Some call them sea mullet, some call them whiting. What ever you call them, they are among the tastiest fish that swims in the ocean and they are biting on the Outer Banks. Some big ones at that. A 3-lb., 3-oz. sea mullet was beached this week.
The speckled trout bite has also been happening in the Nags Head area and lots of stripers are biting in the sounds. Cobia are being caught as well. Some pompano and sheepshead were landed from the Ramp 49 area of Hatteras.
Last week, I wrote that Nags Head and the Outer Banks had opened up, but I was a week early. They open this week, May 15, so bring a rod and catch some of these fish.
In Virginia waters, Stan Cobb at Greentop notes that the cooler weather slowed things down, but not red drum. Night anglers enjoyed some large catches of these tremendous fighters from the shoals and breakwaters surrounding the southern tip of the Eastern Shore. The warm weather in the forecast should liven the fish up considerably. There have been plenty of rockfish caught from the bay tributaries, but this is currently a catch-and-release fishery only.
There has been a report or two of spot being caught from inside the Rapp. This is welcome news. Some quality sized tautogs to 11 pounds are being pulled in from both the ocean and the bay structures. Puppy drum and a few trout are being caught at Lynnhaven Inlet. Offshore reports include yellowfin tuna and Mahi.
The tidal rivers are offering the best bite right now for largemouth, notes Stan Cobb. May is typically one of the better months, and has consistently been so throughout the years. The prolonged cool weather this year has stalled some of the spawning bass.
Both the pad banks and the wood cover are holding quality fish. Some of the larger creeks along the James and anywhere inside the Chick can be dynamite Spinnnerbaits, buzz baits, Texas-rigged creature baits and Senkos are among the top bait choices.
The blue catfish bite is strong in the tidal rivers. The Rappahannock River, especially, is producing lots of good sized cats.
Now is a great time to land a giant from the James. This is also an excellent time to target them at Kerr Reservoir. There have been record-setting blue cats over 140 lbs. caught from Kerr in recent years.
The stripers usually take center stage at this time on Kerr. The spawning runs are in full swing, as they migrate up the Dan and Staunton rivers.
Stripers are being caught in high numbers at Anna right now. Guide Jim Hemby is a master at live bait presentations, and his clients are returning with limits.
Bass fishing is also going well at Anna. Big bags of 5 fish limits are showing up at all the marinas right now. Many bass are post spawn, but there are still some bedding fish to be seen.
Kerr Lake bass action slowed over the weekend, but the weather is promising for improved fishing as this week progresses. The current elevation level at Kerr, is 301.92′. Look for the topwater bite to soon explode.
Targeting bluegills and shellcrackers is what many are considering now as the cooler temps finally seem to be on the way out.