Might be pretty tough this time of year. If I were take a stab at "short attention span oriented action" this time of year I think I might be inclined to look towards fresh water and species like gizzards, crappie, or cats, maybe even walleye (in the right spots). Unfortunately I don't think I could point to exactly where- but it may be worth scanning the VA DGIF site. I think they have a pretty good listing of places and species that might be worth a try.
I would think that there may be some cat action in the James and areas like the Chic too- maybe even further up.
rlott; the Northwest river Park off Battlefield Blvd. & down Indian Creek Rd. is a great place to catch & release for kids. Not only is there a nice sheltered lake to fish but it's also a park with other things to do for those short attention spans. They got cheep on us this year and decided not to stock the trout as they have in the past few years but, there's still Bluegill, Bass, etc to have fun with.
I've got a little one (2 1/2) that we've been taking with us, and in the summer he was great, always wanting to touch, poke, prod and then throwback any fish we caught or netted on the beach.
However, the best experience this time of year, when the weather can be tough, and the fishing not so frantic, is to wander around the fishing section of the big sporting goods store and look/touch lures and rods and reels.
Then, the next great experiences are visiting the Marine Science Museum in Virginia Beach and the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News.
I've gotta tell you, when you can't actually get out and catch a fish, seeing them in the water swimming around is pretty cool, and my little guy, although smaller than yours, loves those places.
How about the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk. It's fresh water, light tackle friendly. Not sure if it is completely open this time of year but there are a few land spots that are very easily accessible. Parking is close by, very close.
Also may wanna give Lake Smith (I think that's the name) a try. Same waters as those of the Botanical Gardens. Just another access point. There is a fishing platform there. Entrance off of Shore Drive. Not far from Little Creek Road intersection. To the right when heading from Norfolk to Va Beach direction. Across from one of the Military Bases. Can't think of it's name right off hand.
Someone correct me with this info/location if I'm wrong.
thrifty..I think your talking about lake whitehurst..they are catching a few walleye there,just not very consistently..I do a lot of freshwater fishing and the bite for the most part is off for now...if you decide to venture out pick a warm sunny day and use large shiners...also might wanna try smaller ponds as the water tends to warm quicker(and less area to cover)..good luck in whatever you decide
I tried Lake Smith on the Little Creek base access (Seal Park) the day before I posted this question with nary a nibble. But, the playground is right there so I was spared a lot of mockery from my kids (“Daaaad,,, How come we never catch anything!?!?!?“)
Yesterday, I tried Northwest River Park. I’ve never been there and it’s impressive - a really nice facility. It’s a decent walk from where you park down to the river, but worth it. You can also bike down, which a couple of veterans did. They had their bikes rigged like a NC beach buggy, and a stringer full of various sunfishes.
Yesterday’s weather was beautiful. Maybe the last warm day for a while. We caught some bluegills, but the most nostalgic was a 13” pickerel.
Where I grew up in upstate NY, there was one lure that no fisherman ever did without: the Red and White Daredevil spoon. It was my dad’s favorite lure and his dad’s favorite lure. It was the first choice of the day for pickerel, pike and muskies. No respected fisherman’s tackle box was without a few. A "lucky" one could be easily identified by the amount of teeth marks in the paint. It wasn't uncommon to see a 12" pike hit a 6" red-n-white.
Unfortunately, my tackle box was lacking yesterday. Cabelas.com, here I come again..
Jay B I also used to fish Northwest quite recently in the past years when they used to stock it with brown and rainbow trout. I used to go there at least 2 to 3 times a week. When I found out in November they werent stocking it this year I was pretty dissapointed to say the least. I had a blast catching a fish that was usually no bigger 10-12 inches. Maybe next year...
rlott, glad to see you all made it out to the Northwest, it's a nice protected area that holds up pretty well during the winter on just about any sunny day.You must have talked to the ranger and gone after the bigger fish in the river.It is somewhat of a hike but nice a great walk through nature.I also have an off-road bike that has a rack in the back that I outfitted with PVC rod holders, never used it @ Northwest, but I've been all through False Cape and Back Bay with it (also a good fresh-H2O spot but not really as Kid-friendly). If you're just doing the C&R thing try the little lake out front by the ranger building. There is small bluegill and if you live bait them there's also some good size bass too. I thought I was the only one with fond memories of the red&white Daredevils, the biggest Flounder I've ever caught was a 6.5 lb. off the beach @ Onslo Inlet N.C. when I was 10 yrs. old. A lot of other good ideas about just keeping the kids interest up on this thread, one thing I tried with my 2 boys was putting a bushel basket in the back yard and tieing on a 1/2oz. sinker and having a " hit the basket contest". Good luck-keep them fishing they'll appreciate when they get old enouhg to lose interest in the PS2 games!
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