• Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report - Virginia

    Capt. Billy's Charters
    (804) 580-7292 http://www.captbillyscharters.com/default.asp captbillypipkin@gmail.com
  • I grew up in a small rural waterfront area of Pasadena, Maryland. At age five, I had my first vessel, a sailing skiff converted to a rowboat. My father taught me how to fish and crab while ultimately helping me develop a love and respect for the water.

  • Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report - Virginia

    The Fall Equinox has arrived in classic fashion, cool and breezy. Continued cool nights have reduced the bay water temperature to 73 degrees with the rivers registering slightly less. This drop in temperature promotes great fishing.

    BOTTOM FISHING continues to be popular among anglers in the rivers. A variety of species is available throughout the region, and most are within the range of even the smallest boats. With SPOT fishing blossoming, the oyster beds and hard bottoms have been steadily worked over. Despite heavy fishing in the lower rivers, catches are holding up well. Sizes remain around the 3/4 pound class. The bloodworm population also takes a big hit in late September and early October, as that is the preferred bait among anglers.

    The mouth of the Rappahannock river is a popular area at this time. From Broad creek to Gwynn’s Island you can gather a nice catch. You may have to look around a bit to find that good hard bottom or oyster bed, but when you do, the cooler will get small quick. I do encourage anglers to only keep the number of fish that they can comfortably clean and eat. Instead of wasting a precious resource, practice catch and release after your personal need is reached.

    FLOUNDER remain available as they are spread out over the region. There are few truly hot spots, yet legal fish are being landed in the lower rivers, the Cell, and along the channel edges as they begin to migrate. Strips of squid or cut bait works well when fished behind a bucktail jigged along the bottom. Gulp baits also work well in this application.

    CHUMMING has been showing promise with the best locations this week being in the Potomac river off of Lewisetta and on the S.W. Middle Grounds. They continue to swell with BLUEFISH up to four pounds. The lumps on the S.W. Middle Grounds are also holding some stripers but consist of mainly 2-4 pound bluefish

    In Virginia waters, the artificial reefs are holding mostly Bluefish with a mix of a few drum and rockfish in the catches. Many of the drum have fallen into the legal (18"-26") slot limit this week. The ROCKFISH season opens on October 4th, so we have a week to catch and release them before they are targeted and become dinner.

    TROLLING action has also been good this week. Most of the action has been either blind trolling over schools of shiners or near a few picking birds. Surface feeding schools are rare, yet when a school is located, a mess of fish can be landed without difficulty. I have noticed that the fish, especially SPANISH MACKEREL are holding over the deeper water of the channel edges more than in the shallow water. This is a distinct sign of the fall migration. Sometimes a #2 planer is helpful in reaching the deeper schools. The mackerel are running large this week with a few tipping the scales at over four pounds.

    On your next trip, don't forget to share the fishing experience with a friend. Explore new locations and friendships. You will soon come to realize there is much more to fishing than merely catching. I will share a quote that comes to mind: “Your headiest success as an angler begins when you care more about fishing than the fish” - Arnold Gingrich

    Until next week…Fair winds.

    Capt. Billy Pipkin owns and operates Ingram Bay Marina and Capt. Billy's Charters located at the end of Remo Rd. in Wicomico Church. at the mouth of the Great Wicomico River. 580-7292 captbillyscharters.com
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