Chesapeake Bay – The Puppy Drum action continues to thrive throughout the bay and its tributaries. Some of the more popular areas are Mobjack Bay, Lynnhaven Inlet, and the York River. Anglers are even finding them above West Point and the lower James at the mouth of the Chickahominy. Gulp! baits and various other swim baits are very effective. Big Speckled Trout are already being caught in the Elizabeth River, such as the 7lb 4ozer caught earlier this week. On the 28th, a monster 10lb, 32in Speck was caught inside Mobjack Bay by Ronald Davia of Richmond. Swim baits, flukes, and live bait are working well on an increasing Speck bite. The Rappahannock, York, and Lynnhaven Inlet are also providing increased action. Limits of Flounder have become easier to obtain in the lower bay recently. Reef areas and the CBBT structures continue to attract keeper Flounder. These areas are also attractive to Red Drum, which are commonly caught while structure fishing for Flounder. The Hampton area has been good for Croaker lately, like the HRBT, Buckroe Beach, and the MMBT. Use fiddler crabs while targeting Tautog, Sheepshead, and Triggerfish. The CBBT is an excellent place for these fish also. Rockfish season starts on October 4th. Night fishing along light lines of bridges is an effective fall pattern. This tactic is popular on tidal rivers such as the James, Piankatank, York, and Rappahannock Rivers.
Ocean – Rudee Inlet is a popular and productive place for Spot. The Spot migration also attracts Puppy Drum, Speckled Trout and Flounder. The Charter boats out of Rudee and OBX are finding Big Eye Tuna, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Dolphin, and White Marlin. Look for the Wahoo bite to increase now that October has arrived. Surf anglers along the Eastern Shore and Sandbridge are landing Puppy Drum, Sea Mullet, Spot, and Red Drum. Be aware of the beach and marina closings due to the federal shutdown.
Fresh Water – The upper James is low and clear, so make long casts with artificial lures in sunny conditions. Live bait is also a good option and sometimes the best way to ensure success. Small spinner baits and crank baits are taking quality Bass on both the main stem of the James and its tributaries. Trophy sized Blue Cats are increasing in catches as they become more mobile as they follow baitfish movements. As mentioned earlier, the light lines of the Benjamin Harrison Bridge will soon provide good action for Rockfish. A two day total of 27+lbs won the Fishers of Men district Tx on the Potomac River on September 27 and 28. Grass patterns prevailed, as the top anglers reported catching fish on swim jigs, buzz baits, and grass frogs. Rocks are a good pattern to fish for bass on Anna and Kerr. Docks continue to hold quality Bass at Gaston. Defined creek channels are also a good Bass pattern. Stripers are also on the move in these lakes. A-rigs are a popular presentation for Stripers and Bass right now. Creek channel patterns have also been productive at Swift Creek, Sandy River Reservoir and Briery Creek.