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Joel Richardson's Fishing Reports


Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Fishing Kerr Reservoir/Bugg's Island


Water Level
Level is 2.91 feet
above full pool of 300.00


Largemouth Bass -- Spawn/Post Spawn

In the spring, water levels typically rise and flood shoreline willow and sweet gum trees. Spawning should be in its late stages, transitioning to post spawn a great time to be on the water. Fish should be staging out in front of the bushes moving toward deeper water. Topwater fishing will prove to produce well in May. Buzzbaits, Pop-R, Floating worms and Flukes will produce nice bass as well. If windy try tossing a spinnerbait. Fluke colors: Pearl or Shad. Water levels are typically above full pool (300.0) this time of year but can be a tricky time for anglers. Water levels at Bugg’s can change more frequently now than in the years past due to higher demand. In my opinion, I feel like this has hurt spawning for largemouth and stripers in the lake. Please remember to take a kid fishing and Practice catch and release.


Striped Bass:

In the spring, the stripers head to the upper end of the lake and the river above the lake to spawn. Warm summer waters force the striped bass to the lower end of the lake - typically toward the dam and near the mouth of Nutbush creek. Slow trolling white/chartreuse bucktails tipped with a white shad body or grub over points can produce. My favorite is casting for them with Rattle Traps or crankbaits. Trolling with live bait can also be used.


The crappie fishing at Buggs Island is second-to-none in both quality and quantity. Small minnows, jigs and tubes can all produce. Trolling with spider rigs or small umbrella crappie rigs made by Joel Richardson (will be on site soon; call for details) around creek channels and back of creek flats with hard bottom because of spawning fish a slow drift is a  good way to locate fish; then anchor and load the boat once located.



Fishing Lake Gaston


Water Level

301.0 – 303.5


Largemouth Bass:

Springtime fishing, flipping and pitching dark-colored jigs and plastic baits in May when females are spawning can produce well. Flipping, pitching, and skipping a variety of soft plastics in natural to dark colors around boat docks will also produce this time of year. The availability of visible fish-holding structure is a great for new or inexperienced fisherman. Backing off the visible structure and slow rolling big spinnerbaits and/or pulling crankbaits across points where pre and post spawn bass stage is a great pattern that lasts from Mid-March to early June.


Striped Bass

Striped bass fishing occurs every spring around the dam and can be very productive. Soft plastic swimbaits, large flukes, and bucktails will work great. Large crankbaits and jigging spoons fished over summer schools are effective and can produce quantity and quality.



There is plenty of crappie to be caught in the spring. Trolling with spider rigs or small umbrella crappie rigs made by Joel Richardson (will be on site soon; call for details) is an excellent way to cover open water and find pre- and post-spawn crappie. During the spring fishing small jigs and tube baits around boat docks can be very productive. Watch your electronics and identify brush piles placed by dock owners for a chance at less-pressured fish. Lots of crappie can be caught at this time. 



Fishing Smith Mountain Lake


Water Level

793.94 feet


Fishing Smith Mountain Lake

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are found more in the creeks. Smallmouth bass can be found near main lake areas, on lower third of lake. The water is typically clear, so natural colors and light lines are recommended. Try flipping and skipping small plastics around boat docks and then between boat docks cast spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Stained water can be found at times in the back of tributaries. Flip jigs and cast spinnerbaits and buzzbaits around cover in the creeks - during early morning and late evening.



Fishing Philpott Lake


Water Level
Level is 1.32 feet
above full pool of 974.00


Largemouth Bass:

Largemouth bass are the most predominate in the lake with good numbers of small mouth available. Tributaries such as Bowens Creek, Goblintown Creek, and Salthouse Branch are good places to start. Visible fish-holding structure is abundant such as, Rocky structures, riprap, weed beds, and fallen trees can all produce. Target weed beds and woody cover with senkos and flukes, and spinnerbaits . Try crawfish-imitating jigs and soft plastics around rocky shoreline cover and riprap. Try offshore structure with aTexas-rigged plastic worm in black, watermelonseed or pumpkinseed; whereas stained water up lake may permit chartreuse and other bright hues.

Smallmouth Bass

Rocky points and bluffs along the main lake channel are especially productive. Smallmouth can be found in shallow, flat areas with pea gravel. Look closely in the shallows because can be easily caught. Floating worms, Flukes, Shaky Head worm and small jigs will produce.









Kerr Reservoir(Bugg's Island)
Kerr Reservoir/Bugg's Island
Date of Report November 18, 2009
Lake Level  High water 308.01 (300 is normal pool)
Current Patterns Bass - Slow roll spinnerbait on outside edge of bushes and trees. Stripers – Schooling in mid-lake area. Top water and jig n spoon.
Water Temperature

55 + degrees 

Water Color

Stained to dingy 

Best Lures
Hawg Caller spinnerbait 1/2oz White/Chart.
Water Depth 10ft and less
Comments Fishing is really good right now and should continue till mid December. Water will be falling. Which will start the fish to feeding due to current. .



Lake Gaston
Lake Gaston
Date of Report November 18, 2009
Lake Level Full pool
Current Patterns Bass – Crankbait on points shallow. Flipping boat docks with jig or plastics
Water Temperature 58 – 60 degrees
Water Color Stained to  Clear
Best Lures Rattle Trap and Tube
Water Depth 2ft – 10ft
Lake level has been raising. Fish are in fall feeding mode. Lots of fish to be caught. 30 or more a day.









Joel guides in his spare time in the North Carolina and Virginia area. He will help you learn the tricks and tips that have made him a prominent angler on the national tours.



Kerr Lake, known locally as Bugg's Island, is one of Joel's favorite waters to fish.