Salt Water- Sizable Rockfish are being brought in more frequently now. The week after thanksgiving is typically when we start to see better catches. Many of the bigger fish get caught on eels, between the bridge tunnel and Cape Charles. Plantation Light is a popular location. The CBBT structures are also very popular for bigger Rockfish at this time. As long as the water temps continue to drop, the Rockfish catches will improve. Anglers are still catching keeper fish inside the rivers while trolling tandem rigs, stretches, and jigging structures. Some of the artificial reefs are giving up fish to those jigging. There have been fish up to 48 lbs reported from the Eastern Shore. The HRBT has been giving up some good sized fish, but has been inconsistent. There has been some outstanding catches of Speckled Trout this week and in weeks past. Specks up to 8 lbs, and several 5 lbers have been weighed in over the last week. Mirr-o-lures, suspending jerkbaits, and soft plastics, like Bass Assassin sea shads on 1/4 ounce jig heads have been working. The colder the weather gets, the better the Mirr-o-lures get. The Tautog bite also continues to improve.  Fishing hard cover with live crabs will get the attention of the Togs. Bring along plenty of rigs and lead, as hang ups are inevitable. Fishing ocean structures have been excellent for Sea bass, Triggerfish, and large Bluefish. The Tilefish have been cooperating for those enduring long boat rides to reach them. The surf fishing for big Red Drum has been excellent this week in the Buxton area. Over 20 trophy sized Drum were caught on Tuesday alone. Big catches of Sea Mullet are also being reported. Frisco Pier is reporting so e Speckled Trout and Flounder.

Fresh Water-  21+ lbs won the 2nd Winter Series Tournament out of Sturgeon Creek Marina on Lake Anna. Preston Cox and Phil Wilcox were the winners. They also had the big fish of the tournament,  with an 8 lb+ Bass. Rob Grike and Mike Fisher were 2nd, with 18+ lbs. Crankbaits, jigs, and swim baits were the reported baits. The Stripers are biting better also. More anglers are catching them more frequently,  as surface action is increasing.  Topwater baits, spoons, blade baits, and swim baits are all doing the job. Have different sized baits tied on though, as the Stripers often become size oriented. 3 inch baits are a good bet. Bass fishing has also improved at Kerr Lake over the last week, as the water temps drop. The upper James is very low, 3.7′ at the Westham gauge. This makes for tough fishing, and many areas may be inaccessible due to the low levels. For areas accessible, overcast conditions are best, due to the clear water. Make long casts with light line. The lower James is your better bet. The Chickahominy River is as good, or better. Tidal fish will remain active, despite dropping water temps. The jig bite has been good just about everywhere. Other baits producing fish, have been crankbaits, jerkbaits, blade baits, and Alabama rigs. Single swim baits have been good also. Chartreuse seems to be the better color for any of these baits. Rockfish are being encountered inside these rivers now, so be aware of the regulations. Catfish anglers look forward to this time of year due to the bigger average fish size, and less people on the water. The trophy catfish opportunities offer a great alternative for big fish when bay conditions are less than desirable. Fresh Shad is best, and is not usually a problem to obtain. The warm water discharges of the Dutch Gap Power Plant can be like a magnet for the baitfish and the gamefish. The tidal river Crappie bite is excellent on the Chickahominy, James, and Potomac right now. The upper potions of the tidal Rappahannock River should not be overlooked for the Smallmouth fishing during this time, it can be quite good.

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