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Vol 48 | Num 4 | May 24, 2023

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Virginia Report

Article by Capt. Matt Abell

While the Eastern Shore is typically a paradise that shames an ideal utopia, this week’s weather has been less than perfect. However, even when the conditions seem inhospitable and success seems unattainable, we on the shore are blessed with great fishing and good times that foster a pride that separates us from the rest of the world.

The middle Chesapeake has still been fairly consistent at yielding trophies adorn with stripes and spots. The shallows of the Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds has produced some quality red, black, rock and spec fishing. Most fish have been lured to the gunwale by chunks of crab. However, casting soft plastics have also bent a rod or two. On Wednesday, I had the privilege to take Captain Tom Platt of “ Seven Saturdays” out of Chincoteague VA. We were fortunate to have a Tangier-slam ( red, rock ,and spec) as well as a great day of comradery that will be remembered for many tides to come . While numbers could have been better, we had bent rods on quality fish even in twenty plus mile an hour winds. We had the most activity on popping corks with 4” paddle tails worked among grassy flats in the 2-4 foot depth range. Elsewhere, anglers that braved the choppy conditions in deeper water encountered decent black drum action. Crab, again was the critical enticement needed on the hard oyster rocks of the Pocomoke.

The southern Chesapeake continues to support good black drum action both around the structure of the CBBT as well as the shoals off Kiptopeke. Clams and crabs on fish finder rigs have produced brawling battles with these crustacean crushers. While drowning crab baits near the pilings, anglers have had the opportunity to test their skills at boating a toothy advesary. Some trophy sheepshead have kept rods bent and smiles abundant. Lastly, the man in the brown had made a fashionable early entrance to the party. The first cobia have been boated and released as we get a taste of what is to come.

The high winds and turbid waters put a damper on this seaside and this week’s flounder catch. There were still a handful of good reports that all had one binding component…..clean water. Clear water, with regard to flounder is the single most important factor on the road to success. All the best rigs , baits, and know how can easily be trumped by a river of mud. But still the seaside and surf, between the gusts of wind, still relinquished reds, blacks, and a few rock that were seduced by peelers hurled into the wash on modified fisher rigs. The beach also is starting to produce kingfish. These tasty treats have actively pursued bloodworm baited bottom rigs with small hooks and brightly colored floats.

Whether the weather is good or bad, the fishing is fast or less than fast, don’t waste a single day. Find a buddy, some bait, and a leeward bank and enjoy this wonderful place we call home! §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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