Better catches of Flounder are occurring in the lower Chesapeake Bay and out in the ocean. Lately, there’s been an increase of good keepers caught from the HRBT, CBBT, Lynnhaven Inlet, Rudee Inlet, and some of the artificial reefs. Live Spot works extremely well for the larger Flounder, especially inside the bay and around the bridge tunnel. Folks are also jigging for them as well as dragging Flounder/spinner rigs with fresh strip bait or a minnow/squid combo.
Rockfish season opened on October 4th and will remain open until December 31st. Anglers are finding them inside the rivers fairly easily by jigging bridge pilings. Cut bait, such as crab and fresh fish work well also. A natural drift with light weights sometimes works best while using cut bait. This is also good while anchored up-current of submerged cover, such as wrecks. The regulations state that one fish per angler may be kept per day with a 20 inch minimum and a 36 inch maximum length.
Speckled Trout are turning on nicely, and should continue to do so. Many folks are using shrimp, as they are easy to catch right now and are abundant in the bay tributaries. Topwater baits and popping corks with swimbaits are working well also. Most of the inlets and creeks on the west side of the bay are holding Trout. Flats with grass are excellent places to target the Specks.
The Spot are still around. Anglers are filing coolers quickly while fishing from lower bay piers and inside the rivers, in areas with hard bottoms. Bloodworms work best for the Spot, but they sell out quickly.
Sheepshead catches are still occurring from the bridge tunnels and from reef areas. Crab is most often the best bait to use. Anglers are finding plenty of Drum, both the large variety and the pups. Targeting shallow areas are productive for many. Casting 4” swimbaits on 1/8 to 3/8 oz. jigs is usually all that is needed.
Piers are good attractors for the Puppy Drum as well as Trout. The deep water anglers are doing well with Tilefish and Seabass. These fish are excellent table fare and have high fish limits. So, many fish can be brought back to enjoy.
The water temps in the Nags Head area are hovering around 74 degrees. Surf and pier anglers are catching Sea Mullet, Spot, Drum, Croaker, Blues, and some Spanish Mackerel. The charter boats are finding Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi, and Billfish right now.