Chesapeake Bay: Rockfish season is upon us and folks are taking advantage of it. Decent sized keepers are coming from the islands of the CBBT on top water baits, live Spot, and lipless crank baits. However, bigger fish have yet to show up in good numbers. The Red Drum bite however is quite good. Big fish are hanging around the islands of the CBBT. Big Reds are also being caught from lower bay reef areas. Fresh cut mullet is hard to beat. Another species being caught in good numbers at the bridge tunnel is Tautog, along with tons of Bluefish. The speckled Trout bite is very good and getting better. Anglers are still catching fish on plastics and Gulp! Baits, but many fish are falling for Mirro lures. The Elizabeth River is again, producing nice fish, as is Mobjack Bay, the Piankatank River, and creeks of the Eastern Shore; both bayside and Oceanside. Lynnhaven Inlet has been producing nice sized Specks also. Small Puppy Drum are also inhabiting areas holding Speckled Trout.
Ocean: Surf anglers from Sandbridge to Hatteras are scoring with Red Drum. Some of the ocean piers are producing catches of King Mackerel. Action is winding down for Spot inside Rudee Inlet. some impressive catches of Flounder and Speckled Trout have come from Rudee recently. Ocean wrecks are starting to produce big Flounder. When conditions allow, offshore boaters have been catching Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna, along with some Wahoo and Sailfish.
Freshwater: Keeper sized Rockfish abound in the lower James River. The area of the Benjamin Harrison Bridge has been particularly good. Rattletraps, flukes, and top water baits are taking good fish. Catfish anglers are enjoying an increased bite, due to the presence of Rockfish and their feeding behavior. There’s no shortage of bait in the Dutch Gap to Hopewell area. The upper James is cooling down nicely, and increased catches of Smallmouth and Flatheads are happening now. Live bait works extremely well for both. Potomac River Bass are still relating to grass on the main river, but some are migrating to the backs of the creeks and holding to wood and rock cover. Crank baits are very productive now. Docks are a good pattern on Anna and Gaston. Kerr Lake Bass seem to be scattered and hard to pattern. Many are roaming out in open water, following schools of bait. Top water action is reliable early, and lipless cranks are taking food fish also. Landlocked Stripers are being caught on the same baits as the Bass these days. Small baits generally work better in the fall.