This year has been unpredictable and a roller coaster ride for all fisherman. I am not an expert on this by any means but this years fishing has left anglers, charter boat captains and fisheries shaking their heads. Water temps, wind, drastic temperature changes and cold water upwelling has left us guessing on what will happen next. Most of us can predict which fish will be biting, where its happening and how the bite is. This year has left us guessing. Some of our fisheries such as Puppy drum, Sea mullet and Speck have been the best we have scene in years. But the Croaker, Black Drum, Flounder have been lacking to say the least.
The Black Drum fishery was plagued with wind and cold temps. We had very little good fishing days but there didn’t seem to be great numbers of fish.
The flounder in the spring never got a good run either. They were also plagued with muddy water, wind and cool water conditions. This summer we never really saw good numbers in the deep water like we usually do. We also had fishing the seaside when usually its to warm for them. We normally see water temps in the mid 80’s in the summer, this year we struggled to see temps above 80. We also had some days when the water temps dipped below 70.
Croaker showed way later then we are used to. They started small and didn’t really show in the bay by Morley Wharf and Cape Charles like they normally do. When they arrived in Oyster they bit hard for a few days and a front would cool it off and they would stop again. very on and off. just like a switch.
We are getting cool fronts in the summer. Its has been really a weird pattern for sure. It already seems like we are in a fall pattern. With this past front the bay dipped 7 degrees. It has warmed up a little again, but with these temp changes it gives the fish lock jaw til they adjust.
Just my two cents but in the past years I don’t remember these drastic temp changes. It seems to me that it had a lot to do with what happened to these great fisheries. Hopefully we can get more stable weather this fall.