Lake Gaston/Buggs Island Regional Focus Report

by Chris McCotter

Lake Gaston

  By mid-January the water level on Gaston was around 199.85’ (200’ is full pool) and Dominion was holding the level steady. Water temperature was 46-degrees. Anglers can expect 48-54 degree water temperatures for February in most parts of the main lake.

   For February on Gaston, BASSMaster Elite angler and guide Rick Morris  says the most consistent bass bite will be around the mouth of creeks like Poplar and Lizard in 10-25’ of water. Morris says 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. 

   There’s also a winter spoon bite that could continue the month. Keep a keen eye out, though as spotted bass can school and feed in 5’ of water when you looking out deep instead.

    Morris also suggests you fish a suspending jerkbait around mid and down lake points at the mouth of spawning coves. 

  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 January deadline was 297.22’ and rising (about a half foot lower than last month). 300’ is full pool. Daytime water temperatures were around 42-44 degrees depending on the region of the lake late last month. 

   This month anglers should expect a modest rise  in water temperatures – back down to around 45-50 degrees eventually.   

   Shad and herring are now on the main lake and still lingering at the mouth of some major creeks. Many anglers here use spoons on points now. Some like to use swimbaits. If you visit, you are mostly going to be targeting schooling bass, striper or crappie on or near baitfish. The suspending jerkbait bite could develop later this month, too.

     If you cannot get a reaction bite, you can also try fishing shaky head worms and drop shotted worms around 15-20’ humps and points with underwater cover like rocks and brushpiles.

   Fishing points in the larger creeks like Nutbush, Bluestone, Rudd’s, Butcher’s and Eastland as well as main lake points at the mouths of these creeks should be the pattern now.

    Striper anglers are still fishing the Clarksville area where they are finding feeding fish under birds and busting bait.

   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. Swimbaits or soft plastic jerkbaits on jigheads are also good where you find birds.Some 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.

 The next VA/NC Team Crappie event will be held March 25. We’ll have the results of the February 25 event in our March edition. 

  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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