Fall fishing is off to a good start with spot, speckled trout, puppy drum, and king mackerel. Tautog are also lurking in these same areas. Tog will be back in business starting on September 20th.
Cobia are on the move as they prepare to head south. Schools of fish are cruising along the surface near the mouth of the Bay and off the Virginia Beach coastlines as they exit the area. Several boats are hooking up to a dozen fish per day, with the best catches happening for those casting live bait and jigs. Plenty of nice fish are available, with several exceeding 50-pounds this week.
Flounder continue to stage at the mouth of the Bay. The third and fourth islands of the CBBT with live bait (mullets) has been productive recently. Drifting the Thimble Shoal and Baltimore Channels are also good places to try. Some catches of flatties in the 22-inch range are available within Lynnhaven in about 20 feet of water on an outgoing tide. The offshore wreck flatfish action is a good alternative using strip baits bounced over structure.
Big red drum continue to swarm on lower Bay shoals. Several reds were hooked near the 3rd and 4th islands recently.
Some Spanish mackerel are still falling for trolled spoons off Rudee Inlet and Cape Henry in about 20 feet of water. Predominant easterly winds have maintained mostly clear water close to shore, jump-starting the king mackerel bite off the Beach. Over the past weeks, kings up to around 35-pounds have taken both live bait and lures on the troll, but the recent rain could change things up.
Improving speckled trout catches are drawing more attention from anglers. If you can sneak your offerings past the hungry puppy drum, good numbers of specks are biting in areas such as Hungar’s Creek, the Poquoson Flats, and Mobjack Bay. Lynnhaven, Rudee, and Little Creek Inlets, along with the Elizabeth River are also giving up some fish, with some specks weighing in at over 4-pounds.
Some big spot are hitting in Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlet, and around the lower Bay. Fish pushing to ¾-pound are also coming from around Little Creek. The lower Bay Rivers, the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, Ocean View, and along the Virginia Beach oceanfront are also holding nice spot lately. Medium and large croaker are lurking in deeper areas along channels, inlets, the Bay Bridge Tunnel, the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and the Concrete Ships off Kiptopeke. Both spot and small to medium sized croaker are also responding inside Magothy Bay near buoy 262, and out of Oyster.