How about a nice close-up of a little largemouth bass caught in a rural Knotts Island pond.

Caught it while crappie fishing there a coupla weeks ago.

Your chances of catching some bass, crappie or plenty of other species is super good right now, as fishing is red hot.

Freshwater fishing in lakes, ponds and tidal waters is on fire, as scaled critters try to fatten up for cold days that are coming.

And on the saltwater scene, no action is as scorching as what’s going on with speckled trout.

Spotted seatrout are chomping on all kinds of baits day and night in all their usual haunts.

While 2020 has sucked for a bunch of reasons, the bright spot in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina has been provided by trout. It is arguably the best season in recent memory.

But there is no time to argue, there are lips to rip.

So here’s the forecast:


While there are flounder, drum of both colors, sheepshead and flounder to be had, speckled trout are getting the bulk of angler attention.

An with good reason. Trout are being caught in a multitude of locations including the Poquoson Flats, most creeks along the bay side of the Eastern Shore; the York and Elizabeth rivers; all three southside inlets and along the beaches.

Anglers are catching them with live shrimp, plugs, jigs coupled with plastics and on surface lures. And when the fish are biting, they are doing so day and night.

Remember when fishing at night under low light conditions, to use dark-colored lures.

There are a lot of dinks out there, but the number of bigger fish has been nothing shy of impressive.

While targeting trout, anglers also are finding lots of willing puppy drum.

Full disclosure – while everybody loves trout, there ain’t no better fight than a puppy drum.

Pup’s elders also continue to bit along the coast, but that action likely will diminish as colder weather moves in.

Black drum are being caught around near-shore wrecks, where angler also are finding triggerfish, flounder and tautog.

Also look for togs along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, where some sheepshead will remain for a few weeks.

The CBBT also is a great place to target striped bass. School-sized rock are being found in good numbers throughout the lower bay, especially at night around any bridges and piers with lights.

Deep-droppers can expect good catches of sea bass, tile fish and some snowy grouper.

And this has been a magnificent season for swordfish.


Tuna and dolphin catches remain good for bluewater trollers working out of Oregon and Hatteras inlets. Fish are moving south for the most part, but will remain off the coast in Gulf Stream areas of warmer waters.

Surf and pier action for a variety of species continues to be good, with drum, trout, sea mullet and bluefish providing most of the action.

Plenty of big red drum are being yanked from the surf and decked on Outer Banks piers.

Look for a mixed bag dominated by trout, drum and striper in the inlets and sounds.


Fish in this world can’t migrate and they know colder weather is coming. So they fatten up for slow times – making them vulnerable to anglers’ offerings.

Let’s face it, it’s not a good time to be bait.

Largemouth and crappie on all fronts are taking a wide variety of offerings. Have several rod and reel combos rigged with your favorite lures.

Crappie will be found in and around shoreline structure. A shiner under a cork is hard to beat, but you know you want that “thump” when a crappie hits an artificial lure.

Big catfish are being taken in the James, Chickahominy, Northwest and Chowan rivers.

Look for white perch in creek mouths that lead into deeper water.

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