Chesapeake Bay: Rockfish catches continue to soar this week throughout the bay. The area around Plantation Light has been extremely productive as well as popular. The majority of anglers are drifting eels along the channel edges. Numerous fish in and over the 40lb range are being caught. Farther north, inside the Rappahannock, anglers are having success trolling Stretch baits and tandem rigs or mojos. White has been the more popular color lately. Anglers preferring light tackle and casting are having good success at the HRBT, the islands of the CBBT, and inside the Piankatank River. The High Rise area of the CBBT has also produced some heavy fish, during the day, and at night. Whether you like to troll with Mojo’s of Stretch’s, or drifting with Eels, now, is prime time for Rockfish. When weather conditions aren’t conducive for Rockfish fishing, Speckled Trout offer another alternative for sport fishing, as well as fine table fare. The Elizabeth River commands the most attention, as trophy sized specks are quite common. Mirror-lures seem to dominate, but suspending jerk baits and soft plastics continue to produce also. Lynnhaven Inlet is another good option for Specks. Tautog offer yet another option, if it’s a slow time for Rocks or you’ve got a limit of Rocks, and don’t want to quit fishing for the day. Crab is the best bait, but can be difficult to obtain now. So clam is a good second choice.
Ocean: Reports are slow to come in regarding Bluefin or Yellowfin Tuna, but a few boats have had success lately. Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, and some Anberjack are also being encountered. Deep dropping out of the Norfolk Canyon is a steady way to provide good angling opportunities for Tilefish, which are excellent eating. A 46 inch Rockfish was caught by from the surf at Ramp 55 at Hatteras Island.
Freshwater Rivers: Excellent Striper fishing exists right now at Lake Anna for both live baiters and casters. The upper regions of both the North Anna arm and the Pamunkey arm are turned on. Small bait is much preferred by the Stripers right now. a 16lber was recently caught using live bait. Bass fishing remains good also. Small crank baits are especially good. Jigs, spoons, and swim baits will trigger strikes also. The North Anna arm has been better for larger Crappie lately, but bridge pilings are holding bigger numbers of Crappie. The tidal rivers around us provide a good variety of angling opportunities throughout the winter months. This is especially true with the Blue Catfish. Fresh shad is arguably the best bait, but cut eels work well too. The upper James received a little bit of rain, which will hopefully improve what has been an inconsistent bite from the Smallmouths. 3 inch grubs and live minnows are usually your best bet. Jerk baits have been working well in area ponds and small lakes.