Now that spring is officially here, anglers are hopeful that the arrival of new species will jump-start a good early season. The weather is cooperating more lately, so the water temperatures will continue to warm, and flounder and croaker will debut soon. But with water temperatures still lagging, anglers may just have to be patient. In the meantime, this is a great time to get your fishing gear and tackle in order.
Tautog is a likely species to target when the weather allows. But with water temperatures still chilly in Bay waters, anglers will opt for deeper wrecks and more southern structures to find the action for now. Coastal and deep water wrecks can produce good catches this time of year, but recent offshore tog trips have reported less than favorable results. Jumbo black seabass will take offered baits on these structures, but throw them back as the season is still closed.
Striped bass along the coast will become officially off limits at end of the month, but most anglers will hardly notice since folks gave up on rockfish earlier this winter. Most stripers heading into the Bay are rushing into the tributary rivers for their spawning rituals.
Speckled trout action is still at a standstill, with very little action to report. Puppy drum could provide some action for those still hoping for trout in Rudee, Lynnhaven and Little Creek Inlets, as well as the seaside and Bayside creeks on the Eastern Shore.
Not many boats are making it to deep drop territory since the wind is keeping most folks closer to shore. But the boats making it to the edge of the Norfolk Canyon are fighting for their catch due to the barrage of dogfish. A variety of tilefish, grouper, and blackbellied rosefish are available once you get through the nuisance fish to reach them.
Those trying their luck in North Carolina are still faring well with the bluefin tuna. Many of these tuna are ranging from 100-250-pounds.