Chesapeake Bay– Anglers seeking Cobia are still having good results throughout the lower bay. Those chumming seem to be more consistent but many report a lot of undersized fish. Sharks continue to be a pesky by-catch though. Sight casters are able to choose their targets when conditions dictate, allowing them to target the larger fish. York Spit, Latimer Shoul, and the CBBT structures are popular and productive. Those targeting Flounder are experiencing a better bit than last year, but they still seem to be a bit reluctant on a day to day basis. However, some big fish are being caught weekly. The best reports are coming from the CBBT, and artificial reefs like Back River Reef. Lynnhaven Inlet is producing keeper Flounder also. A spike of big Speckled Trout occurred this past week, with some enormous catches of Trout up to 33 inches. Mobjack Bay, Fleets Bay, and the Piankatank River are all giving up nice catches of Trout. Many catches are being made by fly fishermen. Popular choices for conventional tackle are Gulp! baits, Bass Assassins, and D.O.A. lures. Croaker catches abound everywhere it seems, but the areas of Poquoson and Mobjack Bay have been the most noteworthy. Oyster beds are usually hot spots for Croaker and many other species such as Redfish. Be mindful of catch and size limits for Redfish however. Look for Spadefish at the CBBT, Wolf Trap Light, and the Cell. Using clam chum along with clam pieces usually increases catch rates.
Ocean – Rudee Inlet in producing some keeper Flounder, Croaker, Spot, and Redfish. Spanish Mackerel are being caught along the oceanfront, the mouth of the bay, and inside the bay such as Windmill Bar. Trolling Clark and Drone spoons is, by far, the most popular. Both diving planers and in-line sinkers are employed. Bluefish are often a by-catch while trolling for Macks, when this happens, increase your speed just a bit. On Wednesday, the 23rd, a 238lb Big Eye Tuna was caught along with a 192lber, and a 161lber out of Oregon Inlet. Limits of Dolphin are being brought in almost daily. Yellowfin Tuna are also being caught, as are some White Marlin and Blue Marlin. Inshore boats are finding Flounder, Red Drum, and Bluefish. Surf anglers are catching Sea Mullet, Bluefish, and Speckled Trout.
Freshwater – 22+lbs won this past weekend’s Priority Bass Tournament out of Osbourne landing on the James River. Many top weights came from the Chickahominy on weedless frogs and other topwater baits. Crankbaits and senkos are good choices as well. Night Time fishing is very productive for Blue Cats, especially when using fresh bait like Shad or Eels. The James, Chick, and Appomattox rivers are all good for big cats. The Potomac River has been very good for numbers of big cats also. The upper James provides very good opportunities for Smallmouth Bass and Flathead Cats for both day time and night time anglers. Live Bluegills are excellent for both. Good lures for Bass are Yamamoto grubs, flukes, and topwater baits. Maintaining bottom contact is often better for the bigger fish. Better catches of Bass are being made on shaky heads, Texas rigged 10” worms, and deep cranks at Anna, Kerr, and Gaston. Topwater baits have been better at Gaston. Landlocked Stripers are responding better to live Shad early in the morning. Specific depths can be targeted by using down lines with live Shad. Weedless frogs are very effective in area ponds and lakes with heavy vegetation as they can often be fished over any type of cover. Many ponds are choked or overgrown with grass and lily pads, making these baits necessary.