This trip report is for completeness more than anything. I seem to remember that Locust Shade Park was added to the Virginia stocking plan this year. I swung by there last February or March just after it received its first load of fish to take a look at it. There was not much to see. The lake itself is very small and oriented more to picnics and other types of recreation rather than hard-core fishing. Right after the stocking in March, the lake was ringed with all sorts of people using all sorts of techniques to try and catch the stocked fish. So, this was not a place I would go back to intentionally as a “destination”. However, on my way back from fishing on the South River in Waynesboro in November, I realized I had an extra hour, Locust Shade had been stocked the day before — so why not?
The park closes early in the winter and you have to be out of there around 4:30 in the afternoon. I rolled in a little bit before four realizing that my time here would be very limited. I was the only guy initially on the lake but a Marine joined me about 15 minutes after I arrived. The stocked trout were jumping all over the place. They were holding at the south end of the lake; exactly where the bulk of the people were congregated in March. Realizing that I had very little time, I rigged up quickly and moved to the water and immediately began to catch fish.
The day after stocking and these guys were already ready to hit anything! In rapid succession, I caught about six trout and noticed that the Marine doing equally well. In fact, we lost track of time and, as darkness fell, the park ranger showed up to shoo us out. With regret, I packed up and scooted out.
Bottom line: This is a good place for a picnic but not for a day of fishing. The good results I had were directly related to the fact the stocking had occurred the day before. I imagine that by the following weekend, this location was cleaned out. If you do go here, watch the stocking report and it looks like the southern part of the lake is where the fish will congregate. It’s probably because that’s where the stock truck inserts them into the water. However, since I did not fish the northern end of the small lake that intelligence is limited and, if you have time, give that end of the lake a try as well.
Getting There: From the North, take exit 150a towards QMCB. Turn right (south) onto Route 1. The park entrance is on your right about 3/4 mile down from the intersection
Google Local Coordinates: 38.537357,-77.347612
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Virginia VDGIF stocking plan.
The south end of the lake where the fish were in a frenzy
North end of the lake
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore