Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
14 October 2016
Hurricane? What hurricane? Oh, THIS hurricane! Anglers are used to observing the weather closely, so we are well aware of the repercussions of a missed forecast. But when the impact of a major hurricane is downplayed, what a mess!
The extreme winds and historic flooding that hit our area can change fishing patterns considerably, so watch for fall patterns to return slowly.
Until the waters settle out, much of the best action will continue to come from the shallows and protected inlets. Although the speckled trout action is lagging, the bite will rekindle along the shorelines and lower Bay inlets over the next several days. Folks trying their luck are finding some takers ranging from 16 to 21-inches, but some bigger specks are also lurking in the same areas. School-sized striped bass ranging to around 18 to 22-inches are also providing some action in these same protected areas around bulkheads and lighted docks at night. Remember, in Bay waters you can keep two fish per person measuring between 20 and 28-inches, with one of the two fish allowed to measure above 28-inches.
Puppy drum tend to thrive in turbulent water. Masses of pups are thrilling anglers in most backwater locations, inlets, lower Bay surflines and piers. Big red drum action is also taking off all over the lower Bay and along the ocean shorelines. Anglers continue to revel in red drum releases near the islands of the CBBT on a variety of cut and live bait, where some of these brutes are pushing to 48-inches. Surf and pier anglers are also still pulling big bulls from the Little Island fishing pier and from the surf lines off Sandbridge and along the Eastern Shore barrier islands.
Spot were active during the storm, with anglers reporting good action all along the Southern Bay shorelines, inlets, and piers. Folks are still finding some decent spot activity this week, with bloodworms the bait of choice. Croaker are still around, especially at the HRBT, off Ocean View, and within Lynnhaven Inlet.
The flounder action is hit and miss, and the muddy mess left from Matthew will put a strain on the bite. In the Bay, the best catches are still coming from channel edges and shoals. Those venturing to deeper water wrecks will find good luck with the flatfish once they can get out. Nice trigger fish and decent sized tautog and sea bass are also available on these wrecks, but seabass are off limits until the 22nd of this month. Big chopper bluefish will also show soon around many of these same structures, with the Triangle Wreck area a favorite.
Although not abundant in dirty water, king mackerel and Spanish mackerel can make a showing near the Chesapeake Light Tower and closer inshore once the water clears along the oceanfront. Schools of false albacore can offer trollers and casters a sporting fight in the same areas.
Before the storm, tautog action was heating up in Bay waters, with scattered fish pushing to over 4-pounds preferring fiddlers and quartered crab around the islands, pilings, and tubes of the CBBT. Sheepshead are still taking bait intended for tog in these same areas, with some big fish caught recently.
Amberjack are still available at a few offshore wrecks and at the South Tower through the end of the month. Deep droppers can look forward to decent tilefish, black bellied rosefish, and grouper selections once they can reach them.
Not many boats have ventured offshore due to the storm winds, but once the seas calm, the action could be good. Look for some yellowfin tuna and a mixture of longfin tuna, big eye tuna, and wahoo to be the main event. Some mahi, stray marlin and swordfish are also a possibility.