Fact is, things are pretty darned good right now in the catching world.

Yeah, weather has ruined a few opportunities to hit the water. But let’s face it, that’s late spring around these parts.

So lets start with inshore opportunities.

Red drum, black drum, cobia, sheepshead and flounder all are on the menu and the kitchen seems to have a good supply of all of them.

Spadefish are here and, according to divers, are plentiful. Let the water warm up a little and all their usual haunts around coastal structures like bridges, buoys and the Chesapeake Light Tower will be like parking lots. Getting to you favorite spot really early is going to help.

Masters of the species who can’t stand the happenings in those crowds have learned that spadefish also hang around near-shore structure and artificial reefs, where they also can catch triggerfish and flounder.

Flatfish action has been best around the Eastern Shore but things are picking up along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Those in the know have their favorite isolated spots throughout the bay, and flounder also can be found inside the three southside inlets.

Those inlets – as well as area beaches and portions of the Elizabeth River are holding good numbers of speckled trout and puppy drum. Areas around the Peninsula – especially the Back River and the Poquoson Flats – also are holding good numbers of specks. Some rather big ones topping 7 pounds have been taken in those areas.

Coastal cruisers are starting to see and increase in Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Action already has been good down south.

Surf anglers also are seeing a rise in the numbers of roundhead – also known as kingfish to some.

Bigger bluefish are starting to cruise lots of lower bay areas and around nearshore wrecks.

And tarpon have been seen – some caught – inside the Carolina sounds, along the coast and in the backwaters of the lower east side of the Eastern Shore. Handle them with care and get them back in the water as quickly as possible.

Offshore action is on the rise, with more and more tuna, dolphin and wahoo moving into the deep waters off Virginia Beach. Catches out of Hatteras and Oregon Inlet on North Carolina’s Outer Banks has been outstanding.

Deep water bottom fishing off both states’ coasts has been really good, with a large variety of fish helping the cause.

Don’t forget freshwater action.

Waters are still cool enough to harbor largemouth bass, especially the ones who like to hang around shoreline cover and ambush prey.

Crappie are still providing good action, but start looking for them in deeper cover around 10 feet. Structure in those areas are gold mines.

Bream – especially bluegill and shellcracker – are spending more time in the shallows in preparation for spawning. Several shell cracker caught from the Suffolk and Portsmouth water supply reservoirs have topped 2 pounds.

Coming up, we’ll introduce you to the young ladies that work the docks her at Lynnhaven Marine, eating shark (is it really any good), and the nearly lost art of crabbing – once a family pastime that was fun and resulted in a great meal.

To read more of my work go to: leetolliveroutdoors.com