Saltwater– The Speckled Trout action in the Elizabeth River spiked again over the last week, a result of favorable weather, allowing more anglers to participate. Numerous trophy sized fish were caught, including a monster 10 pounder! Casting twitch baits like the Mirr-o-lures Paul Brown series are popular and productive. Trolling jerk baits is also a popular method along with presenting live bait along drops from an anchored position of slow drift. Another spike occurred with the Tautog on ocean wrecks. Long boat rides are not required to locate these fish, just finding the right wreck or wrecks is the key. There are plenty of options close in. Clam seems to be very productive, as well as easily obtained. Deep dropping is another option for steady catches of sizable fish. Tilefish and Rosefish are most often encountered on these trips, but it’s no telling what one may reel up when fishing the depths at which these fish inhabit.
Freshwater – The upper James lost its widespread ice patches, but recent heavy rains have created high and muddy conditions, which leaves difficult conditions to deal with. The lower James is usually not as bad, but navigating can be tricky at best. The Chickahominy River is a good option now, and lures like silver buddies, will and usually do, catch anything. Crappie, Perch, Bass, and even Catfish are a real possibility with these lures. Rattletraps can be good for Bass right now in the Chick, along with jerk baits and jigs. At Lake Anna, 16+ pounds won the most recent Bass tournament out of Sturgeon Creek Marina. Again, spoons, jerk baits, and swim baits are quite popular. The most recent reports have Anna ice free below the splits. If you can get to Stubbs Bridge, Crappie are always a possibility. The Dike 3 area receives a lot of action this time of year as it is the warm water discharge area of the lake. Many ponds and small lakes are partially frozen if not still completely frozen. However, when the ice blankets first melt, fishing can be quite good. As always, be safe, and wear life jackets.