- Fishing improves at the Buckroe, James River piers
- Tautog are active in the area now
- Flounder action is also improving
SALTWATER FISHING NEWS
Buckroe fishing pier update
: The pier operator at Buckroe Fishing Pier (727-1486) reports the fishing pressure is starting to increase. Weather permitting, anglers, using squid for bait, are catching croakers measuring as long as 17 inches. There have been no flounder catches reported, but boaters, working fairly close to the pier, have reported catching keeper flounder, measuring up to 23 inches.
James River fishing pier update
: Bob Wharton, from the James River Fishing Pier (247-0364), said he received the first reports of large croaker catches this past week and the bite will continue to get better as the high temperatures set in. Even though catfish catches top all reports, that will change with the warmer water.
Patience pays off for Lockwood
: Brian Lockwood reports he had a bad bite on Friday, when he fished the
Tunnel (CBBT) around the 3rd and 4th Islands. After making several drifts, using squid and live minnows with no luck, he anchored over the tubes, looking for tautog, using fiddler crabs and had the same luck. He made one more trip during this reporting period, again to the CBBT. Using fiddler crabs for bait and working several of the more productive pilings, he had no luck. Luckily he met up with some friends who gave him a couple of live hard crabs, and that was the secret. He ended up with his limit of 4 tautogs, measuring between 16-18 inches.
Lower bay, Hampton Bar, York and James River and Coastal/Offshore update
: Ken Neill, IGFA Representative for the Peninsula, reports that now is the time to catch tautog. Fish are active on structures in the Bay and ocean. The largest fish are being caught on the ocean wrecks in depths like those at the Triangle Reef. Structures closer to the beach are becoming more productive as the water warms. Inside the Bay, the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT), near the High Rise section, is producing the most and largest tautog. The action will continue to heat up this month, and then it is over. The tautog season is closed from May 1-June 24. Flounder action will continue to improve as the water warms and the Bay waters clear up. This year, we are allowed to keep up to four flatfish of at least 18.5 inches in length.
Fish have been caught on Hampton Bar, in the seaside inlets of the Eastern Shore, near the 3rd island of the CBBT, around buoy 36A, and at the mouth of Back River among other locations. The new Buckroe Pier is open, and the early catch is croaker. Croaker also are being caught in the James and York Rivers. Puppy drum are biting inside Rudee Inlet and in the Elizabeth River. A few speckled trout are still being caught in the Elizabeth River. Boats running out of Oregon Inlet still are encountering some impressive bluefin tuna, good numbers of yellowfin tuna and some wahoo.
Ruth and Mac McCormick fished the Warwick River, last week, searching for some blue catfish. Ruth, being the spokesperson for this fishing duo, reported: "We lost count of how many we caught. We threw back a lot of fish, but we did treat ourselves to a wonderful catfish dinner."
Beaverdam Park update
: C. Blair Evans, the park supervisor at Beaverdam Park (804-693-2107) reports the lake is at full pool, slightly stained, with a water temperature, measured at the fishing pier, of between 63-67 degrees. With almost perfect fishing weather this past week, Saturday brought out many anglers. Most anglers reported fairly good catches of largemouth bass weighing between 2 and 5 pounds; crappie weighing up to 1 pound, 13 ounces and yellow perch measuring up to 13 inches.
Harwood's Mill and Lee Hall update
: (886-7912) The park facilities coordinator reports both lakes are slightly over normal pool, stained with pollen and the water temperature on Lee Hall is estimated at 60 degrees and on Harwood's Mill it is estimated at 65 degrees. A few largemouth bass and a couple of chain pickerel are the only catches reported. Spawning action has just started, and reports of small largemouth bass catches should increase.
: The lake will open for the fishing season on Saturday. It will be open on Saturday and Sundays only, from 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. You can rent only jon-boats and canoes, with rental rates for a 14-foot jon-boat being $4 per hour or $15 per day; 18 foot jon-boats are $7 per hour or $25 per day; canoes are $5 per hour or $20 per day. The lake is at full pool, slightly stained and has a water temperature, measured at the boathouse, of 62 degrees. With the warm, clear weather, the clarity should improve and fishing this weekend should be super.
Little Creek Reservoir update
: The park supervisor for Little Creek Reservoir (566-1702) reports the lake is at full pool with water temperatures estimated between 55 and 60 degrees. The warmer waters are causing the fish to move into the shallows, and the bass spawn should begin soon. Catch reports this week include largemouth bass weighing up to 7 pounds, 11 ounces, striped bass measuring up to 31.5 inches an the normal numbers of crappie and chain pickerel.
Sandy Bottom Park update
: The park coordinator (825-4657) for Sandy Bottom Park reports the lake is slightly over normal pool, slightly stained due to the pollen, and has an estimated water temperature in the high 60s. The latter part of last week found the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries stocking bluegill and redear sunfish in the lake just in time for the summer deluge of anglers. There have been no reports of spawning largemouth bass, but within two weeks, the spawn should be on. Anglers are reminded that fishing is allowed only from the fishing pier, or from their rental boats. No shoreside angling.
The local Colonial Sail and Power Squadrons
will host "The Biggest Little Poker Run Ever" on April 17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with headquarters at Salt Ponds Marina. Dingys and kayaks will visit seven designations along the Chesapeake Bay waterfront to collect a playing card. All proceeds will benefit the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Call
at 800-554-4581 or 757-880-8820.
will conduct the "About Boating Safety" course at the Abington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station No. 3 on Saturday at 8 a.m. Call 291-5207.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in Newport News
will conduct a "Boating Skills and Seamanship" course on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Warwick High School, beginning April 12. Call 868-6436.
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