##Joe Mack, Nate Moore and Sean McCarthy with a nice White Marlin caught off Ocean City, MD in July. Photo courtesy of Nate Moore.
Ric and others dialed into the Virginia saltwater action know late season cobia can be finicky. “If eels and bucktails don’t get them, try live bunker,” he suggests. For you skinny water anglers, Ric suggests casting 1/2 ounce to 1/8 ounce jigs and soft plastics for reds and speckled trout. He adds even surf anglers got a shot at big drum fishing from the beach on either side of the mouth of the Bay with cut bait or peeler crab on a fishfinder rig.
“But the real excitement awaits offshore anglers as white marlin and blue marlin move along the Continental Shelf. Boats trolling ballyhoo on circle hooks with 30-pound tackle will result in world-class marlin fishing,” he predicts. “At the same time, dolphin, wahoo, and tuna will move into offshore humps and valleys looking for skirted and naked ballyhoo. With so much going on, September is the hottest month for fishing in Tidewater, VA.”
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uring the next month, Captain Richie Gaines anticipates a time of transition for the Eastern Bay area. “As temps cool, the waters in the rivers and tributaries cool first, and this triggers two movements; the YOY and baitfish begin to school and move out of the rivers and tribs, and the stripers and blues move from the main Bay back to the cooler waters,” he says. Result? Good fishing opportunities. He said about mid September he’ll change from chasing breaking fish to spending a couple of hours fishing shallow water at first light. “We throw Smack It Jr. poppers and swim baits along marsh and hard-bottom banks in three to five feet of water. Cloudy days are best, but the first hour of any day will work,” he says. “Around 8:30 or so, I move to structure in eight to 14 feet with good current, again throwing swimbaits. At midday, I move to open water and look for the birds and breaking fish. I like to use Lil Bunker spoons for these, as the blues cannot bite them off, and we can cast and jig if the fish sound.”
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