There have been reports of cobia seen along the coast and even a few small ones caught inside the lower Bay by croaker anglers.
It’s way early yet, but even a sighting or two is enough to distract cobia hunters from all the other opportunities. That is because the past few summers have been outstanding for cobia.
Meanwhile, red drum continue to migrate into the Bay, with fish starting to be more available around the inner middle grounds.
Black drum also are plentiful.
Flounder catches should be on the rise as waters heat up. One of the best locations is the bend between the second and third islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Also look for them around many inshore wrecks, artificial reefs and various bottom features in the Bay.
Croaker continue to provide good action around Fort Monroe, as well as the mouths of the James and Nansemond rivers.
Bluefish numbers are on the rise everywhere.
In the inlets, look for croaker, small spot, bluefish and puppy drum.
Red drum and possibly cobia could be had by sight casters working the coast.
Spadefish have started arriving, but waters aren’t warm enough for a bite.
Offshore action has been outstanding for bottom-bouncers. They can expect golden and blueline tilefish, snowy grouper, rosefish and – now that the season is open – plenty of jumbo sea bass.
Bluewater trollers should start to see increasing numbers of billfish, tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Don’t be surprised to find a few bluefin and big bluefish around the Cigar.
Flounder should continue to be available in backwaters of Wachapreague and Oyster. But look for fish to start moving to the inlets.
Also look for more flounder to move along the channels heading to the northwest past Cape Charles and Kiptopeke.
Around Oyster, speckled trout action should be waning, with some croaker likely to move in.
Red drum are moving more toward the inner middle grounds, but many fish will continue to patrol the barrier island breakers.
Black drum can be found around buoys off Cape Charles and Kiptopeke.
Spadefish are showing around buoys and navigational structures, but likely won’t be biting for another week or two.
Billfish action is steadily increasing, with blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish cooperating.
Trollers can expect outstanding numbers of dolphin, along with wahoo, amberjack and scattered tuna.
Closer to shore, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, red drum and cobia are available.
Look for flounder, bluefish and puppy drum in the inlets.
Pier and surf
A small cobia was caught last week at the Ocean View pier, increasing anticipation of things to come. Otherwise, look for croaker, spot, flounder, puppy drum, striped bass and bluefish all along Virginia’s beaches.
Down on the Outer Banks, add pompano, sea mullet, toad fish, skate and shark.
Pier fishermen along the island could tangle with cobia and red drum.