As we enter the peak of the coldest time of year, fishing opportunities have become fewer and fewer. The good news around these parts, at least, is that there is always something to catch.

Despite dropping temperatures, speckled trout and puppy drum continue to cooperate in local inlets and in the Elizabeth and York rivers. Striped bass in the school size are abundant, but that fishery is catch-and-release only.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, wrecks and reefs inside the bay, and coastal wrecks and reefs are producing some nice tautog. Coastal reefs also could yield a few triggerfish and flounder. Deeper, offshore waters still hold swordfish and anglers deep-dropping are finding tilefish and other bottom-dwellers.

Coastal wrecks are holding plenty of sea bass, but that season will be closed the entire month of February and fish must be released. So, do yourself a favor and get in on the best sea bass time of the year before it closes in a couple of weeks.

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