Red drum averaging 25-50 lbs are showing up on the shoals at the mouth of the bay. Latimer Shoal and the shallow water near the northern section of the CBBT are good spots. Their numbers will continue increasing into May and action will peak in early June. Trolling spoons like 3 1/2 Drones or similar, over and around the shallows or anchoring on top of the shoal and setting out lines are the best methods. When anchored use 7/0 or 8/0 long shank hooks with peeler crabs. Short shank hooks or circle hooks work well with cut baits like fresh spot and menhaden.
Black Drum are being caught along the shallow channel ledge running from Fisherman’s Island to north of Cape Charles. Good spots are Kiptopeake, the Cabbage Patch, the Concrete Ships, as well as the highrise and 2nd & 3rd Islands of CBBT. Running tides, late afternoons and evenings and full moons are considered the best time to fish for them. Whole clam, peeler crab, whelk or a combination is the best bait. The average size Virginia black drum is 40 to 60 pounds, but they can easily top 100 pounds.
Flounder numbers are on the rise in seaside inlets. Some nice catches are coming from Wachapreague and Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore. Drift fishing with live minnows, or fresh strip baits fished behind bucktails are a good choice. Live spot or small mullet are best for big fish in deep water around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The average size flounder in Virginia is 1 to 3 pounds, but the state record is a whopping 17 pounds, 8 ounces. It was caught at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
A few speckled trout and bluefish have been reported in Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets. Numbers should increase.
Tautog fishing remains excellent. Look for them around underwater obstructions, wrecks, reefs and rocks. Many anglers like to pylon hop along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Blue crabs or fiddler crabs are the best bait, but some are caught using clam or whelk. The average size tog is 3 to 6 pounds, but in Virginia large ones can top 20 pounds.
There was an impressive red drum bite at the Point in Buxton last week. Many citations were beached and one day the bite lasted all day, with more than 30 citations registered at local tackle shops. Anglers fishing near ramp 43 and 55 caught puppy drum. Bluefish, sharks, and blow toads are everywhere. There have been plenty of sea mullet near ramp 43 and some nice flounder were taken near ramp 55.
Offshore out of Oregon Inlet the tuna bite has been red hot, plenty of yellowfin tuna. Mahi numbers are increasing. Down in Hatteras there has been an excellent wahoo bite and they are still catching lots of nice sized black fin tuna over the rocks.
Inshore boats are catching albacore and bluefish.