Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, August 28 Update:
It seems that the cobia are back in action, after a bit of a midsummer hiatus. Two readers fishing out of Cape Charles reported catching a limit with multiple throwbacks as well, while sight fishing. We also heard from a pair of angler fishing cut bait by the CBBT who picked up a pair of beautiful bull redfish. Hampton Correspondent Chuck Harrison checked in to let us know his boat is (finally) fixed and while a shakedown trip to the HRBT didn’t produce anything worth keeping, he spoke with a kayak angler who had four nice specks in his cooler.
The flounder bite has been really picking up, with Ocean’s East reporting that quite a few doormats were caught this week. They’re becoming far more common for anglers drifting baits and bouncing jigs off bottom. Ocean’s East also noted that redfish are biting near the CBBT, and we had two reader reports of chunky reds (all on cut bait) from the islands this week.
The speckled trout bite is fair in shallows, with morning and evening the best times to target them. Tossing four- to five-inch pink, chartreuse, pearl, or white sparkly soft plastics are bringing em in.
Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, August 21 Update:
Spanish Mackerel numbers are steady throughout the area, there are plenty of mackerel to go around, and some have been CHUNKY! Most anglers who are catching are sticking to pulling silver and gold Clark number-one spoons or Drones behind number-one to number-three planers. Plenty of trollers are staying south of the CBBT, however, as the mackerel continued to move up the Bay, much of the fleet has as well. Around the CBBT, a few reds and plenty of bluefish, some quite large, are in the area. They’re quick to take trolled silver spoons. If you’re more excited to catch the reds, cut bait is the ticket. Ocean’s East reported that some of the bluefish coming in right now are absolutely spectacular. Like, dinner-for-a-week sized blues. While we’re hearing about plenty of them, there remains a lot of noise about the pesky, smaller bluefish, too. They’ve been absolutely shredding soft plastics. If you spot birds and are planning to cast under them, be aware that there’s a good chance you’re going to lose a few soft plastics before coming up with a sizable fish - using metal is the move.
Speckled trout fishing has solidified itself as a more productive fishery in the shallows. If you’re eager to catch them, try out some sparkle and pink, white, or pearl curly/twisty-tailed soft plastics. Soft plastics in the four-to-five-inch range are working best. In the inlets, they're mixed in with some puppy drum that fall into the slot. Ocean’s East also said the flounder bite remains strong. Drifting baits or bouncing soft plastics off the bottom is putting the bend in rods.
Cobia report: we heard from multiple readers who had tough days searching for cobia this week, and they still seem to be in the mid-summer blahs. If history is any indication, though, we should get another good bite for a few weeks once they’re done spawning and they get back into feeding mode. Fingers are crossed!
Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, August 13 Update:
Spanish Mackerel numbers continue to climb throughout Virginia waters. Most anglers who are catching are sticking to traditional methods: pulling silver and gold Clark number-one spoons or Drones behind number-one to number-three planers. The fleet is still based a tad north of the CBBT, however, trollers sticking south of it and/or working shoals just south of the Tunnel continue to enjoy steady catching as well. A few reds and large bluefish are in the area and will take trolled silver spoons, or for focusing on the reds, cut bait. The bluefish caught recently have been impressive, with multiple Facebook-worthy fish this week. The blues are also terrorizing any and all anglers throwing soft plastics. If you’re planning on using them this week, be sure to bring backups for your backups. Ocean’s East heard of a couple ribbon fish too, although they haven’t been around in as astonishing numbers as last season.
Speckled trout fishing seems to be better further north at this point, but a few are still coming in off the islands, inlets, and from shallow and grassy shorelines. As usual, they love the sparkle and will hit pink, white, or pearl curly/twisty-tailed soft plastics. Soft plastics in the four-to-five-inch range are working best. In the inlets, they're mixed in with some puppy drum that fall into the slot. Flounder are also biting and Ocean’s East had some great reports of keeper flounder coming in from the channel ledges and drop-offs. Drifting bait for them or bouncing pink and white soft plastics off the bottom has been working best.
Cobia seem to be a bit off right now with fewer catches this week, possibly due to them spawning this time of year.
Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, August 7 Update:
Attention FishTalk Readers: Due to the impact of the storm Isaias on our region, we want to caution that regardless of whether you fish freshwater, the Bay, or the ocean, the fishing deck has been shuffled. Much of the intel we received this week was gathered prior to the storm so we have to question its efficacy. While we did also get some info in on Wednesday evening and through Thursday, we’d note that this week our reports may not be as helpful as usual in forming effective game-plans for the weekend’s fishing.
Spanish Mackerel numbers are still going up all through the area, with the catch dominated by anglers who are pulling silver and gold Clark number-one spoons or Drones behind number-one planers. Most boats are focused just a bit north of the CBBT, however, trollers sticking south of it and/or working shoals just south of the Tunnel are enjoying a fairly steady bite as well. A few reds are in the area and will take trolled silver spoons or cut bait. They’re not around in awesome numbers but are a real possibility. Ribbonfish are part of the catch, too.
Ocean’s East reports this week that throwing a pink paddle tail has been producing some speckled trout here and there, while fishing bait has produced flounder and the occasional sheepshead in Lynnhaven around the rip-rap. Hampton Correspondent Chuck Harrison hit the Elizabeth River before the nasty weather hit, and had a great mixed-bag day including keeper specks, puppy drum, and a flounder, plus throw-backs. Flounder fishing has been hit-or-miss overall recently, with some anglers probing the channel edges around the CBBT landing a few keepers while others are striking out. Many of the flounder haven’t been keepers, although anglers who stuck with it were bringing at least one or two home in most cases.
The cobia bite remains so-so, with trollers pulling red and green hoses, sight fishing, and chumming all producing catches. Trollers and sight fishers are going through the least heartache. A reader who fished Cape Charles several days last week caught several cobia chumming bunker, but mentioned that it was a battle reeling in and re-baiting to weed through the numerous shark bites. Their cobia keeper-to-throwback ratio was about 50-50 and three days of fishing resulted in four fish boxed, in total.