Fishing in Northern VA is a great way to catch a variety of fish, including bass, walleye, and musk. Knowing the best water temperatures for fishing in the area is key to success. For freshwater fish, the optimal temperature range is 26-68°F, while for saltwater striped bass it is 55-68°F and 46-75°F for nordic musky pike. Catfish prefer temperatures of 68°F and below.
When the water temperature drops between 40 and 30 degrees, it can be more difficult to catch bass, but not impossible. Bass tend to sink into the lower part of the water to cover up or suspend themselves over tips and humps. To increase your chances of catching a trophy bass, look for sharp spots with bait. The ideal water temperature range for striped bass in saltwater is between 61 and 84°F.
This is when bass feed more aggressively and daytime highs do not force them to seek out shady or deep structures. In addition, storms can have a similar effect on bass regardless of the ambient temperature of the body of water. The optimal temperature range for bass fishing in winter is between 74 and 79°F. This is when bass are most active and aggressive.
To increase your chances of success, look for deep and isolated areas next to shallower regions such as steep underwater humps. Although air temperature doesn't seem to have much of an impact on bass fishing, understanding how bass respond to temperature can significantly improve your fishing game. Bass can tolerate significantly high water temperatures, making it viable even in the middle of summer for bass fishing. Once the water gets even hotter, up to the fifties and lower sixties, the bass will begin to spawn and fishing tactics will change.