The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
OVERVIEW: Falling water temperatures are causing the fish to get much more active and aggressive. The usual summer species are preparing to move out and are actively fattening up and that the fall and winter species are moving into the area. The next month can be the perfect storm for fishing if everything comes together.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: Catfish are snapping. Many good-sized fish are being caught in the river. Catch fresh bait and put in some time and you should be rewarded with a large fish. Small cats are all over the place. The bass fishing is getting better. Crappie should begin to school up any time now.
POTOMAC RIVER: Bass fishing remains steady. Topwater remains effective for most of the day as the water has cooled significantly. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and crankbaits are also working well right now. Fish the grass or the edge of the grass or look for wood or creeks. The big news recently has been the great puppy drum bite in the river. The pups are being reported in good numbers from as for north as Potomac Creek to the mouth of the River. Rockfish are plentiful but anglers are complaining that they can’t find many keepers. The bonus is that most trollers are also catching some drum and big white perch.
LAKE ANNA: McCotter’s Guide Service reports that as water temperatures fall, fish are schooled and feeding well. You will find 76 degres in the extreme upper portions of lake tributaries, 82–84 mid lake and 87 at Dike III. There is strong current flowing through the Dike as additional damming logs were removed the first week of September. This current is creating excellent and predictable fishing conditions in the lower and mid lake regions. There is good largemouth bass fishing from top to bottom. Pitch a shaky head worm in the up lake region or twitch a soft plastic jerkbait in the lower lake region and catch our largemouths. Fish main lake structure up lake and schooling fish on humps and points down lake. The threadfin shad are in the back third of mid and up lake creeks so the largemouths will be there very soon, too. Down lake, bass are schooled up in the Dike III region. Topwaters, spoons and grubs are good here. Most herring are found in the mid lake region now. Lure fishing for stripers is excellent, with plenty of fish schooled and breaking each morning in the mid lake region down to Dike III. Trolling and live bait fishing are options with trolling even better than live bait now on some days. You can begin to find crappie on docks in the upper portion of the lake this month and deep on bridge pilings. Please consider releasing fish under 10 inches.
CHESAPEAKE BAY: The fall fishing season is shaping up, but sporadic windy days can make getting out a challenge. Most inshore boats are targeting flounder and cobia, while the offshore boats are getting in on the outstanding white marlin bite. Flounder action is still not up to where it was a few weeks ago, but some folks are finding some decent fish. The folks at Ocean’s East 2 report that anglers drifting with strip baits are experiencing the best results. Keepers up to 24 inches are taking strips of squid, and fresh cut bait offered along lower Bay drop-offs and deep channel edges. Cobia are lingering on the pilings of the CBBT as well as the buoys near the mouth of the bay. Schools of cobia are also cruising on the surface as they gather to exit the area. Some of these fish are over 50 pounds, with tossed jigs and live bait working well. Spanish mackerel activity has slowed, but a few are still around. Many boats are also enjoying the abundance of sharks meandering about the oceanfront waters. Some of these toothy critters are exceeding 48 inches. Speckled trout are already showing promise for a good fall season from most of the usual haunts: Rudee, Lynnhaven, and Little Creek Inlets, the Elizabeth River, Hungar’s Creek, the Poquoson Flats, and Mobjack Bay. Big red drum are starting to make a comeback for their end of season show. Puppy drum of all sizes are also coming from the surf lines, as well as Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets, and the Elizabeth River. Spot are still hitting in the lower bay and oceanfront areas. Amberjack are still available on some local wrecks, the Chesapeake Light Tower, and the South Tower. The blazing billfish bite is still on, with multiple releases reported from most boats making the run offshore. Exceptional numbers of white marlin, with good numbers of blue marlin and sailfish are blossoming into grand slams most every week now. The best marlin action is coming from the Canyon to the triple 0’s area.
—Compiled by Michael O’Malley