CHESAPEAKE BAY – The second half of the bay Rockfish season opened May 16th. The minimum size is 18” and maximum size is 28”. 2 fish per angler is the limit, however 1 fish kept may be over 32”. Fish over 32” must be reported to the Va. Saltwater Journal. Anglers continue to catch Rockfish in all of Va’s tributaries of the bay. The James and York have been especially good and the Potomac is also a good destination. The Potomac adheres to Maryland regulations. Speckled Trout anglers are having success in more areas now that warm weather has set in. Kenny Brooks of Hanover recently caught Specks up to 23” from the Gwynn’s Island area, he also had Flounder up to 24”. He was using Gulp! baits. Other good areas for Trout are Lynnhaven Inlet, Mobjack Bay, and the bay-side creeks of the Eastern Shore. Also biting at the Eastern Shore’s bay-side are big Black Drum and Red Drum, folks report catching both in the same areas on crab. The shoals near the CBBT have been particularly good, for the Drum. The Flounder bite remains better in shallow areas still, like Lynnhaven Inlet, Gwynn’s Island, and the Eastern Shore’s seaside inlets. Minnows of different varieties have been much more consistent. Some better sized Croaker have been caught recently at the JRB, and inside the York River. Bloodworms and shrimp have been working better lately.
OCEAN – Rudee Inlet has been producing some impressive catches of Speckled Trout lately, offering a good option when weather conditions don’t favor ocean fishing. Offshore boats have been hampered by unfavorable conditions lately, but those that have braved the elements have scored well. Jay Taylor of Richmond boated a 60lb Yellowfin Tuna along with 13 Dolphin on Wednesday the 15th. He and his party were fishing aboard the Phideaux. Blue Marlin catches have good lately. Surf anglers along the OBX have been catching Red Drum, Black Drum, Sea Mullet, and Bluefish.
FRESH – The Chickahominy continues to be tops in the area for Bass as far as good sizes and good numbers. Cody Pike of Powhatan caught a 6.97 # Bass on Wed. the 15th on a top water bait. Despite heavy rain from the past week, the Chick has remained clear, as it often does. The James is settling down and should be in good shape for this weekend. Spinner baits, top water baits, and Texas rigged plastics have been best. Reports from the Potomac have the river dirty and tough. 13lbs won the Wed night Tx this week, proving the tough conditions. Not many reports have come in from the upper James this week, due to high and muddy water, but conditions are improving. Area lakes have many Bass in the post-spawn mode. In this mode, a top water bait is hard to beat a lot of times. Buzz baits and poppers have been hot. Live bait has been the most consistent producer of Stripers in lakes like Anna, Kerr, and Gaston. However, night fishing near rip-rap banks is producing sizable catches of Stripers and Bass in lakes like Smith Mountain, where the Shad spawn is taking place. Also starting to spawn now are the Bluegills and Shellcrackers Many presentations will work, like 2” curly tail grubs, live crickets, and worms. Fishing these baits on the bottom will often yield bigger catches.