They are pouring into the Chesapeake Bay like an army of invading warriors. Cobia, cobia and more cobia, and most anglers who are trying for them are having success. Dr Ken Neill, for example, set up chum lines and caught six. Cobia now are spread from the mouth of the bay up to the Potomac. Live eels have been dynamite baits. Sight casters, too, are pulling in cobia to 70 pounds.
Virginia Beach’s inshore fishing action is now peaking. Spanish mackerel, red and black drum, flounder, sheepshead, cobia and spadefish are all available.
In the bay look for red drum near breakers along the northern portion of the CBBT and close to Fisherman’s Island. Black drum are hanging around the islands of the CBBT. Sheepshead are feeding on the CBBT pilings. Schools of spadefish are around structure, buoys, towers and the Bridge Tunnel. Big flounder are starting to bite along the CBBT and inside all three southside inlets. Speckled trout action has slowed a bit, but fish are still being caught at Poquoson Flats, in Eastern Shore bayside inlets, in all three southside inlets and along the beach.
Virginia Beach Pier anglers are catching Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spot, roundhead, trout, skates and rays. The water temperature under the pier is 69°.
Offshore, Virginia blue water trollers are finding increasing numbers of yellowfin tuna. Dolphin, wahoo and billfish will soon follow. Amberjack are making an appearance around the offshore towers.
Deep-droppers are hooking up with tilefish, grouper, red-bellied rosefish and other species. The head boats at Rudee Tours have been catching a variety of bottom dwellers on their deep drop trips.
Last week Captain Nolan at Aquaman Charters says his inshore crews caught Spanish mackerel, a few cobia and spadefish. His offshore deep drop trips produced nice catches of tilefish and sea bass.
Captain Todd and Jake Beck at Knot Wish’n Charters caught quality Spanish mackerel and expects numbers to increase with rising water temperatures. They picked up bull red drum while trolling and by sight casting. They also encountered cobia moving north along the oceanfront.
Captain David Wright on the High Hopes has been picking up nice Spanish mackerel on his inshore charters. He will be running offshore charters very soon.
Offshore, tuna fishing has been red hot. This week a bunch of big eye tuna showed up. Dolphin numbers are good and quite a few billfish have been hooked and released.
Closer to the beach, cobia, red drum, Spanish mackerel and bluefish have been plentiful. Speckled trout catches along the beach and in the sounds have been excellent. Puppy drum and striped bass have also been available.
Surfcasters are catching sea mullet, croaker, bluefish, blow toads, pompano and short flounder. The pier jockeys are snagging sea mullet, trout, Spanish and blues.
At Lake Orange, Darrell Kennedy of Angler’s Landing (540-672-3997) reports that water temperatures are in the mid to upper seventies. The lake is slightly stained with fish moving to their summer patterns. Crappie are being caught on small minnows in 10 to 12 feet of water around brush and at the fishing pier. Some bluegills and catfish are in the spawning process. Bass can be caught on soft plastics and top waters during low light periods of the day. Some really nice walleye have been caught on live bait on the drop offs and rocky points.
Elsewhere, bass are mopping up in their spawning chores and are looking for topwater lures in most lakes. Snakeheads have been abundant on the tidal Rappahanock as many anglers target these toothy predators. They are very good to eat. Topwater frogs have been hot for largemouth on the Chickahominy River.
The smallmouth bite was just picking up on then James, but midweek rains slowed things a bit. Buggs Island is still very high at 306.88 and bass are being caught behind the bushes. Lake Anna continues to give up some nice stripers early and late in the day. Excellent catches of largemouth are coming from the tidal Rappahanock.