Chesapeake Bay- Anglers using chum, along with live bait, seem to be having more consistent success for Cobia. Sight casters are still scoring well, but weather conditions must cooperate. Live eels work for both bottom fishing and sight casting. In the lower bay however, chummers are having to deal with loads of sharks, so plenty of eels are often necessary. Flounder anglers are reporting steady action, but not many large fish have been reported lately. Reliable areas are structures of the CBBT, Back River Reef, the Cell, and inside Lynnhaven Inlet. Dragging live bait, and jigging structures with buck tails dressed with strip bait or Gulp! baits are the most popular methods. The CBBT structures are also a hot spot for Spadefish. Using clam chum is a good tatic to draw in and excite the Spades. Wolf Trap Light and the Cell are also good. As of Aug. 1st, Speckled Trout can be kept by hook and line anglers. Late summer and early fall can be especially good, so the best should be yet to come. Topwater baits are good and will get better. Gulp! shrimp, jerk shads, and grubs are very effective, as they are highly scented. Soft plastics like Bass Assassin and D.O.A. baits are also popular. Reliable areas are Mobjack Bay, the Piankatank River, and Poquoson Flats. The Poquoson area has also been steady for croaker. Inside the York river near West Point is another good area, but can get very crowded, especially when bay conditions are rough. The Rappahannock River and the James River are two other options, as they are bigger than the York. Puppy Drum abound inside Mobjack, Lynnhaven Inlet, and the Piankatank. Lures designed for Trout work very well for the Redfish. Windmill Bar is producing Spanish Mackerel and good catches of Sea Mullet.
Ocean- Offshore charters are still scoring steady catches of Dolphin and decent sized Yellowfin Tuna. However, theres been a spike in White Marlin and Blue Marlin out of Oregon Inlet lately. Reports from July 30 have 23 White Marlin caught on just that day. Inshore boats out of Oregon Inlet and Rudee are reporting Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, and Cobia. Deep droppers are finding some very large Tilefish. On Sunday, the 27th a 44lb Golden Tilefish was weighed in at Rudee. Theres plenty of Spadefish available at the Chesapeake Light Tower, but hook and line anglers are forced to compete with spear fisherman.
Freshwater- Excellent catches of Bass continue to come from the James and Chickahominy Rivers. The Chick remains especially good. Topwatet baits and soft plastics are the usual top 2. Small crankbaits are also very productive. The Pamunkey, and Mattaponi rivers are a alternative to crowds for tidal Bass fishing, but they are much smaller than the James and Potomac. Grass patterns are the norm on the potomac, so weedless frogs and swimbaits remain productive. Large Blue Cats are available on all the mentioned tidal rivers. The larger Cats typically come from the James, but the Potomac is also strong for large fish. The upper James is low and clear, so Bass tend to be spooky on sunny days. Take advantage of low light conditions early and late or on overcast and rainy days. Single and double tail grubs are hard to beat anytime, but topwaters can often produce the biggest fish early or late in the day. Topwater baits also excell at these times on lakes and ponds. Once the sun shines bright, Texas rigs, shaky head worms, and weightless sinking worms can produce well. Deep cranks remain effective in the 12′-15′ range at Kerr and Anna. Stripers are still responding better to live Shad fished deep on flats next to channel drops or humps. Trolling Red fins has also been productive for keeper sized fish. A jigging spoon is another summer time option for any species inhabiting deep water. Grass frogs are an excellent option in area ponds, as many are choked with grass. Small 2 inch grubs are excellent for Crappie and Bluegill, and small minnows are always an option.