Saltwater- Catches of Red Drum and Black Drum are becoming more frequent. The east side of the bay and the seaside of the Eastern Shore are where the majority of the Drum catches are being made. Night fishing has been more productive for both species of Drum. The seaside of the E.S. is also giving up more of the Flounder catches. However Flounder catches are being reported more frequently from the west side now also. Buckroe Pier and Lynnhaven Pier are reporting Red Drum, Flounder, Croaker, Bluefish, and Sea Mullet. There have been reports of large schools of Bluefish being encountered at the CBBT. Spoons are excellent lures for the Bluefish, as they can be cast far, fished at various depths, and the Blues can’t chew them in half. The inlets and creeks/rivers have become a bit murky due to the heavy rains from last week, so the Speck and Drum bite has been a little off. Rudee Inlet is still a good choice though. Trophy Rockfish season is upon us until the 15th of May. The rockfish must be 36 inches in length at minimum, and 1 fish may be kept.Charters out of Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Island have been loading up on Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi, and large Big Eye Tuna. The inshore boats have been battling with Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, and Bluefish. Surf anglers have been beaching Bluefish, Flounder, Puppy Drum, and Sea Mullet. The piers have been good for these fish,as well as some Sheepshead.
Freshwater- Despite fast rising conditions, the James River still produced some heavy bags of Bass during the Elite 70 tournament out of Hopewell. 22 lbs was the winning weight. The winners were Junior Brent and Leidy Clark. 2nd place weighed in 19 lbs. As mentioned earlier, the river came up quickly, but is returning to normal conditions now. However more rain is forecast to be upon us and up river. This may rule out the upper James for the weekend, but the lower James could be fishable. Check conditions before heading out. The Chickahominy River should still be a great option despite heavy rain. The Catfish will still be willing biters but again, navigation may be tough. Kerr Reservoir elevation is at 305′. This is usually a great level for pitching and flipping into heavy cover. The water is high, but still clear, especially in the lower section like Nutbush. Soft plastic creature baits are usually quite effective. Topwater baits can be excellent post spawn offerings anywhere right now. Walking baits are very effective on both Bass and Stripers. Panfish such as Bluegills and Shellcrackers are in prime season right now, as they are setting up their spawning beds. Small jigs, live crickets, night crawlers, and small minnows are excellent offerings. Slip floats work well for presenting these baits just about anywhere.
- Stan Cobb