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Bass - Merrimac WMA (VA - Bass Pond)
Friday, June 25, 2010

The VDGIF prominently posted a sign on the kiosk at the Cedar Run parking area giving notice that the 2 acre pond on the property was Catch and Release only. New water! How could I pass this up since it mentioned the word "bass"? After fishing in Cedar Run, I drove to the upper parking lot and resolved to walk the half-mile down to the small pond.

I chatted with another fisherman who was on a recon and he indicated that all you need to do is follow the trail marked in red down to a overgrown road that leads directly to the pond. As I left him, he made a comment about "being eaten up by ticks". It made me glad that I put some insect repellent on at the last stop. As I was to find out, I had not put on enough. A quick half mile walk down the easy, shaded trail led me to the pond.

Since I had my fly rod with me, I was immediately disappointed when I saw the tight structure that sheltered the bank. There's a thick stand of trees that forms an impenetrable barrier for your backcast and it lines the entire pond except for two places: (1) the extreme northern end where there is a grassy, shallow shelf; (2) a 20 foot wide strip of bank on the south end. I walked south and made a few tentative casts into the lake, paying careful attention to the backcast to make sure it did not end up in the trees at the end of the short open area.  I immediately picked up a monster sunfish. Clearly, there are fish in the small pond. However, if you are going to fish here, bring your spin gear because you will be unable to use your fly rod to any great degree. The banks are too deep to wade and are uniformly soft and muddy. I walked up to the northern, grassy area and threw a few times into the lake from there. However, the grass borders an extended shallow shelf that reaches into the lake that is devoid of fish.

On the way back out to the road, I glanced down at the shoulder of my T-shirt and saw a family of ticks merrily marching towards my neck. In panic, I rushed to the dirt road and stripped off the T-shirt to shake those insects out. Holy mackerel! This place was full of ticks. After doing as careful a check as I could while retaining my modesty, I quickly walked back up to the truck where I repeated the action and added liberal doses of insect repellent on all exposed skin.

That discovery sealed the fate on this particular location. It's not worth dealing with all the ticks for a 2 acre lake that is totally closed in on all sides. Even with spin gear, you would end up snaking your way underneath thickly overhanging pine tree boughs that have to be riddled with ticks waiting to drop on you once their infrared sensor picks up your approach.

Bottom line: Never again to this spot.

Getting There: From I-95, take exit 152B north on Rt 234.  Turn left at Bristow road followed by another left on Aden Road.  Turn left at Fleetwood Drive.  Follow it to at T intersection where you will see the signs that point you towards different parts of the WMA.  Go right and follow the road to the parking area.

Google Local Coordinates: 38.632863,-77.540689

Date Fished: 5/30/2010

Pressure Trout Size N/A
Physical Fitness Bass Size
Access Regulations
Hard to Find Stocking
Scenery Overall

Remember to refer to my rating explanations - these are based on what I look for - so RED for Physical Fitness translates to easy physically - you do not need to be in shape to fish this section.  I prefer terrain that is tough to get into and out of.

Secrets Revealed?  No.  This is a very public location that is documented on the Virginia VDGIF site.

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Road leading to the lake

Thick trees line the shore




This is the view up the lake from the south.

The grassy area in the center is wide and clear of trees, but the lake is very shallow at that end.

The deep water is immediately in front of the camera.

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

Finally, access points may be different or restricted based on changes in property ownership since posting the original article.  It is up to you to make sure you are fishing where it is legal.

Copyright © Steve Moore