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Vol 47 | Num 14 | Aug 3, 2022

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Virginia Report

Article by Capt. Matt Abell

The other day I heard a customer that was in the store describe the current situation as “summer doldrums“. He was correct. The weather is hot and balmy and the fishing seems a little sluggish and lack luster. All of which seem to be the recipe of negativity and general grumpiness in regards to our local anglers. However, there are positive aspects to even the most pessimistic properties of this inhospitable time of year.

The offshore scene is making waves, literally. Unsettled weather has kept some anglers moored in the slip. Nevertheless, there have been a few windows that allowed for the pursuit of pelagic prey. The inshore lumps off Chincoteague have been a little spotty with intermittent catches of yellowfin and mahi on both the troll as well as the chunk. The Washington has been a little more consistent with groups of whales pointing us in the direction of our treasured trophies. Most of the activity has consisted of mahi, yellowfin and a few bigeyes, but we did get a report of the first wahoo aboard Chincoteague’s own “10-4 Joker” with Captain Crazy Larry. There has also been some deep dropping opportunities for tilefish to offset days where the screaming reels go silent.

The inshore and nearshore scene has still been dominated by some pretty good summer flounder fishing. Inside the inlets the bite had been confined to the last of the flood and first of the ebb. Combinations of Gulp and minnow or silverside are getting results when paired with a brightly colored teaser. There has also been a fair amount of hardheads lurking in these salty seaside sloughs. Most of these croaking critters are small, but we have seen a few that literally “made the cut“ to the fillet table.

The nearshore structure has also been home to some fine tasting flounder. Anglers have jigged large 5”-6” Gulp grubs to tempt keepers onto the ice. Triggers have been supplementing the action with a willingness to gobble up small chunks of clam floated over some of the same wrecks and reefs that you could find flounder. Cobia have been scattered throughout the area. It would be a good idea to have an eel ready to be deployed if the opportunity presents itself.

The middle Chesapeake has definitely cooled down as the water temperature has heated up. The cobia, while still around, are spread out from the Smith Island target ship all the way to the CBBT. Anglers have had some success bottom fishing with hardheads, spot and kingfish coming over the gunwale. The top prize in the Tangier has been some nice mid summer black drum. A chunk of crab, a shell bottom and some patience are all that is needed to bend a rod and stretch your line.

We checked with my buddy Capt. Chad from “Earning Stripes Sportfishing” for some news from the lower bay. Chad reported excellent Spanish mackerel trolling from the cell reef down to the bridge tunnel. Clarkspoons behind planers trolled along the channel edges did the trick. Captain Nathan Beach of Beach’s Chesapeake Charters has been on the meat with some excellent red drum action which is expected to get even better as we move into August.

One day this past week, my son Sammy who works at Tom’s Cove Visitors Center on Assateague, asked me to take him fishing after work. I was busy and time was in limited supply. I hesitantly agreed to try the surf for some spot and kingfish. Within minutes Sammy and I were totally engrossed in pursuit of panfish perfection. We had double headers of spot, kingfish and even a trout.

But most of all we had… FUN! So get out there and make time and memories, but most of all, enjoy this wonderful place we call home! §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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