Chesapeake Bay Fishing Forecast: Spring 2019

Another season of fly and light tackle fishing on Virginia’s saltwater is about to begin. Nineteen years in the fishing charter business have flown by with countless fishing memories. I’m ready to create another chapter in my Chesapeake Bay guiding saga this season.

Mid-April through May is trophy time for large striped bass and red drum. When conditions are right, we sight cast to schools of monster reds and striper in shallow water using my tower boat. Cobia become the main trophy fish target starting in June and lasting until the end of September. Sight casting to cruising cobia in the open bay waters will test your angling skill and mental strength. My trophy charters are not for the faint of heart; experienced anglers, however, can be rewarded with the fish of a lifetime!

The shallows of the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck come alive with bait and gamefish by June. We will target schoolie rockfish, speckled trout and redfish around shallow structure until early November. This is my bread-n-butter fishery with very consistent catches in just about any weather condition. With a mild winter, I’m expecting speck and puppy drum numbers to rebound after a dismal season for them last year.

Please remember that I stay extremely busy during the fishing season, so contact me as soon as possible to reserve a fun day on the bay!

Spring Fishing Forecast

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I find it hard to believe that this is my 16th year running fly and light tackle fishing charters on Virginia’s saltwater. Time has flown by along with countless fishing memories. I am excited to create another chapter in my guiding saga this season as I get both longtime and new clients on the water to chase the bay’s bounty.

I will officially begin my charter season on May 1st. The early half of the month will produce decent numbers of striped bass along with bluefish and a few speckled trout. As waters continue to warm, an increasing number of stripers will take up residence on shallow water structure. May 16th marks the start of the Chesapeake Bay’s spring keeper season for striped bass. Anglers looking to take home some rockfish fillets will be able to keep two fish between 20-28 inches. After June 15th, striper will be catch and release only… but catch we will with many 100 fish days!

Two consecutive cold winters decimated the speckled trout population last year. I’m hopefully optimistic that speckled trout fishing will rebound due a prolific spawn last spring and a relatively mild winter. Many of the yearling specks will reach 14” by June, but I’m not expecting many large specimens this season. The best bet for quality specks this spring should come in late June when a few locations typically hold schools of spawners.

Packs of 14-20” bluefish invade local waters each spring for fly and light tackle anglers looking to find an additional species to target. What these “Chesapeake piranhas” lack in size, they make up for in feistiness. Pound for pound, there is no more scrappy a fighter in the bay than a blue.

While I expect another down year for flounder and reds, there should be enough around to keep us on our toes. Croaker and white perch will round out the typical mixed bag of springtime species available to the fly and light tackle angler.Please remember that I stay extremely busy during the fishing season, so contact me as soon as possible to reserve a fun day on the bay!