The water level is slightly above normal and clear, with dropping water temperatures in the mid 70s. Bass fishing was really good in the days leading up to Hurricane Dorian as the falling barometer seems to scare the fish into a hyperactivity. One angler put four bass in the boat on Thursday afternoon for a combined weight of 20.8 pounds. A 7.3- and a 7.1-pounder were the big fish of the week.
Best results have been with Senkos, chatter baits, frogs and swim baits. The best areas to fish have been the weed beds or any area that has the pods of baitfish working. Catfish and bowfin are still active on large and extra-large minnows while the pickle bite has gotten better as the water temperature cools. Shell crackers are still being caught in 5 to 7 feet of water with red worms. Crappie action should get better when the water temperature gets in the 60s.
NOTABLE CATCHES: Dan Jones 7.2, 20.2-pound bag, four fish; Bill Miller and Dan Jones 40 bass, 14-pound bag; Garrett Gouge 13.5-pound bag; Terrance and Tiara Terry 37 crappie; Bill and Tom Petzold 13.5-pound bag; Ron Crum 7-pound bass, 16-pound bag; Bob Anderson 10-pound bowfin; Riley Mason 4.1-pound pickerel; Mason Hayes 4-pound pickerel; Wiley Barlow 4-pound pickerel; James Whitehead 6.2-pound bass; James Pernell 25 shell crackers; Dan Jones 7.1-pound bass; Jason van Der Woodson 6.2-pound bass; Ron Crum 6-pound bass.
GREEN TOP REPORT
SALTWATER: The strongest bite inside the bay is still the cobia bite. The majority of anglers are sight casting, so the level of success usually depends on the conditions. Many agree that the cobia are exiting the bay, despite the warm weather we are having, which seems to be prolonging the bite in the upper portions of the bay. Drum are being found by the cobia seekers more frequently now, since they too are probably starting to exit the bay. They should still bite well into October.
There has been an increase in sheepshead catches this week, and some dandy ones at that. The bridge-tunnel seems to be the place to hook up with the sheeps. Flounder catches were down a little over the past week, so hopefully this will change soon. The tunnel is also the spot for the flounder inside the bay, but ocean wrecks often will provide the most consistent action.
Anglers are seeing a spike in the speckled trout bite. We haven’t heard of any being caught inside Lynnhaven Inlet yet, as most of the action is coming from the inlets on the western side from the York River to the mouth of the Potomac. Top water baits, curly tail grubs, paddle tail grubs, and Gulp! baits, such as shrimp and swimming mullets, are working. There are spot being caught inside the Rappahannock River, but the bite has yet to become hot. Spanish mackerel are definitely available throughout the lower bay still.
Good reports are coming from areas near the Potomac River to the bridge-tunnel. Gold spoons and silver with green have been best so far. Inside the Potomac has been good for rockfish up to 35 inches. These fall under Maryland regulations. Ocean charters are having a blast with the white and blue marlin. They are also reporting good catches of wahoo, mahi and blackfin tuna. There is usually a spike in large fish after a hurricane, or tropical storm. Some reports from the Outer Banks surf and piers are that there are puppy drum available. Inshore boats are finding Spanish mackerel and speckled trout.
FRESHWATER: The crappie fishing has been solid at Anna lately, as anglers are finding them grouped around the bridges. Live bait in slip floats have been best. The top water bite is emerging at Anna, along with other area lakes and ponds. Deep crank baits may be the best bite going on right now though.
Kerr Lake elevation is at 298 inches, almost 2 feet below normal pool. Deep cranks have been good here also. Ten-inch Texas rigged worms also have been good. The lower James has been a bit tough this week but should bounce back shortly. Crank baits have been productive also. The upper James is low and clear, but the fish are starting to bite, especially the top water baits. Small poppers, flukes, and buzz baits will only get better. Some rain would improve things just about everywhere.