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Virginia Fishing Reports Ė September 2008


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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Reports

By Captain Rick Lockart 

September's Forecast

September, with its shorter days and cooler nights is cause for many species of fish to start thinking about migrating south. This migration requires a great deal of energy which causes these fish to actively feed in preparation of their often long journeys. This can make for very exciting fishing in the salt waters of Virginia.

Offshore, white marlin, blue marlin, wahoo, and dolphin are all at their summer peaks. Inshore, red drum, flounder, Spanish and king mackerel, spotted trout, bluefish, spot, and croaker are most likely to be boarded. Most can be caught throughout the month, though their numbers are likely to decrease. Tarpon and cobia changes are better early in the month.

Eastern Shore
Capts. Len Buchta (757-824-4427) and Bill Lertora (888-389-5603) will concentrate their efforts offshore for blue marlin, white marlin, wahoo, along with yellowfin tuna and dolphin. Trolling continues to be the preferred means of catching the tuna. Bill mentions that king mackerel are a real possibility, as well. Inshore, Capt. Rob Savage (757-678-0063) will fish for the elusive tarpon early in the month and then will target red Drum, spotted trout, flounder, spot, and croaker. Capt. Mike Handforth (757-336-6861), a light tackle specialist from Chincoteague, is looking forward to a successful month of fishing for flounder, croaker, spot, black sea bass, roundheads, blues, and gray trout.

Virginiaís Tidewater region should be hopping the month of September, both inshore and offshore. Inshore, Capt. Ron Bennett (757-588-4198) will be fishing for spadefish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, spot, croaker, sea bass, and red drum. Capt. Nolan Agner (757-200-0200) and Capt. Steve Wray (757-481-7517) will venture offshore when weather or party call for such, fishing for both blue and white marlin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, and dolphin and shark. Capt. Steve will also provide the opportunity to deep drop for blueline and golden tilefish. Inshore, each will target flounder, king mackerel, bluefish, cobia, and shark.

Lower Peninsula
Capt. Jerry Olson (757-288-1081) states that his Septemberís fishing generally includes cobia, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, spadefish, flounder, croaker, and spot. Capt. Chandler Hogg (757-876-1590) will be concentrating his efforts on cobia, flounder, spadefish, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel. Capt. Bill Mershon (757-870-7265) and several other charter boaters of the Lower Peninsula ( are anxiously awaiting the return of the tasty and feisty spot. Many of the fish caught in September are over the former citation weight of one pound. 

Middle Peninsula
September is the month of the spot, at least as far as a majority of Middle Peninsula fishermen are concerned. Captís Bill Bailey (804-314-0835) and Ian Bailey (804-776-7129) generally patrol the rivers. Capt. Don Bannister (804-776-0629), Capt. Jerry Thrash (804-725-3889), and Capt. Glenn Hubbard (804337-6357) continue to seek flounder on the Bayís Eastern Shore, but will also bottom fish for the famed spot if their party desires to do so. 

Northern Neck
For the Northern Neck fishermen, trolling is generally the ticket during September. Efforts will generally be concentrated on the schooling numbers of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and striped bass (remember that striped bass are not legal in the state of Virginia until October 4). Capt. Jim Deibler (804-580-7744), Capt. David Fisher (804-580-2548), Capt. Roy Amburn (804-453-4265), Capt. Bob Reed (804-435-9785), and Capt. Ferrell McLain (888-229-3474) fish out of the Reedville area. Each will seek the Spanish, blue, and striper trio. Should the fishing die down during the day, each is likely to concentrate their efforts chumming or bottom fishing. Capt. Ryan Rogers (804-453-5812) and Capt. Danny Crabbe (804-453-3251) fish out of Little River at Smith Point. 

Augustís heat wave gives way to Septemberís cooling trend; however, when it comes to fishing Virginiaís salt water, the reverse is true. 

Virginia Freshwater Fishing Report
By Missy Fike  

September is an excellent month for fishing. As the temperatures drop down the fish really liven up. The fish that have spent the summer in the deep holes come up and begin feeding on the surface. The cooler temperatures trigger the fish to feed for the winter months coming ahead.


Lake Orange, Lake Curtis, Lake Phelps, Motts Run and Hunting Run the fish will really liven up this month. Early morning and evening is still the prime times to go. Bass will hit really well on grubs, crickets, mayflies and night crawlers. They will also hit well on buzz baits and lures. The crappie will continue to improve as the water temperatures lower.


The upper Rappahannock River fish the deep holes during morning hours and evening hours for sunfish, smallmouth and redeye. Live baits should really work well. Try using crickets, crayfish, hellagramites, night crawlers and small minnows.


Taylorís Grocery (540-659-2347) reports that the crappie will be biting well on minnows. The bass will be hitting well on minnows and plastic worms and the catfish will continue to bite on cut bait.


RWís (804-529-5634) reports that the bass are hitting on plastic worms. As the water temperatures drop they will switch from the plastic worms and start hitting on buzz baits, spinner baits and crank baits. Small minnows will work well at the ponds and as well as crickets, and night crawlers. Bream will respond well to small spinner baits and night crawlers and crappie will hit well on small spinner baits and minnows.


Riverside Camp Grounds (804-966-5536) reports that the fishing is really excellent right now. Mike stated he has boats going out and are catching 30-40 bass using topwater frogs and plastic worms. The fish will school up on the small fry that hatch out and feed aggressively on them. The crappie should peak this month and the fishing for them should continue to be really good for the next few months. There is still plenty of catfish and they can be caught on eels and large minnows. Anglers can catch some really nice catfish this month but I am told the big ones really start hitting in October. The bream will still be active and hitting well on crickets and nightcrawlers.


Colemanís Outdoor (434-286-2547) on the James  reports that the river is low now and that they usually get water around the second week of September. The bass are hitting well on flukes, spinner baits, minnows and night crawlers. The flathead catfish respond well to live bait like gold fish and small bream. The blues and channel catfish respond well to night crawlers and cut baits. On the lakes the bass will respond well to spinner baits, black and blue jigs, topwater lures and the best time to go is the early morning and evening hours.


Walter from Little Creek Reservoir reported that some anglers fishing top water lures before the sun gets above the trees have had success in the shallower water. This should continue as the water temps lower. Largemouth Bass are hitting on minnows and plastic worms and walking baits over the last week. Chain Pickerel are being caught on plastic worms, swim baits and minnows. Yellow Perch are reported to be hitting on small minnows and jigs. The Reservoir is clear with an estimated temperature of 89 degrees. The water level is down close to forty inches.


Buggs Island Bait and Tackle (434-374-8934) reports that largemouth bass will be hitting well on topwater lures like Pop-R in the early morning. The spinner baits and artificial worms work well during the warmer parts of the day. Crappie and small mouth fishing will be excellent. Anglers should fish the brush piles in about 7-8ft water. The small mouth hit well on the 2Ē curly tail jigs and small bucktails. Stripers will most likely move to the upper end of the lake and bite Redfins and Bucktails really well. The flathead catfish move to the upper end of the lake and blue catfish are all over the lake. The catfish and striper move to where the water is shallower and where the shad are dumping into the lake from the rivers. 


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