Chesapeake Bay- Colder weather is pushing bay temps down, increasing the Rockfish bite. Night fishing at bridge structures keeps getting better for those that are willing. The incoming tide has been more productive. Fish up to 36 inches have been caught on eels at the CBBT. Schoolies up to 26″ are being reported from the Rapp and York rivers. Smaller baits like 5-7 inch swim shads are still taking fish, but larger tandem rigs are also starting to produce. Stretch 20′s and 25′s, along with Crippled Alewive spoons are good also. Many agree that the Speckled Trout bite is decreasing in places like Mobjack Bay, Back River, and the Piankatank. However, Lynnhaven Inlet produced several nice fish including a 25 incher caught earlier this week. Catches of Trout are on the rise in the Elizabeth River, which will continue to improve as temps decline. Mirr-o-lures, soft plastics, and jerk baits are all producing. Cut and live bait are good choices for Trout, but the Puppy Drum seem to prefer them more. Steady catches of Tautog continue at the CBBT structures, but crab, the preferred bait, is becoming harder to obtain.
Ocean- Nice Seabass are being reported from the Triangle Wrecks. These wrecks and others are also holding some keeper flounder. The weather hasn’t cooperated much, but some King Mackerel are being caught by Charter Boats. Rudee Inlet regulars are catching Puppy Drum, Trout, and Bluefish. Surf anglers along the OBX have been catching nice Spot on the incoming tide. This usually sparks the big Red Drum, but so far, its been slow for the Reds. Puppy Drum, Black Drum, Bluefish, and Sea Mullet are also being caught from the surf.
Fresh- Low and clear conditions still exist on the upper James, making the Smallmouth bite inconsistent at best. Hopefully, we’ll get some much needed rain, as Thanksgiving is usually quite a good time to catch big Smallies. Catfish anglers are enjoying a very good bite for bigger fish on the lower James. The big fish bite will continue to increase as water temps drop. Now is a great time to target Crappie on the lower James and Chickahominy Rivers. Chick Lake is also giving up good Crappie. Lake Chesdin is producing some notable catches of Bass and Crappie now also Jigs have been top producers on both species. Boat docks are holding both Crappie and Bass at Lake Anna. On Nov 7th, James Wharton of Spotsylvania caught an impressive 10lbs 7oz Bass using live bait. Stripers are responding to top water baits on shallow flats, in the upper sections. When less aggressive, 4 inch swim baits and live Shad are boating keeper fish.