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Virginia Fishing Reports – August 2008


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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Reports

By Captain Rick Lockart 

August's Forecast

August gives us something to look forward to in the coming months.  Though the fishing for most species slows in August, others actually pick up.  The sightings of tarpon on the Eastern Shore, is one such example.  Spanish mackerel start to make their presence known in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.  Sheepshead and amberjack are more frequent while flounder and cobia continue to hold their own towards the Bay’s mouth and the inshore ocean waters.  Offshore, white marlin numbers increase along with the numbers of smaller dolphin.  Wahoo start to make an appearance.

Eastern Shore.  Inshore Capt. Mike Handsforth (757-336-6861) fishes for flounder, croaker, sea bass, bluefish, spot, and sugar toads (blowfish).  Capt. Rob Savage (757-678-0063) will seek out the elusive tarpon for those customers who choose to do battle with these southern brutes.  He also offers his services for red drum, spotted trout, and sheepshead.  Capts. Bill Letora (888-389-5603) and Len Bucta (757-824-4427) will troll offshore for marlin, tuna, dolphin, wahoo, and bluefish.

Tidewater. Capts. Nolan Agner (757-200-0200) and Steve Wray (757-481-7517) fish both offshore and inshore.  Inshore they target spadefish, flounder, shark, cobia, and mackerel (both Spanish and king).  Offshore they troll for marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo.  Capts. Ron Bennett (757-588-4198) and Jim Brincefield (410-867-4944) will be fishing for flounder, spot, croaker, red drum, spadefish, and cobia.  Capt. Jim will also take parties offshore at night to fish for swordfish, if the fish have come up from the South.

Lower Peninsula.   Capt. Jerry Olson (757-288-1081) and Chandler Hogg (757-876-1590) offer a mixed bag in August, fishing for sheepshead, cobia, flounder, both king and Spanish mackerel, spadefish, bluefish, amberjack, and red drum. Capt. Bill Mershon (757-870-7265) fishes the York River and targets the tasty spot and occasional gray trout.  Croaker and flounder are frequent visitors, as well. 

Middle Peninsula. Capts. John Augustine (804-740-3528), Bill Bailey (804-776-0255), and Ian Bailey (804-776-7123 fish the Rappahannock River and the Middle Bay outside of Gwynn’s Island for croaker, spot, and gray trout.  Capts. Don Bannister (804-776-0629) and Glenn Hubbard (804-337-6357) fish the Buoy 42 to Buoy 36 portion of the Bay for flounder, spot, croaker, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, gray trout, and cobia.

Northern Neck. Capts. Jim Deibler (804-580-7744) and Ferrell McLain (888-229-3474) will be fishing for bluefish, Spanish mackerel, gray trout, and croaker outside the Great Wicomico River.  Capt. Leroy Carr (804-453-4050) will be fishing the waters of Maryland, both the Bay and the Potomac, outside of the Little Wicomico River, for bluefish, Spanish mackerel, croaker, and gray trout.  Capt. Bob Reed (804-435-9785) offers the somewhat unique opportunity to hire a charter captain but fish out of your boat.  He travels from the Potomac to the York and will teach you how to fish for spadefish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, etc.  Bob also fishes for Spanish mackerel and bluefish during the month of August from his home on Dividing Creek.

August is one of Virginia’s primary vacationing months.  If you are in the area of the Chesapeake Bay, one of its tributaries, or Virginia’s Atlantic Ocean and want to go fishing, visit

Virginia Freshwater Fishing Report
By Missy Fike  

August is a hot month and the fish like to go down deep to try and get into the cool temps. The best time to catch them is during their natural feeding times. During the day they tend to lay low and not be very active. The fish respond better when a slow retrieval is used. They feed at daybreak and they feed again during the last hour or so of light each day. So sunrise and sunsets are generally a good rule to go buy during August.  It is best to try and time your fishing trip on tidal rivers when the tide is moving. Either coming in or going out. Outgoing tide seems to work better, but that might just be personal choice. 

Lake Orange, Lake Curtis, Lake Phelps, Motts Run and Hunting Run the fish are in their summer pattern and the fishing will be best during low light. Topwater is good early in the morning for largemouth. 

In the upper Rappahannock River, fish the deep holes at daybreak or sunset for sunfish, smallmouth and redeye. Best bait to try are jerkbaits, spinners and live bait. Live bait such as crickets, crayfish and hellagramites also work well. 

RW’s (804-529-5634) reports August is a little hard to fish because it is hotter. Fishing early mornings before the heat sets in is essential. Use topwater lures at daybreak and artificial worms as the morning progresses on largemouth bass. As the sunsets switch back over to topwater lures again. Crappie will be deep biting on small minnows, jigs and nightcrawlers. Most fishing during the summer months is done in mornings and nights during the feeding times of the fish.  During the heat of the day the fish stay in the deep holes where it’s cool and it’s hard to entice them to bite. 

Hellman’s & Son Supply (540-967-2364) reports that striper will be schooled up and can be found in the deep holes around the lake. The best bait to use is live bait and pencil poppers. The best time to go is early morning.  Largemouth bass also will be hitting early mornings and also late evenings off the structures and points of the lake.

Surfside Bait and Tackle (804-730-2238) on the James River the largemouth bass will be hitting on top water baits in James, Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers early morning. Plastic worms, 4” – 10” will work well. The bass like to go deep in the hot months and the best time to catch them is during their natural feeing times, which is early morning or again late evenings that last hour of light. The catfish will be biting cut bait such as bunker or menhaden and eels. The smallmouth will be in deep holes biting on small crankbaits that look like perch or crawfish.  

Riverside Camp Grounds (804-966-5536) reports that there will be plenty of blue catfish and they can be caught on eels and large minnows. The Chickahominy River is tidal so the best time to fish it is out going tide.  Largemouth bass slow down. Many go up in the creeks. The bass are going to be holed up where there is cover. They like the lily pads. Worms and top water buzz bait, plastic worms and popping frogs work well at daybreak or sunset.  Bream fishing will should still be active and hitting well on crickets and nightcrawlers.

In the Virginia Beach area panfish will be caught on crickets and worms on the bottom in about 10-15ft of water. The bass will be hitting well on topwater lures in the early morning and then on artificial bait. 

Buggs Island Bait and Tackle (434-374-8934) reports that largemouth bass will be moving to the shallows. They will be biting well on spinner baits, plastic worms and grubs. The crappie will be in the shallows on brush piles and will respond well to small minnows. The blue catfish will be biting well on cut bait and the flatheads will hit live bait.

The Tackle Box (434-239-1710) at Smith Mountain Lake reports that bass will be hitting at nighttime or early morning hours using dark colors and topwater lures. Stripers will also be hitting at nighttime on topwater lures. The catfish on live bait or cut bait at night on rivers or in the lakes. Should be a good month for nighttime catfishing. 


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