Chesapeake Bay– Anglers targeting Cobia can still expect good action within the bay. Sight casters with Eels and bucktails are cruising the CBBT structures, buoys, and tide lines with good success. Fish in the 60lb range are being spotted frequently. Flounder action is very good at the bridge tunnel structures and lower bay reefs. Using a squid/minnow combo has been consistent for keeper sized fish, but good sized Spot seem to be preferred by the larger Flounder. Jigging bucktails with Gulp! trailers and strip baits is another good method for boating flatfish. Boat control is very important for proper presentation. The Spot bite is starting to increase, with good reports coming from Lynnhaven Pier this week. This bite will continue to increase as we enter September. Look for the MMBT to attract the Spot anytime, but for now, the Croaker bite gets the nod here. Croaker has also been good inside Mobjack. Puppy Drum have been caught in good numbers and size in the Poquoson Flats area. Popping corks with Gulp! shrimp has been excellent, as has Gulp! baits on jigheads inside the grass. Topwater baits are another good choice. Many are reporting small Specks for now, but savvy anglers are still finding good sized Trout. Spanish Mackerel are still a good option from Windmill Bar to the CBBT. Fiddler crabs are excellent offerings for Sheepshead at the CBBT structures.
Ocean – The White Marlin bite remains strong when conditions dictate. The Wahoo action is increasing as some very good sized fish are showing up at the docks every week. September and October are known for White Marlin and Wahoo. Conditions earlier this week have been less than desirable. The inshore boats out of Oregon Inlet have been having good luck with big Red Drum. Fishing inside the sound has been productive for Trout and Flounder. Some big King Mackerel were caught before the winds appeared.
Freshwater – A 3 days total of 52-12 won the Ray-O-Vac series out of Osbourne Landing on the James River. Bryan Schmitt of Maryland was the winning angler. Local anglers Wayne Vaughn and Kelly Pratt finished second and third. Some of the top baits were swim baits, buzzbaits, and crankbaits. Grass and pads played a major role in the winner’s success. Grass patterns are also strong on the Potomac River, with the same baits that produced on the James. The James and Potomac are excellent destinations for big Blue Catfish. Fresh cut shad and Eels are the most often used. The upper James continues to offer opportunities for Flathead Catfish and Smallmouth Bass. Live minnows and Bluegills will sometimes catch both from the same hole. Conditions remain low and clear, so smaller lures may produce better results. Look for Shad migrations to occur now as daylight hours decrease. Migrations to the upper sections of lakes are common as September nears. Large schools can also be found in open water. smaller lures will often be more productive in late summer and early fall. However, never overlook large 10”-12” worms while looking for that kicker Bass. 4inch swim baits are good for landlocked Stripers at Anna, Kerr, and Smith. Swimbaits and grass frogs are still good options for pond Bass, as many are covered with vegetation. Try small minnows and grubs in open water for Crappie and Bluegills