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Virginia Fishing Reports – June 2007


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Northern Neck Charter Boat Directory


Virginia Saltwater Fishing Reports

By Captain Rick Lockart


June’s fishing is much like March’s weather, changeable from start to finish. Often fishing starts off very slowly, particularly offshore, but by month’s end is bringing smiles to many faces. According to Claude Bain of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, June will see an increase in tuna and billfish activity offshore. In 2006, the first release citations for both blue and white marlin were issued in June, while there was an increase in the number of citations for both bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Citation dolphin also showed for the first time in June. Inshore, fishing is generally dropping off for species like stripers (especially the larger of the species), tautog, black drum, and red drum; however, for many species, June is a bust-out month.


Last year saw an increase in the number of citation cobia from 1 in May to 136 in June, with the new state record of 106 pounds being set. There was also an impressive increase in the number of bluefish, flounder, and spadefish. Speckled trout, though not as strong as May, continued to produce trophy fish, particularly early in the month. Both trout, black drum, and red drum will see their numbers spread throughout the Bay during the month of June. Croaker and spot will delight the bottom and pier fishermen along with sea mullet (roundheads). Grey trout were spotty last June but should not be counted out without an attempt being made. Remember that Virginia’s striped bass season continues through June 15 (2 fish of 18” minimum with one fish of 32” or larger being allowed as part of the two fish creel).


Eastern Shore

Capt. Mike Handforth (757-336-6861) reports that the first half of June will be devoted to flounder fishing. In this quiet and laidback setting (call Capt. Gerry Ryan (757-336-6214) for information about lodging and cruises), the fishing for flatties should be excellent, though Mike is somewhat concerned about the new 18˝” regulations. Bluefish in the 3-4 pound class should be prevalent all throughout the month, while large croakers will make a showing sometime in the middle of the month. Croaker fishing will peak in July. June is normally a good time for the jigging of trout; however, the last several years has seen a decline in their numbers. Mike and others on the Peninsula hope to see a resurgence this summer. Sugar toads (blowfish) are also caught by bottom bouncers during the month of June.



Capt. Ron Bennett (757-588-4198) will be fishing for flounder, croaker, and spot throughout the month of June. Ron says that he will also target cobia and shark for those customers incline to fish for the larger fish.


Capt. Steve Wray of Long Bay Pointe (757-237-7517) will start the month off fishing for striped bass, grey trout, red and black drum, bluefish, and spadefish. Later in the month, he will be targeting cobia. Steve wants all of his clients to know that he is expecting delivery of his new 38 footer toward the end of the month. Also, Steve says tuna should be making a showing sometime during the month of June.


Capt. Mike King (757-650-3176) will be fishing for spadefish at the Tower early in the month of June and will concentrate on large red drum and cobia throughout the month.


Capt. Jim Brincefield (410-867-4944) will offer fishing for sheepshead, spadefish, trout, red drum, bluefish, and cobia inshore while fishing for tuna offshore. Jim will also be offering the opportunity to fish at night for swordfish.


Capt. Skip Feller of the headboat Rudee Angler (Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757-287-4153) will concentrate on sea bass and trout early in the month and is looking for large croaker to show about the middle of the month. Much of the inshore fishing will center around the Bay Bridge Tunnel.


Middle Peninsula

Captain Carlisle Bannister (804-353-2143) will begin the month of June fishing for striped bass and croaker. Once the striped bass season ends, he plans to move his operations to Belle Isle Marina where he will target cobia.


Captain Don Bannister (804-776-0629) fishes out of Broad Creek and will be fishing for stripers early and will concentrate on flounder and croaker after the 15th. Don states that he is always prepared for cobia if they move up the Bay.


Captain Glenn Hubbard (804-337-6357), fishing out of Jackson Creek this year spends most of his June fishing time looking for flounder, croaker, trout, and cobia. Flounder fishing will be concentrated in the buoy 38 to buoy 42 area of the Bay. Croaker fishing will center on the channel dropoffs.


Capt. Bobby Jenkins (804-798-1775) continues his fishing above Urbanna on the Rappahannock River. He will be fishing for stripers, croaker, spot, trout, and white perch. An occasional catfish will be boarded, depending upon the amount of rain received in May.


Northern Neck

Capt. Joe Shelton (804-580-9800), Capt. Gene Pittman (804-453-3643), and Capt. Jim Deibler (804-580-7744) will be fishing for striped bass, croaker, and trout. The Northern Neck Reef provides most of the action for stripers, while the croaker and trout are found wherever there is a concentration of snails and/or small mussels, usually south of buoy 62 down to the Cut Channel. Bluefish can make a showing in early June within the chum lines. Often this carries over through the remainder of June and into July. Joe, Gene, and Jim will make an occasional trip into Maryland where the striper fishing continues into November.


Capt. Billy Pipkin (804-580-7292), Capt. Danny Crabbe (804-453-3251), and Capt. Ryan Rogers (804-453-5812) all continue their fishing in Maryland waters after the June 15th ending of striper fishing in Virginia. All three will also target croaker and trout upon limiting out on stripers. Remember that once a striper is caught and possessed in Maryland waters after the 15th, you cannot stop and fish legally in Virginia without having first unloaded your striper catch. As with the Rappahannock River, fishing up the Potomac should increasingly improve as the salt water species start encroaching. This will be dependent upon the salinity levels. Many are hoping that the rains of several years ago do not make an appearance this year, as this has a tendency to increase algae blooms which leads to the creation of dead water zones within this river.



Virginia Freshwater Fishing Report

By Missy Fike


June is a good month for fishing across the state. Enjoy getting out in the warm weather. The best fishing is done early morning and late evening as the weather heats up. Good luck!


Northern Virginia

The shad run has played out and just a few straggling herring were being caught at press time. Just about all the largemouth, smallmouth and crappie have finished their spawn too. The good news is that the bass and crappie are very hungry and willing to smash baits. Bream are finishing up their spawn in most ponds but in the rivers many are just starting to spawn.


The Shenandoah, upper Rappahannock, Rapidan and upper Potomac Rivers are hot for smallies, catfish and bream now. Try small spinnters, live bait, small plastics and on cloudy days, mornings and evenings use topwater lures for bass and bream. June is the month when some very nice smallmouth turn up before summer heat slows things down terribly. River levels were in good shape as of press time.


Lakes and ponds are in great shape. Lake Orange is doing very well for most species of fish and will continue to do so until it gets very hot. Talk to Daryl Kennedy at the lake. Motts Run is running night fishing events every other Friday from 8:30-1AM. 540-786-8989. The fishing at Motts really turned up this past month and many citation fish were being caught.


Lake Anna was HOT for striped bass and largemouth in May and the bite will still be good into the first part of June. Look deeper on your fish finder for the fish this month. Try jigs, deep running cranks and live bait. Secondary points are good starting places. The crappie bite will be best in deeper water or at night near docks that are lit.


Burke Lake and some of the other urban lakes were producing fish for anglers too. Bass have been popular quarry and panfish are willing to hit most anytime.


On the lower rivers the croaker fishing picked up in the brackish areas. Catfish are soon to spawn and will temporarily slow a bit. Gar and bowfin are either thrilling anglers with a good fight or they are making anglers angry when they realize what they have. Bass fishing on the lower rivers has been decent. The fishery is coming back after a terrible drought in the late 90's and early 2000. Try the backs of sloughs and creeks for fun fishing. You might tie into some nice bream and crappie while fishing the headwaters. Ring perch are available too.


Local ponds are very good early and late for bass, bream and crappie. Try topwater baits, small cranks and live bait. Red worms are hot for bream. Minnows will take crappie, bass, and jackfish.


Fishing has picked up for Northern Neck anglers and will continue to do so. Ricky at RW's (804-529-5634) reported that the largemouth bass will be done spawning and will be hitting well in the ponds on spinner baits and artificial worms. Crappie are also done spawning and they will be biting well on small spinner baits and small minnows. Some of the popular worms for artificial lures are Culprit, Yum and Gary Yamoto.


Robert at Surfside Bait & Tackle (804-730-2238) on the James River, report that the bass and crappie will be biting well in June and the best time to catch them is on the out going tide using small minnows and jigs. Catfish also will be biting well using eels or fresh cut shad or bunker as bait. Best time to catch the catfish is at night in the deeper holes.


In the Scottsville area on the James River, I have been talking to Mike at Coleman's. I was unable to reach him and do not have a report for this area. However, if you would like to receive an update for this area call 434-286-2547.


On the Chickahominy fishing has picked up from last month according to Mike at Riverside Camp Grounds (804-966-5536). The bass will be on their regualr summer pattern this month. They will best be caught off the lily pads on plastic bait. Bream are done spawning and will be hitting well on light tackle like beetle spins, crickets, and nightcrawlers. The blue catfish do well year around and will contiue doing well in June.


Over on the Virginia Beach/Suffolk area we spoke to Drew at Dashiell's Sporting Goods (757-539-7854). Drew reports that the bream and shell cracker will be hot in June. Bass and crappie will continue doing well. The stripers will be doing well using cut bait and trolling. The best time of the day to go fishing is early mornings and later in the evenings instead of mid-day.


Down at Buggs Island I talked to Rusty at Buggs Island Bait and Tackle (434-374-8934). Rusty is easily reached, so helpful and has been a really great source for this article. He reports crappie fishing around bridges and brush piles should land the angler a successful trip. Bass will be hitting well on top water lures and using artificial bait around structures. White bass and white perch will be schooling on the main lake points. The stripers will return from spawning and will be in the mid and lower creeks. Later in the month they will probably be in the mouth of the creeks. The blue catfish will be hitting well and can be caught on the flats above Clarksville.


Marvin from The Tackle Box at Smith Mountain Lake (434-239-1710) says June is a good time of year to fish. Everything is and will be biting. The smallmouth bass are doing well on the river and using spinner baits, small grubs and tube jigs will work well catching them. Crappie will be still biting and small minnows are great bait for catching them. The largemouth bass respond well to artificial worms, lizards and jigs. They also respond well to top water lures. The panfish will be biting well as they alternate going on and off the beds. The large shellcracker will be probably the first to go on the beds. The crappie are also moving to the shallows as they alternate moving on and off the beds spawning.

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