Northeast winds, which moved into the area on Sunday, combined with a front that developed off the Carolinas on Monday, led to blustery conditions that severely curtailed most angling opportunities early in the week. On the plus side, the noticeable drop in air temperatures has triggered a bit of a speckled trout feeding frenzy.
Lower Shore- Jeb Brady, at Bailey’s Tackle Shop in Cape Charles, reported that the recent rough weather conditions have resulted in tough fishing. Anglers were still catching Spanish mackerel when they can get out. Some red drum have been caught in the evenings with a few cobia mixed in. Brady said the cobia are starting to work their way south, out of the bay. The speckled trout fishing was described as “pretty good” along the bayside creeks and on the seaside. The Cape Charles Fishing Pier has reported recent catches of flounder, croaker, puppy drum, and ribbonfish.
Chris Snook, of Chris’ Bait & Tackle, said that there have been a few red drum caught near buoys 13 and 16, but she is hoping that the fishery improves. Some puppy drum and speckled trout have been caught on the seaside, while speckled trout are being landed inside the bayside creeks. There are still plenty of Spanish mackerel and bluefish in the lower bay. Sea mullet/whiting are coming from just outside the channel off Cape Charles as well as just south of Kiptopeke. Croaker catches are still coming out of Oyster and near buoy 262. Some nice flounder catches have been made, despite the conditions. Frankie Newsome boated a 6-pound, 9-ounce doormat while fishing in the Good Old Boys Flounder Tournament. Snook said there are a “pile” of ribbonfish still being caught off the Kiptopeke State Park Pier.
Wachapreague – Captain Lindsay Paul, at Trident Tackle, reported that anglers were still finding some flounder inside of the inlet, as well as some spot and small croakers. Flounder fishing on the inshore structures has been slow, with anglers catching “one or two.” Spadefish and cobia have been around buoy10. Paul said that he has not heard of anybody targeting Spanish lately, but they should still be along the oceanfront. His only offshore report consisted of a catch of tilefish.
Chincoteague – Donna Rae Roeske, of Captain Bob’s Marina, reports the flounder bite has slowed inside the Chincoteague Channel with most of the reported keepers having come around the bridge over Queen Sound. Minnows tipped with Berkley Gulp remain the top flounder bait combinations. A variety of small panfish has dominated the catches off the Robert Reed Park Pier. Sea mullet/whiting fishing remained consistent between buoys 15 and 11, but it was the area around buoy 21 that gave up a 2-pound citation whiting for New Jersey angler Austin Racer. Sharks remain the dominant species from buoy 11A to outside the inlet and up along the shore of Wallops Island. Offshore fishing and inshore wreck action have slowed considerably since the arrival of the northeast winds on Sunday.
Jimmy Vasiliou, of Captain Steve’s Bait & Tackle, called in to say that Chaya Muth caught a 27-inch, 12-pound, 4-ounce sheepshead off the downtown pier. The northeast winds have pushed a school of croakers within reach of the pier anglers with catches sometimes exceeding 30 fish. Vasiliou said that the surf anglers have been catching spot, kingfish, bluefish, a few Spanish mackerel, and a variety of sharks and rays. The shop’s youth fishingtournament has attracted a field of almost 60 kids!
Upper Shore – Captain Matt Abell, at the Sea Hawk Sports Center, reported that he had a couple of red drum and a cobia during a recent trip in the lower Chesapeake Bay, where sharks are occupying most of the anglers’ time. Abell commented that it has been the best red drum fishery in Maryland waters in recent memory, which may explain why the bite out of Nassawadox Creek has not been as good as usual for the end of August. The talk around the shop has centered on the good speckled trout fishing that has been occurring over the last couple of weeks, with everyone hoping that it will be a precursor to a good fall season. Flounder fishing remains good for this late in the year inside of the seaside inlets, but the inshore flounder bite on the wrecks has been subpar recently. Spanish mackerel are still being caught by trollers inside the bay. Overall, Abell commented that it has been a “crappy” week.