For ages, certain things have signaled the arrival of spring – daffodils, humming birds, that yellowish-green stuff covering everything. One of the most anticipated signs comes in the form of one of the region’s favorite fish species – flounder.

When flatfish begin to show in the barrier island backwaters of the Eastern Shore, we, indeed, know that spring has sprung. Reports from the shore indicate that flatties are on the prowl once again. Catching flounder in these shallow sloughs and creeks isn’t a difficult endeavor, making it another reason why the season is cherished. Flounder come here to take advantage of quickly warming waters, abundant bait and the opportunity to spawn. Jigs and squid strips are most often the baits of choice, largely because of their simplicity and effectiveness.

Most anglers target flatfish in these waters when the tide is outgoing. Water rushing out of the marshes is warmer and filled with small baitfish, crabs and plenty of other goodies needed by fish looking to create offspring. Many anglers continue to favor stretches of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and other locations like coastal wrecks for their flounder action, but a good number of anglers still crave the season-signaling flounder that moved into Eastern Shore seaside waters.

Spring also signals the arrival of another local favorite – the red drum. Fish have begun to show along the coast through the Carolinas and some already have been caught in Virginia waters. These aren’t the resident population of puppy drum that can be taken all year long. No, these are the big boys and girls that will provide tons of fun from now through the coming fall.

It won’t be too long before our waters teem with all of the summer species, but for now, we’ll gladly settle for the excitement of new arrivals.

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