Chesapeake Bay: Larger Rockfish are starting to show up in the lower bay. The CBBT receives much of the focus in this area, and fish over 40 inches have been landed this week. Areas like Plantation Light and Kiptopeake are producing large fish also. Many are using eels with great success both during the day and at night. The 1st and 2nd islands are good places for 20-28” fish. Casting swim baits and bucktails against the rocks usually produces fish. Good sized fish are still coming from inside the Potomac River, and the Rappahannock River, where Stretch baits and tandem rigs are taking the bigger fish. Windy conditions have kept a lot of anglers inside rivers and inlets searching for Speckled Trout. The Elizabeth River is again, providing the most action for really big fish. There’s no shortage of anglers here either, so expect crowded conditions in the Elizabeth. Lynnhaven Inlet has also been a big fish area. Soft plastics, such as Sea Shads and Gotcha grubs, particularly pink in color, are preferred. Hard baits, like Mirro lures are also popular and quite productive. Tautog are available at the CBBT and other lower bay structures. Crab is the preferred bait, but it is becoming harder to obtain.
Ocean: Unfavorable conditions have grounded many boaters from targeting seasonal species like Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna. Deep droppers have also been scarce lately. However, this weekend should change up a bit. On boat reported a good day of Yellowfin on Wednesday the 28th. The Triangle wrecks are a good option for Flounder.
Freshwater: The Winter Series Bass Tournaments out of Sturgeon Creek Marina on Lake Anna produced some impressive results. First place was 23.24lbs, and 17+lbs was only good enough for 5th place. The Big Fish pot was won by a 7.18lber. Bass are not the only species biting quite well, the Stripers and Crappie are providing plenty of action. Many folks are enjoying limits of Stripers in just a few hours. Casting swim baits and drifting live bait across flats usually scores in the upper reaches of the lake. Focus your efforts in the upper to mid sections. The upper James is still low and clear, which can make big fish a bit spooky, but they still must feed frequently. A few die-hards are still having success with some big fish. Blue Catfish still continue to offer opportunities for giant fish all through the remainder of fall and winter. Chuck Martin of Chester recently boated a 80lber. Although hunting season is in full swing, don’t overlook local ponds for some of the best fishing of the year for both Bass and Crappie.