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BassinNewbie

Brackish Water and Bass

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Do bass live in brackish waters?

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Absolutely ;)

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I think it was Bass Edge on TV yesterday with Pam/something Martin? fishing the St. Johns in Jacksonville I believe.  They kept talking about the tide is changing which would indicate brackish to me.

They were wearing em out.

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Absolutely ;)

x2 man bass live everywhere.

x3, all the rivers I fish have brackish water and they are full of bass

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excellent!!!

thanks everyone!!

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Snook, redfish, and bass can all live in brackish water. I have caught all three on the same outing using the same lures.  It's not common, but I have done it a couple of times.

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Hes right about catching bass redfish and snook all in the same spot I do it all the time when it rains really hard and I go to the spillover and don't forget the occasional tarpon in the mix  

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You live in Virginia Beach? Understand that a lot of what you have that looks like brackish, and what people say is brackish, is actually hard salt water. You won't find many, if any, LMB in the vast majority of "brackish" creeks in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake etc. Back Bay is a notable exception, but that body is connected to the sea way down in North Carolina.

Tidal water in Virginia doesn't start really becoming fresh until you move up the James River past Hog Island. Even then, the salt water influence can be too great for bass unless you fish the very backs of creeks. Fishing can be very poor.

As far as I know, in our area, the best brackish waters for bass is the Chickahominy River system and upper lower James (the section of the James River between the mouth of Chickahominy and the fall line in Richmond). Even in those systems, which are nationally recognized for their LMB fisheries, salt water influence can play havok on bass stocks and fishing in some years. Lots of rain will keep them fresh. In the later summer and early fall, when there isn't much rain, they can become rather salty. I've caught speckled trout and croaker in the same waters I've caught LMB under those conditions.

So, yes, LMB do inhabit brackish water. But in Virginia, you are going to have to seek out true brackish water - because salt water goes way inland in Virginia. I fish the Chick River a lot, all year, even when the salt moves in. It can be very challenging fishing.

If you haven't done so, peruse this site. Read the biologist reports. They will give you a good idea where tidal bass fishing is best.

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/?type=2&region=1

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You live in Virginia Beach? Understand that a lot of what you have that looks like brackish, and what people say is brackish, is actually hard salt water. You won't find many, if any, LMB in the vast majority of "brackish" creeks in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake etc. Back Bay is a notable exception, but that body is connected to the sea way down in North Carolina.

Tidal water in Virginia doesn't start really becoming fresh until you move up the James River past Hog Island. Even then, the salt water influence can be too great for bass unless you fish the very backs of creeks. Fishing can be very poor.

As far as I know, in our area, the best brackish waters for bass is the Chickahominy River system and upper lower James (the section of the James River between the mouth of Chickahominy and the fall line in Richmond). Even in those systems, which are nationally recognized for their LMB fisheries, salt water influence can play havok on bass stocks and fishing in some years. Lots of rain will keep them fresh. In the later summer and early fall, when there isn't much rain, they can become rather salty. I've caught speckled trout and croaker in the same waters I've caught LMB under those conditions.

So, yes, LMB do inhabit brackish water. But in Virginia, you are going to have to seek out true brackish water - because salt water goes way inland in Virginia. I fish the Chick River a lot, all year, even when the salt moves in. It can be very challenging fishing.

If you haven't done so, peruse this site. Read the biologist reports. They will give you a good idea where tidal bass fishing is best.

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/?type=2&region=1

Micro - Thank you so much!!! very informative and helpful info!! I can't thank you enough.

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as Sammylee said, here on the St. Johns, we have one of the best red fish fisheries in florida and aan execlent Bass, sea trout and Flounder fishery all with in a half hour run of each other and it is not rare at all to catch several species in a single day (i did last week catching a big bass(over 8 #'s) a good keeper red and a few trout all in a 3 hour window). basically as the salinty rises you see the bass go deeper and as the rain comes in the fish move shallower, i dont know about other places but thats how it is here.... some times, tidal bass are un predicatable!

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I also live on the VA penisula, near Micro.  I live out by Jamestown island and the James and Chickahominy rivers.  This summer I am trying to fish for largemouth more in these places since they are so close to home.  I usually drive out to the outskirts of the other side of town to Little Creek Reservoir.  The James up my way certainly is salty, and while Ive never caught a largemouth personally, my dad has told me he has right off of Jamestown island before.  Some people have told me that they have caught largemouth in the creeks also, but more towards the beginnings of them where the water is fresher.  Right around the corner though, in the Chickahominy, the creeks off of the river are full of bass.  Since these waters are tinged and murky, dark colored plastic worms work well.    

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What Micro said.

Virginia has a ton of brackish water. Almost all of the major rivers in Virginia are tidal (Potomac, Rappahannock, James). I haven't heard much about bass in the tidal Rapp but the other two are excellent tidal bass fisheries (Rowland, I will assume you left out the P'mac because it is too far away) Make sure you try to get an understanding on how the tide affects the fish. The consistently successful guys are usually the ones who manage the tides.

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I was born in Virginia Beach and grew up in Chesapeake, VA.  When I was 14 my family owned a house on a 3-4 acre retention pond in a subdivision.  I remember when I first started throwing soft plastics.  Occasionaly it would feel like I had a bite but a little different.  I would set the hook and nothing would be there.  When I reeled in my rig, half my worm would be gone, cut clean in half.  I soon learned that our pond had blue crabs.  It always made soft plastic fishing a challenge.  One of my neighbors who lived on the pond actually put a crab pot behind his house to catch them.

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I have caught bass and flouder on the same trip a few casts apart.

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I was born in Virginia Beach and grew up in Chesapeake, VA. When I was 14 my family owned a house on a 3-4 acre retention pond in a subdivision. I remember when I first started throwing soft plastics. Occasionaly it would feel like I had a bite but a little different. I would set the hook and nothing would be there. When I reeled in my rig, half my worm would be gone, cut clean in half. I soon learned that our pond had blue crabs. It always made soft plastic fishing a challenge. One of my neighbors who lived on the pond actually put a crab pot behind his house to catch them.
I was in the navy in Norfolk from 01-06 and that was the least amount of fishing i ever did. I tried to fish around the Norfolk airport and some river type place in williamsburg. ZERO luck. I could not wait to get back to Tx so I could get in my comfort zone and fish.

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Whats up brother it's HAMMER !!  1989 east pass north end of sabine lake on a night time bowfishing trip I saw a 4lb carp in the lights drew back my bow and BLAM!! a 4lb bass at the end of my line, I couldn't believe it, that far into seriously brackish water. Good news is I pulled the arrow from his tail and nothing was seriously hurt but my pride !!

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Dan, yes, the Rapp has good tidal bass fishing also on up to Fredericksburg.  

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I think it was Bass Edge on TV yesterday with Pam/something Martin? fishing the St. Johns in Jacksonville I believe. They kept talking about the tide is changing which would indicate brackish to me.

They were wearing em out.

The St. Johns River is brackish and has very noticeable tide changes.  I've caught plenty off bass and redfish out of that river.

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Dan, yes, the Rapp has good tidal bass fishing also on up to Fredericksburg.

I assumed there were bass in there like the other rivers but I've never really heard people talk about it as a bass fishery like they do about the Potomac or the James. Is it as good of a fishery as the other two?

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I've caught croaker and trout in the same waters I've caught bass.  But I think these fish are far more tolerant of fresh water than bass are of saltwater.

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