BAY – Plenty of keeper sized Rockfish are being caught throughout the bay. The rivers are still the main focus of attention right now. The Elizabeth, York, Rapp, and James are all producing fish. The Potomac River has also been a steady producer. Trolling ‘5-9” sassy or swim shads on in-line sinkers is good, as are small umbrella, or “A-rigs”. Top water baits are a fun option early and late. The islands of the CBBT are another good place for schoolies. Casting along the light lines of bridges like the HRBT is productive at night with light tackle. Speckled Trout action has improved over the last week, with some bigger catches being made recently. Josh Saunders of Mechanicsville weighed in a 71lb 10oz beauty on the 28th. Good areas are still Lynnhaven Inlet, Mobjack Bay, the Piankatank River, and the Poquoson area. Anglers report catching fish on Gulp! baits, Bass Assassin sea shads and Mirr-o-Lures. A few fish are still being caught on top water baits also. The CBBT structures offer a big variety of fish right now. Tautog, Triggerfish, Sheepshead, and Puppy Drum are available along with Rockfish. Crab is an excellent bait for all species, but especially for the Tautog and Sheepshead. Some big Spot are reported to be at the mouth of the Rapp. Puppy Drum seem to be abundant in all of the above mentioned areas.
OCEAN – Good sized Trout and Puppy Drum are available at Rude Inlet. The Spot bite is still on in Rudee, which has the Specks and Puppy Drum active inside the inlet. Surf anglers from the Outer banks are catching some large Sea Mullet. Also in the mix is Pompano, Speckled Trout, Puppy Drum, and a few Flounder. Offshore boats are finding Dolphin, King Mackerel, and Blackfin Tuna.
FRESH – The upper James is still low and clear currently. The Westham Gauge is at 3.87’ and is forecast to rise slightly by Nov 1st. At this level, the river can be quite tricky, so early and late are your best bets for success. The lower James produced a 21lb bag (5fish) to win the year end Priority Tournament. Steve Lamm and Jesse Johnson won the event and also won Lunker with an 8.95lber. 17+lbs was 2nd. Rockfish are being caught from bridge structures, with night fishing being far better. Flukes and swim baits are most often used. Big Blue Cats are very active in the tidal rivers now also. Fresh cut bait such as Shad or Eel is best. Lake Anna Stripers are moving shallower as water temps cool, making them more vulnerable for casters. Top water baits, sassy shads, and A rigs are good search baits. Bass are being found on grass edges, rocks, and docks. Finesse presentations like drop shots and shaky heads are good stand-bys for tough days. Top water baits and lipless cranks have been better at Kerr.