Saltwater– Many of the better Rockfish are coming from the Potomac River, which is usually the case early in the season. Other areas producing keeper Rockfish are the James River at the JRB, HRBT, and the MMBT, inside the Rapp and nearby inlets, and the structures of the CBBT. The Potomac has been producing during the day, but the areas named have been much better at night. Lynnhaven Inlet has been full of under-sized Speckled Trout, but an occasional 4lber is being caught also. Tautog action is increasing at the bridge-tunnel, with the best bait being fiddler crabs, but Blue crabs and clams are working also. There’s been a few big Red Drum caught inside the bay, but most catches are occurring from ocean waters and the ocean surf, from Sandbridge to Hatteras. Ocean wrecks have been thick with Triggerfish, Seabass,and some solid Flounder. The Wahoo bite is still good offshore, and charters are returning with good numbers of Yellowfin Tuna and Blackfin Tuna. Mahi Mahi are also being brought back to the docks. From the outer banks surf, Speckled Trout, Bluefin, Blow Toads, and Flounder are being landed. OBX pier is reporting Speckled Trout, Bluefish, and Black Drum.
Freshwater – Many tidal river anglers are reporting excellent Bass fishing on the lower James and Chickahominy. Fish over 8lbs are becoming more common as the days shorten and the water cools. Rockfish are also inhabiting some of the same areas as the Largemouth, and striking the some lures. Spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, and flukes are catching multiple species. Crappie are doing well in the tidal rivers also. Catfish are biting extremely well on the lower James. Trophy hunters can expect to hook into 70lb+ fish at any time. The upper James is cooling down nicely as water temps have dropped below 60°. Expect Smallmouth fishing to really improve during the month of November. Chartreuse is usually a strong color during this time. Weights were down over the weekend at Lake Anna, as 13+lbs won the “Lake Anna Cup”. This was quite a change from the previous week’s 25lb bag. Stripers are still being hard to pattern, as they wonder shallow flats one day, then are hugging the bottom the next. Live bait continues to be far more productive, but soon, casting to shallow flats with swim baits will be very productive. Local ponds and small lakes have turned on nicely, as the Crappie and Bass are responding well to lures such as small jigs and topwater lures like buzzbaits.
- Stan Cobb