While red drum numbers will increase in the coming week, other species also are on the menu.
One area favorite – tautog – now is in a closed season, though.
Flounder catches should be improving as waters around the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay warm. Look for some of the best action to come from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel between the second and third islands. Don’t hesitate to fish for flatties around any southern Bay bottom structure.
Croaker numbers are good, especially for anglers fishing between the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the James River Bridge. Fort Monroe, the James River Pier and the mouth of the Nansemond River can be hot spots this time of year.
The Virginia Trophy striped bass season is off and running, with lots of fish available from the mouth of the Bay up toward Maryland.
Bluefish finally have arrived in Rudee Inlet, and action will be improving. There also have been a few catches of flounder, puppy drum and speckled trout.
Anglers venturing offshore could encounter a few bluefin tuna. Deep-dropping for tilefish and grouper should be good, but sea bass continue to be off limits. Look for big bluefish to start showing around the Hot Dog.
While red and black drum try to take center stage, flounder fishing around inlets and in backwater channels is providing the hottest action.
Fish are available up to Chincoteague, but catches have been best around Oyster and Wachapreague – especially the typical honey holes of Green and Drawing channels, the Hummocks and Bullshead. It took a 7-pound, 14-ounce flattie to win the 21st annual week-long tournament out of Capt. Zed’s.
Sight casting for red drum is off and running, but an added bonus comes from reports that a few cobia also have been spotted roaming the coast. That fishery will improve greatly in the coming weeks. There are plenty of small bluefish in the mix.
Anglers venturing offshore should find decent numbers of tuna – with yellowfin and bigeye comprising most of the catches. There also are increasing numbers of dolphin, wahoo and amberjack. Expect Mr. Mako to show as well.
Pier and surf
Along Virginia beaches, anglers are reporting small croaker, flounder, sea mullet, spot and bluefish. At night look for a few small striped bass.
Along the Outer Banks, numbers of keeper flounder and sea mullet have been outstanding – especially around ramps 44 and 45.
Night action could include big bluefish and some red drum.