Way South Fishing Reports

Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 19 Update:

We checked in with Ocean’s East Bait and Tackle this week, who let us know that with the opening of sea bass season plus slot-sized stripers now legal in the Bay, along with some finally-not-blowing beautiful weather, there’s plenty going on in the area. The opening of sea bass has been absolutely wonderful, with excellent catches coming in from the inshore and offshore wrecks. They reported that boats did wonderfully this week dropping down squid and flat fall jigs. Even though the sea bass are drawing lots of attention, rockfish are now in too, and on the minds of plenty of anglers. Along with reports of success on fish in the 20- to 28-inch slot we heard from readers catching over-slot fish, with the HRBT and MMBT both providing some action. One reader noted catching a few undersized rockfish, a 22-incher, three slot reds to 24 inches, and two keeper-sized specks on pink swimbaits, fishing "near Hampton." Now that’s what we call some awesome fishing!

big rock in va
Donald caught this beautiful fish near the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge-Tunnel.

Speaking of awesome fishing: Ocean’s East also reported that the drum bites are ON(!!!!!), for both blacks and reds. The fish are spread through the shoals and hotspots in the Cape Charles area, near the CBBT, and also have been caught at The Cell. We had a reader check in after catching three monster black drum on clam baits near Cape Charles, saying that every one of them was well over 50 pounds. Using hard or peeler crab or clam is common. Anglers fishing near the structure of the CBBT with crab baits are also reporting increasing numbers of sheepshead.

We’re also happy to report that puppy drum and speckled trout remain lively in the inlets with speck reports going up in numbers day by day. They’ve been steadily gaining steam for a few weeks now, and seem to be in a spring mixed-species peak at the moment. Rudee and Lynnhaven are holding good numbers of both, as well as increasing numbers of flounder, drawing anglers sporting an array of Z-Man’s and Bass Assassins. Reports indicate that colors wasn’t of much concern this week for the specks, but that they were favoring paddle tails.

Also of note this week: we heard about a couple-few bluefish here and there and one early-bird Spanish mackerel. None were photo-confirmed but since blues have now been caught up the coast to Delaware, we don’t doubt it one bit.

Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 13 Update:

With the iffy weather at the end of last week, when Hampton Correspondent Chuck Harrison had the chance to go fishing he opted to visit the Buckroe pier rather than launch his boat, and reports catching just one small bluefish. He also didn’t observe other anglers doing any catching, however, an angler who fished through the night had reported catching some puppy drum and said there had been some spurts of action from the puppies in recent days. There have been good reports of puppy drum in Lynnhaven inlet recently, with speck bites reported throughout the inlets and marshes. As the bite picks up for the season, we should continue to see numbers of both species increase. Generally, the inlets have been good places to fish for both the puppy drum and trout. We also heard from a reader who hit Rudee this week during a (relatively) calm spell and reported catching his limit of slot reds in the 20- to 24-inch range by 10:00 a.m., using soft plastics.

sea bass back in season
These beauties are ALMOST back in - just a few more days!!

Notably, the Virginia sea bass season opens this week on May 15th. This is an exciting bite that we’re hoping will provide some good action throughout the season!

If you missed last night's presentation of The Past Present & Future of Striped Bass: A Chesapeake Perspective, remember, you can still watch it on YouTube!

Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 6 Update:

With water temps on the rise the species selection is expanding, and this week we heard the first reports of sheepshead come in from the CBBT on fiddler crab and peeler baits. With the tog bite also picking up, at least one lucky reader had a mixed bag with both species in the cooler and as we enter the final days of tautog season — May 15 marks the close for spring — now’s a prime time to drop those baits right up against the structure and set yourself on a hair trigger for the bites. If, that is, you can manage to resist the temptation of many other developing options…

surf fishing for drum
Dave Moore hauled in this nice black drum in the suds this week, on a sand flea bait.

Along the beaches, the shoals off Fisherman’s, and the shoals in the Cape Charles vicinity, drum of both species are in prime form. Reds have been moving in increasing numbers as black drum have been starting to scatter more, with soft or peeler crab proving a hot bait and clams picking up some drum as well. Setting out cut mullet is also starting to produce a few long, skinny “racer” bluefish on the ocean side and we heard of one from the Bay this week as well.

In the inlets, at the HRBT, and up to Poquoson a solid bite for slot redfish continues with plastics, MirrOLures, and gudgeon producing plenty of strikes. A few flounder are also pouncing on soft plastic bounced along bottom in the inlets and Oceans East is reporting a few blues are being caught in them as well. Day by day the speck count is increasing too, and this week we heard of two singles caught all the way up at the Tangier Sound. In other words, at this point you could potentially encounter them anywhere up the Bay and in the next week or two (once the incoming blow passes through) we’d expect to hear speck and red reports from throughout the state’s waters.

February 4, 2022
Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 25 Update: The sea bass shut-down has put a damper on Virginia fishing (boo!), and we didn't hear a lot of chatter from this neck of the woods this week. Much of the fishing that has been happening… Read more...
January 7, 2022
Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 28 Update: Reports from the inlets were scant this week, though there’s always a chance of finding a winter speck or red, and water temps at the CBBT are too low to have high hopes for tog action.… Read more...
December 3, 2021
Way South Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 31 Update: Welcome to the final fishing report of 2021! Here’s hoping that 2022 is a better year, both fishing-wise and otherwise. The chatter of catch-and-release striper fishing for trophy-sized… Read more...