CHESAPEAKE BAY- Impressive catches of Cobia are occurring every day.The area of the CBBT has been best. Sight casting with eels, live Spot or Croaker, and Bucktails have been yielding more fish in a days time. Bottom fishing is still productive, but when conditions dictate, sight fishing is better, but dedicating to this method is crucial. York Spit, Latimer Shoals and the Middle Grounds areas are all good choices. Bill Cox of Prince George landed two Cobia, 41″ and 46″, earlier this week. Flounder have showed up at the cell recently, but the structures of the CBBT have been producing more fish lately. Jigging bucktails dressed with strip bait or Gulp! bait is increasing in popularity. Dragging Flounder rigs behind heavy weights around the tubes and channel breaks are also yielding good fish. Look for Spadefish at the Cell, Wolf Trap Light, and the pilings of the bridge tunnel. Chumming with clam chum and presenting bits of clam on float rigs is commonly used. Big schools of big Red Drum can be spotted in the lower bay also. These brutes can be quite aggressive and will respond to many offerings. Reports of fish over 50 lbs are not unusual. Another species being caught from the CBBT is Sheepshead. Target these fish with Crab for best results. Speckled Trout catches are back up this week as conditions have become more favorable. Gulp! Shrimp, swimming mullets, and jerk shads are outstanding. Live bait such as finger mullet, mud minnows, and small Spot are also outstanding. Mobjack Bay, Poquoson Flats, and the Wicomico are all good areas. Bay-side creeks of the Eastern Shore are also holding good sized Trout. The Windmill Bar area of the Rappahannock has been producing very nice sized Croaker lately. The always popular York River is also good for Croakers.
OCEAN- Big news this week is that big Tarpon have been caught on the seaside of the Eastern Shore. Other big news from the ocean is the surge of catches and hookups of Big-Eyed Tuna. Fish over 250lbs are being hooked frequently right now. Dolphin catches have been steady, as have Yellowfin Tuna, Billfish like the White Marlin and Blue Marlin are being encountered now, like the 250lbs Blue marlin caught by Eric Jones of Glen Allen out of Rudee Inlet. Inside of Rudee Inlet, some nice Flounder were caught this week by Tyler Bruce and Luke Rush of Hanover. Surf and pier anglers in the OBX are catching loads of Spot right now, and Speckled Trout are providing good action at Oregon Inlet and the little bridge at Manteo.
FRESH- A five fish limit of Bass weighing 23 plus pounds won the July 20th Priority Toyota tournament out of Osbourne Landing. An impressive catch indeed! A wide variety of baits are being employed now, especially top water baits and Texas rigged worms. Shaky head presentations are also good. Top water baits have been especially good on the Chick. Blue Catfish are almost always an option when targeting large fish on the tidal rivers of VA. The Potomac has been yielding impressive catches lately, much like the James. Fishing both grass and hard cover on the Potomac can be productive for Bass. Productive grass beds have decreased this year, making good areas more crowded. Chatterbaits, swim baits, and soft plastics like the Sweet Beaver have been good. Average winning weights on Anna have been around 17lbs. Shaky heads, Texas rigs, and crank baits are most often now. Some nice Bass are being caught from Swift Creek Reservoir right now. Again, deep crank baits and big Texas rigged worms have been responsible for these catches. Buzz baits have also been quite good. The upper James is slowly returning to its normal color and level. However, check river levels before heading out by calling the river hotline at 804-646-8228. Area ponds have been remaining a little cooler due to all the rain we’ve been having, keeping Bass, Crappie, and Sunfish more active and shallower. Buzz baits and small poppers are good choices, sometimes all day.