What's Happening Now in Virginia Fishing


A look at current Virginia fishing action as of Aug. 1st, 2014 and a glimpse into the next 30 days

Current Fishing Conditions in Virginia Waters

It's deep summer now and water temperatures are edging toward their maximum point for the year, currently 77 degrees at the CBBT and 77.5 degrees offshore of Virginia Beach.  Angling variety will be at its peak in the Old Dominion for the next two months.

For Non-Locals, Virginia Fishing Acronyms you should know!

Acronym

Definition

Flounder fishing is hot now!

CBBT

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

HRBT

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel

MMBT

Monitor-Merrimack Bridge Tunnel

JRB

James River Bridge

CLT Chesapeake Light Tower

Best Bets This Month


Flounder fishing is red hot now at the CBBT and various other locations in the lower Bay.  A good second choice is Spanish mackerel and tailor blues along the Virginia Beach oceanfront and from Little Creek to Cape Henry where trolling with Clark spoons will fill your cooler.

 

Late July / Early August Virginia Regional Fishing Reports

Virginia Fall Line Fishing Report - Richmond, Tri-Cities, Fredericksburg

Plenty of blue, white and channel catfish below Richmond in the James, Chickahominy and Pamunkey Rivers.  Anglers may encounter some school rock as well but September will be better for the them.  Largemouth bass and panfish will be more active early and late in the day in the tidal creeks off the main rivers. Later in the month, anglers may encounter puppy drum and juvenile black drum in shallow brackish water in the vicinity of Jamestown and also Chippokes State Park across the James.

Above the Fall Line at Richmond, smallmouth bass fishing will be good along with flathead catfish as long as the James River is not flooding.  Surface baits like PopRs and Tiny Torpedos will evoke bone rattling strikes from aggressive smallies.  Large, live minnows drifted in the current should entice hungry flathead catfish in the evening before sundown.

Northern Neck / Middle Peninsula Fishing Report - Smith Point to York River

Angling action in this region has been fair to poor during the last couple of weeks.  Chumming for school rockfish and blues off the Northern Neck is producing fish but action is far from peak.  The reports from the Middle Peninsula are a bit better.  There anglers are scoring with Spanish mackerel and blues off the mouth of the Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers. We have a confirmed report of a cobia taken on a Clark spoon intended to attract mackerel.  Adventurous anglers chumming with ground menhaden and baiting up with live eels, croaker or spot might be pleasantly surprised by a "man in the brown suite."  Try areas in the open Bay from the mouth of the Rappahannock to York Spit Light.  Bottom fishing from either Western or Eastern Shore sides of the Bay and tidal rivers will produce a mixed bag of spot, croaker, a few grey trout, small sharks, bluefish and a few flounder.  Most flounder are below keeper size.  A few anglers casting jig and plastic tail combinations have had success in shallow waters of the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers for school rock, speckled trout and a few puppy drum.  If last year is any indication, puppy drum should increase in numbers as the month wears on near shallow shorelines of all the tidal rivers as well as the Bay.  Spanish mackerel should move into Northern Neck waters in good numbers this month.  Areas like the Cell, Wolftrap and New Point Comfort Lights have some spadefish holding in the rocks at the base of the Light.  

Lower Peninsula / South Hampton Roads Fishing Report - York River to Bay Mouth

Drifting for big flounder along the CBBT is sizzling right now.  Flatfish from 3 to 8 lbs. are being taken along the span.  The CBBT also has large sheephead, triggerfish, large black drum and spadefish to keep you busy along the rocky islands and bridge pilings. At the shoals at the north end of the CBBT and Fisherman's anglers are finding cobia and big red drum.  Latimer Shoal is also holding a lot of cobia  Shallow areas along the lower Bay shoreline and in adjoining tidal creeks are holding a lot of puppy drum and a few speckled trout.  Try marshy shorelines in the Hampton and Grandview areas, Poquoson Flats, Lynnhaven River system and the Elizabeth River as well as troughs along lower Bay beaches.  Look for potholes on an incoming tide.. Both trout and puppy drum should increase as the month progresses.  Spanish mackerel and tailor blues are abundant from Little Creek to Cape Henry.  Surf and pier fisherman will take spot, croaker, whiting, blues, flounder, grey trout, puppy drum and a few school rock and pompano. Over all, fishing is a little better right now in the Lower Bay area than in the Northern Neck region.  But, like anything concerning the angling world, this could change in a blink of an eye.  Expect all angling action in this region to pick up even more late this month.

Atlantic Ocean Virginia Fishing Report - Chincoteague to the N.C. Border

Offshore action for yellowfin tuna, bull dolphin, sailfish, white and blue marlin and wahoo is fair to good now in offshore waters.  Barring the appearance of a tropical storm, offshore fishing will improve significantly late this month.  Deep Drop bottom fishing excursions near the Continental Shelf remain consistent for tilefish, rosefish, barrel fish and a few grouper.  Closer to shore, in wrecks from 10 to 35 miles off the beach. abundant sea bass are hiding in the crevasses of the rusting metal.  Amberjack may also be hovering over these wrecks.  Within 1 to 10 miles off Virginia Beach anglers are having success site casting to cruising cobia.  Smoker king mackerel are a possibility from the CB buoy line all the way to Sandbridge.  Pier and surf jockeys will encounter spot, croaker, flounder, puppy drum, school rock, whiting, blues and grey trout all along the shoreline.

Over on the Eastern Shore Seaside, croaker are swarming in the marsh channels behind the Barrier Islands.  These same channels are also yielding flounder, blues and a few grey trout.  Remote, unmarked channels have both tarpon in the 100 lb class and frighteningly large sharks for the braver souls amongst us. Don't try to find these areas on your own.  Hire a local guide.  Barrier Island surf areas still have red drum, both big and puppy specimens.  Best times are early and late in the day.  General surf fishing in this area will have most of the same species listed in the above paragraph. Look for spot and puppy drum to increase in numbers along ocean beaches from Cedar Island to False Cape.