Salt Water- Rockfish are available up many of the tidal rivers, and many are being caught shallow. This may not last long, so look for more fish to migrate down the rivers towards the mouths of the rivers. Some are being caught now at the mouths of the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. Fishing around or over structures, such as wrecks, or reefs can be productive. Quality fish are being caught by those putting in their time. Good sized Rockfish are also being caught more frequently from the structures of the CBBT at night, and early mornings. Bluefish are also being caught in big numbers around these structures. The cooler weather that is upon us should really improve the Rockfish bite. Trolling stretches and tandem rigs, along with daisy chains, can be a good method for finding fish, and multiple hookups, fairly quickly. The Speckled Trout bite has been very good inside Lynnhaven Inlet, but this cold weather forecast could make things difficult. The bright side is that the Rockfish will probably turn on. Tautog action continues to heat up inside the bay. No surprise, but the CBBT structures are the places to target, as there are so many places that will produce. Use fresh crab, or frozen fiddler crabs, for the best results. Ocean structures often offer better results for bigger Togs. These ocean structures will also yield Seabass, Flounder, Triggerfish, and sometimes, Red Drum. Keeper Puppy Drum continue to be caught from Buckroe Pier, as well as a few Specks. The offshore action has been very good for Wahoo, and Mahi over the last few days. Lots of 30-40 lb Wahoo have been brought to the scales lately. There has also been releases of White Marlin, Blue Marlin, and Sailfish from some of the Nags Head / Hatteras charters. The surf fishing in the Hatteras Island area has been great for 40 inch plus Red Drum. Puppy Drum are being pulled in also, of course.
Fresh Water- The upper James is in fine shape at the time of this report, however, keep an eye on the levels for the next few days, as rain has been steady. The current level at the Westham gauge is 4.3′ This is a bit lower than where we’d like to see it, but this will probably change for the better. Faster moving baits can often be used with better results over slow, verticle baits at this time. This can also hold true for the lower James and Chickahominy. Topwater baits should not be overlooked, even though cold weather is on the way. Be prepared to tangle with Rockfish on these rivers while Bass fishing. Crappie fishing on the tidal rivers is another option right now, as it continues to improve. The tidal Catfish bite can be unmatched now and through the cold weather months. With the abundance of bait present in the James, and the warm water discharge from Dutch Gap power plant, the river provides outstanding opportunities for trophy Cats. Bridges are a great place to start a search for Crappie at Anna. Fish are still being caught shallow, but bigger numbers are starting to come from the bridges. This is another consistent bite through the colder months. Slip floats with minnows or jigs fished very close to the pilings can be the ticket. Once the depth of the bigger fish is discovered, they can often be caught on every drop. The cold weather will improve the Striper activity on the lakes also. Shallow flats should be searched with swim baits or live bait with side planers, as to not spook the fish. Surface walkers, such as Zara spooks can produce better sized Stripers, as well as Bass right now. This is the case almost everywhere. The cold fronts may reduce the Bass’ strike zone, but the water temps are not too cold for surface baits. Even on ponds and small lakes, topwater baits can be productive now.