Capt. Art Conway of Conway’s River Rat Guide Service (804-746-2475) out of Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait reported that lower Chickahominy Lake and the major creeks were still covered with 1 ½ to 2 inches of ice on Wednesday (2/25/2015). Mid-day water temperatures were in the low 30’s and the lake level was about six inches above the top of the dam. The water was light brown and relatively clear at the margins of the lower lake. The ice will probably remain through this weekend, but may break up if we get warmer temperatures and rain next week. Most of the ice on the river below the dam was gone by 2/25/2015.
Prior to freeze-up, blue cats were scattered throughout the lake, with many in deep channel areas, and a few were hitting live minnows. Most crappie were in the channels and winter holes in the main lake, and were frequently near schools of bait. Bait and crappie schools moved frequently over the last few weeks before freeze-up, and the activity levels of crappie schools varied frequently, with most being inactive. Baits usually had to be at the depth of the crappie and still or moving very slowly. Active crappie were hitting live minnows, Wright Bait Co. curlytail jigs, small tubes, small swim baits, jigging spoons, and blade baits. Some crappie should be in the major creeks by the time the ice clears out or very shortly thereafter. Prior to freeze-up, some bass and pickerel were on outer edges of flats along drop-offs in the main lake and in channels and on lily pad flats in the creeks and were hitting suspending jerk baits and lipless crankbaits. Other bass and pickerel were under bait schools in the main lake channels and hitting live minnows, swim baits, and blade baits. A few striper were roaming the mid-depth and channel areas in the main lake and taking swim baits, blade baits, and jigs.