, 2014

The Fishing Line

By Capt. Billy Pipkin

The much anticipated Virginia rockfish season opens this week. The gradual drop in water temperatures has primed our region for the first run of rockfish. These tasty fish mixed with a variety of other species currently available this month offer exceptional opportunities for anglers.

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Chumming is picking up with more fish bending the poles each day. Bluefish continue to make up the largest portion of the catches yet the rockfish, which are averaging at or near the minimum 18 inches in length, are increasing in numbers.

In Maryland waters, the channel edges between Solomons Island and Point Lookout are holding a mix of rock and blues. The S.W. Middle Grounds also remain an option with the rock piles being home to the preferred striped bass. Bluefish remain in the 2-5 pound class and are making up the majority of overall catches. On the Potomac River action is going well on a mix of small rock and blues from the #9 buoy down to the #5 buoy.  Although live lining spot is very productive, chumming with cut menhaden is still doing a wonderful job.

In Virginia waters, the season begins today (October 4). You may want to try chumming at the Windmill Point reef, the Asphalt Pile reef (located just Southeast of Ingram Bay and channelward of Dameron’s Marsh) and at the Northern Neck reef (located due east of the Ingram Bay/Reedville area.) At Ingram Bay Marina, the boat traffic at the ramp has been heavier and slips are filling up quickly. This is always a tell tale of good fishing.

Trolling and jigging has been luke warm with Smith Point and the flats below Tangier holding fish over the past few days. The middle Rappahannock River is yielding a few rockfish as anglers are now able to keep two fish 18-28 inches in length. I’ve heard of a few being caught from the Belle Isle State Park to Morratico and also around the bridge pilings off of White Stone.

Although somewhat spread out, schools of grey trout are moving along the western channel edges from Smith Point to the lower Cut Channel. The mouth of the Rappahannock River has been offering a mix of large spot and trout this week to anglers bottom fishing on the hard oyster beds.

To help you keep it all in perspective this week, I’ll share a quote by our 31st  President and lifelong fisherman, Herbert Hoover.

“Fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of a brook or with the shimmer of the sun on blue water.”

Enjoy your time on the water this week and let the shimmer of the sun brighten your day.

Until next week…Fair winds.

Capt. Billy Pipkin owns and operates Ingram Bay Marina and Capt. Billy’s Charters in Wicomico Church. 580-7292; ingrambaymarina.com. 

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