Spadefish are getting thicker inside the Chesapeake Bay as the weather warms. The CBBT and Chesapeake Light Tower have been hot spots lately. Fishing for the Spades is often done with slip floats and tight-lining. Most target these fish at, or near, slack tide simply because it is easier to control the bait location relative to the fish. Spadefish prefer structure, and will feed on pieces of clam presented to them. Many times, they are located just a few feet below the surface.
Along with the Spadefish, there are some good-sized Sheepshead being caught from the CBBT structures. Crab is great bait for these guys.
Cobia are being caught from many areas of the Chesapeake Bay as well. Those who are chumming are enjoying good action from areas like Windmill Bar, York Spit, and Nine Foot Shoals. Shallower areas close to structural elements are good places to anchor and create chum slicks that attract the fish. Be prepared to tangle with sharks while doing this as they, too, are attracted to the chum scent.
Sight casting for Cobia is much more efficient when searching from a tower, or elevated position. Most anglers targeting Cobia use live eels or 2 oz. bucktails. Strong, quality reels with 50-65 lb braid is what most are using. Attached to the braid is an 80 lb mono or fluorocarbon leader. A good leader length is 5 feet.
Plenty of Puppy Drum are being caught from the surf, inlets, and piers, but schooling bull Reds have not been reported much. This should not last long however.
Plenty of Spanish Mackerel are being caught throughout the bay. Popular areas are Windmill Bar, York Spit, the CBBT, and Hampton Bar. The lower bay piers are producing Spot, Puppy Drum, Sheepshead, Sea Mullet, and other varieties such as Cobia, and Spanish Mackerel.
Flounder action is increasing at the bridge tunnel and in reef areas like The Cabbage Patch, Bluefish Rock, and Back River Reef. Dragging strip baits slowly behind the boat while maintaining bottom contact is how many choose to target Flounder. Others prefer to vertical jig over hard structure or behind current breaks, such as the pilings of the CBBT. Popular jig sizes range from 1-1/2 ounces to 3 ounces.
The action has been slow early this week along the Outer Banks surf and piers. Fishing in the sound has been more consistent, as it is not as affected by weather. The Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum fishing has been excellent in the sound. There hasn't been much reporting from the offshore boats.