Chesapeake Bay– Big Rockfish are scarce inside the bay and continue to elude most anglers. An occasional big fish is caught but again, big fish are scarce. Keeper fish are common inside the Rapp and Potomac rivers. Stretch 25’s, small umbrellas and small spoons are taking fish up to 28”. There’s plenty of small bait in the rivers, so matching this size is productive. The best fishing in the bay is the Speckled Trout bite inside the Elizabeth River. Many troll jerkbaits for active fish during the day with good success. Live bait under floats is another method commonly used. Casting Mirr-o-lures during day time and night time is probably producing the biggest fish consistently however. Long pauses between jerks is the trick. Trout are also being caught in the James. Tautog are available in the bay at the CBBT structures and inshore wrecks. Clams are a good alternative when crabs cannot be found.

Ocean– There have been a few big Rockfish caught on the Oceanside of the Eastern Shore. Seabass will be available through December 31st. Deep dropping is still an option for Tilefish. The surf at Nags Head is still giving up Speckled Trout, Puppy Drum, and a few Red Drum.

Freshwater– Recent rains have muddied the James (upper) and raised it above normal levels. It should be a few days before it is fishable again. Prior to the rain, the temp ranged in the low to mid 40’s, and Smallmouth up to 4lbs were reported last week. The Chick is a good option for Bass, Crappie, and Cats. The lower James produces big Cats throughout the winter. Fresh bait is a great benefit for success. Bass fishing remains good at Lake Anna, where 14+lbs won the last Winter Tx out of Sturgeon Creek Marina on the 22nd. Anglers continue to catch Bass on silver buddies, swim baits, jigs, and Alabama rigs. The down lake sections have been better for the A-rig. The Striper action slowed a bit, maybe due to a lack of anglers and foul weather. Stubbs Bridge is a steady producer of Crappie all winter. Many times you must go through to small ones to get to the bigger ones. Deep brush is also holding Crappie. Silver buddies and drop shot worms are working well for Bass at Kerr.

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