Salt Water- Spot are still being caught in good numbers throughout the bay. Inside the Rappahannock, York, James, and from lower bay piers like Buckroe, and Lynnhaven. These piers are reporting good catches of Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum also. With the Spot still being abundant, many are live lining the Spot for large fish, like Red Drum. The Drum have been very aggressive lately, but feeding on the bottom, so finding them can be a challenge, but well worth the effort. The CBBT remains the most popular place to target them, as well as many other species. Lower bay structures or artificial reefs, and structures to the north are holding these brutes also. Tautog are gaining in popularity around the tunnel structures, due to the increase of catches lately. Rockfish season is upon us, and some of the lower bay piers have seen some keepers brought up already. The islands of the bridge -tunnel are a good place to try for these fish, especially at night or early morning. Casting lipless crankbaits, swim baits, and bucktails, have been working. The light, or shade lines of the bridge offer excellent ambush locations for the Rockfish. Topwater baits are working well at first light. Chumming with fresh Menhaden, and drifting baits back through the chum line, is a popular and effective method for attracting the Rockfish, especially in the early season. Anchored up tide from structures such as wrecks, works well with this method. The best Trout reports in the bay, are coming from the lower bay area, such as Hampton. It seems like the usual hot spots like Mobjack Bay, have been slow this week. The Flounder catches that have been reported have come from ocean wrecks and structures. They remain good for those putting forth the effort. These same areas will probably increase in popularity when Seabass season opens on the 22nd of this month. Reports from the inshore boats along the Outer Banks, is that the Speckled Trout bite is strong and increasing. Boats are returning with daily limits for everyone on board quite often. Surf anglers report catches of Puppy Drum, Spot, Croaker, Sea Mullet, and a few big Red Drum. The offshore charters are reporting Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Mahi, and Wahoo. The Wahoo bite usually spikes in October. Inshore boats out of Va. Beach are reporting some Spanish Mackerel still, trophy sized Red Drum, and King Mackerel up to 25 lbs.
Fresh Water- Bass fishing is good and getting better on the tidal James and Chickahominy rivers. 30+ lbs won the 2 day Priority Toyota Bass Tournament this past weekend. Anglers reported catching fish in the creeks and on the main river. Wood cover and vegetation are still both producing fish. Look for the Crappie fishing to increase later this month along the Chickahominy, as water temps drop. Stripers are being caught from the James, but this can be a tricky bite. The Benjamin Harrison bridge is a good place to try at night. Like the CBBT, the light, or shade line from the bridge lights provide an ambush zone that should be focused on. The Blue Cats can and will be targeted during night time and day time hours with great results. The population of the fish is overwhelming it seems, at times. With daylight hours decreasing, water temps will drop, and bigger fish catches will increase. Hopefully, the rains this week may bring some much needed fresh water to the upper James. Conditions have been low for quite a while, so any change will be a welcome one. Small baits have been better due to the clear water, but if the levels rise, try larger baits for active fish. Rainfall should also improve things at Kerr Reservoir, which is about 5 feet below full pool. Topwater baits have been best for quality limits of Bass. Fresh, incoming water, should offer more choices of lures to be used with success, but never overlook surface baits this time of year. Plus, they’re just plain fun to throw and watch being struck. Kerr should always be considered when targeting giant Catfish also. The current state record was caught from Kerr. The shallow movements of many fish happening right now, also impacts the cat movements. Shallow flats can be productive. Stripers at Anna are being caught better by the live bait anglers. This is often the case. Smaller, 5 in baits are excellent. Jumbo, or extra large minnows work well also.