What a year we had for cobia in 2020! From the looks of things, we’ll have another spectacular summer of cobia fishing. Even though the creel season doesn’t begin until June 15th, anglers are already sight fishing for what some call “lemon fish” on a catch and release basis.
Virginia’s summer fishing season is really picking up. The water temperature along the oceanfront is up to 69 degrees and Bay water is up to 71.
Red and black drum catches continue to increase. Most drum are coming from along the Eastern Shore, both seaside and bayside. A few large sheepshead have been caught, including a monster topping 14 pounds. Tautog are still on structure, but the season is closed through June 30th.
The piers along the Chesapeake Bay are producing Spanish mackerel, puppy drum, cobia, sea mullet and speckled trout.
Nice puppy drum as well as speckled trout and rockfish are available inside local inlets and in rivers. Flounder action continues to improve.
The offshore boats running south from Rudee Inlet have been returning with some nice tuna. Deep droppers have been doing very well on tilefish. Sea bass season reopens again June 16th and remains open through December 31, 2021.
The head boats at Rudee Tours are running half-day trips, primarily for croaker, flounder and small sharks; 3/4 day trips for dogfish sharks and black sea bass; full day trips for bluefish, flounder and black sea bass; and 17-Hour Deep Drops for black sea bass, blueline tilefish, golden tilefish, snowy grouper, blackbelly rosefish, dogfish sharks.
There were some bottom fish biting in the surf on Wednesday on the northern beaches while the guys down south caught a few Spanish, blues and sharks.
There was a great Spanish bite on all the piers mid-week. A few sea mullet and blues were caught on shrimp and cut bait.
The inshore boats trolling outside the inlet landed a good number of blues and Spanish. A few cobia have be caught by boats sight casting and a decent number of trout have been caught in the sound. The Little Bridge at Manteo produced a 5-pound speck.
Wednesday was also a great day for offshore fishing. Boats returned with bigeye tuna, a few yellowfin, a bunch of Mahi and a couple of marlin.
Stan Cobb at Greentop says that the James and Chickahominy rivers continue to fish well for bass. Nineteen pounds was the winning weight for a weekend tournament. It took 16 lbs. for the winning weight from the Chickahominy Lake. Smallmouth action on the upper James is excellent.
Buggs Island is at 300 feet. Bass there are in several stages, some moving to the points. Many of the crappie schools have moved to brush. They can be found out on the main lake and inside the creeks.
At Lake Anna, crappie are holding to brush and bridge sections. The Anna stripers are providing good action early in the mornings on both topwater baits and live bait. The upper and mid lake sections have been best. Boat traffic is getting heavy. Fishing after 10:00 AM can be quite a challenge.
Bluegill fishing remains excellent right now, throughout the state. Some of the public lakes in the Suffolk area are well known for their world class shellcracker/bluegill opportunities.
Lake Orange is fishing well for bass, crappie and catfish. Nice walleye continue to be caught along hard bottom areas. Bluegills are still nesting.