The pandemic made 2020 a challenging year. I hope that you, your family, and friends are well. One bright spot for my business was being selected as Virginia’s top light tackle fishing guide by the readers of Chesapeake Bay magazine. A humble thank you to all who voted! I would like to increase my business reviews on Google, so your review is greatly appreciated.
I am optimistic about the fishing prospects on Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. My guide season this year will run from June through October. Over the last 12 years, the availability of quality fishing has shortened my season. Excellent striped bass fishing once available year around is now limited to the warm half of the year when these fish can be targeted on shallow water structure. Even with the striper stock in decline, we still catch countless numbers in skinny water as I know their haunts. In addition to rockfish, the mixed bag of species includes speckled trout, redfish, and Spanish mackerel.
2021 is shaping up to be the year of trophy speckled trout. Over the last three years, speckled trout numbers have been rebuilding in the region with above-average spawns and relatively mild winters. We experienced a kill of specks locally in February due to an extended cold spell, but it seems fish to our south survived. Several trout over 10 pounds were found dead which goes to show that some real gators are out there. Last year produced a 4 week period where we landed over 1,100 specks on my boat, so I hope for more of the same action in 2021. I recently did a podcast for Eastern Current talking all about specks and my guide techniques, so be sure to check it out!
Like speckled trout, we are at the northern end of the range for redfish. They tend to be a boom or bust shallow water fishery on the Chesapeake. I am expecting good numbers of reds in a variety of sizes. We see reds under 28” down to small pups in the shallows and large red drum over 30” in deeper water. Historically, mid-summer to early fall is prime for redfish of all sizes.
Spanish mackerel continue to be a viable target for fly and light tackle anglers. Last year we had days where hundreds of these speedy rockets where skying out of the water all around us as they chased down bait. Spanish can be a challenge to hook at times but provide variety for those looking to add another species to the list.
Please keep in mind that I stay booked every day during the fishing season. With excellent shallow water fishing on the horizon, I decided to sell my tower boat last year and will not be offering cobia charters this season. If you would like to cobia fish, I can send you a referral. Please do not hesitate to schedule a fun day on the bay!