BAY – The best action in the bay right now remains to be the Speckled Trout bite. Most target them inside the Elizabeth River. Some, however, are finding them elsewhere, with a lot less pressure. Fish up to 30 inches have been landed recently. Mirro Lures are the most used hard bait right now, and soft plastics continue to produce good fish. Trolling suspending jerk baits and anchoring up with live bait is also effective. Some are still targeting Tautog on the wreck and structure areas, but interest is fading. These fish are a great resource, as they are readily available through the winter.
OCEAN – Another great resource is the deep drop bite at the Norfolk Canyon and Baltimore Canyon. Tile fish is a very consistent bite when weather conditions provide opportunities. Bring the biggest cooler you can, because it will get filled!
FRESHWATER – The freshwater scene offers many more choices to target right now. tidal rivers are becoming more enticing, as they offer the most choices. The Blue Cats are especially action in the James and Potomac Rivers. Many reports of 60lb+ fish are common. Fresh cut shad and Eels are tops. As the shad and Herring begin to migrate into the rivers, so do the Rockfish. Trophy Rockfish season doesn’t start until May, but areas like the Elizabeth and James in the Hampton area are already seeing some Rocks caught along with catches of Shad. Yellow Perch are also increasing in numbers on the Chickahominy, Potomac, Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers. Target them on flats with minnows, blade baits and small jigs. Many are loading up on Crappie in these rivers also. The upper James has also been hot lately. Ben Kendrick of Mechanicsville recently had five Smallmouth over 20” on day last week. Thomas Harris of Beaverdam had a 41lber on Sunday the 17th. Landlocked Stripers in Anna, Kerr, and Gaston are also increasing in action. Live bait has been more effective, but swim baits are location the shallow feeders. Bucktails have also been effective. Bass fishing is on the rise in local lakes as daylight hours increase. Vertical jigging deep water fish is still producing, but more and more fish are being caught shallower. Suspending jerk baits, crank baits, and jigs are the most common producers now. Excellent catches of bigger Crappie are being caught right now. Chain Pickerel action has been especially good at Swift Creek Res.