Saltwater – The Elizabeth River continues to provide opportunities for trophy Speckled Trout. Slow sinking twitch baits and jerkbaits are catching the majority of fish, with live bait working well as always. Savvy fly anglers are also enjoying these opportunities. There have also been reports of numerous Trout kills on the Piankatank and Rappahannock Rivers. Rudee Inlet is still giving up a few Trout. Redfish are being caught in these same areas occasionally. As has been the case all winter, Tautog remains available, on inshore and offshore wrecks. Clam has been the most reliable. Some are taking advantage of the deep drop bite for Tilefish, Rosefish, and Seabass; but the Seabass are illegal to possess.
Freshwater – Ring Perch are being caught inside the tidal rivers like the Chickahominy, Rappahannock, and Potomac. Vibrating blade baits and live minnows are the most often used offerings. This can be quite a hot bite in frigid temps. Tidal rivers are also a good option for Blue Cats, as they are prolific throughout out tidal waters of Va. Fresh cut bait is almost always best. Bass are also available on these tidal rivers. Blade baits produce well, along with jigs and jerkbaits. Many area lakes have thawed out finally, so as daylight hours increase, fish become much more active. Flutter Spoons, jerk baits, and blade baits such as jigging spoons or silver buddies are very productive right now. Just when the upper James gets right, it seems that it’s only short lived, as is the case right now. The James is on the rise and is expected to rise over 7 feet at the West ham gauge by the 21st. Musky fishing on the New River has been a worthy venture lately, with multiple catches occurring in a day’s time, which is not a common occurrence typically. Muskys up to 48” have been landed over the past 2 weeks. As always, be safe, and wear life jackets.