By Ken Neill III
We have our first tropical system of the year moving through this weekend. Arthur will have an effect on fishing action. Offshore fishing can be very good in the wake of a tropical system. Stirring up the water seems to stir up the fish. The effect on the inshore waters and freshwater fishing spots will depend on how much wind and rain we get. Fish in these areas may be stimulated, but if things are stirred up too much, it may take several days for waters to clear and for the bite to pick back up.
A look at what is happening at some of our local fishing spots:
Poquoson Flats: There are still puppy drum up in the shallows. Small bluefish are roaming the flats and there are croaker, spot and some smaller flounder in the deeper slews. If you are just looking for some fun, there are some really big houndfish on the flats right now.
York Spit: Cobia and shark fishing is good. If you are chumming for cobia anywhere in the bay right now, take a lot of baits. You are likely to catch some nice sea mullet behind the chum pot and there are some small spadefish at the light. Triggerfish are a possibility as they are up in the bay more than usual this year.
Mobjack Bay: Puppy drum can be found in the shallows near the grass beds. Croaker, spot and some sea mullet are being caught. Cobia are providing some action off of New Point Comfort.
Bluefish Rock: Cobia continue to roam this area and anglers fishing a chum slick continue to catch some nice fish. Big red drum continue to be the occasional by-catch. Like everywhere else, sharks are here in good numbers.
Back River Reef: A good number of croaker are hanging around the reef. There are also some flounder here for those jigging or fishing live bait in the washout areas around the structures.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel: Capt. Aubrey Williams and his team won the Flounder Bowl last weekend. Fishing at the CBBT, they caught a three-fish stringer weighing 17.68 pounds. Good numbers of flounder were caught this week. Big sheepshead are holding on the structure along with small- to medium-sized spadefish. Some nice triggerfish are being caught. Cobia and red drum can be found at the Nine Foot Shoal area.
Eastern Shore: Croaker is becoming the main target inside the seaside inlets, though flounder catches remain good. A rolling tarpon is a likely sight if you spend enough time behind the barrier islands. Sea mullet are being caught on the seaside and the bayside of the Eastern Shore. Some flounder are being caught in the buoy 36A area. Cobia and red drum are being caught from Latimer and Nautilus Shoals.
James River: Croaker fishing is very good. Flounder are being caught at Hampton Bar and at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. A lot of the flatfish are too small, but there are enough keepers and the occasional big flounder around to keep things interesting. Puppy drum continue to be caught in the shallows and around the structures of the James River Bridge and the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge-Tunnel. Catfish continue to bite in the fresh/brackish areas of the James and its tributaries.
Little Creek Reservoir: Water temperature is 87 degrees and visibility is good. Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing slowly along deep-water points and humps. Crappie are being caught around grass beds in 15-to-20 feet of water. Shellcracker and yellow perch are being caught along some of the deep banks.
York River: Kenny Hoffman and his team took second place in the Flounder Bowl with fish they caught inside the York River. Their three-fish stringer weighed 14.89 pounds, which shows that there are some nice flounder being caught in the York. Croaker fishing remains very good with larger hardheads being caught up above the Coleman Bridge. There are good numbers of medium-sized spot in the river. Puppy drum are biting natural bait better than artificial up in the shallows.
Chickahominy River: Ed Allenâ€™s Boats and Bait reports that bass fishing is very good with fish to 6 pounds caught this week. Some big bowfin are also being caught. Crappie are being caught in 8-to-10 feet of water. Yellow perch, bream and pickerel are providing good action. Below the dam, the bass and catfish bites are good.
Offshore: The Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament last weekend was won by the â€œBurleyâ€ with a 151-pound bigeye tuna. In addition to the bigeye tuna, there are some yellowfin tuna around. Dolphin fishing is good and there are good numbers of white and blue marlin around. Just to the north, a 131 pound wahoo was weighed in Ocean City, Md., this week.