P.O. Box 262
Gloucester, VA 23061
Speckulater Charters
C: 804-693-5673
Capt. Ed Lawrence
speckul8r@hotmail.com

RedfishSpeckBluefishSpeck


Capt.Ed Lawrence P.O. Box 262 Gloucester, VA 23061, C:804-693-5673
speckul8r@hotmail.com
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July, 28th 2017

We've been hitting the water as often as possible. Had a fair decent Spring with a few Specks around and some decent Strippers and Reds. With the coming of July and the very hot weather, we have slowed down and I even cancelled some trips because it was just too dang hot. Water temps rose to the upper 80's and that does not make for very happy fish. Nor does it help the fishermen! A fish is not worth heat stroke.
The past few days have seen a significant cooling in both the air and water temps. This front going through this weekend should do more to cool things off and, I'm hoping, it will improve the fishing. My thanks to those who rescheduled

Decent size Specks have been rather scarce as they are still recovering from the 2 freezes but they are on the mend. There are some very nice Reds around in the 21 - 24" class . Because the grass is so thick, we have been using a lot of topwaters and this makes for a real thrill when a Reds hits them. And of course there are some schoolie Strippers around to round things out.

Hope you all continue to have a good year and I'll see you on the water!

July, 1st 2017

We had a pretty decent Spring this year. A fair number of Schoolie Stripers with enough keepers to keep it interesting. There actually seem to have been more Stripers this Spring than in quite a while. Have yet to see a fish with the tell tale Mico sores.

There are some scattered Redfish around. Mostly in the 18 - 22" range. The Specks still are recovering from the past Winter freezes and you have to work for them but they are around.

I've had a number of dedicated fly fishermen that have done a really good job.

Water temps have risen sharply which often means searching out cooler areas. I'm expecting the end of August thru the end of October to be pretty decent.

Tight Lines to all!!

May, 6th 2017

Even though it has been a somewhat rocky Spring, I sure am glad that the warm weather is starting to show up. We've done some fishing throughout the Winter but nothing of any size to report. The Reds were congregated in creeks for most of the time and the sunny days that warmed the mud bottoms, provided some modest action. As the water warmed, the fish moved out into the deeper water and have proved to be very elusive. Regulations have changed a bit. The slot is now 18" - 26" with a 3 per person limit.

The weather has not been much help. Wind has been the order of the day and finding a lee shore has been another challenge. Stripers have been hiding under the piers and, of course, before the Striper season came in, they were of decent size. We're seeing mostly schoolies now but the wind has kept us out of the marsh. Striper regulations have also changed. From May 16th - June 15th it is now a 20" - 28" slot with 2/person limit.

There have been a few decent catches of Specks. They are still making a comeback from the terrible freezes of a couple of years ago. Hopefully this year will be better. Speck regulations are still the same. 14" minimum, 5 per person a day with 1 over 24".

Going into my 16th year as a full time guide, I am really looking forward to this season and I am hoping you are too!!

Tight lines to All!
Ed

Dec, 24th 2016

Greetings From The Mobjack Bay!

It's been quite the year. Hope you all have weathered it better than I. The leg that had been involved in the Metal on Metal/Cobalt Poisoning fiasco decided to come back and bite me big time. Cost me all but a few days on the water at the end of the season. I'm beginning to learn how to get along on the leg. How it will react to the boat and what I need to do to protect it. A cane is a permanent part of my life now. That's the way it goes.

From what my spies told me, I didn't miss a whole lot. The Speckled Trout fishery is still recovering from the two devastating Winters we had between 2013 and 2015. What I saw the end of September thru early November confirmed this. A lot of small 12" fish with some decent 16 - 18' fish thrown in occasionally. Those small fish make me look forward to next Spring. Hopefully we will not have a nasty Winter this year. At last count, there were less than 50 citation registered for Specks. Way down from the 400+ that there had been.

There were a good number of smaller Reds, aka Puppy Drum. Thru the end of October, we could catch a goodly number of these 15 - 17" fish so this is encouraging for 2017.

I'll be at the Rapidan Fly Fishing Show in Warrenton on February 11th. (http://www.rapidantu.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Fishing-show-flyer-2017.pdf) If you are in the area, it's a great little show.

I'm looking forward to a better, healthier 2017 and getting back on the water.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

June, 8th 2016

I am closed to booking any new charters due to leg injury. I will started booking charters once I am back to good working health and have the OK by the Doctors to fish again. Till then enjoy and have a safe spring/summer.

July, 28th 2015

Hope this finds everybody well and healthy.

Since I got back from Scotland, an excellent trip it was, fishing has been pretty much the same as it had been all Spring. This past Winter has hurt the Speck fishing in a major way. My understanding is that there have been NO citation fish caught since February. Best guess is that only 9 Specks have been tagged by members of the Tagging Program. 4 have come from my boat. Not saying much, indeed.

We've seen a very few Reds and hooked none. This really doesn't surprise me due to their cyclic nature. All those that were here last year have pretty much matured and headed for the ocean to do their adult business.

So schoolie Stripers is pretty much the name of the game right now. They should be pretty happy having no competition. There have been some pretty good catches on top waters which is always fun.

That's about it for now.
Tight Lines

May, 24th 2015

I wish I had better news to report but it seems the Winter has really done a number on the fishing. Combined with the previous Winter, the effects have been terrible. In total, I know of 8 Speckled Trout that have been caught locally this year. This count includes all of the local fishing cadre. We finally put a Speck in the boat last Monday. A roe laden female 20 1/4" which we took a fin clip from for the DNA study, tagged her and released her.. Most of the Stripers have been small but usually there are a few around. There have been some decent Bluefish but that too has been hit and miss. It's a bit early to be talking Redfish but I am not very confident predicting a good or even decent season for them due to their cyclic nature and the banner year we had last year.

To that end, I have cancelled all of my May charters and anyone with a June date should be aware of what is going on. So far, the only folks that I've been taking are those that "Have" to get out. I understand that thinking as I go stir crazy after the long Winter or when a period of bad weather forces me to stay on the beach.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to give me a call and we can talk about this further.

The wife and I are taking a trip to Scotland the end of June thru mid-July. This is usually the hot time of the year weather wise when the fishing slows down anyway and it seemed like a good time to go. This year, it looks like it will work out in more ways than one!

Be Well and Stay Safe!!

May, 5th 2015

There is not a whole lot going on yet. Went today and caught 6 - 8 Blues in the 1 1/2# range and 3 - 4 small Stripers to 18". Had 1 massive blow up on top water but missed it and saw a huge (30") fish in the shallows next to the boat. Have no idea what it was. None of the local fishing cadre has seen a Speck yet.

Water temps are just starting to come up good. Surface temps today ranged from 62 - 66. I don't think the mainstem of the Bay has progressed that far yet, last time I checked it was about 58, but maybe with this warm weather it will move things along. I'm hoping this will trigger some decent action and a movement of the Specks coming in for the Spring spawn

Oct, 11th

Hi Folks, Hope this finds everyone well and happy. This will be the last report of the year. For those of you that don't know, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall the end of Sept. Wound up cracking C1 & C2. So I'm in a horse collar until Christmas and out of commission.

2014 was a year of contrasts. Compared to 2012 and 2013, it was very slow. We all got pretty spoiled in '12 and '13 and when the freeze hit early '14 and killed thousands of Specks, it was a true disaster. During June, at the height of the normal spawning season, we did manage to catch a very few big citation size fish. After that, things dropped off quick. In my 14 years of guiding here, I had never been skunked with a client aboard. It happened twice this year.

On a positive note, we had some really big Reds around. It actually became a problem finding fish that we could keep because they were all over the slot limit! One full day trip, the 3 clients caught 24 but only 4 were small enough to keep. One 1/2 day charter, 2 fellas caught 10 with zero small enough to keep.

Stripers have been the same old story for the last several years. Not many decent size fish but there have been a fair number of schoolies. The scientific community had been saying that the large spawn class of several years ago would show up and give us a good season. Hasn't happened yet.

At this point in time, there are lots of small Specks (kittens). The last fella I took out was wearing them out with the fly rod. Interesting to see a 4" kitten take a 3" fly!. Think they are aggressive? I just hope they get the memo to leave and come back in good shape for next season. The Reds have pretty much packed their bags and have started heading South. There are still a few individuals but the big schools seem to be gone. The weather has been such that there have only been a few folks Striper fishing so that remains to be seen.

So, wet a line whenever you can and remember,
Ya Never Know Until Ya Go!

Aug, 19th

Ya Never Know Until Ya Go! The mantra held true again. After pick a fish here and pick a fish there, persistence paid off. 3 fellas came to fish with me and we laid it on 'em. After 3 unproductive hours, we ran into a very large school of Reds in very shallow water. You could see the push from the school about a hundred yards away. We wound up catching 24 of them but only 4 were small enough to fit inside the slot. Can you imagine wishing for smaller fish? Not in my memory. These fish will be gearing up to leave probably within the next month. Hopefully not before then. Many of the Osprey already seem to be gone. I hope that isn't a sign of things to come.

Speck fishing is still rather lackadaisical. We've caught some pretty good size fish (read Citation size), many on topwater. Now some smaller fish are starting to show up. We really need these small fish for next years fishing.

There seems to be a fair number of schoolie Stripers around. I'm hoping that improves as time goes on.

July, 14

The past 2 week have been a real mixed bag. The hot weather slowed the fish and the fishermen down but the storm cooled the water off and improved the attitude of the fish.
We're still seeing some nice schools of Redfish (saw 1 school of ~30) and catching some to boot. Have again had to release several fish over the 26" slot.
Specks are still scarce but this past week proved the Mantra: Ya Never Know Until Ya Go. Yesterday we found a small covey of these beauties and the day before we boated a 33" monster. (Pix on the website)
Bait fish still abound and water clarity is the best I've seen in years. Lots of grass.

June, 29th

I hate to jinx myself but it looks like fishing has improved a tad. Last week we were able to catch several nice Reds including a pair over the slot. We did manage to spook a school of at least 20 fish 1 day. Really neat to see these fish. We've also seen some huge Mullet. Bait seems to be pretty much every where. From baby Bunker to Silversides. There are areas of beautiful crystal clear water. The grasses are abundant which has helped the water clarity terrifically. Some places the grass is so thick that a topwater is the only option and you still hang up on the grass.
Specks are slowly showing up and we were lucky enough to boat 2 citations last week, 1 at 24" and the other was a whopping 29 1/2". The big fish hit a topwater over a rock pile. Water temp was 80. By the time we unhooked her, measured, weighed, tagged and clipped a fin for the DNA study, I figured she had been out of the water long enough so we didn't get a picture. It still took a minute of CPR to get her going again but she swam off under her own steam.
Schoolie Stripers are around up to about 27". Some days ya find 'em and some you don't.

June, 7th

After this long cold Winter, it really is no surprise that things have not been off to such a great start. And probably why I've procrastinated on getting this report out earlier!! As we all suspected, there are virtually no Specks to be seen . There have been a reasonable number of Stripers about and, thankfully, there are some very nice Reds around. Nothing like the numbers we were spoiled with last year but these wonderful fighters are lurking about. Many of the Stripers have been just in the keeper range but we've seen some pretty good ones. This is also a good sign for the Fall. Spring Striper season ends June 15th. Specks are closed until the 1st of August to give them a chance to recover, we hope.
For those with the staying power, we are still having fun and catching some fish.

April, 4th

Not much to really report, at the moment. Shad season is underway and, as the days get warmer, the fishing will get better. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be out of that loop this year. I have a torn meniscus in my knee that I'll be getting scoped on Good Friday.

The 1 good thing that I will be doing is the Fly Fishing and Wine/Beer Festival in Waynesboro, VA on April 12th and 13th. That's always a fun event and you don't have to be a Fly Fisher to have a good time and learn something. Not to mention the beer and wine! I get to talk at 2 PM Saturday and again at 1 PM on Sunday. If you get a chance, come out and catch up.

Let's get over this punk Winter and have some fun!

Dec, 18th

Hope everybody had a Super Thanksgiving!

Here, we are still fishing for Specks. As with last Winter, the fish have congregated in the upper reaches of at least 1 of the rivers as well as a power plant. A tagging buddy and I fished the Corrotoman yesterday and managed to boat 22 fish in 6 hours. With 3 exceptions, they were all fat and health Specks. The 3 exceptions were 1 rat Red and 2 small Stripers. 2 of the Specks were citations, 24 1/2" and 27 1/2".

The Striper news has been less than thrilling. Not a whole lot happening on that front. The big boat Captains have had to go quite a ways North to find decent size fish but those that have fished around the area have seen quite a good number of undersized fish with a few smaller keepers in the mix. This bodes well for next year but doesn't help us out much right now.

Hope everyone has a GREAT Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Nov, 10th

Still some Specks around and even caught a 23" Red Wednesday. That was a big surprise. We've caught a few Rats recently but the bigger ones are mostly gone. I guess a few may have not gotten the migration memo.
There is a pod of pretty decent Stripers in the upper end of the Piankatank. They seem to be there feeding in the early hours, before 10, and then gone the rest of the day. We caught 1 - 13#'s Tuesday and then left to chase Specks. I believe they have been there about a week. Who knows when they'll leave.
With this colder weather coming in, I'm thinking that the Speck bite should slow down or quit soon. I'm actually hoping they don't stick around like they did last year. We don't need to have kills like we did last Winter 2 years in a row.

Oct, 9th

Specks are still some what on the scarce side but the fish we have been catching seem to fall into 2 categories - dinks and Big. Had another client with a citation on top-water recently. The bite has been sporadic, having a decent catch one day and only a couple of Specks the next. As an example, we caught 7 class fish, 20" and over, last Tuesday, and on Wednesday we were happy to scrape up 3 16 - 18"ers in the same area.

The Reds are still active and have gotten even bigger. Last week brought 1 26 1/2" 7#er to the boat and a short time later, 1 25 1/2" 7 3/4#er. We saw a fish that had to be 30" but could not entice it to bite. We've caught a number of Reds on the poppin' cork away from structure in the middle of the grass beds and in about 2 1/2' of water. The water has been pretty clear and sometimes you can see them come for the lure. Pretty cool! Take a look at the Photo page on the website. I hope this storm doesn't drive them out but the water temps have come back up and the weather man doesn't look for a huge drop in temps so I'm quite hopeful.

There are a bunch of Schoolie Stripers around to round things out. The bigger fish should be showing up as time goes by, and it can't be soon enough for me.

That's about it for now.
Go catch 'em up!

Sept, 20th

It looks like Summer is coming to a close and the Fall is right around the corner. And yet, the Redfish continue on. Even though the water temps have dropped 10 degrees since last Friday, these fish remain active and quite feisty. Where we had been catching them mostly under piers, the last trip saw them mainly in the open water grass beds. This will make it far less of a challenge for the spincaster and the fly rodder because there should be a lot less "Woodfish" caught! The DOA Red over Gold shad tail has been a killer. While we have caught a couple of Rats, which bodes well for next year, most of the fish have fallen into the 20" - 25" range. Everyone who hangs these guys is amazed at the power they posses. Actually spinning the boat around as you fight them.

While last year will go down as the Year of the Speck, this year will surely be the Year of the Redfish.

While the Reds are going gangbuster, the Specks have been very elusive. I don't know if the reason is there are so many Reds around that the Specks are hiding out until the Reds leave or if the cold weather kills last March have affected the population this much. The Specks that have been around have been of pretty good size with several citation fish being caught since the last Report. Topwaters in a fairly fast walk-the-dog retrieve has been by far the most effective. Those of you that are in the know, know that the 414 DOA (aka Black Death) still rules.

Striper season opens October 4th. We'll see how that pans out. There have been some around but the Reds have been too much fun to really go prospecting for them.

That about sums it up. I still have some dates available, including this coming week.

Aug, 19

With the weather turning a bit cooler and the water temps dropping, one would think that the Specks would be turning on but, so far, that has not been the case. We've been catching a few Specks in spurts and all of a very nice size but not as many as I would like. I'm still pretty confident that the Fall should be pretty decent. Most of the Specks seem to be farther North, in the Rappahannock and the Fleets Bay area. They will be moving down to our area soon.

The Redfish/ Puppy Drum bite has been going on pretty steady. And, Oh, but the fun we've had!! We've had very good catches of fish in the 19 - 22 inch class for the last several weeks. Last week, we rode down to a flat at dead low tide and caught several fish in less than 2 foot of water. As we fought the fish to the boat, we noticed at least 5 other fish following these fish in! Saw several other individuals just cruising this skinny water. It was really a neat thing to see. There was also a good bunch of large Mullet. Always a good sign of fish in the area. The bottom had good grass and the water was crystal clear.

For the most part, the fish have been under the piers and around the marshy islands. The ones under the piers require the caster to put the lure right under the pier. Mostly, just outside the pier won't make it. From there, you have to really put the heat on the fish to drag him outta there. These critters will pull the boat around!! I've been pointing the trolling motor around to help drag the fish out before he pulls us into the pier! STRONG and feisty is the best way to descried them.

Ya gotta love it!

July, 23

Got back from my 2 week trip to Scotland last week to find things very warm and wet here. There was over 6 1/2" of rain in the old rain gauge to greet me. WOW! Doesn't look like I missed a whole lot. I was told that when it wasn't raining, the wind blew!

Started fishing again a day later and found things still going along pretty decent, especially for the hot weather. That day we caught 6 decent Specks and several Reds over 18". 1 Of the Specks was 29 3/4", a personal best. 2 days later we landed about 8 nice Reds and only 1 Speck. But she was over 25". If you are going to catch only 1, that's the 1 to get! (Pix on the web page) Since then, it has pretty much gone along the same lines with the Speck bite a tad slow in this warm, 83 +/- water and the Reds quite happy. Have had several of those big enough that you can't do anything with them and they will break you off, especially if they are under a pier.

I'm thinking that things will start to speed up as we go along which should make for a very nice Fall. Traditionally, mid September thru the 3rd week of October are usually darn good. Plus, don't forget that the Striper season starts the 4th of October.

See you on the water!
Ed

June, 8th

I'm on the beach today watching the Tropical Storm go by so it's a good time to bang out another Fishing Report.

Things are going along swimmingly. 2 of the recent trips have caught Citation size Specks along with a respectable number of other fish. We've not really been targeting Reds specifically but have caught them incidentally. Most of the Reds have been short with a few in the keeper range. For those of you that want to target them, say something. We can look for Specks half of the day and Reds the other half or hunt Reds exclusively. Probably catch a couple of Specks on the side. I usually start to think more seriously about Reds in the August time frame.

Probably the neatest trip was the one that a fella brought his son on. It was the boy's 13th birthday that day. I don't know if he had been salt water fishing before but the young man did good. As we left the dock, Dad tells him he's going to catch the biggest fish of his life today. (Thanks, Dad. No pressure there!) As it turns out, the first Speck he caught was a "measly" 21"er. The next was 26" and 5 1/2#s, a citation. It turned out to be a male and the biggest male I had ever seen. That should make for some good memories. I love seeing folks bring their sons or daughters, especially the young ones. Makes one feel that all is not lost. If you're interested, here is a link to the boys fish Pic. I thought he might hurt himself with that grin!!!
http://www.speckulatercharters.com/gallery/GMcMillen0005
And yes, we did catch several others that day.

We've caught fish with every method we've tried. Fly, soft jerk baits (Yep, Black Death is still a winner.) Hard plastics like MirroLures and the new Bait Chaser Mobjack Mullets. And, of course, Popping Corks. All great fun.

So get on the water and have some FUN!

May, 23rd

Hi Folks! Hope all is well. Things are looking up on this end. When the weather cooperates, which has been spotty, the fishing has been fairly decent. One thing that we need to remember is that last year was so out of whack with the norm, we really got spoiled. Looking back in my log book, this year has been much closer to normal. The one thing we have noticed is that the fish, Specks, have all been of a very good size class. I think we have only caught 1 that has been less than 16". So far, the range has been closer to 18 - 22" with several over 23" sprinkled in. So that's pretty good news. Now if we can get the weather to cooperate...................

We've also had some pretty fair sized Blues. Had 1 - 21" the other day. I haven't seen a Blue that big in a while.

Stripers are around ranging from palm size to over 8 pounds. We lost 2 down in the marsh in a slough where we couldn't turn around. They were just unstoppable. (1 we saw and 1 we didn't. He might have been a Red.)

I haven't seen a lot of Reds yet. A few here and there. Some are still up in the creeks. Every now and again we pick a nice one out from under a pier. They should be getting more widespread as time goes on.

For those of you that helped me tag last year, WE DID GOOD! We came in 2nd in the states game fish tagging program. So kudos to you and thanks for the help!

All in all, things are getting better and I'm looking forward to a very fun and successful fishing season

March, 5th

Looks like it's been a while since I sent one of these and a lot has been happening.

The good news is the bite in the Corrotoman is still going on. Have made several forays up there and have had pretty good success each time. The best day was 27 Specks with 2 citations and 1 Striper in the over 20# range. Don't know how long this will last but suspect things will start to slow up there as the water warms and the fish move out.

Fished one of thee local creeks this past Wednesday and caught 15 Reds with 2 over 18". Pretty feisty in the 50 degree water.

Yesterday, the 4th, we Shad fished in Richmond. The water is still a bit on the cool side, less than 50, but after a rather tedious start, we did manage to get about 20. The fly rod was the ticket, out-fishing the spinning rod 4:1. Hung 1 large fish, probably an American, which did a 2' ariel, swam around by the motor and probably nicked the 8# leader which broke shortly thereafter. Also hung a 16" Freshwater Carp.

The bad news is there have been a few reports of Speck kills. It looks like they happened during that last big freeze the 21st of March. I don't think the kills have been massive but I always hate to get that kind of news. Why those dern fish hung around all Winter, no one knows. The folks at VIMS haven't a clue either. There are always some that stay in residence but no one that I know has ever seen a Winter fishery like this. It has not dampened my enthusiasm fir the upcoming season. For those who dressed for the weather, it was awesome!

We'll be at the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Fest the weekend of April 20th. This is a really great event and I hope to see a bunch of you there. You don't have to be a Fly Fisherman to enjoy this. Just the seminars are worth the price of admission. They are even giving me a chance to run my mouth again!
http://www.vaflyfishingfestival.org

Lets hope that this Winter is gone. I, for 1, am done with the cold.

Tight lines to all!

Feb, 22nd

And the craziness from last year continues. We made a foray out this past Friday to the Corrotoman. Had heard reports of Specks being caught so we went to check it out. Guess what? It's true!
Water temps were in the mid 40's and got up to 48ish but the fish were
there. A bit sluggish but they were still biting. All nice, health
fish. This Wednesday we made another trip up there. This time it was Specks, Reds, and a pair of 7# Stripers.

The next show we are doing is the Rapidan TU Show in Warrenton on the 2nd of March. They
even made the mistake of inviting me to talk.
http://www.rapidantu.org/?page_id=1092

The following Sunday, March 10th, we will be in Bethesda, MD for the National Capitol TU Show.
http://ncc-tu.org/published/dat/2013_show_brochure.pdf

Hope Winter is treating you well. Not nearly as warm as the last one but I'm fairly upbeat that it should be a good year

Dec, 17th

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and that you'll have a Great Christmas and New Year!! I suspect everybody is much more prepared than I.

This will be the last report of this wonderful and whacky fishing season that we've had. We caught what is probably the last Specks of the year just 2 weeks ago. The fish were in the deeper water quite a ways upstream from their usual haunts. Then, this past week, we caught what will most likely be the last of the Redfish for the year. This is way later than anything we have seen in recent memory. So now, it seems that it is all Stripers. It's been a bit slow with most of the real action being on the East side of the Bay. As usual, finding a good day with light winds has been a challenge but we have managed a few decent trips. Haven't had much in the way of bird activity so mostly we have had to resort to trolling.

The Show season is quickly rolling around so take a look at the Links page on the website for more specific info. The first show is the Upper Marlboro Show January 11th - 13th. We are also going to the Rapidan TU Show in Warrenton, the N CC-TU Show in Bethesda and, of course, the Waynesboro Fly Fishing Fest in Waynesboro. I'm probably going to add 1 more show in Hampton in March but haven't totally made up my mind yet. Hope you have a chance to visit us at one or more.

Again, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Nov, 14th

It's been a rather crazy month. The water temps are in the mid to upper 40's to very low 50's and the Specks and Reds are still around!! Can't imagine when this will end. Caught just a stupid number of Specks last Friday (53) but then the word got out and the hoards decended on them and that was that. Conjured up only 2 on Monday along with maybe 5 Reds for the 1/2 day. Stripers are showing up in some of the upper river areas as well as the Bay. Some birds are working bait on these fish. When the wind gives us a break, this is a real good fishery but that old wind has been tough. We did a Wounded Warrior trip to the "Hot Ditch" Tuesday. What a nasty day. Wind, rain, and cold. Everything we didn't want to have but these Vets hung right in there!! It's all fly fishing. Even though most of these guys have very little experience, they did a terrific job and we wound up tagging about 30 fish. GREAT JOB, guys!!!!!

Nov, 1st

We've survived Sandy in pretty good form. A few down limbs but nothing major. Have fished the last 2 days and the Specks and Reds are still around but the bite has slowed as the water temps have dipped nearly 10 degrees. It was pretty cold today and then the wind started up! Glad I had my longies and heavy jacket on.

Oct, 22nd

Another GREAT month is coming to a close. Wind has been a pain but with the way the temperatures are going, we may get a couple of extra weeks of good Speck fishing in. While I think the numbers of Specks may be a shade down from last year, certainly the quality of the fish have been right up there. Quite a few trips have topped the 20 fish mark with many fish in the 19 to 22 inch class.
The Redfish are still around. Their size has been steadily going up and many of this month trips have yielded a keeper in the 18 to 20+ inch range. Even the small fish have given anglers quite a fight. This should bode well for next year. I'm still praying for a mild Winter to help them out.
Striper fishing is coming on and will only get better as the water temperatures cool off.

Sept, 22nd

Summer has gone and what a GREAT one it was. Fall has provided us with cooler air and water temps and that wonderful Fall fishery we have been anticipating. A continuous march of weather fronts has kept us guessing but there is still a lot of good fishing to be had. Wind has been a problem the past couple of weeks. The Puppy Drum are still around and should prove to be a real plus for the coming year. These smaller "Rat Reds" will come back next year much bigger and much feistier. Let's all hope for another easy Winter to help them out.
The last couple of days have given us some real class Specks and this should continue thru most of the month of October. Stripers are showing up around the pilings and around the marsh edges and this will only get better until the water temps drop and they start schooling up in the deeper water sometime in November. Striper season opens the 4th of October. The rules this year have changed a bit. There is no longer the 28 - 34 inch slot so you can now keep 1 fish over 28". Check out the VMRC website for complete details. (http://www.mrc.state.va.us/regulations/swrecfishingrules.shtm) I, for 1, am really looking forward to the next 6 weeks.

Aug, 23rd

Things are still percolating right along. The Specks are still being very cooperative, most of the time, and the baby Reds are literally everywhere. (We tagged 30 of the little guys yesterday.) Water temps are moderating so that adds to the good news. It should be a wonderful Fall!!

July, 27th 2012

Hope all of you are doing well and surviving this hot weather. Water temps have shown no real signs of slacking off and, consequently, the fishing has dropped off a bit. Still some very nice fish to be had but very early in the morning has been the best bet. There are quite a few of the small Puppy Drum around but nothing large. I think the biggest has been about 15" but this should be excellent news for next year. I'm still expecting September and October to be banner months. I hate making predictions, but the way the fishing has been going, it should be Spectacular!! (Pun intended)

June, 23rd 2012

Summer is here after the best Spring season in recent memory. The Specks have been everywhere. And it continues. The very high temps the end of this past week led to a couple of brutal days on the water but we still found the fish. That heat really raised the water temps. Looking for some cooler water was the ticket. There have been many pockets of small Specks (kittens) with a few larger fish mixed in. The pattern has been for the bigger fish to be somewhat scattered as is typical for the time of the year and the higher water temps. Friday we found a good patch of cooler water which yielded some very respectable fish. I'm hoping that the heat will back off this week and things will pick back up. It's been GREAT!!

May, 23rd 2012

What a GREAT Spring! To be sure, there have been a couple of dud days but, on the whole, it has been the best in many years. The Boyz from Texas just finished up a 3 day trip. While the wind was a factor the first day, we still caught some nice Specks. The last 2 days were better than one could hope for. Today we caught and released 26. Only 5 were under 16" while the largest was 22". They managed 43 Specks for the 3 days. Good job, fellas!! If you check out the pics on the Photo Page, notice that the last 3 look to be the same fish. Believe me, they are not. There have quite a number of 20"er's around.

May, 3rd 2012

Ya know how Fishing Reports always make it a "Should'a been here yesterday" thing? Well that's truly true about today. We've been catching Specks in a rather sporadic fashion for the last 2 months. WAY earlier than the norm. Some days have been pretty fair (6 - 8 fish) and other days, not so much. Today the sun, moon, stars , fish gods, weather, etc all came together to produce the BEST Spring trip I have ever been on. My partner and I managed to boat 41 Speckled Trout. At least half of which were over 17" with the biggest being 21". A most unusual day. The wind was out of the NE at 15 knots to begin with but laid down to less than 10. Hi tide 7 AM. Cold and overcast in the AM with a misting in the air. Perfect.

One would wish that we could repeat this everyday but sometimes you need to be Johnny on the Spot. It does show that there are good numbers of Specks to be had and the season is in full swing.

We've caught some nice Stripers, too. The so called Trophy Season is now in effect and the regular Spring slot season starts May 16th and runs thru June 15th. All the fish we have caught have been the proverbial footballs. Fat and healthy. Even had 1 of 30" but most have been in the 20" range. The Blues have also showed up. Caught 4 nice Taylors today in the 14" - 16" range.

Hope things continue on this path and we will have a marvelous year!!

April, 5th 2012

It Looks like Spring has Sprung!!

Shad fishing is going on right now in the James. Catches have been quite good and the River flow has been cooperating. The relatively dry period has helped us there.

The Bigger news is that the Specks are around. It's at least a month early and they have been a bit hit or miss but they are here. Looks like things are looking up. 2 weeks ago Sunday we caught 7, 17 - 21".

April 21st and 22nd I'll be at the VA Fly Fishing and Wine Fest in Waynesboro. Even if you are not a Fly Fisherman, this is a GREAT show. Come and join us, stop by the booth and say HI! and come to 1 of the presentations that I'll be giving about Speck fishing. Both days 2 - 2:50. For more info go to:
http://vaflyfishingfestival.org/index.html
There are still some slots open in the Casting classes. They have great teachers that are very knowledgeable. Lefty Kreh, Bob Clouser and Ed Jaworowski, the biggest names in Fly Fishing, will be both talking and instructing.
If you get tired at the show, step across the street to the Wine Fest and sample some of Virginia's finest. It's a great time. Hope to see you there!!!!

March, 13th 2012

Hello Everybody!!

Hope this finds everyone in fine health and ready for the fishing season to begin.

Here, we have been doing a bunch of shows and have 2 more to go. The last weekend of the month will be the Mid Atlantic Saltwater Fishing Expo which will be held at the Richmond Showplace March 30th - April 1st. (www.midatlanticsaltwaterfishing.com) They have filled the 75,000 ft. facility with "everything for Saltwater fishing". Looks to be a good one.

Then, of course, there is the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival in Waynesboro held on April 21st and 22nd. This is a really GREAT show that I have done for many years and thoroughly enjoy it. Check them out at http://www.vaflyfishingfestival.org/. Even if you are not a fly fisherman there is something there for you. Held on the bank of the South River, it's a fun time.

Also, I've been busy working on the boat and she has a new look. Not only did I install a Depth Sounder in the bow but the stern mounted trolling motors are history. I've replaced them with a new, bow mounted, GPS controlled MinnKota. Trying to move into the 21st Century anyways! No more messing with the anchor as this unit has an anchor lock setting that keeps the boat within a 5' radius of where you push the button. Plus, no more umbilical cord attaching me to the motor controls and for you to trip over. It's all wireless! Should be a really cool addition.

I'm really optimistic about the up coming season. With the number of juvenile Specks we tagged last Fall, (a buddy tagged over 1300 of the little guys off his dock), and the very mild Winter we have had for a change, the signs are there for a good Spring. Shad fishing will start very shortly, perhaps as early as next week. Poor Mans Tarpon are a good way to start the season!!

Hope to see you at one of the shows and, if not,
See you on the water!!!!!!!!

Jan, 2nd 2012

Hope all of you have a GREAT! and Prosperous New Year!!

This past Striper season was not a bad one. Certainly better than the last 2. Still had to deal with the weather and there were a lot of cancelled trips because of the winds but the days that we could get out weren't bad. We caught some nice fish and had a good time. It did seem like most of the trips scheduled for the weekends managed to fall on the windiest of days. Go figure.

Show time is around the corner. The first show is the big Richmond Fishing Expo on January 20 - 22 at the State Fair Grounds in Doswell, VA. I'll again be in the VA Charter Boat Assn. booth. The next is on January 28th. The Fishing Flea Mart at the Eagles Club, 21 Cool Springs Rd. in Fredericksburg, VA. After that, we
will be at the NCC-TU show in Bethesda, MD on Sunday, March 11th. And the finale, plus my personal favorite, will be the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival in Waynesboro on April 21st and 22nd. You don't have to be a Fly Fisherman to enjoy this show but it might just get you started!
All of these shows, except the Flea Mart, have a clickable link on my websites Links page.

Stay safe and I hope to see you soon!!

Dec, 27th 2011

Well, I can finally say the Speck season is done for us. Still some is the Southern parts of the Bay and, of course, the "Hot Ditch" area of the Elizabeth River. This was the best year we've had in 10 and I hate to see it go. But, we tagged literally thousands of juveniles and, barring another really bad Winter, many of them will return in the Spring ready to go.
Stripers will be the name of the game until the weather gets too nasty. Last week, when the weather permitted, there were some good catches in the deeper water across the Bay. This past week, we marked a lot of bait but caught only a few fish. Water temps are still in the 54 degree range and, as it continues to cool, the fish should move farther South and down the rivers.
Hope you all had a Great Thanksgiving and have a WONDERFUL Christmas and New Year.

Oct, 24th 2011

And the beat goes on! Have had some wonderful days on the Specks. With the influx of the colder air, the last few days seems to have slowed it down a bit but they are still there to be caught. Still a ton of Kittens around. We tagged 14 of the little dudes yesterday and 12 the day before, but still taking enough keeper Specks (to 20") home for a couple of dinners. Striper fishing still is not what it should be but the influx of colder air this weekend should do something for that. The darn wind has kept us from making the run down to the marsh too many mornings where the best action should be but we've still found some on the piers most mornings. If you have time, go to the web page and scope out the last 2 pages of Pics. The young man on the last page is a dynamite caster but has NO mercy on his Dad. Ya gotta LOVE IT!!!

Oct, 10th 2011

October 2011 may go down as the finest Speckled Trout fishing year in memory. Although there have been very few Citation fish caught, the numbers of quality fish are just unheard of. The numbers of smaller fish that represent next years catch is amazing. I took my wife out today for a 4 hour tour and we caught 14 Specks and 6 Stripers. Tagged all the Specks, up to 18 1/2", and took 2 Stripers home, 1 - 18" and 1 - 24". Just had a GREAT time.
Stripers are showing up in much better numbers so I'm hopeful this signals a change from the slow Summer we had.
There still are a number of dates open and specifically the 24th of October which should be a prime date judging by the moon phase and tidal prediction.

Oct, 1st 2011

I started the week off with a bang by catching 28 Specks with 16 keepers. Thought we were in the money but it began slowed down from there. With all the rain and the extremely High Tides, perhaps it scattered the fish out a bit? The end of the week saw us tagging 14 Kittens and only 1 Speck but it was 22" and that made the day. We also found a fair number of Schoolie Stripers on the marsh grass edges that were a lot of fun. The crew was throwing top waters at them and the fish would swipe at it multiple times. That was fun enough to just see that. We had a young fella, 8 years old, who hung in there all day with his Dad and Uncle. A fine caster and a heck of a fisherman!
Striper season opens next week and I still have some openings.
Catch 'em up!!!

Sept, 15th 2011

All I can say is "What a Week!!". You would think that with the way the weather was (terrible) we might not have fished but I had the Boyz from Texas, and an intrepid pair they are. They were well rewarded for their perseverance. The Speck bite is just plain HOT! They caught their dinner for most of the week on Monday and on Wednesday added to it. On Thursday, we chased and caught Stripers and, when the tide forced us to leave the marsh, we caught more Specks. Friday was totally a catch and release Speck day. The dern wind was blowing 4 times harder than predicted, as usual, so we hide up in a cove and caught more Specks, mostly Kittens (the old time word for Dinks). When the wind finally laid down and came around 180 degrees from the prediction, as usual, we made a move and fell into a school of cookie cutter fish in the 18" range. I was tagging almost as fast as they were catching and they kept me busy for the best part of an hour. What a great way to end a 4 day trip!

Aug, 24 2011

Hate to be repetitious but things are still pretty much the same. Few Stripers but we finally hit a couple of small Reds. Redfish just have not been what they had been the last couple of years. My understanding is they are rather cyclic so this is definitely a down year. Have had several really good days with the Specks and they seem to be getting bigger. We also are now seeing the "young of the year". Lots of Bluefish around to ruin your lures.

If you go to the last photos on the Photo page, you will see 2 unusual catches that occurred within a few minutes of each other. A young man caught a juvenile Cobia 25" and within a couple of more casts, caught a Ribbonfish (aka Cutlassfish). That was a very unusual day and one of the few that we didn't catch any Specks.

Here's hoping that hurricane Irene leaves us alone and we have a productive Fall.

July, 23rd 2011

Not a whole lot of change since the last time. Right now the heat is again upon us. We did have a good 1/2 day Tuesday picking up 12 Specks, keeping 5 to 17" and tagging the rest. The fish are getting bigger slowly and with a normal growth rate of 1 & 1/2" per month, things are looking up. Hope the heat goes away soon.

 

 

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