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Bass Fishing In Virginia

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Guide to fishing for spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass in VA.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Virginia Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Virginia is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Virginia

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Virginia. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in Virginia. The state record largemouth bass is over 16 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Virginia

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 8 pounds.

Smallmouth bass prefer rocky and clear waters, where they can be found near boulders, submerged ledges, and eddies. Anglers commonly use crankbaits, jerkbaits, soft plastics, and live bait to entice smallmouth bass into biting.

Spotted Bass Fishing In Virginia

Spotted bass, although not as abundant as largemouth and smallmouth bass, can still be found in certain lakes and rivers in Virginia. Spotted bass closely resemble largemouth bass but have a distinct row of spots along their lower sides. They exhibit similar feeding habits and behaviors to largemouth bass, offering anglers an additional challenge and diversity in their bass fishing pursuits.

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

The best time to target bass in Virginia varies depending on the species and the body of water. Generally, spring and fall are considered prime seasons for bass fishing, as the fish are more active and actively feeding. During these seasons, the bass move closer to the shorelines, seeking warmer waters and feeding on baitfish. However, bass can be caught year-round, and experienced anglers adapt their techniques and strategies to the changing seasons and water conditions.

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, valuable information about bass and bass fishing.

Bass fishing basics video.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Virginia

The state of Virginia offers a nice variety of bass fishing. The Potomac River is an excellent bass fishery. Other smaller rivers also offer excellent bass fishing. Ponds and small lakes are great places to find bass as well. The major lakes in VA with good populations of bass include Carvins Cove Reservoir, Claytor Lake, Connor Lake, Diascund Creek Reservoir, Flannagan Reservoir, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Lake Gaston, Lake Moomaw, Leesville Reservoir, Occoquan Reservoir, Philpott Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake, Swift Creek Reservoir and Western Branch Reservoir.

Virginia is a fantastic state for bass fishing, offering anglers the opportunity to target three popular species: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. Each species presents unique challenges and rewards, making bass fishing in Virginia an exciting pursuit for anglers of all levels of experience. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about bass fishing and bass lakes in the state.

Virginia's diverse bass fishing opportunities, ranging from expansive lakes to winding rivers and scenic streams, make it an attractive destination for anglers. Whether targeting largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or spotted bass, Virginia offers ample opportunities to pursue these prized gamefish and enjoy the thrill of bass fishing in picturesque surroundings.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Virginia

Bass In Virginia

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 16 lbs 4 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 8 lbs 1 oz

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 10 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for Virginia this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

Virginia State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was caught from Connor Lake.

The state record smallmouth bass came from New River.

The state record spotted bass was caught out of Flannagan Reservoir.

Dave Boyers with a nice five-pound smallmouth bass.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Old Dominion State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!


Bass fishing information by state.

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