Mid-Atlantic anglers take on Buggs Island

CLARKSVILLE, Va. — The B.A.S.S. Nation Mid-Atlantic Divisional at Buggs Island this week should be a real shootout, according to Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Crews.

“There should be a lot of fish caught,” said Crews, who has fished the lake for more than 20 years. “I love fishing that lake in June.”

One of the reasons he loves Buggs Island in June is fishing is good throughout the entire lake then. “There are tournaments won in Nutbush Creek, Grassy Creek, on the main lake and toward the upper end,” he said.

The Virginia pro predicts the most productive patterns during the divisional will be running deep diving crankbaits (shad) or dragging Carolina-rigged plastic worms and bulky soft plastics along points or humps.

“One sleeper bait for that time of year is the shaky head fished in the same kind of places,” Crews said. “You can catch some big fish in June on a shaky head.”

Crews suggests using 4- or 6-inch finesse worms (green pumpkin) with 3/16 or 1/4-ounce jigheads for shaky head tactics.

“There will still be fish shallow, but there will be a lot fish in the 8- to 15-foot range,” Crews said. “They usually don’t get real deep on that lake until later in the summer.”

Crews suggests targeting the shallows in the upper ends of the lake where the fish will be hanging around stumps, isolated boat docks or rock riprap. Flipping and pitching smaller soft plastics such as a Missile Baits Baby D Bomb (black-and-blue) produces best for Buggs Island largemouth in the shallows.

Lake Facts

Forage base — threadfin and gizzard shad, bluegill and blueback herring

Surface acreage — 50,000 acres

Average depth — 30 feet

Shoreline mileage — 850 miles

Expected water clarity:  2 to 4 feet of visibility on the lower end and 1 to 3 feet on the upper end

Dominant structure/cover — points, humps, stumps, rocks and man-made brushpiles

Predicted winning weight — 46 pounds