CHESAPEAKE BAY – Croaker are being caught all over the bay, but better catches are coming from inside the rivers like the York, James, Piankatank, and Rappahannock. We are receiving more reports from the York, just below West Point; but this is one of the more popular areas. Bloodworms, squid, and shrimp, as well as Fishbites, will do the job. Piers like Buckroe and the JRB Pier have been good also. Flounder catches improve daily as the weather warms. Anglers continue to score them in shallow areas, but more and more are being caught in deeper areas like the bridge tunnel. Fisherman’s Island and other shallow areas of the Eastern Shore are harboring both Red and Black Drum. Some very impressive catches of both have been occurring lately, mainly on crab, but clam will also work. Folks are catching plenty of Rockfish inside the rivers and at the islands of the bridge tunnel. The lower James near Hopewell is producing keeper sized fish. Night fishing has been better. Speckled Trout fishing continues to improve also. Traditional areas like the Piankatank River, Mobjack Bay, and bay-side creeks of the Eastern Shore are giving up good fish on top water baits, Gulp! baits, and Mirr-o-lures.
OCEAN – The seaside of the E.S. are still producing keeper Flounder from the shallows. Drifting minnows and bait strips are still fooling fish. the word is spreading about impressive Cobia catches taking place in the Hatteras area. They are making their way north, but the bite charters out of Hatteras and Oregon Inlet report excellent catches. Good catches of Yellowfin Tuna are occurring daily. Wahoo and Blue Marlin are also being caught. In the Nags Head surf, sea mullet, Bluefish, and Croaker are common.
FRESH – The James and Chickahominy Rivers continue to provide outstanding catches of Bass. 24+lbs (5 fish) won a weekend tournament out of Osbourne Landing. 17+lbs won an evening tournament this week, and the lunker pot was won with an 8lber! Senkos and top water baits have been big fish producers. Weights are still down on average on the Potomac lately, 17-18lbs has been winning. The absence of grass in the northern section has made the southern sections a bit more crowded. The top water frog bite is emerging, so soon we should see bigger weights. The upper James is looking good, and the Smallmouths are coming off the spawn and responding to top water offerings like buzz baits. Flathead cats are also being caught more frequently. The Flatheads normally prefer live bait. There’s a strong top water bite going on at Lake Anna for Bass. A shakey head jig is also working well. 19+lbs won a recent Tx at Anna. Live bait seems to be the ticket for consistent catches of Stripers at Anna, Gaston, and Kerr. Fishing rip-rap areas at night will also produce quality catches of Stripers as well as Bass. Bluegill and Shellcracker fishing has started to take off good. Billy Nicar of Henrico caught a 1lb 4oz Shellcracker on 5/23/13. This bite will improve the next few weeks. Live nightcrawlers and crickets are especially good.