s numerous floating docks are difficult to fish but will hold fish as well.

Fishing around bait in the larger creeks like Nutbush, Bluestone, Rudd’s, Butcher’s and Eastland should be the pattern now as long as we don’t get any major rainfall.

Striper anglers are looking forward to the return of the stripers to the Clarksville area where they can target them under birds and busting bait using a variety of methods.

Casters will want to use three-inch spoons like the KT Slab/Toothache spoon around the mouth of creeks and on main lake channel bends. Many striper anglers will troll umbrella rigs this month tipped with swimbaits.

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. See page 7 for a recap of the most recent Bobcat’s Crappie tournament.

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

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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