Anglers are turning their attention to rockfish. Large fish are moving out of bay tributaries and into the Bay. This week boats found some of the larger winter fish. Look for them on the Eastern Shore side of the Bay. Anglers will be drifting or slow trolling eels near Plantation Light and along Cape Charles. Mann’s Stretch 25’s and tandem rigs are also effective. The 19th Annual Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout takes place December 9th, 10th & 11th. Participants can depart any inlet in Virginia but all weigh-ins are at King’s Creek Marina in Cape Charles. School-sized rockfish are available for anglers casting along the bridge pilings and the artificial islands of the CBBT. Most fish are medium in size. Lots of fish are still up the rivers, the Elizabeth, James, Rappahannock and Potomac. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle reported some keeper size fish inside Lynnhaven inlet, the best fishing is at night under lights.
The Speckled Trout bite slowed some but fish are still being caught. Lower Chesapeake Bay inlets like Lynnhaven and Little Creek are good. Rudee Inlet is good also. The James and Elizabeth Rivers, the Hampton/Poquoson area are still producing. Mirr-O-Lures and swim baits are working well.
Tautog are biting along the CBBT and on Bay structure. As the Bay water temps drop ocean wrecks will probably produce best. Fiddler crabs and quartered blue crabs are the preferred baits.
Jumbo sea bass are available on many ocean wrecks. Seabass become off limits at the end of the year, when the season closes. Some big bluefish could show near the same structures. Flounder can also be found around offshore structures. Fresh strip baits are best for flounder.
The Rudee Tours headboats are running trips out to the ocean wrecks and enjoying some excellent catches of black seabass, triggerfish with a few flounder mixed in.
When boats make it out to deep drop they are finding good numbers of tilefish and sea bass. On the run out it’s time to be on the lookout for bluefin tunas.