Tautog catches at the CBBT, on near-shore wrecks and artificial reefs has been outstanding. These tasty fish can’t resist a hook baited with fresh crab.
Large schools of drum were encountered off Cape Point near Buxton, NC this week. Captain Rom Whitaker says the town of Buxton itself is a ghost town these days. Dare County is only allowing residents in right now. He hasn’t run a charter since March 8th, needless to say that’s financially devastating for these guys.
Captain Jeff Ross on Obsession ran a private trip and got in on the Cape Point action, catching 30 citation reds. These fish are headed for their summer home in the Chesapeake Bay.
A few have already arrived. Dr Ken Neill has been catching them on the shoals near Fisherman’s Island for two weeks.
Oddly, there haven’t seen many black drum reports, though surely they are in their usual spots by now.
The Virginia Beach Pier reports catches of skates, sand perch, spot and croakers. Most are using bloodworms for bait. Best time to fish is from 8am to 11 am or 2 PM to 8:00 PM.
Speckled trout reports continue to come in and puppy drum are available in their usual locations. One pair of anglers fished both the outgoing and incoming tide and landed 18 trout between 15 and 20 1/2″. They also had probably another 20 bumps and lost several fish at the boat before they could net them. Most were released for another day.
Flounder are showing up in many of the barrier island backwaters along the seaside of the Virginia eastern shore.
Outer Banks, NC locals say surf fishing is good for blues, trout, blow toads on the north beaches and sea mullet, toads, blues, and drum on the south beaches. NC sound fisherman have been catching plenty of trout and puppy drum and a few stripers.
Offshore tuna action to our south has been fantastic all winter. A few Rudee Inlet captains have made the long run to get in on it. Lately, boats departing Oregon Inlet have been picking up quick limits of yellowfin tuna. One boat reported 40 in just a few hours of fishing.
At Lake Orange, Darrell Kennedy of Angler’s Landing (540.672.3997) said that water temperatures are in the lower 60s. The lake is clear with fish in all phases of the spawn. Bass are being caught on soft plastics and live minnows. Crappie are being caught on small minnows in brush along the shore. A few walleye have been caught using live bait on rocky points. Catfishing has picked up in the mid-lake area with chicken liver being the bait of choice.
The large lakes – Anna, Kerr and Smith Mountain – are enjoying excellent action for stripers bass and crappie.