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).
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.
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.
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.