CHESAPEAKE BAY – Cobia are attracting much of the attention of bay anglers now as warmer conditions begin to settle in. Many are bottom fishing around Latimer Shoal and the Middle Grounds. Fresh cut bait and live bait can both be used. Some prefer to chum, but this often attracts sharks and skates. Sight casting works well when favorable conditions are present. The most common baits are bucktails, live eels, or live Spot or Croaker. This is a bite that will continue to improve. Another bite that is slowly improving is the Flounder bite. The 4th island area of the CBBT has been the most consistent lately. Anglers jigging bucktails tipped with Gulp! or cut bait strips seem to be the most productive now. However, anglers are having to work hard for a limit. Puppy Drum are averaging much bigger than last year, with many fish in the 18-22” range. The high tide often moves these fish very shallow. Gulp! shrimp on 1/8 and 1/4 oz jig heads have been outstanding. Speckled Trout action has slowed down in Mobjack Bay possibly due to the large amounts of fresh water pouring in from all the heavy rain. However, some very nice catches of Trout are being made north of the Rappahannock River. Top water baits and live bait have been better for the larger fish. Croaker is showing up all over the bay, but many of the bigger fish are coming from inside the rivers. Derrick Banks of Ashland caught quite a load of Croaker up to 2 ½ lbs from the Rappahannock River. Shrimp has been very effective. Many are reporting catches of Spot mixed in with the Croaker. Spadefish are biting at the Cell and Wolf Trap Light.
OCEAN – Some impressive catches of Dolphin have been made lately, like the 48lber caught by Erick Jones of Mechanicsville. Other offshore species that are doing well are Yellowfin Tuna and Big Eye Tuna. Inshore boats out of Va. Beach are crushing big Red Drum. Spanish Mackerel are starting to arrive along the oceanfront. Outer Banks surf and pier anglers can expect to catch Croaker, Spot, Sea Mullet, and Bluefish. The little bridge in Manteo has been putting out Trout, Flounder, and Sheepshead.
FRESH – With great amounts of rain lately, the rivers have been high and muddy, to say the least. The upper James hasn’t been clear in quite some time, leaving Smallmouth anglers little choice but to travel far up-river, or target other species elsewhere. The lower James continues to be littered with debris, making navigation difficult at best. The Chickahominy River has been receiving much attention, as it usually remains clear through heavy rains. Soft plastics on wood cover have been good here and as always in the summer, the frog bite over vegetation can be quite productive. The Potomac River seems to have finally come around, as 25+lbs won a 3 hour tournament on Tues the 9th. Grass frogs are a hot bite now. Grass patterns are working at Kerr in the Nutbush Creek area. Anna Bass seem to be in summer patterns, as deep cranks and Shakey Head worms are taking fish from mid-depths to deep water, Rock structure usually dominates in summer. Target Stripers early and late with live bait for the best results. Occasionally, top water baits produce early and late. Local ponds have been producing better catches lately, due to the influx of fresh, cooler water from all the rain. A buzz bait has been especially good for Bass.