Chesapeake Angler Magazine
Virginia Fishing Reports – June 2008
The lastest Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Saltwater Fishing news and advice from Capt Rick Lockart plus Missy Fike's Freshwater Fishing Report for the Neck and Northern Virginia. Also available are the archived reports back to 2006 for those wishing to track or review trends.
Click here for Fishing Report Archives Click HERE for Freshwater Fishing Report
Northern Neck Charter Boat Directory
Virginia Saltwater Fishing Reports
By Captain Rick Lockart
According to Rodgers and Hammerstein, June is busting out all over. Though it is early in May, the start of a great fishing season appears to be upon us. By the end of June many of our expectations are likely to be reality. If not, a pretty good month follows right on the heels of this one.
Offshore, June should see a steady increase in the number of both bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Big dolphin will also make an appearance in June, and both white and blue marlin are generally caught and released for citations for the first time this month. Bluefish show an increase for those who might find the blue water fishing somewhat slow on particular days. Inshore, both black and red drum fishing continues into the month, and for many of us in the middle Bay, striper fishing continues until mid-month. Spade fishing and flounder fishing show a steady improvement, and the long awaited return of the cobia should be upon us. Spotted trout continue strong in the lower Bay while a steady movement and improvement is seen farther north. Again, as with last year, and the year before, and the year before, and… an anticipated return of the gray trout throughout the Bay is hoped for.
Eastern Shore Capt. Mike Handforth (757-336-6861) will be fishing for flatties during the first half of the month and plans to fish for flounder, spot, bluefish to 4 lbs or so, and croaker for the remainder. Vacationing will start on the Eastern Shore, so I once again want to remind you that Capt. Gerry Ryan (757-336-6214) will be offering cruises, and is always willing to share information regarding lodging, food, and fishing. Capt.s Michael Quade (804-694-9052), Neil Lessard (757-678-0966), and Dale Ballard (757-678-7717) will continue to fish for black drum and red drum into June. Check with each to find out their course of action for the rest of the month, as I know that Mike may move his operation back to the western side of the Bay and fish for spadefish, and Dale may move his operation from Bayside to Oceanside. Neil will concentrate on flounder and croaker for the latter part of the month. All Eastern Shore inshore fishermen will be hoping for a resurgence of the gray trout. Offshore, both Capt. Len Bucta (757-824-4427) and Capt. Bill Letora (888-389-5603) will be fishing for either bluefin or yellowfin tuna. Bluefish are not out of the question for either.
Tidewater Capt. Steve Wray (757-237-7517) will start the month fishing for striped bass, flounder, gray trout, both red and black drum, bluefish, and spadefish. Later in the month he will add cobia to his list of targeted fish. Should there be a concentration of tuna, Steve will also schedule some offshore trips. Capt. Ron Bennett (757-588-4198) will be fishing for stripers, flounder, spot, croaker, and spadefish. June also provides him with the opportunity to go after cobia and shark, should there be interest. Capt. Jim Brincefield (410-867-4944) will offer fishing for sheepshead, spadefish, gray trout, red drum, bluefish, and cobia, while Capt. Max King (757-650-3176) will concentrate on spadefish, cobia, and large red drum.
Lower Peninsula Capt.s Chandler Hogg (757-876-1590) and Jerry Olson (757-288-1081) will fish for much the same as the Tidewater captains, red drum, flounder, gray trout, cobia, spadefish, and striped bass. Jerry will also be making the occasional run offshore as both weather and fishing permit.
Middle Peninsula Capt. Bill Bailey (804-314-0835) is looking forward to the return of the large croakers. Often in June, while targeting flounder, these members of the drum family will make getting a minnow to the bottom almost impossible. Fortunately, they provide for some excellent fishing and many a fine meal. Bill will also schedule some spadfish trips to Wolftrap Light this month, as well as the fishing for flounder on the eastern side of the Bay. Capt. Don Bannister (804-776-0629) will be fishing for stripers the first half of the month and will be seeking flounder and croaker after the 15th. Don stays ready for the occasional cobia that dares to venture into his part of the Bay in June. Capt. Glenn Hubbard (804-337-6357) will be fishing for flounder, croaker, gray trout, and cobia. Glenn generally fishes from Buoy 42 down to Buoy 38. Capt. Ed Lawrence (804-693-5673) will continue to target the spotted trout in and around the Gwynn’s Island area. Ed fishes from a smaller boat and generally fishes 1-4 people. There seems to be a growing number of captains that are targeting the smaller clientele. Check them out on www.fishva.org.
Northern Neck The first half of June is striper season in the Northern Neck. The annual Reedsville Bluefish Derby is and has been misnamed to date in the 21st century. Though it has expanded to include entries for croaker, this tournament is primarily a striper tournament, with the vast majority of entrants concentrating their efforts on catching the largest striper. However, June also provides its fair share of croaker fishing. More and more captains are catching their limits of stripers and then heading for the croaker grounds rather than continuing their day catching and releasing striped bass. Among the many captains of the Northern Neck are Capt.s Roy Amburn (804-453-4265), Ted Curtis (804-435-2919), Ferrell McLain (888-229-3474), and Bob Reed (804-435-9785). All, along with many others, will be taking part in this tournament that serves as one of two fundraisers for this most worthy of organizations. If you have never been a part of this, look for their story in this month’s magazine.
June is truly one of the best months on the water to enjoy our sport. For the most part the weather is great, the water is cool, and the fishing is ready to bust wide open.
Virginia Freshwater Fishing Report
By Missy Fike
June is a great time for angling. About mid month the fish will transition to their summer pattern, which means the best time for fishing is early morning. The largemouth bass will be hitting on top water lures in most areas. The bream are hitting well on nightcrawlers and small jigs. Crappie are also hitting well in many areas on small minnows and nightcrawlers. It seems like June is a very active month for the fish, which means it should be a very fun and active month for the anglers as well.
Lake Orange, Lake Curtis, Lake Phelps, Motts Run and Hunting Run the bluegill will be on the beds and so will the catfish. The fish will be transitioning to their traditional summer pattern and the fishing will be best during low light. Topwater is good early in the morning or late in the evening for largemouth. Ponds will be active and some really nice bream and bass can be pulled from them. Crickets, small minnows and red wigglers are good baits to use in ponds and will bring in some nice fish.
The upper Rappahannock River will be great for a float trip or for wading for sunfish, smallmouth and redeye. Smallmouth will respond aggressively to jerkbaits, spinners and live bait. Try live bait such as crickets, crayfish and hellagramites for both sunfish and smallmouth.
RW’s (804-529-5634) reports that in June the largemouth bass respond well to buzz baits and crappie should respond well to beetle spins or small minnows in the ponds. Mid June most fish transition over to their summer patter and can be caught easier in the early morning and evening.
Hellman’s & Son Supply (540-967-2364) reports that striper will be starting to transition to deeper waters as the temperatures rise more. Stripers will most likely be in mid lake. The largemouth bass will be off the structures and points of the lake and will be hitting well on topwater lures. The catfish can be found all over the lake and will be hitting well off cutbait.
Surfside Bait and Tackle (804-730-2238) on the James River reported that June is “top water” month. The largemouth bass will be off their spawning beds and hitting well on top water baits in James, Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. Mornings are generally the better time to go fishing through this month. The crappie will be hitting on small to medium minnows or small jigs. The big catfish will be biting very good using cut bait and eels. The smallmouth will be biting well on small crankbaits that look like perch or crawfish.
Coleman’s (434-286-2547) on the James River reports the smallmouth is turned on and hitting well on top water, spinner baits, and pumpkin seed color grubs. On the lakes the largemouth bass will be hitting on buzz baits. They will be moving into their summer pattern and the best time to catch them is early mornings or evenings. The flathead catfish are turned back on and hitting well on live bait. The channel and blue cats are also hitting well but they respond better to cut bait.
Mike at Riverside Camp Grounds (804-966-5536) reports that June is a great month for angling on the Chickahominy River. He said in June all the fish liven up after coming off the beds. The largemouth bass will be biting well on artificial worms, small minnows and crankbaits. They like structures like duck blinds, cypress roots, brush piles and the lily pads. The bream and bluegill will be hitting really well on night crawlers. Pan size catfish in the 2lb – 5lb range will hit well on night crawlers. June should continue to be another great month for the large catfish as well. They respond well to chicken liver, minnows and night crawlers. If you are near the Riverside Camp Grounds stop in and see the pictures of the big catfish that has been caught this spring. In May someone hauled in a 75lb catfish. Yes you read it right, 75lbs!! The crappie will be doing well on jigs.
In the Virginia Beach area the chain pickerel will be biting well on minnows, spinner baits and soft plastic type baits on the points as the water temperature goes up. The Largemouth will hit on top water lures such as, crank baits and plastic worms.
Shellcracker respond well to nightcrawlers, red wigglers and can catch some nice size fish.
Rusty from Buggs Island Bait and Tackle (434-374-8934) reports that largemouth bass will be moving to the shallows. They will be biting well on spinner baits, plastic worms and grubs. The crappie will be in the shallows on brush piles and will respond well to small minnows. The blue catfish will be biting well on cut bait and the flatheads will hit live bait.
Marvin from The Tackle Box (434-239-1710) at Smith Mountain Lake reports that June is will be the post spawn month. The bass will be coming off their beds and might be sluggish at the beginning of the month. They might need some extra enticing to get them biting. Jerk baits, jigs, lizards and Carolina rigs work well. Mid June the bass will transition to their summer pattern and top water lures will work best. The catfish bite will pick up and they will hit well on chicken liver, eels and goldfish. The crappie will continue biting on small minnows and jigs. Striper will be biting on the lake trolling bucktails and flukes. The striper on the Staunton River will be schooled up in a deep hole behind the Leesville Damn and so will white perch and walleye. Bass will be hitting really well on Briery Creek Reservoir.