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The Blue & Gray Press | August 21, 2019

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Fishermen head to local fishing spots for start of season

Fishermen head to local fishing spots for start of season


As the weather continues to warm up, summer fishermen start to break out their tackle boxes and fishing rods. The Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg is a great place to fish, and the fish start biting around this time. Fishing right now is the best experience, there’s always time for just one more cast.

Old Cossey Pond, adjacent to the dog park on Kenmore Avenue is stocked with trout and channel catfish every year. The pond provides students with a place, only a few blocks off campus, to catch their supper. This small pond next to the bike path often has many fishermen, immediately after the pond is stocked.

Other students though, have found greater success in the Rappahannock River. Specifically, the Old Mill Park and the city docks and along the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail are popular spots for fishermen. The shad fish are currently running in Fredericksburg. Fishing near the Rappahannock River Fall Line in the rapids is working is the best place to catch shad fish.

Without the right lure, catching fish is impossible. Soon striped bass will follow the shad up river.

Senior environmental geology major and Fredericksburg local, Logan Benshoff said, “The trick is to have the shad darts.”

A growing problem for fishermen in this area is the increasing amount of the invasive northern snakehead fish. They can grow to over 40 inches and 18 pounds. A couple years ago these fish could only be found downstream in the Potomac. Along the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail at the Indian Punchbowl there are bow fisherman filling trash bags full of snakeheads daily.

For beginner fishers, it is important to remember to get a fishing license or risk getting fined by the game warden. A freshwater resident fishing license for one year in Virginia is only $23. The cost is definitely worth it, with the beautiful Rappahannock so close. Even if the catching goes poorly, fishing in such great locations is still an enjoyable activity. Good luck out there, fish enthusiasts.