Chesapeake Bay – Speckled Trout are on fire in the Elizabeth River. Trophy sized fish are being caught daily. Hansel Smollich of Mechanicsville has weighed in a 7-0, a 6-4, and a 5-0 just this week. Mirr-o-lures, Swimbaits, and suspending jerkbaits are taking the majority of the larger fish. The bigger Rockfish have showed up at Cape Charles, but not in big numbers. A 56 pounder was reported on the 3rd from a customer who wished to remain unnamed. He was drifting eels, which is quite popular in early December. The cut channel produced fish up to 19 pounds for Jamie Wells of Glen Allen recently. Many prefer to troll, but jigging over structures is also productive. many schoolies can be caught from the structures of the CBBT, especially early, which has been the best bite lately. Action slowed down inside the James this past week. Anglers are continually catching Tautog along the structures of the CBBT, which has been a good alternative on the slow Rockfish days. Crab is by far, the best bait, but clams will do in a pinch.
Ocean – Quality Seabass are being caught at the Triangle Wrecks along with quality Flounder. Deep dropping is yielding Seabass, Tilefish, and Rockfish. Rudee Inlet is still giving up Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum. Surf anglers in the Nags Head area are making good catches of Speckled Trout. The Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet is closed for up to 90 days due to emergency repairs.
Fresh Water – The upper James is at 4.7 ft at the Westham Gauge. This is a little low, but in much better shape for angling success. Crankbaits can be especially effective this time of year and with the water slightly stained. The lower James is kicking out good numbers of big Blue Cats. The Potomac River is another option for big Blues. The Chickahominy River has been a steady producer of quality bags of Bass. Nice stringers of Crappie are also coming from the Chick River and Chick Lake. 9+lbs won last weeks’ Winter Tournament on the Chick Lake. The Striper fishing at Lake Anna declined little this past week, but the average size of the Stripers are still bigger than the last few years. The 3rd Winter Tournament out of Sturgeon Creek Marina was won with 18+lbs. Anglers report catching fish on jigs, swimbaits, jerkbaits, and spoons. The upper regions are producing high numbers of nice Crappie. Local ponds are another good option, with Crappie, Bass, and Chain Pickerel remaining active. Live bait has been best.