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Monday, 09 April 2012 02:00

Spring RVA Stripers

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Spring RVA Stripers Photographs by Rob Choi

It definitely seems like all the local migrations are happening earlier this year. The warm water temperatures are expediting the process and I, like most kayak fishermen, am not complaining. The magic of this time of year is more than welcome, as many of the popular sport fishing species enter our local waters and get our juices flowing.

Reports of bluefish, puppy drum, flounder, speckled trout, and stripers pepper the local forums. Togs are also readily available, but remember the closed season starts on April 16 this year. A few regulations have changed for some of the species, so check out this site (http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/regulations/swrecfishingrules.shtm) if you're not up to date.

The local rivers are also experiencing peak spring populations of anadromous species. I had the opportunity to paddle out on the James River yesterday after work. Making my first paddle strokes a mere five minutes from home was also welcome. Richmond, VA (RVA) boasts a great venue to take in this special time of year. Near the I-95 bridge, the hickory shad action was on fire from the first cast at 7 p.m. until I decided to scoot down river around 7:45. I was hooking up on almost every cast. If I let my orange and green shad fly sink near the bottom, the white perch were all over it. After keeping a couple of each for bait, I drifted down and set up two fish finder rigs just above a good-sized hole. The little catfish (up to 28") were incessant, but every once in a while, I'd hook up a 26"-28" striper.

I was hoping for either a big bertha kitty or a striper that was bigger than "schoolie" size. It wasn't long before my wish was granted in the form of a 38" clicker-squealing heifer.

RVA Striper 38 inches caught kayak fishing

Various striper lures should work well over the next couple of weeks, including topwater poppers near the fall line rocks.

If I don't find myself looking for other highly-anticipated saltwater species, I'll be back on the river chasing RVA kitties ‘n’ stripers. Hope you get out to your favorite spring fishing destination soon.

Read 7742 times Last modified on Sunday, 08 April 2012 22:34
Rob Choi

About the Author: Rob Choi is an avid kayak angler from Richmond, VA and although he lives close to the mighty James River, he frequents the Chesapeake Bay more often. His addiction to the salt has earned him a reputation among the locals as the fish junkie with reckless abandon to logic, time, and societal norms in his pursuit for the “tug that is the drug”. What he lacks in long term experience, he makes up in his passionate dedication to the sport now. He shares his love of the sport through his blog, www.angling-addict.com, as well as being a prostaff member at Ocean Kayak, Maui Jim Sunglasses, YakAngler.com, YakAttack, Werner Paddles, and crew member of HOOK 1 and Kayak Bass Fishing.

www.angling-addict.com