Salt Water- Rockfish are being caught more frequently now, as anglers are exploring the shallower waters of many of the tidal rivers. Casting with light tackle such as swim baits, bucktails, and lipless crankbaits are producing fish for many. Super flukes are another good bet. Night fishing around bridges usually produces keeper fish, as the light or shadow lines provide ambush areas. Figuring out the tide is often the biggest challenge in finding success. In some places, such as Mobjack Bay, anglers are finding Redfish mixed in with the Rockfish, or at least, very close by. Keepers are also being caught from the MMBT, HRBT, and the structures of the CBBT. Again, figuring out the tide is often the key. Water temps in the bay are around 65 degrees right now. Shallow water anglers are finding Speckled Trout inside Lynnhaven Inlet, Rudee Inlet, and the Piankatank River. Topwater baits are still taking large fish. Tautog action is improving, and will continue to do so as the water cools. Crab in any form is usually the best bait. The structures of the CBBT are a great place to target them. Ocean wrecks are often better though for bigger fish. Ocean wrecks are also yielding Seabass, and Flounder. Those deep dropping are catching Seabass, Tilefish, and Grouper. This is another bite that will remain strong through the season. The past 2 or 3 days has been a bit windy, but the last week of October was incredible for big Wahoo. Reports of a 90 lb, and an 87 lber were posted, along with several 70 lb + fish. That week also produced some good catches of Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Mahi, and Big Eye Tuna. Surf anglers in the Buxton area are reporting a hot Drum bite, both large and Puppy Drum.
Fresh Water- The upper James received a good bit of rain, causing the river to rise and stain a bit. The current level is 6.03′ at the Westham gauge. This was a much needed event. Fresh water is always good, and fish use the rising levels to roam more and be more aggressive feeders due to the stained water. Combine this with an overcast day, and the results can be memorable. Crawfish crankbaits and tandem spinnerbaits often work well in November. These baits will also work very well on the lower James and other tidal rivers at this time. The pits along the lower James will attract more fish and bait as the water cools down. Weather fronts will begin to play big roles in fish activity from here on out. Weather is often the biggest variable in fishing at any season. Crappie anglers often look forward to November on the tidal rivers, as the fish become much more aggressive in preparation for the winter. Grass lines can be as good as wood cover sometimes. Catfish continue to bite extremely well now, and many anglers prefer to fish for them now as the conditions can be more bearable. Bugs and hot temps are on the way out. Lake fishing for Bass is improving all over. Kerr Lake, Gaston, Anna, and smaller lakes like Swift Creek Reservoir, and Sandy are some worth mentioning. Topwater baits, and flukes are still drawing fish upwards to strike. This can be the best time for walking baits for both Bass and Stripers, as these baits are quick fish locators. Look for surface activity to increas during this time, as baitfish come together in large schools, causing game fish to follow them and feed whenever the urge strikes them. Crappie are being caught shallow on docks, but can also be caught around bridges, due to the current, drawing baitfish.