Virginia Fishing Reports – June 2009
The lastest Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Saltwater Fishing news and advice from Capt Rick Lockart plus Missy Fike's Freshwater Fishing Report for the Neck and Northern Virginia. Also available are the archived reports back to 2006 for those wishing to track or review trends.
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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Reports
By Captain Rick Lockart
May has gotten off on a rather slowfoot, so most of us are looking forward to a vastly improved June. Water temperature, as usual, will be a key. As the water warms, many of our vacationing species will return home.
Offshore fishermen will be looking for an improvement over last June. Both bluefin and yellowfin tuna should be available, and bluefish should be a steady target.
Inshore, both black and red drum fishing should be at its peak early in the month, along with large flounder and striped bass. As the month progresses, numbers of spadefish, croaker, both spotted and gray trout, spot, and croaker should increase. Later in the month, cobia should start to be seen.
Capts. Bill Letora (888-389-5603) and Len Buchta (757-824-4427) will be fishing for bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Capt Mike Handforth (757-336-6214) will be fishing for flounder, spot, bluefish, and croaker out of Chincoteague. Capts. Michael Quade (804-694-9052) and Dale Ballard (757-678-7717) will continue to fish for both black and red drum before changing over to lighter tackle to fish for spadefish, flounder, or croaker.
Capt. Jeff Adams (804-725-6288) will continue to offer deep drop fishing trips for black sea bass, blueline tilefish, snowy grouper, etc. as long as interest continues. Capt. Steve Wray (757-237-7517) will be fishing for striped bass, flounder gray trout, red and black drum, bluefish, and spadefish. Capt. Ron Bennett (757-588-4198) will fish for the same species but will also target shark, if interest is shown. Both Steve and Ron are hoping for an early arrival of cobia. Capt. Max King (757-650-3176) will concentrate on spadefish, cobia, and large drum.
Capts. Chandler Hogg (757-876-1590) and Jerry Olson (757-288-1081) will be fishing for striped bass, red and black drum, flounder, gray trout, and spadefish. As with others, cobia may become a focus later in the month.
Capts. Glenn Hubbard (804-337-6357) and Don Bannister (804-776-0629) will primarily be fishing for flounder; however, croaker and gray trout will be available, and cobia could show up later in the month. Capt. Bob Reed (804-435-9785) will be targeting both flounder and spadefish. Capts. Bill Bailey (804-314-0835) and Ian Bailey (804-776-7129) will be fishing for large croaker, gray trout, and an occasional spot. Bill is willing to try the spadefish at Wolftrap if requested by his customers. Capt. Ed Lawrence (804-693-5673 will be fishing for spotted trout in the Mathews area of the Middle Peninsula. All are able to catch schoolie striped bass until the 15th of June.
Striped bass fishing will dominate the first half of the month. Northern Neck charter captains and recreational fishermen will be primarily chumming for the schoolie fish. Capts. Ryan Rogers (804-453-5812), Leroy Carr (804-453-4050), and Danny Crabbe (804-761-0908) are likely to continue fishing in Maryland waters, while Capts. Woody Robertson (804-453-4608), David Fisher (804-580-2548), and Billy Pipkin (804-580-0401) will be fishing primarily in Virginia waters. All will target striped bass until creel limits are met. Most will then leave the chumming grounds and start looking for large croakers.
June is the start of summer. Here’s hoping that it is the start of a great summer of fishing. Luck to all, and if experience is what you are seeking, don’t hesitate to contact one of the great charter boaters within our state. Most can be found at www.fishva.org.
Virginia Freshwater Fishing Report
By Missy Fike
June brings the best time to float the upper rivers such as the Shenandoah, Potomac, Rapidan or Rappahannock. Enjoy spending time casting to smallmouth, sunfish and the occasional largemouth on these rivers. The Shenandoah and Potomac are also good bets for catfish action, musky and even a walleye in the mix. Use live bait for the best fishing for any of the species. Fresh caught river minnows, crayfish and hellgrammites are hard to beat this month. Most of the fish have finished spawning with the exception of the panfish. Eddies, pool headwaters and sunken cover under shady trees on hot days are dynamite spots.
Curtis Lake, Motts Run and Hunting Run
These three reservoirs are great destinations for bass. Hit the points early and late with topwater lures and buzzbaits to bring ferocious strikes. Be especially attentive of points with cover or grassy areas. The bream bite is hot with crickets this month. Find a bed and fill a stringer! Once the heat pours on be sure to go deeper with cranks and plastics. Junebug and motor oil have been favorites in years past. Don’t forget to try the Manns Hardnose series.
Bass anglers find that the grass mats are great for green fish. You gotta probe deep though for the bass. Jigs or drop shotted Senkos have been popular in the past. The spawn is over this month so the fish are hungry. Don’t overlook the creeks or rivers such as Occoquan, Aquia, and Potomac Creek. Hit the grass in the main waters and the wood in the headwaters. Buzzbaits in low light and high tide over the grass is a good tactic. Catfish are everywhere but the biggest fish are found in deeper holes and ledges where the bait can be hit in nearby shallows. Creek mouths are such good places.
Tidal Rappahannock River
The tidal Rapp is overrun with small catfish. Catch all you can and take some home and your neighbors. If bottom fishing is not really active then switch to float fishing the shoreline with a stick float and 18 inches of line. Bass anglers are hitting creeks hard this month. Ease into them on high tide and probe woody structure when you can cast to it. Plastics and spinnerbaits are good during the day. Cranks work in deeper sections but topwater action in the shallow bays and creekmouths at twilight is great.
Many times the June bass bite at Anna is a mixed bag. Try deeper docks, ledges off points, and boulders uplake if you can find them on your fish finder. Shallow areas with an old creek or river channel cutting through are good spots to watch your finder too. As it gets hotter the fish will suspend more in deeper water.
The striper action will be centered on bait as usual. The bait should be midlake for the most part but can be found downlake in pockets. Find bait and find striped bass! The best angling will be early. Use live bait on the fish. Look out for the catfish if you put your bait down too deep. They are all too willing at Anna.
Fish liven up after coming off the beds. The largemouth bass bite well on artificial worms, small minnows and crankbaits. They like structures like duck blinds, cypress roots, brush piles and the lily pads. The bream and bluegill hit really well on night crawlers. Pan size catfish in the 2lb – 5lb range hit well on night crawlers. The large catfish continue to respond well to chicken liver, minnows and night crawlers. The crappie like those jigs.
James, Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers
June tends to be “top water” month. The largemouth bass will be off their spawning beds and hitting well on top water baits in James, Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. Mornings are generally the better time to go fishing through this month. The crappie will be hitting on small to medium minnows or small jigs. The big catfish will be biting very good using cut bait and eels. The smallmouth will be biting well on small crankbaits that look like perch or crawfish as well as top water lures, spinner baits, and pumpkin seed color grubs. The flathead catfish are hitting well on live bait. Cut bait work well for the channel and blue cats.
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 like cut bait and the flatheads tend to like live bait.
Smith Mountain Lake
The bass will be coming off their beds and might be sluggish at the beginning of the month. Entice them with jerk baits, jigs, lizards and Carolina rigs work well. Mid June the bass will transition to their summer pattern and top water lures will work best. The catfish bite will pick up and they will hit well on chicken liver, eels and goldfish. The crappie will continue biting on small minnows and jigs. Striper will be biting on the lake trolling bucktails and flukes.
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