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Vol 49 | Num 6 | Jun 5, 2024

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Virginia Report

Article by Capt. Matt Abell

The days are getting longer, the greenheads are getting bolder, and the water and weather are becoming warmer. All of these factors point toward one unmistakable condition… the end of spring and the onset of summer. So grab your rods, gas up the boat, get some bug spray & sunscreen and get jamming this June!

The temperature in the Tangier is climbing faster than the tide during a north east blow. However the grassy shallows are holding a good number of specs reds and rock. The most lucrative method has been chunks of peeler deployed on a bottom rig or fishfinder. Unfortunately in the last week the shed of these Chesapeake treasures has slowed to a crawl leaving Eastern Shore anglers hard up for soft crabs. To deal with this hopefully short lived crustacean crisis, sweet water sportsman have turned to artificial enticement. Popping corks with paddle tails have bent some rods aboard the Sea Hawk Jones. We also have rattled up some rock and decent blues with the renowned Rap 10 suspending slash baits. The lure is ideal to throw around structures like the target ships or rock piles of the bay. In addition to the skinny water scrappers, some guys in “brown suits” (cobia) have made an early showing in the Chesapeake. While the season is not in till the middle of June they still provide a thrill on the rod with long runs and picturesque arial antics that only could be rivaled by a treasured Tangier sunset. If you desire a rod bending battle along with an Eastern Shore style meal, bellowing blacks are still beating up on chunks of crab on fishfinder rigs deployed on the many oyster rocks of the Pocomoke sound.

The salty seaside still offers some pretty good floundering. The fish seem to be staging in and around the inlets or in deeper holes than we previously observed. However, at the time of high tide some thin water flatfish had been taken off the flats, coerced by Sea Hawk flounder rigs tipped with silversides, big bull minnows, and a side of gulp swimming mullets. A hand full of eager anglers have ventured out to some of the inshore reef sites and found a few flatties. Hopefully, this will continue to improve with regards to size and quantity along with triggers and spades to help fight the impending summertime doldrums. Till then folks will have to suck it up and be satisfied on succulent seabass suppers… not stinky for a sporting shoreman! Don’t forget the flounder Minimum size limit is due to change to 17.5 inches on 6/1.

A lot of eyes are on the warm water which is washing in from the Gulf Stream. There has not been a persistent pelagic bite but hopefully an increase of offshore energy is soon to come.

So as God gives us more time with kids finishing school and the daylight hours growing like your fishing buddies past trophies, take advantage of this blessing and get out there and enjoy this wonderful place we call home. §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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