know why such a beautiful and tasty fish as a crappie, is called by that name. Their shiny silver scales, beautiful black spots, and gourmet taste when fired up on a grill, prove that there is nothing “crappie” about them. They are one of the most popular freshwater fish for that reason, and while a lot are passionate about Bass, I’m all about catching Crappie. The Largemouth or a huge catfish is going to give you a better fight, but Crappie for their size are challenging enough, and they are a delicacy. One place in Northern Virginia to catch a whole bunch of them, is Lake Brittle in the town of Warrenton.
This is a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries body of water, so be sure to have your fishing license. Game wardens are almost always here, but are friendly enough, although they will certainly write you a ticket if you don’t have the necessary freshwater documentation. Lake Brittle isn’t huge, but it won’t be confused with a pond, and you can rent battery powered boats from the marina/concession stand. Gas powered boats are not allowed, keeping the water quality pristine, and this is one of the
prettiest lakes in the area. There is a lot of vegetation, and the Oak Trees surrounding it, can offer you a lot of picture opportunities. If you do rent a boat, go to the farthest side where the Bass are hiding in the weeds, and you can pick up live bait at the marina.
My favorite spot is right next to the parking lot. There’s a walkout pier that’s fairly decent, but my suggestion is to fish the shallow areas prior to it. Here you can sit on beds of rocks, and the population of crappie in here is incredible. The best time to go is April and May, but they will bite all year, due to their aggressiveness. While nightcrawlers and jigs will work, the best bait of all is minnows. Everytime I’ve used them, I’ve come home with a bucket of Crappie, and had fish cookouts that have made the day that much more special. Kids will like this area for casting, as there’s plenty of open space. However, if they are just getting used to dropping the line, the walkout covered pier might be a fine option.
While I do love Lake Brittle, there aren’t many other recreational opportunities available at the park. This is an angler’s paradise, but those looking for trails or camping will be disappointed. There are a few picnic tables and charcoal grills, and a small trail that circles part of the lake. Its nothing special, and a lot of it isn’t shaded, so be sure to put on some sunscreen. Yet as my primary focus is fishing, i have nothing but praise about this lake, as i’ve rarely come home empty handed. its open twenty four hours a day, and at night some anglers have pulled in some gigantic catfish. Lake Brittle is located at 4354 Lake Brittle Road Warrenton, VA 20187. Its a relaxing place, that has plenty of parking, and a lot of Crappie waiting to grab your line.