Chesapeake Bay – Most of the bigger Rockfish are being caught from the area of Cape Charles to the CBBT. The majority of fish are being caught on Eels. Mark Bednar of Midlothian hauled in a nice 44incher on Wed. the 11th. Several fish in the 40-50lb range have been caught from this area just this week. There’s also been several 47inch fish caught from inside the Potomac. The Rapp has been producing steady numbers of under 40inch fish. The structures of the CBBT are good for schoolies and fish up to 30inches mainly. These structures are holding big numbers of nice Tautog, which is a tasty alternative to Rockfish. Clams will do for bait as crab has become harder to get. The Speckled Trout bite is quite good inside the Elizabeth River. Trophy sized fish are plentiful, but so are the numbers of anglers, so night fishing can often produce the bigger fish if you can stand the conditions. Mirr-o-lures, suspending jerkbaits, and jigs with soft plastics are all responsible for large fish. Specks are also being caught inside the James.
Ocean– Wreck areas are yielding plenty of Seabass and a few Flounder. Deep dropping is also Seabass, along with Tilefish. Rudee Inlet is still giving up a few Puppy Drum and Trout. Some very nice Trout and Puppy Drum are available from the surf in Nags Head. Paddles tail swim baits and Gulp! grubs are productive.
Fresh Water – The James (upper) is high and muddy now, but this weekend, Ben Kendrick and friend has some very impressive catches of Smallmouth up to 22 inches. Water temps were 46 degrees. Excellent fishing will resume after the river level drops a bit. The lower James isn’t receiving much pressure for Bass, but the opportunities are there for memorable catches. Blue cats remain active through the winter and many days, the majority of what is caught is bigger than average. The Chick river is another good option for Bass and Crappie throughout the winter. The cold temps have slowed down many anglers, leaving only the die-hard anglers active. The weekly Winter Bass Series out of Sturgeon Creek Marina on Lake Anna was cancelled due to the icy precipitation, but will resume this weekend. Landlocked Stripers are a good option when faced with unfavorable conditions for bay Stripers. Surface lures are still being used, but spoons, swimbaits, and live baits are most often best. Chain Pickerel are another good cold water species to target now.