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mharrison, i havent heard of any yet but i try about april 1st in the James inside of the jrb in shallow water and can usually catch some or sometimes catch a lot. Check fishing reports from the peninsula area and they may have some better news .
 

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I am headed east this weekend; maybe york river, gloucester point, or anywhere the croakers are biting any advice
I think they start catching them in the ares you mention about the same time as in the James.
I am in va beach and fish over this way mostly but in 1996 I was talking to a guy from Suffolk that told me he had heard of BIG croackers being caught up in the Nansomond river in march the year before, it being late march at the time it Set me on a Quest to find out. It was the last week of march and I tried from Bennetts Creek and worked my way up the river catching nothing in the spots I tried. I made my way up to the old swing bridge and just the other side of it there were about 5 or 6 boats anchored and bottom fishing so I tried there,didn't see a thing caught for three hours but I did catch two pinheads and it was a pretty ,sunny ,warm day so I stayed.
The tide was flooding and when it was at high slack everyone left,did they know something or were they just tired and bored?. I stayed, the tide started to ebb and me and my buddy were all alone, current got to running good and I made a cast out into the deeper water in the channel ,soon as it hit bottom it felt like a big log had drifted by and caught my line ,but it was wiggling,TWO croakers about 2lbs each, my buddy throws over in the same spot and hooks up with the same as soon as it hits the bottom. We were using bloodworms, don't remember where we got them , as I say it was march, but we caught them fast as we could get to them and left them biting because my buddy had to get back for his wifes birthday, we had all we wanted anyway and the cooler was about full.
I think what happened was the water was warmed up in the shallows and the fish were in the deeper water and when the warm water started running out it turned them to feed. I have also heard that some poeple fish shallow on oyster beds this time of year and do well .
All the fish we caught that day were 1 3/4. To close to 3lbs, I tried for a couple years after that to duplicate the day but never got into them and my intrest faded.
There is a nice boat ramp at Bennetts Creek park, go to the river and go up to the swing bridge that's about four miles up and you may get lucky. Let us know how you do.
 

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They are coming. Croakers have left thier wintering grounds off the obx over the last week and when the go they go fast. Should be seeing them in big numbers in ches bay and its tributaries any day now. Last year they bit off kitty hawk as they went by, buckroe as they went by there and so on. Dont see why they wouldnt bite this year. The first waves are usually there one day and gone the next. They move really fast on thier initial run up the bay.
 

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They are coming. Croakers have left thier wintering grounds off the obx over the last week and when the go they go fast. Should be seeing them in big numbers in ches bay and its tributaries any day now. Last year they bit off kitty hawk as they went by, buckroe as they went by there and so on. Dont see why they wouldnt bite this year. The first waves are usually there one day and gone the next. They move really fast on thier initial run up the bay.
Yep , good call , i remember that from last year now that you mention it and just as you describe it. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
just getting back

Sorry to take so long to post caught a few croaker near james river bridge by the power towers water and wind was a little to much for my kids. thanx for all the advice and good spots. I am headed back this weekend to try again. ANY ADVICE WOULD HELP TRYING TO GET MY SONS ADDICTED TO THIS LOVELY SPORT.
 

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Sorry to take so long to post caught a few croaker near james river bridge by the power towers water and wind was a little to much for my kids. thanx for all the advice and good spots. I am headed back this weekend to try again. ANY ADVICE WOULD HELP TRYING TO GET MY SONS ADDICTED TO THIS LOVELY SPORT.
from the ramp out past the end off the pier next to the first power tower between the bridge and the pier is a good place to start,all in that area / depth, dont fish to deep. Ive also done good about a mile up the river ,same side and depth out in open water.
If the kids start gettin fussy and the fish arent biting MOVE and take them for a little ride ,try differant spots, look for other boats and pull close and ask if they are catching,its croaker fishing for crist sakes shouldnt be any secrets and people are generaly eager to share.
Also look for a NC registration on any boat that has more than two people in it and LOTS of coolers, they take there croaker fishing very serious and nuthing makes them happyer than six coolers full of warm VA croakers, they can clue you in on whats happing on that day.
Good luck, hope the kids have fun.
 

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I like the James river bridge area as well, I prefer 2 hours before high tide and 2 hours of the falling tide... But I drift from the bridge towards the main bay, as you get closer to where the James meets the Chesapeake the wave action usually picks up quite a bit, but I just power up and head back towards the bridge. I like to use a few old window weights as a anchor, not to stop the boat altogether but to slow the drift speed, when I get into a bunch of biggins I drop the real anchor and try to work the school. It's easier to tell when your on top of 'em when you have 2 kids workin both sides of the boat, I usually only unhook, and rebait at 8$ a dozen bloodworms are not cheap...

When the kids are sick of it, I like to ride them by the ghost yard, or close to any big navy ship, the Hampton roads area is not bad looking at night from the water
 

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We caught a few Croakers the other night at the First Island while Tog fishing. I noticed the bottom machine loaded up about 2-3 feet off the bottom for the few minutes we caught them. They went off the screen, and we caught no more. Temp was 49 degrees at the time on the surface.
 
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