Chesapeake Bay: Most of the fishing inside the bay is focused on the Speckled Trout inside the Elizabeth River. Some have ventured inside the James with luck on Specks and Puppy Drum. Soft plastics are still producing good results, but many are sticking with hard baits like the Mirrolure Line of twitch baits. The Elizabeth River gets plenty crowded, but still gives up quality fish almost daily. Much of this is due to many anglers practicing catch and release. It’s catch and release only for Rockfish however, inside the bay. Some are still targeting Tautog at the CBBT and other lower bay structures, however, most have turned their attention to Ocean fishing.
Ocean: Many are finding quality Rockfish inside the 3 mile limit along the Va coast. Reports this week have good numbers of legally caught rocks. Pulling tandem rigs with in-line sinkers are taking a lot of good fish. Mojos are also responsible for quality fish. Bluefin Tuna are also on the minds of many, both inside and outside the 3 mile line. Rockfish methods are working for the Tuna. Anglers are also pulling Ballyhoo with success, but honestly, Rockfish baits are working better for the Tuna. Seabass are on alternative to target if structure fishing is an interest. Large numbers of quality Seabass are coming in from ocean charters. Deep droppers are enjoying a strong bite for Tilefish and Seabass. Deep dropping is often overlooked by many, but should be considered if you’re after excellent tablefare. Squid and clam baits are most often used.
Freshwater Rivers: Some quality Smallmouth Bass were caught over the week end and just before the rain set in. We know of 2 over 5 lbs caught during this time. Live bait is widely used now, as the river was very clear before this week’s rain. This weekend will probably see the river high and muddy. The lower James will likely get a bit tough this weekend also. The Catfish will still bite, but conditions should be checked before heading out. The Chickahominy River could still be a good choice, as this river usually provides quality Bass and Crappie fishing through the winter. Area lakes will be a good choice this weekend, especially Lake Anna, known for its winter Bass and Striper fishing. The Stripers seemed to have slowed a little, but smaller live bait, such as Threadfin shad or Blueback Herring, usually will produce limits. Some days, casting swim baits and jigging blade baits will produce better. 19+ lbs won this past weekend’s Winter Bass Tx out of Sturgeon Creek Marina. Anglers continue to bag limits of Bass with spoons, jigs, jerk baits, and swim baits. Points and river channel drops are good areas to focus on. River channel structures are also holding good Bass at Kerr Lake. Spoons and other blade baits are mainly being used. Diaschund Reservoir and Swift Creek Reservoir have been producing strong limits of Bass, with some really big fish being caught also. Soon, folks will be focusing on Yellow Perch in the tidal rivers, but many of our area lakes have a good Yellow Perch population. Swift Creek is one of them.