It’s a shame that seas might be unfishable next week, but that’s what major hurricane’s do.

Know that I take no pleasure in Hurricane Lee’s name, but nobody asked me.

Most computer models have a pending cold front pushing Lee away from our coast, predicting that the freakishly powerful storm drifts to the north between us and Bermuda.

Too close for comfort, but better than a landfall in our region.

Seas will build starting this weekend and continue to be extra large throughout next week.

That means most angling will be limited to the lower Chesapeake Bay, inlets, tidal rivers and the same areas in North Carolina.

It’s too bad, because offshore fishing has been pretty good when seas allow trips to the Gulf Stream in search of billfish, tuna and wahoo. Bottom bouncers were doing well, but their efforts also will be on hold.

For billfish anglers, the bulk of catch-and-releases in our region have been provided by sailfish. Yes, some blue marlin and white marlin have shown, but flags flying on local charter boats arriving in port have mostly been those of whites.

Good news likely will be provided by the fact that this tropical cyclone shouldn’t change offshore catches too soon. The water is still too warm and the days long enough.

So while we wait for Lee’s probable passing, what else is there to catch.

Simply put, plenty.

Inshore waters are yielding spot, croaker, puppy drum and speckled trout. Flounder and triggerfish action around coastal wrecks and artificial reefs will be on hold because of high ground swells, but catches have been pretty good in the lower bay and inlets.

Big red drum and cobia are starting to consider their migration south, but catches inside the bay should still be good. Spadefishing inside the lower bay also has been consistently good.

And if none of that sounds appealing, freshwater fishing is getter better and better as waters start to cool and the days shorten.

Largemouth bass, crappie and other sunfish will be eager – especially after they get used to the passing cold front.

While most models have Lee missing us to the east, that doesn’t mean that boaters shouldn’t pay attention and keep and eye on forecasts. We’re into the peak days of an already active season and a little effort will prevent the loss of a vessel.

So pay attention, be cautious and stay safe. Conditions should improve before we know it.

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