Saltwater – Rockfish up to 37” have been reported caught at the CBBT at night. Rockfish are also being caught in the Rapp, York, and James. During this trophy season, fish must be a minimum length of 32” to keep. Big Black Drum and Red Drum have finally showed up at Fisherman’s Island. Some very impressive catches have been made lately. Live crab is usually the bait of choice. Flounder catches continue to rise in the seaside inlets and creeks of the Eastern Shore. The Wachapreague area has been best. Drifting a squid/minnow combo works very well. Croaker catches are spreading out, with more reports coming from the MMBT, Buckroe, The York River, and Ocean View Pier. Shrimp and squid have been best. Puppy Drum are a good alternative to Speckled Trout, which is still closed. Many of the same areas and lures used for Trout will lure in the Drum. Gulp! baits, Bass Assassin Sea Shads, and top water baits are just a few. Reports from Oregon Inlet have Charters bringing in Yellowfin, Blackfin, Dolphin, and Tilefish from the bottom fishing charters.
Freshwater– Now is a very good time for Post-spawn Crappie in area ponds, as they regroup. Insect hatches are a good pattern now, as the Crappie can be seen feeding on the surface. Now is also a great time to target Bluegills in all bodies of water. Night-crawlers, red wigglers, and insect larvae are extremely effective. Young Hudson Wright caught Bluegills on his first time out, with his dad, Kenny Wright of Chesterfield. Top water baits are starting to shine now for Bass, as post spawn patterns prevail in many bodies of water, both large and small. Kerr Lake has been very good for Bass lately and as of Thursday the 8th; the water level is at 301.66. Soft plastics have also been good at Kerr, Gaston, and Anna. Anna Stripers are being caught by folks trolling Red Fin baits, DD-22’s, and Alabama Rigs. Live bait has been more consistent for the Stripers however. Down lines are especially good. The tidal rivers have calmed down somewhat, with the Chick giving up the best results lately. Soft plastics, shallow cranks, and spinner baits, along with top waters, are excellent now. these baits also apply on the James, Pamunkey, and Potomac Rivers. The Blue Catfish usually begin to spawn about now, and the catches of 60lb+ fish continue to increase. Fresh cut Shad is hard to beat. The Richmond Westham Gauge is currently at 7.0ft. If you’re targeting Smallmouth, look to the upper sections above Richmond, as they will clear faster. Spinner baits are still effective, along with cranks and jigs.