Chesapeake Bay – Cobia fishing remains very good inside the bay. Conditions were ideal for sight casters during Saturday’s open Cobia tournament. The winning fish was 64+lbs, which is not a monster sized fish, but many other quality sized fish were caught. Chumming for Cobia is still very reliable, but sharks are still a pesky by-catch for bottom fishing anglers. The bite is good from the CBBT to the mouth of the Potomac. Also quite popular and productive now is the Flounder bite. Reliable locations include the CBBT, artificial reefs throughout the bay, the Cell, and various wrecks found inside the bay. The pilings and structures of the CBBT are an excellent habitat for Spadefish, Sheepshead, and Triggerfish. Clam and crab are good choices for bait. While using these baits, anglers often attract Red Drum, which will test yours skills and equipment. Good, fresh line is a must. Speckled Trout and Redfish thrive inside the Piankatank, Mobjack Bay, and Poquoson Flats. Grass beds are a key to success. Topwater baits can be very effective and explosive. Croaker can also be caught in these areas, but Oyster beds and shell bottoms tend to be better. The West Point area of the York River is notorious for Croaker and Spot.
Ocean – White Marlin are being caught in good numbers, many being trophy sized. Blue Marlin and Wahoo are showing up more frequently also. Inshore boats out of Rudee have reported some trophy sized Cobia also. Yellowfin are always a possibility right now, and Dolphin are a common catch these days. Pier and surf anglers are catching Sea Mullet, Croaker, Spot, and Bluefish. Deep drop charters are scoring Tilefish, Seabass, and Rosefish.
Freshwater – Some needed rainfall occurred recently, raising water levels on the upper James, and causing a slight stain so far. This should improve fishing for Smallmouth as the stained water often causes them to move shallower. These conditions can also help out the lower James, but the lower tidal James has been a consistent producer of quality Bass. The Chick is fishing very strong for Bass still; wood cover and vegetation can both yield quality fish. Night anglers continue to enjoy excellent action for big Blue Cats. Trophy sized fish are caught almost daily. Grass patterns still prevail on the Potomac for Bass, and Snakeheads are always an option with topwater baits. Dock patterns and grass lines are yielding Bass at Gaston. Crankbaits in the 12’-15’ range are good still at Kerr. Anna Bass are being found both shallow and deep, so be prepared to do either during the day, but winning weights have been averaging 13-15lbs. landlocked Stripers at Anna, Kerr, and Smith are still being caught best with live bait on down lines. Texas rigged plastic worms and weedless frogs are top producers in small lakes and ponds, as many are inhabited by grass or lily pads.