CHESAPEAKE BAY – Many varieties of fish are available at the CBBT + other bay structures right now. Spadefish can be seen by the hundreds hanging around the pilings of the bridge. Use clam on floats or drift offerings on light weights according to the tide. Fluorocarbon usually works best. Spadefish are also being caught at the Cell and Wolf Trap Light. Black Drum up to 25lbs have been caught at the 4th island recently. Anglers targeting Flounder often catch the Drum. The other species of Drum, the Red Drum, are being spotted throughout the lower bay in large schools. These aggressive fish will usually hit just about anything thrown at them, but bucktails are probably most often used. Many reports of 40-50inch fish are being made. The Flounder bite has finally come around, with limits being caught daily at the CBBT. The 4th island area has been better. Other structures like reef areas are becoming more consistent. Cobia catches are also increasing daily. Bottom fishing with cut bait is a good method early in the day, then when conditions allow, sight fishing takes over. Have an eel or bucktail handy at all times. Bluefish are plentiful at the CBBT. Bluefish are excellent live bait for large game fish such as Cobia. A big surprise this week was a few hookups on Amberjack inside the bay at the CBBT. Good sized Puppy Drum are everywhere it seems, but Lynnhaven Inlet has been especially good. Croaker continue to be widespread, but bigger catches continue to come from inside the Rappahannock. Shrimp has been excellent. The Speckled Trout bite slowed down a bit inside Mobjack, but areas north of Mobjack have been steady producers. Live bait is always good, but most prefer to throw top water baits, and the always favorite – Gulp! The Gulp! shrimp, jerk shade, and swimming mullet are outstanding. Some very nice Sheepshead are being caught at the CBBT. Crabs usually work best.
OCEAN – The Va Beach oceanfront is producing some impressive catches of Red Drum also. The Spanish Mackerel bite is emerging, but still hasn’t broke open. Folks are still finding plenty of Yellowfin and Dolphin, but some large Big Eye Tuna are also being boated now. Blue Marlin catches increased this week. Rudee Inlet is still holding some good Flounder. Charters out of the OBX are also finding Yellowfin Tuna, Dolphin, and Blue Marlin. Surf anglers can expect to catch Bluefish, Sea Mullet, Croaker, and some Speckled Trout.
FRESH – The James River hit flood stage over the weekend, but it didn’t seem to hinder James Griffin and Charles Kline, both of the Richmond area, from catching 21+lbs on Saturday the 13th during the Fishers of Men Tx. that’s quite an impressive 5 fish limit in tough conditions. Another impressive catch was made by John Cary of the Richmond area, with a 4 fish bag of 20lbs caught from the Chickahominy River. On the Chick, top water baits and med-crank baits have been very good. Blue Catfish are readily available on the James, Chick, and all the tidal rivers in Va. The Potomac River continues to produce good limits of Bass, however the weights are averaging 17lbs, which is a little low compared to recent years past. Grass patterns like frogs, punch baits, and swim baits prevail. Check river levels before heading up to the upper James conditions may still be high. The river hot-line is 646-8228. Deep crank baits and shaky head jigs are responsible for many good catches of Bass in area lakes like Anna, Kerr, and Gaston. A top water bait, such as a spook type bait, is good early and late. Dock patterns are also producing at Gaston and Anna. Striper fishing remains good at Anna on live bait. The early morning bite has been better. Schooling fish can surface at any time, so keep a top water bait or swim bait ready at all times. Submerged channels have been holding better fish at local reservoirs like Swift Creek, Sandy River, and Diascund. Big 10” worms have been better for bigger fish lately.