Updated: January 17th, 2018 by Stan Cobb
(Next Update: January 25, 2019)
Saltwater- There's been a spike in Tautog catches from ocean wrecks this week. Some have not been far offshore. Other than the Togs, there hasn't been a whole lot going on. One of the charter boats out of Oregon- Inlet scored a nice haul of Yellowfin Tuna. There was also a 65 inch Bluefin Tuna caught. There hasn't been any catches reported from the Outer Banks surf fishing front.
Freshwater- The upper James is returning to good levels and color, but for how long, is anyone's guess. The tidal Rappahannock has been producing nice catches of Smallmouth lately. Now is an excellent time to target the Smallmouth in the James, Rappahannock, and New rivers. However, ramp conditions can be unpredictable, and sometimes unusable. Unfortunately, word of mouth, and actually visiting the ramps, is the only way to be sure of successful launching. Good lures for the Smallies are pretty much the same as for Largemouth during the winter. Jerkbaits, jigs, crankbaits, and sometimes spinnerbaits, can be productive. The Chickahominy River and lake are excellent places to visit during this time also. With the weather over the last week though, there wasn't many people out fishing to give reports. This weekend could provide great opportunities, as there is supposed to be a strong cold front arriving on Monday. Lake Anna, Kerr, Smith Mountain, and the smaller lakes, like Sandy River, should be good choices, provided they stay or are clear. At Kerr, the best bet is going to be the Nutbush Creek area. At Anna, the first bridges to the dam, will have the clearest water, and the most baitfish concentrations. The downlake portions of Smith, will also be the better bet. Swimbaits, jerkbaits, jigs, spoons and silver buddies, and A- rigs account for most of the catches being made right now. Small plastics on drop shots and shakey heads are also producers. For the Stripers, swimbaits, spoons, A-rigs, and of course, live bait, are best. Be alert for schooling activity however, as this occurs frequently during the winter.