Chesapeake Bay – Cobia catches decreased a little this past week, but the favorable moon phase upon us currently, should improve catches if the weather cooperates. Chummers seem to be having a bit better luck but sight casters are holding their own. The west side of the bay has drawn more attention, but the structures of the CBBT are a huge attraction. These structures attract all species lurking inside the bay, but it’s the Flounder fishery that captures a lot of attention from anglers abroad. Jigging bucktails, drifting Flounder rigs with strip bait or live bait is extremely effective. Big live bait attracts big fish. Live Spot is especially good. The artificial reefs throughout the bay are also productive for Flounder, Cobia, Drum, and bait fish such as Croaker. The Poquoson area and inside Mobjack Bay have been consistent for Croaker, as have the HRBT, MMBT, and the James River Bridge. Spadefish are increasing inside the bay of places like Wolf Trap, the Cell, and the CBBT. Clam strips and clam chum work well. Puppy Drum are being encountered throughout the bay. The same grass beds that attract Speckled Trout attract the Redfish. Gulp! baits such as grubs and shrimp on 1/4oz jigheads are ideal for both. Topwater baits are also effective.
Ocean – Offshore charters are finding Dolphin fairly easily, making them a standby. Yellowfin Tuna are very popular, however, action slowed just a little. Billfish are a good possibility whenever conditions allow for offshore visits. Inshore boats from both Va. beach and Oregon Inlet are finding Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish. A 6lb 8oz Mackerel was caught recently from Cape Henry. Surf anglers from the OBX are catching Sea Mullet, Spot, Pompano, and Flounder. The Outerbanks Pier is reporting Spot, Spadefish, and Flounder. Deep dropping charters are finding Grouper, Tilefish, and Rosefish. Seabass are another delicacy available on bottom fishing charters.
Freshwater – The Chickahominy and James continue to produce impressive catches of Bass. 25lbs won the most recent Fishers of Men Tournament out of Rock-a-hock Marina on the Chick. A 8lb+ Bass won the lunker pot. Crank baits, Chatterbaits, and soft plastics rigged Texas style are very effective. The James and Chickahominy are producing trophy sized Blue Catfish daily. 50-70lb fish are common. The Potomac has been better for numbers of Blue Cats, but sizable fish are available. The upper James remains a great option for Smallmouth and Flatheads in the summer months. Live Bluegills are excellent for both. Topwater baits shine in the early hours for Bass at Anna, Gaston, and Kerr. Deep crankbaits are producing great results for mid-day and afternoon fishing when Bass are settled into structures. Texas rigged 10” worms are also good. Live bait is best for landlocked stripers, especially early mornings. Down lines with live shad and herring are the ticket. Sandy River has been producing some very impressive catches of Bass lately. Sandy River Reservoir is also known has also been putting out notable catches of Bass and Crappie.