Chesapeake Bay: Rockfish are the main interest in the bay and it’s tributaries now, and conditions, along with water temps, will continue to improve the action. The mouth of the Potomac River is especially good right now, as bigger fish are becoming more common. Jigging is productive now, and chumming is still producing good numbers of keeper fish. The mouth of the Rapp is also giving up good sized fish, as is the York. Tandem rigs are quite popular, and Stretch 20′s are as well. Bouncing bucktails against the pilings of the MMBT, HRBT, and the CBBT is also productive for keeper fish. Live Spot, and eels are another good option to use for larger Rockfish. The concrete ships at Kiptopeake are starting to receive pressure from anglers searching for Rockfish as they begin to migrate south. Some monster Speckled Trout are being caught currently from the lower bay. Areas like Lynnhaven Inlet, the Elizabeth River, and the James River are keeping anglers occupied with good opportunities for trophy fish. Soft plastics are still producing, and Mirrolures are tied on just about everyone’s line. Ed Hall of Fluvanna recently caught an impressive 31.5 inch Speck from some undisclosed area of the lower bay. That’s a huge Speck, no wonder he’s not telling where. Good numbers of keeper Puppy Drum are being caught in the same areas as the Trout, on the same lures. Tautog are available in the lower bay still. Most target them at the CBBT with crab, but clam will do in a pinch.
Ocean: Anglers can still target Flounder on ocean wrecks with success, when conditions allow. Live bait, such as Spot will do well, as will jigging bucktails with Gulp! or fresh strip bait. However, Seabass will respond to these offerings, but they must not be possessed. Rough surf conditions have hindered anglers at succeeding with Trout and Drum in Carolina this week, but last week was a different story. Dave Mason and friends cleaned up on some big Trout in the surf over the weekend, and they will probably return this weekend for more fun. Soft plastics have been the weapons of choice. We haven’t heard much from the charter boats fishing offshore this week, so check conditions thoroughly before heading out. Bluefin Tuna should be showing up soon. Jigging for Blackfin Tuna is another good option this time of year.
Freshwater: Lake Anna Stripers are really turning on now as water temps cool. Anglers are enjoying action on mostly live bait, but casters are having excellent success too. Top water baits are especially effective, more so on overcast conditions, and swim baits like Bass Assassin sea shads are good choices. The upper regions are loaded with bait and fish, so check it out. Kerr and Gaston are other good options for landlocked Stripers, also being caught in the upper regions. Schooling Bass can be found just about anywhere at Anna, but Dike III is a consistent area to try. Rocky areas are holding good sized Bass throughout the lake. Crank baits and shaky head worms are preferred by many. The upper James is low and clear now, making the Smallmouth spooky, and tough to catch with any regularity. Live bait is almost a must under these conditions. A good rain would be most helpful. Tidal sections of the James and Chickahominy are fishing well for Bass and Stripers. The Pamunkey River has been especially good for Bass lately. This weekend’s open tournament should prove to be interesting… perhaps a few big Smallmouth! Big Blue Catfish are again, becoming more prevalent as the temps continue to drop. Huge Cats are readily available in all our tidal rivers here in Va. Don’t overlook small ponds and lakes now, because Thanksgiving usually provides ideal conditions for big Bass and Crappie. Another good reason is that many are hunting deer, leaving plenty of room for the die-hard anglers!