Lake Blue Ridge Fishing Report – April 2024

GON Staff | March 27, 2024

Blue Ridge: Level: 9.2 feet low 1686. Temp: 57-64 degrees. Clarity: From clear to stained.

Bass: Eric Welch, of Welch’s Guide Service, reports, “Fishing has been good. Water temps are coming up, along with the water level, and the spawn is just around the corner. This time of year, I will normally start my mornings out fishing the main body of the lake looking for areas where the spotted and smallmouth bass will spawn, focusing on long, rocky points and pebble-rock banklines. I’m looking and fishing depths from 6 to 18 feet deep. My prespawn baits are a 3.5-inch tube, Ned rig, jig and a small Carolina rig with a 5-inch lizard. I will also throw a small jerkbait, swimbait and squarebill crankbait. Once the sun gets up good and you can see good in the water, I will start running pockets where largemouth will spawn. They normally will be in 2 to 5 feet of water, and if you watch close, you will have some that are out there swimming that are still waiting to move up. If I’m pitching on their bed, I like a white-colored lure or Senko. This way I can see them pick it up out of their bedding area. For the deeper fish swimming around, I will throw a swimbait or glide bait to try and catch the bigger females. If you have Livescope, this is a great time of year to put your unit in perspective mode and find the fish and their beds that you can’t see with the naked eye. Just remember that this time of year is also the future of our fisheries, with these spawning fish. If you’re not fishing a tournament, don’t put these spawning fish in the livewell and ride them around all day to see what your biggest five fish will be. Let’s practice CPR (catch, photo and release). Good luck.”

Lake Blue Ridge Page: Archived Articles, News & Fishing Reports

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley, of Lake And Stream Guide Service reports, “Things are starting to heat up around here. The water is on its way back up from winter pool, and the fish are just as excited as we are. The walleye are moving back to the lake after their spawn, and they are feeding up after a long winter. There are fish up shallow that are targeting small bluegill and crayfish. These fish are great for throwing or trolling crankbaits in the 6- to 24-foot range. Low-light hours and small baits are key in the shallow water. Small Rapala jerkbaits, like Husky Jerks and CountDowns, in sizes 8 or 10 with 6- to 8-lb. leader, is what I like to fish. There are also fish chasing bluebacks offshore holding in the 50-foot zone around the schools of prespawn blueback herring. These are fish I like to fish with spoons or deeper crankbaits or even live bait at times. While looking for these fish, you’ll probably find some of our newest lake residents, the  rainbow trout. As we have had trout in the lake for years, we have received our first stocking of fish directly in the lake. With stocking numbers near 20,000 fish last fall and plans to continue stocking, these will become a staple gamefish in the future. These fish are scattered across the main lake in schools, some of which are pretty big by the way they are chasing herring. Casting spoons, spinners or trolling a variety of small baits will put these fish in the boat. Ten to 30 feet deep is the typical target depth right now. While the newly stocked fish are averaging 12 to 14 inches, there are plenty of bigger trout in the lake. In the past few years, we have seen fish up to 24 inches. In typical fashion, the spotted bass have taken note of the trout, and we have witnessed some big bass chasing trout and crashing them on the surface, as well as eating ones we have had hooked up. This may make for a great big swimbait bite in the next few years. As for now, we are catching spots on topwater early in the morning throwing a variety of surface baits, and after that, the best bite has come working a white or green Cast Prodigy 4.1 on points and offshore structure in the river mouth.” 

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