This time of the year I’m usually fishing for trout. My boat is winterized and warm water fish activities involve checking gear, buying new lures, and planning out fishing trips for the upcoming months. Among those trips is fishing for Striper at Kerr Reservoir. I’ll pull my boat and camper to a nearby campground and spend some time on this great body of water. With 48,900 acres to cover you better know the lake or have a good mapping system. GMCO Maps and Charts have a good written, handheld, non-digital (old school) map of Kerr Reservoir which is really helpful for getting a full picture of the lake including charts, underwater structure locations and when and where to find Striper. Don’t have a boat, no worries, Kerr has ample opportunity for shoreline fishing.
I prefer putting in at Staunton River State Park since it’s much less congested. You enter by the river and do some careful navigating the first 100 yards but it beats fighting the crowd in Clarksville. Of course if you’re staying for more than a few days Clarksville has more to do off the water when you’re not fishing.
According to the DGIF, striped bass population is in fair condition and should be similar to the last couple of years. During spring, striped bass may be found in the upper end of the lake and in the river above the lake as fish travel upstream to spawn. During summer, habitat (combination of temperature and dissolved oxygen) forces striped bass to be found in the lower end of the lake (the dam to about Buoy 9 and in the mouth of Nutbush Creek). Fishing during the fall and winter is typically best from Goat Island to the Clarksville Bridge, although fish may be found throughout the lake. Striped bass caught during the summer suffer high mortality rates when released (approximately 75 percent). Therefore, we removed the size limit restriction during the summer months (June – September) and ask that anglers halt striper fishing when they catch their legal limit of four striped bass per day
rather than continue to catch fish and cull smaller individuals. During the cooler months (October-May), striped bass are less stressed and do not suffer high catch-and-release mortality.
A portion of Buggs Island Lake is located in North Carolina, but Virginia fishing licenses are legal lake-wide. Disabled anglers are encouraged to visit the North Bend Park pier, which is designed especially for their needs. The end of the pier is located over 17 feet of water. Fish attractors, constructed of discarded Christmas trees, have been installed around the pier to enhance the fisheries habitat. Buggs Island Lake is located on the border of North Carolina, mainly in Mecklenburg County, and has numerous campgrounds, boat ramps, and recreation areas around it.
Latitude 36°35’54”, Longitude 78°17’57”