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skeletor121

new to NOVA

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I haven't been bass fishing for at least 14 years.  When I did fish for bass, I wasn't very good (young and no one explaining anything).  I have been living in Alaska, river fishing for salmon and offshore for halibut.  I moved to Fredericksburg, VA this past August and figure I should be able to get into bass fishing while we are here.  

My question is where to go bass fishing around here?  I have heard of Lake Anna, but was wondering if there are any other places to catch bass around here?  I am looking for a place to take my wife and kids (they all fish) for their first bass experience.  We do not have a boat yet, so please take that into account when you reply.  

Thanks for your help.

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Well Scott, you're in luck! The Fredneckburg area of VA if chock full of places to bass fish. All depends on how far you're willing to drive. Lake Anna certainly is an option. Without a boat it would be a bit difficult so I would go with a smaller lake. Anna is not for your first timer, even the pros get skunked there a lot. Depending on what you're looking for, there are several good lakes and rivers to fish in. Motts Run Reservoir, Ni Reservoir and the newly opened and hottest bass fishing lake in the area, Hunting Run Reservoir. It just opened to fishing last fall and is already producing some monster bass. With the warm weather rolling around, it is gonna be crowded though. If I was you, I'd stick with Motts Run for a family outing. There is a nice fishing pier there and I believe they rent boats in the warmer months. Plus, the lake has some monster northern pike in it, so that can make things interesting. The Rappahannock River is your best bet as far as river fishing for bass goes. The tidal portion is decent for largemouths and the area above the fall line is good for smallies. In the mid to late spring striped bass run the river and can be caught in the tidal section as well. Depending on how far you want to drive there are many other fishing lakes and rivers in the northern VA area and further south towards Richmond. The James River and Potomac Rivers are each well known. Burke Lake, Occoquan Res. and other lakes in the area have some great bass fishing. Your best bet though is to go to the VA Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries web site. Go to the fishing section... Look for the where to fish section. Then choose between lakes or rivers and streams. Then click on the northern and central region, look for Spotsylvania County and bam, you got a boat load of info at your finger tips! You can look at other counties in the region as well. Best of luck! Keep it simple at first, buy some shiners and cheat so the kids have a good first outing. I am new to the forum myself but you'll see a lot of these guys know their stuff, read around and you'll learn a lot!

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Thanks for the info.  I definitely like how close Motss Run is to our home (we live off of 17).  The only place I had heard of is Lake Anna before your post.  I was thinking of the Virginia Fish and Game but hadn't gotten there yet.  I found this site and figured I would post here to get first hand knowledge.  I will go to the site next to see what is going on.  Thanks again for the info.

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Grab your girl, a mapbook, a lunch and your gear.  Hop in the car and make it an adventure.  This is how I learned a majority of the lakes in my state when I was younger.

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Welcome to NOVA. Your a little south of me so Im not sure of any water near you, but Im sure like cjbs2003, others will jump in to help out. There are a lot of members in your area.  ;)

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Grab your girl, a mapbook, a lunch and your gear.  Hop in the car and make it an adventure.  This is how I learned a majority of the lakes in my state when I was younger.

          LBH hit it on the head, thats how I did it 20-24 years ago. Now I look at Google Earth and then mark it on a map. Also talk to the locals. Some fishermen are tight lipped. but for the most part they'll tell you when and where to go.  If you lived up this way/Fairfax county, I and or slomoe could put you on some fish. Best of luck and welcome back to bass fishing.

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Welcome to the bass family man. Nova guys are some good anglers. Lots of areas to fish around here. If your looking for family fun Burke Lake is good and has a pier and a path all the way around as well as boat rentals, however it's the most pressured lake in nova on the weekends.

Other than that Occoquan Regional Park is a great place for a picnic, fishing, and wildlife watching.

If you don't mind a little drive, Leesylvania State Park has a great fishing pier (though you have to get there early in the am cause it can fill up. But plenty of catfish and white perch are caught off here all day with the occassional striper and yellow perch mixing into the bunch. Bring minnows, worm or shrimp for bait. Cut bait perch is excellent for the catfish here.

Fountainhead Park (Occoquan Rez) is awesome and has a great floating pier with plenty of room for multiple families to fish. Carp, catfish some pike, and bass can all be caught here. Some shoreline access if you don't mind getting muddy.

Lake Ridge is great, has boat rentals, good crappie fishing, bass fishing and some catfish here, lots of blue gill and some carp yet again. Has a small fishing pier, some boat docks and some shore access.

There are other places, if you are interested in further day trips pm me and I can get you some info.

Also may I suggest checking out VDGIF. If you google it it will pull up the department of inland game and fisheries for va. Great place to find lakes, rivers and reservoirs, even some ponds.

If your into saltwater action, right across the bay bridge there are two piers: Matapeake which is generally crowded 24/7 once the season opens up and Romancoke (less crowded of the two based on my experience). Both you can pull in blue fish, striper, spot, perch, crabs (if your into crabbing) and multiple other fish. Good luck in your ventures.

Oh, and once it warms up go down the road five minutes to "river rd" or "falls hill avenue" and fish along the rap with tubes.  You can catch smallmouth all day and follow the shoreline for over a mile.  Awesomeness.  The smallmouth are plentiful but bigger ones are further upstream and require a hike.  But if your kids are old enough and you guys are careful you can make a day out of it.  Picnic, wading, swimming, tubing, fishing, etc.  Good times.

I am envious of you fishing for those huge Salmon out there.  My dream is to take a charter on one of the rivers up there and fight one of those king salmon.  I've seen videos of guys having them on and whales completely devouring or splitting the king in half.  Crazy stuff.

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Thanks for all of the info.  It may be early in the year but the family is heading out ot Motts Run Reservoir today to fish.  This will be the first time for my wife and kids (for bass) so it should be interesting.  I chose that spot from recommendations on this board, a couple people I talked to around here, and how close it is to the house.  It is about 15-20 minutes away, which seems to be the closest spot.  I figure it would be nice to be close for the first time.  I will adventure further away after we get comfortable with freshwater fishing again.  

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Welcome to the forum.  There are a lot of places to fish for bass in NOVA.  Some of the NOVA folks on here can assist you with places to fish (lakes and rivers).  Unfortunately I do not fish down near Fredericksburg that much other than smallie fishing at the Rappahanack River but I can make recommendations on places further noth in Northern Virginia.

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