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Bentley Forbes, age 5

Did you get out over the weekend or one evening and do any fishing? With schools being closed, I got to go out with my grandson Bentley and do some much needed fun fishing. We got out out for some good laughs on St. Patick’s Day, but caught no fish. The wind made casting a little tricky, but it made for some good laughter. We got back out Friday and took advantage of the warm weather. The bite was slow, but Bentley did manage to land one small bass. While we may not have caught a lot, we had a great time making memories. I got out Sunday with my buddy Jacob Stephens and hit up Leesville Lake. We had stripers hitting the surface all around us when we launched, but could not get any to bite. We then hit up a bunch of spots looking for bass. We went in one cove and anchored off a point and started working up and over the point with a jerkbait and a crankbait. I had something hit my crankbait and I felt it shake it’s head, but it turned suddenly and my line snapped. What ever it was, it felt big. Jacob thinks it might have been a walleye, but I think it was a really huge bass. After putting on a new crankbait, I went back to working the point and hooked into a nice bass. I cried fish on, and once I saw it, I hollered net, so Jacob could help me. After a good fight and an even better net job, I got to lip a beautiful 5.60 pound bass. We continued to fish hard, but never caught any more. While catching the bass was awesome, the laughter we shared really made it an amazing day. What a great memory!

In the Rappahannock River, the warm weather this week should bring on the shad, perch and herring runs. Stripers and white perch are showing in the tidal sections. Up river, the crappie and largemouth bass are actively feeding now. Shad colored crankbaits and spinnerbaits are top choices right now. Cut bait is producing some big blue catfish in the outside bends of the river channel and around the pilings of the Downing Bridge. Work the deeper holes for the bigger fish.

In the local ponds, look for the warm weather and sun to warm up the shallows by midday. The bass and sunfish should be cruising around them and the flats, searching for baitfish as they feed up for the spawn. Topwater baits like a walking bait and poppers should start to produce some exciting action. Shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits are also great choices. The bigger bass will be holding in the deeper water waiting for the water to warm. Work the drop offs and points with suspending jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and such to find them.

While we are in the middle of the Corvid-19 scare, being outdoors can be a great way to escape the house and still be safe. Explore the walks around our National Wildlife Refuge and take advantage of the local ponds. Keep your eyes open and look for the wildlife as it emerges forth. Be careful around the ponds as the water is still pretty cold. Wear your life jacket while out on the water, especially if the big motor is engaged. And if you are in a kayak, wear it always. Stay safe, have fun, and live to fish another day.

If you get to go fishing one afternoon or this coming weekend, take some pictures. I want to see the fun and share it here for everyone to see just how beautiful the Northern Neck is for fishing. Send your pictures, fishing reports, questions or comments, to FishingtheNorthernNeck@yahoo.com. This column is about you and for you and fishing in the Northern Neck. Remember, “Do yourself a favor, take a kid fishing.” Make a memory to last a lifetime!

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