The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
OVERVIEW: Autumn is in the air, with cool nights and bright sunny days. Fall patterns are emerging. Fish are actively feeding in preparation for the winter months and the fishing will stay good through October.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: Bass fishing remains decent upriver from Port Royal to Fredericksburg. Below Port Royal, bass fishing has fallen off. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics will all work. Crappie fishing is improving with the water temperatures dropping. It was recently reported that a Snakehead was found while shocking the river near Hick’s Landing. Upriver, smallmouth bass fishing is very good.
POTOMAC RIVER: Water temperatures are cooling but grass remains a strong pattern, according to Reel Bass Adventures. Top water poppers are still producing early in the morning until the sun is on the water and then switch to a wacky rigged stick worm. Swim baits worked through the grasses are also producing as will spinner baits. When the grass pattern is slow, switch to hard cover, such as rocks, docks, wrecks and the like. Dark colored tubes and medium diving crank baits work on bass, stripers and an occasional redfish. Anglers are patiently awaiting some bigger stripers downriver. Typically, the bigger fish arrive as the water cools; late October, November and December are the best months.
LAKE ANNA: No reports.
CHESAPEAKE BAY/ATLANTIC OCEAN: As water temperatures begin to cool, summer favorites are preparing to exit the area, while cold water species are becoming more active. Although cobia action slowed after the front passed through last week, the action is rebounding with fish pushing to over 60 pounds. Anglers are intercepting these fish as they linger on buoys and collect into pods near the mouth of the bay and along the ocean front using both jigs and live bait. Big red drum (some exceeding 50 inches) are schooling in the lower bay and along coastal waters. Boaters are finding good catches of big reds near the 3rd island of the CBBT and near buoys 36 and 38 off Cape Charles. Peeler crabs, bunker, and crabs are working well as these fish fatten up for their migration south next month. King mackerel are showing some promise, with a few fish boated off of Sandbridge. A hook-up with a large shark is also still a possibility in these areas.When anglers can get out and the water is clear, the fall flounder scene is good. Nice keepers (5–7 pounds) are taking jigs, live and drifted bait along the CBBT structure and drop-offs, with the high rise area, and the 3rd and 4th islands producing the best lately. Offshore and inshore wrecks are also providing good flatfish action, along with nice triggerfish and some seabass. Speckled trout are still making a good showing, with bigger fish moving in recently. The folks at Chris’ Bait and Tackle report that Hungar’s Creek and Oyster are holding good numbers of fish, some over 8 pounds. this week. Other hot spots include the Poquoson Flats, Elizabeth River, Rudee, Lynnhaven, and Little Creek Inlets. Puppy drum are still on the loose in these same areas. The spot bite remains steady in the lower Bay and along the ocean front. Croaker ranging up to around 2.5 pounds are taking bait in most any deep water location in the lower Bay. Rockfish are hitting lures all over the lower bay, and will become more active as the water temperature drops. Amberjack enthusiasts continue to catch nice fish on offshore wrecks and at the South Tower. Billfish are providing good action, with many boats reporting up to 10 releases, or more. Boats are encountering white and blue marlin, as well as the occasional sailfish and spearfish. Yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna and dolphin are also available, and wahoo should continue to pick up through October.
—Compiled by Michael O’Malley