CHESAPEAKE BAY – Reports of Croaker catches are coming from the lower bay, especially from Buckroe Beach Pier. Blood worms, Squid, and fresh cut bait will produce throughout the season. We can expect this bite to increase soon in other areas of the bay also. It’s still a little slow, but Flounder catches are increasing also. Drifting 3-way rigs with minnows has been more productive lately, mainly in the shallower areas around Oyster. Mud minnows are easy to catch in the extreme shallows, and are a great offering. Fish up to 21inches were reported over the weekend by Jim Miller of Richmond. A few reports of keeper Flounder have come from the west side of the bay, mainly the Back River area. Anglers fishing at the CBBT can expect to catch Tautog. Crab is best for these fish, especially Fiddlers. Speckled Trout catches continue to scatter about the bay. Bay-side creeks of the Eastern Shore, Mobjack Bay, and areas of the Rappahannock and Piankatank River are seeing some action. Mirr-o-lures continue to work, as do soft plastics like Gulp! and Bass Assassins. Puppy Drum seem to be showing up just about everywhere. Soft plastics have been best for the Puppies.
OCEAN – Ocean wrecks are still holding Tautog, but many anglers are staying in close with results also. Catches of Red Drum along the Eastern Shore’s seaside have started. Fresh cut bait such as Crab is excellent. Rudee Inlet is harboring some Puppy Drum and Speckled Trout, but some say they are being skittish In the surf at Nags Head, anglers are catching a lot of Sugar Toads, a few Sea Mullet, and a few Flounder. Puppy Drum have showed up at the little bridge in Manteo. Out of Hatteras, boaters are catching Yellowfin Tuna, Dolphin, and a few Wahoo. One big Drum was reported from the Ocracoke surf.
FRESH – The Shad fishing will probably peak this week, making it as good as it gets. As always, spoons, darts, and flies are what you want to sue. White Perch are also thick downtown, and Bloodworms are especially good to use for Perch. Cut White Perch is excellent bait for Rockfish and Catfish. However Rockfish must be released. Giant catches of Blue Cats continue to happen almost daily. The Largemouth are preparing to spawn in the James and Chick, so many offerings are working. Spinner baits are especially effective. The upper James became stained and a bite high over the last few days, but is shaping up nicely for the weekend. Again, spinner baits are very effective. Cabell Powell of Columbia, Va weighed in a 31.4lb Flathead Cat caught from the upper James. The Potomac River Largemouth bite is wide open. Expect to see spawning fish in the grass this weekend. Soft plastics like brush hogs and Crawfish can be very productive. are lakes and ponder have both spawning and pre-spawn Bass. However, many are spawning now. Jerry Phillips of Chesterfield caught a pre-spawn 7.63 Bass on a C-rig at Gaston this week. John Murphy of Chesterfield has several 51lbers on Thursday the 18th. he was also throwing a C-rig. Look for beds all over Lake Anna now, but down-lake areas usually produce best early. Live baiting with Gizzard Shad is very effective for Stripers right now at Anna. The up-lake region seems to be more productive. Crappie are also spawning now in are lakes and ponds. Fish shallow! Respectable catches of Bluegills and Shellcrackers are happening now also. These scrappy fish are fun for all age anglers! Crickets, worms, and small grubs are great, as are small minnows.