Saltwater- Cobia are being caught along the oceanfront and the mouth of the bay. Chumming is usually better early in the year, but anglers are becoming so adept at spotting these fish, that sight casting has already started. Look for catches inside the bay to increase very soon. Red Drum continue to bite inside the bay, mostly on the east side, and the seaside of the Eastern Shore. Black Drum will also be in the mix of Red catches. The Wachapreague area of the E.S. continues to provide excellent Flounder catches, and the catches of these fish are increasing along the western side of the bay, such as Lynnhaven Inlet. Flounder catches have been reported from the mouths of some of the rivers on the western side, but most have been small. 17 inches is the minimum size. The lower bay piers are giving up a nice variety of species lately. Buckroe and Oceanview Piers have been yielding Croaker, Spadefish, Puppy Drum, Red Drum, and Black Drum. Spadefish are also being caught at the Chesapeake Light Tower. Sizable Bluefish are being caught along the oceanfront and at the CBBT. Seabass season is upon us now, and anglers targeting them are having good success. The Triangle Wrecks are usually a great bet for the Seabass. Some sizable Tilefish are being reeled in from the deeper waters of the Canyon. This is a pretty stable bite for those willing to travel farther distances, with great rewards possible. Along the Hatteras beaches, anglers are landing many different species, like Sheepshead, Pompano, Flounder, and Sea Mullet. A 70 lb Cobia was caught from Cape Point earlier in the week. Cobia catches have been very good from the inshore boats at Nags Head. The offshore boats are returning with good numbers and sizes of Yellowfin Tuna and Mahi. There have also been some Blue Marlin releases this week.
Freshwater- Despite muddy conditions along the james, weekend tournament weights were good. 18 lbs( 5 fish ) was the winning weight of one local tournament. Spinnerbaits, jigs, and Texas rigged soft plastics were responsible for many of the catches. For now, the river seems to be clearing up, so hopefully this will stay the case. Topwater baits should come into play more, once the river clears. Muddy water slowed some of the fish down, but the Catfish seem to be biting as well as they should be this time of year. Fresh bait is not a problem, as the bait is plentiful throughout the river. The Chickahominy has remained clear as usaul, and the Bass have been cooperating, as they usually do in May. Topwater baits can often be thrown all day while in the Chickahominy, with all the vegetation present. This bite will continue to inprove as we approach summer. We are also approaching an excellent time for topwaters on the Upper James, as long as it clears up. The river is on the way down as of now, so let’s hope things will get better. This is a great time to visit Kerr Reservoir, as the elevation is at 303′. The Bass are using the flooded cover and can usually be patterned easily. However, one must consider falling water. Soft plastics , jigs, and topwater baits have been good, but again, the water levels are still up, so check conditions before heading to Kerr. Many Bass are in the post spawn mode in many of the areas’s waters. Anna, Gaston, Kerr, and Smith are experiencing a big wave of post spawn biters. Post spawn Bass usually mean spawning Bluegills and Shellcrackers. In area ponds and lakes, these scrappy, good eating fish are performing their rituals, and are often quite aggressive. Live bait, such as crickets and worms, can be hard to beat, but small grubs or beetle spins can also be deadly. Crappie are schooling up nicely again, and can be seen breaking the surface in area ponds, giving up their where abouts. Small grubs and beetle spins will work well on these fish also.
- Stan Cobb