Briery Creek Lake Map - Click to Enlarge
Map Source:  VDGIF
Briery Creek Lake Overview
There is no argument that Briery Creek Lake has dominated the trophy largemouth
bass scene in Virginia over the last decade.  Briery Creek Lake, a relatively young
845-acre lake in Prince Edward County near Farmville, was stocked with Florida
strain and northern strain largemouth bass in 1986 and 1987.  It was first opened
to fishing in 1989, and it literally burst on to the big bass scene in 1992 when it
produced six largemouth in excess of 10 lbs – led by a 13 lb 4 oz monster – in only
its fourth fishing season.  

Since 1992, Briery Creek has entrenched its position as the crown jewel of big
bass fishing in VA (click
here for our related article).  Not surprisingly, Briery Creek
Lake holds down the 2nd and 3rd spots on the all-time Virginia big bass rankings
with a 16 lb 3 oz bass in 1995 and a 16 lb 2 oz bass in 2002.  In fact, Briery Creek
produced the heaviest annual bass in the Commonwealth every year from 1994-
2002.  Consider April 1-14, 1995 when during unquestionably the greatest two
weeks of trophy bass fishing in Virginia history, Briery Creek Lake produced eight
bass over 13 pounds!  Effective January 1, 2001, a protected slot limit of 14” – 24”
went into effect, and only one fish may be kept over 24”.

Good fishing also exists for crappie, channel catfish, bluegill, and redear sunfish
(shellcrackers).  Outboard motor use is restricted to 10 hp or less.
January 12, 2012:  Contributed by Longwood College Fishing Club's Jack Pollio
(804-855-8630 or email:

Both lakes (Briery Creek and Sandy River) are still producing great bass fishing.
Even with the colder temperatures the lakes are both around 45 to 48 degrees.
The bass are being found anywhere from 3 to 25 feet deep. Jigs, shaky heads,
and drop shot seem to be producing the best numbers as well as size. The chain
pickerel have also been biting fairly well. Many citations are being caught on soft
plastics and minnows. If you can brave the colder weather go catch the fish!!!

April 8, 2011.  Chris McClellan of Sailors Creek Outfitters provided the following
fishing report for Briery Creek and/or Sandy River.  Sailors Creek offers
comfortable lodging near Briery Creek.  Visit
Sailors Creek Outfitters for details.    

Sandy was fishing very good when the water temps where between 50-55
degrees. Alot of the fish where suspended around 8-10 feet in 16-20 feet
of water. We caught them on swim baits mostly. Smaller fish but much
higher numbers could be caught beating the banks with jerk baits and
spinner baits.
Virginia Outdoors - A Resource for Virginia Anglers and Hunters
Virginia Outdoors - Briery Creek Lake
Fishing Briery Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth bass, including trophy fish, are catchable
year-round; however, the spring months of March and April typically offer the best
opportunities for big fish.  Much of the timber in Briery Creek Lake was left standing
- some of which has toppled into the lake.  All of the available cover makes the lake
fish big even when it is crowded during the spring months.  Live shiners and the ol'
stand-by blue and black jig-and-pigs are excellent choices to probe the many
brush piles and blowdowns.  Don't be afraid to try large plastic worms (7" - 10") in
colors such as tequila sunrise and june bug to entice bass from the dense woody
cover.  Vertical jigging spoons can also be effective.  The largest bass remain
deep for much of the year, so fish heavier lures in deeper cover for the biggest fish.
However, good shallow water fishing adjacent to vegetation is available at times
during the spring and low-light conditions during the summer.  Topwater lures and
spinnerbaits can produce around the vegetation.

Crappie:  Crappie are plentiful in Briery Creek Lake, but the abundance of cover
can be overwhelming.  Where to start?  The truth is that the crappie fishery is good,
but success is seasonal.  Crappie tend to be caught mostly in the spring when
they are shallow.  The crappie are difficult to locate in deeper water throughout the -
perhaps slightly larger (e.g., 1/8 oz) than at some other locales in order to be able
to cast further and work a little deeper than may be necessary on other lakes.  
Several 2-pound fish are caught each year but the average size of crappie
harvested is about 11 inches.

Sunfish/Bluegill:  Briery Creek lake is one of the better lakes in the region for
sunfish and bluegill with fish in the 8" - 11" range common.  Bluegill and redear
sunfish catch rates were highest from late April through June.  According to the
VDGIF, anglers had success at this time of year fishing with live bait such as
worms and crickets.
Briery Creek Lake Fishing Report
Visiting Briery Creek Lake?  Also
consider a stop at nearby
Sandy River
- located just east of Farmville.
Sandy River also boasts excellent
fishing for the same species as Briery
Creek.  Sandy River's 740 acres  feature
sections of standing timber, planted
brushpiles, and vegetation.  Soft plastic
stickbaits fished around the aquatic
vegetation (lily pads and submerged
grasses) can produce largemouth bass
from spring right through the summer
months.  The clear water is conducive to
sight fishing when conditions are right.  
Crankbaits around coves and points also
produce - especially during the
postspawn.  Trophy bass up to 10
pounds are possible.  Outboard engines
are restricted to 10 hp or less.  
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