All that yellow stuff that’s coating anything and everything outside means it’s high time you got fishing.
With every passing day and temperatures rising slowly but surely, more and more species are providing opportunities to get in on some great Virginia and North Carolina action.
For reference, the picture is of my with a nice king mackerel caught on light line while bottom fishing for snapper out of Puerto Aventuras Mexico a few years ago. The captain saw the fish down deep and said I stood no chance with the light spinning gear we were using. Fifteen minutes later the mate sank in the gaff and I told the captain he didn’t know who he was messing with.
Anywho, kings aren’t as of yet on the menu, but they will be. And waiting won’t be a problem since there is lots of action showing itself on all fronts.
Also thought I would share a video of a television show produced by Greg Bicouvaris of Sports Highlights, where we talk about fishing and my 43-year career at the newspaper.
So how ’bout we sink our hooks into another forecast:
Puppy drum in the inlets is the hot ticket right now. And it’s only going to get hotter as the waters continue to warm. Rudee and Lynnhaven are the best locations, but there are plenty of fish in portions of the Elizabeth River.
Speckled trout also are starting to warm up to spring conditions and can be found in the same places as pups.
Larger red drum have started to show along the coast as they migrate into the Chesapeake Bay. Look for them around the mouth of the bay and along Eastern Shore barrier island breakers.
Reports are in that black drum have started to show in and around some Eastern Shore inlets.
Anglers working baits on the bottom will be the first to encounter sheepshead as they head towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
Flounder action is picking up, with the best catches coming from the shore’s backwater sloughs and creeks. Falling tides are a favorite, as the water warms quicker in the marshes and heats up the action as it flows into deeper water. Keep things simple in these, shallower waters.
Some exciting news has been reported that several big grey trout have been caught in some of the inlets. Rudee typically is the best location since these once populous favorites are no longer abundant.
Tautog continue to provide excellent action around a variety of bottom structure in various depths of water. Get in on this fishery fast, since the season will close briefly beginning May 15.
And it looks like small bottom stuff is starting starting to show along the Oceanfront shore and along southern-most bay beaches and piers.
Minnow, the fish-reporting K-9 at the recently-opened Pier House Bait and Tackle on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, gave her first Facebook fishing report today – letting anglers know that small spot and croaker were finally being caught. Won’t be long before bluefish and sea mullet join the menu.
NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA
Yellowfin tuna continue to provide excellent action out of both Outer Banks inlets. Even better news is that wahoo and dolphin are starting to join the party. Dolphin action will really be heating up soon, and billfish will be right behind if they already aren’t in the area.
And it appears that sharks haven’t yet caught on to the tuna catches, which means more fish in the box.
Area wrecks are holding a large variety of bottom species.
Big red drum are becoming more and more abundant along the coast, with good surf action from Ocracoke to the Virginia line. Boaters are finding lot of big schools heading north.
Cobia should show any day now.
Also in the surf should be lots of small stuff like bluefish, sea mullet, croaker, flounder, trout and puppy drum. And some big sharks are being caught by anglers targeting them.
Fishing is outstanding on all fronts in both states, especially if you don’t mind everything getting yellow from all the pine pollen.
Largemouth bass are on their beds or working around them in anticipation of the full moon on April 26. Also look for some nice catches from Back Bay grass beds and canals, as well as the canals along the beach at the northeastern-most sections of Currituck Sound.
Crappie catches are still good throughout the region, but they’ll soon begin to head for deeper waters as things warm up.
While they move out, big shellcracker will take their place along the shoreline, especially in the Suffolk Lakes.
Blue catfishing is outstanding in the James, Chickahominy and Northwest rivers. Anglers working the James also are finding a few big striped bass.