Hot catching: Fishing action is heating up with the weather, especially on freshwater fronts.
Bass are becoming more active as they roam shorelines in pre-spawn mode. Look for largemouth along elongated points that drop into deep water and along deeper shorelines with plenty of cover.
This arguably is the best time to catch crappie and perch. Action should be very good over the next several days in reservoirs, streams and private ponds.
Yellow perch have been plentiful in the Northwest River, where Bob Lee of Portsmouth caught fish of 1 pound, 5 ounces and 1-3. Roger Armentrout of Portsmouth had a 1-4.
Saltwater striped bass have been migrating north along the coast and into the Chesapeake Bay to begin their run to spawning grounds. Catch-and-release action has been especially good around the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and around Bluefish Rock, off the southern tip of Hampton. Some fish also are being found along the edges of the channel running under the high-rise spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
Wreck anglers are finding good numbers of tautog inshore, and offshore deep-droppers are filling their coolers with sea bass. Tilefish also are available at deep-water wrecks, where spiny dogfish sharks are abundant.
Anglers should not turn down the opportunity to take home a few smallish sharks. Gut and bleed fish after catching them, and keep them heavily iced before cutting the thickest parts of the fish into steaks. Season the meat, dip it in melted butter and cook on the grill for some excellent eating.
Commercial netters are finding good numbers of croaker and gray trout. With higher water temperatures, rod-and-reelers should be able to hook up with a few, especially around the Hampton Roads and Monitor-Merrimac bridge-tunnel spans.
Puppy drum numbers are decent in Rudee Inlet, where anglers also can expect to find a few speckled and gray trout when waters warm a little more.