CHESAPEAKE BAY – Croaker continue to be numerous throughout the bay. We receive reports daily from customers fishing the York, Rapp, James, and lower bay piers. This bite is in full swing and the warm weather has brought anglers out in big numbers. Shrimp, squid, bloodworms, and artificial bloodworms are responsible for full coolers. The warm temps have also increased the Flounder action at places like the bridge tunnel, Back River Reef, and areas near Gwynn’s Island. However, the shallow water bite has still yielded more keepers lately. Gulp! grubs in chartreuse have been outstanding. Inside Lynnhaven Inlet is still good for Flounder. Rockfish seekers can expect to find them at the CBBT, especially at daybreak. Areas inside Mobjack Bay and the Rapp are providing keeper Rocks also. The lower bay shoals near the CBBT are attracting Red and Black Drum. Crab is by far the best bait day in and day out. Fisherman’s Island is also productive. The Speckled Trout bite has also taken off this week, with many anglers reporting success on top water baits. Mobjack Bay is always a good choice in late May for big Specks. Puppy Drum continues to be quite numerous just about everywhere. Catching keeper sized pups can be challenging though, as hoards of 12-16” fish are being reported.
OCEAN – The big news in the ocean right now is the emerging Cobia bite down around Hatteras. Garry Oliver of Fishing Unlimited in Nags Head says at days end the Cobia are covering up the docks. Fish up to 90lbs have been brought in. The Yellowfin and Dolphin catches are becoming numerous also. Erick Jones of Mechanicsville recently had a good day with Yellowfin Tuna up to 40lbs, and Dolphin to 15lbs. Seabass season is open again, bringing even more options while structure fishing. Outer banks pier and surf fishermen are finding Sea Mullet, Spot, and Bluefish. Some big Red Drum have also been caught lately.
FRESHWATER – This weekend brought some challenging conditions to tidal river anglers as extremely low tides made ever launching boats a chore. This was especially true on the Potomac. The James saw an extreme low tide also, but Bass anglers managed OK. 19lbs won a Memorial Day tournament. Those seeking Rockfish on the James are scoring well with pencil poppers and Red fins. Many nice catches of Smallmouth are occurring now on the upper James on crank baits and fluke style baits. Top water baits excel now also. Anna Stripers continue to bite well on live shad presented on down lines and flat lines. A key to catching Stripers consistently in landlocked lakes is good electronics and knowing how to interpret them. The Bluegill and Shellcracker bite is emerging strongly now as they prepare to spawn. Live nightcrawlers and crickets are hard to beat anywhere. Top water presentations are strong for Bass everywhere now.