Way South Fishing Reports

Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 23 Update:

Fishing has been slower this week as colder temperatures have moved back into the region. Other than the boats heading into the ocean from Virginia Beach for the black sea bass bite, which has continued to be excellent, reports from area anglers were essentially nonexistent this week. Speckled trout, red drum, and striped bass should all be available in the tidal tributaries and inlets to some degree, but it will likely take some extensive searching to find them. Next week is calling for a warmup and these fish will likely move into shallower water searching for bait to feed on. Three- to five-inch soft plastic paddletails on half-ounce to 1.5-ounce jigheads can be productive in many scenarios. The good news for us is that spring is less than a month away and a lot more fishing opportunities will begin to open up soon. Get that gear prep done now so that you can hit the water when the fishing gets good.

tangled fishing reel
Lousy weather is keeping you inside? Now's the time to work on prepping up all that gear that needs some attention.

Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 15 Update:

The warm weather last weekend seems to have got the fish more active as we had multiple reports of solid fishing roll in. A reader reported fantastic February action on redfish in one of the southernmost Bay tribs, specific location nondisclosed. He said between two anglers they caught dozens of redfish averaging around 25” which had moved into just three feet of water to enjoy the afternoon sunshine and could be spotted and/or scoped on the side-scan and cast to. Old Skool 3/16th ounce jigs with four-inch pearl Banshee tails were the hot bait. Other anglers in surrounding tribs reported hot speckled trout action with one boat mentioning nonstop action from early morning until midday. Oceans East Bait and Tackle had an angler stop by to weigh in a big trout over the weekend. The gator measured 28.5 inches and weighed nearly eight and a half pounds!

kayak fishing red drum
The reds are out there, for the anglers bold enough to try some February fishing.

The black sea bass fishing out of Virginia Beach continues to be great. Most boats are reporting limit catches during trips out to the wrecks with some very nice fish in the mix. There is a little less than two weeks until the special February season closes, and anglers will have to wait until May 15th before they can keep them again. Tautog are also on the table and if you are willing to make the drive, there has been some good offshore fishing in the Outer Banks. Virginia Beach Sport Fishing let us know that boats heading out to the deep water are catching bluefin and yellowfin tuna.

Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 9 Update:

The tidal tributaries in this region hold fish year-round, but it can be hard to locate them in the winter months and even harder to get them to bite at times. Luckily, the fish have to eat, and it is possible to find some hot bites even in the cold weather. One angler checked in after a fantastic day catching red drum in an undisclosed location. They managed to boat around a dozen drum up to 34 inches with plenty of upper slot fish. A great trout report came from a boat fishing in the Elizabeth River this week. They boated over a dozen trout including a citation fish and plenty others over 20 inches. The warm weather forecast for this weekend could turn on the bite, so make sure to get on the water and enjoy the warm temps.

black sea bass in a cooler
February sea bass is on fire, and boats out of Virginia Beach are loving it. Photo courtesy of Big Worm Charters.

The Virginia Beach boats heading out to take advantage of the special February black sea bass season have been on an incredible bite. As soon as it opened back up Big Worm jumped in on the action and filled their cooler, Playin Hookey Charters had a walk on group of six anglers this week that all caught their limit, and Wreck Dawg Sport Fishing was also out this week and had a few trips that all produced seven-man boat limits. The fish are quality sized right now and coolers are being filled fast, so it is a good time to make a meat run out to the sea bass grounds. There is a little less than three weeks before the fishery closes again, so get it while the getting is good!

Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 2 Update:

Inshore fishing is slow this time of year as water temperatures begin to hit their seasonal lows. Fish are still hanging out in the tidal rivers but will mainly be holding in deeper water or near structures. Bite windows are also shorter and can be weather and tide dependent making it hard to consistently get on bites. Despite all this, persistent anglers are having some success. There was a report from ana angler fishing near Rudee inlet last weekend who caught six schoolie sized striped bass using a four-inch paddletail paired with a one quarter ounce jighead. The Elizabeth River also has plenty of striped bass, speckled trout, and red drum around, but it can take some work to find them. Searching along channel edges is a good start and finding bait is always key for locating fish. Hopefully Punxsutawney Phil won’t see his shadow, so we will get an early start to spring.

winter speckled trout
Finding a few speckled trout would make any winter angler happy. Very, very happy.

The February special black sea bass season is now open in VMRC waters. These fish will be hanging out at the wrecks and reefs in the ocean and the grounds out of Virginia Beach are a great location to catch quality sea bass in the winter. The season is only open for this month and then will be closed until May 15th. If you are interested in participating, you will need to obtain a Recreational Black Sea Bass Permit from the Marine Resources Commission.

January 5, 2024
Way South Chesapeake Fishing Report, January 26 Update: While fishing has been limited, there has been a lot of big news from governing agencies this week. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has voted and set the coastal striped bass… Read more...
December 1, 2023
Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 29 Update: Hopefully it was a great a great Christmas for everyone with Santa bringing some new fishing gear to try out in the new year. Although it is colder, the fishing can still be red hot in… Read more...
November 3, 2023
Way South Chesapeake Fishing Report, November 24 Update: While we reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for, let’s make sure to put the Chesapeake Bay on our list. We are very lucky to have some of the best fishing on the East Coast… Read more...