BAY – Again, Speckled Trout are the main focus of anglers inside the bay and its tributaries. The Elizabeth River continues to produce but other areas are getting attention also. Creeks and rivers in the Northern Neck area are providing action for those with access to private ramps. Mobjack Bay is said to be giving up some nice fish lately. Mirr-o-lures are still tops, but fluke type soft plastics are also working. Rockfish are being caught inside the rivers as they make their spawning runs, but they must be released. Many are being caught by those targeting Specks.
OCEAN – Deep Dropping is still very much an option as long as weather allows venturing after them. Expect a Flounder bite to start soon, as sunny days in March normally causes them to start moving around. The Oyster area is usually a good place, as all the nearby shallow water warms quickly. Bluefin Tuna are starting to show up more frequently, however, mainly by the bigger boats. Be aware of the new Flounder regs, which are a 16” minimum, and a 4 fish limit.
FRESH – As mentioned earlier, Rockfish are being caught in the tidal rivers, which usually mean the Shad are there also, and will be caught in big numbers soon. But for now, the shad action has been slow. The rivers have been hard to cooperate well lately, making angling for Shad difficult. For anglers that target them, the Blue Cats are readily available. This is usually a consistent bite, even when river conditions are tough. As the different species such as white Perch, Shad, and Herring migrate up river, the Cats become quite active and are not line shy. So, heavy tackle is sometimes needed, as is fresh line. Big cats aren’t the only giants lurking in our tidal rivers. Bass on the Chickahominy and James are responding to lipless cranks, jigs, and spinner baits mostly. The pits along the James are always popular in the spring, which officially starts on the 21st. The upper James has been fluctuating in water levels at many locations, but fishable in many also. Crawfish crank baits are a staple, especially when dealing with stained water. Check river levels to optimize fishing success. The Potomac River is again coming on strong, as it often does. Emerging grass patterns usually prevail, but hard cover can be a good fall back. Chatterbaits are very popular right now. Kerr Lake elevation is 302.54’. Fish are being caught on just about everything right now, but crank baits seem to be better. Fish are scattered though, from the main lake points, to the backs of creeks. On sat, March 16th, 19lbs won, and on Sunday 17+lbs won. Anna Bass have been similar, as cold fronts push fish out of the creeks to the Main Lake. Look for shallow red clay banks on sunny days for both Bass and Stripers. Casting swim baits for the Stripers has been more productive than live bait. Crappie have turned on well at Anna, Buggs, and especially local ponds and small lakes. Small jigs and minnows around shallow cover such as Beaver huts and piers, can be big producers. For Bass in ponds, a spinner bait is hard to beat right now, but a jig can always score a lunker.