Apr 18 2014

OBX Fishing News


By TH Spangler

As water temperatures slowly rise, a little life is starting to show along the northern OBX beaches. Surf anglers are finding a few puppy drum, most along the Nags Head shoreline down to Oregon Inlet, some panfish, sea mullet and puffer fish. Jennette’s Pier reported lots of dogfish and skates along with a few puppy drum. Pier anglers have also caught some hickory shad. The water temperature on the northern shore is a cool 50.9 degrees.

The Oregon Inlet offshore fleet is still encountering the bluefin tunas, some releases were estimated to be in the 500 to 600 range!! Trolling, jigging, chunking and live baiting have worked lately. A few yellowfin tuna are also around, yellowfin numbers should continually improve through May. Bottom fishing offshore is producing limits of tilefish.

On Hatteras Island puppy drum are still plentiful. Surf casters are finding the fish from Oregon inlet to Hatteras inlet. They’re also biting inside both inlets. Warming weather should move the drum action deeper into soundside waters. The back side of Hatteras Island should heat up.

The Point has been closed to 4 wheel drive access, those walking around the closure have caught sand tiger sharks, puppy drum, large sea mullet, and blow toads. The spring big drum bite should be coming along shortly. Some nice jumbo bluefish to 12 pounds have been beached near ramp 55. The water temperature at The Point is 54.7 degrees.

hatteras 4-17-14

Nice blackfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo caught on the charter boat the Release

The offshore Hatteras boats are catching blackfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Bottom fishing offshore is producing tilefish, triggerfish, sea bass, and grouper.

Bluewater boats have been spotting schools of cobia inshore on the ride home.

Citation-class red drum have shown up on the Ocracoke Island. The puppy drum bite is still red hot along the island’s beachfront.

Boats departing Crystal Lake report that the bottom fishing around wrecks and other offshore structure has been excellent. Triggerfish, beeliners, black sea bass. Schools of amberjacks and some cobia are in the same area.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/04/18/obx-fishing-news-6/

Apr 16 2014

Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman Weekly


By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA


It took its time, but the bay tautog bite really turned on over this past week. Tautog are being caught at all of the structures in the bay like the CBBT, Back River Reef and the Cape Henry Wreck. Togs are still being caught on the ocean wrecks like those at the Triangle Reef but the bite out there has been slower than the bay bite as the bay waters warm up faster than the ocean. What the ocean wrecks are producing are some really big tautog with three over 20 pounds weighed in so far this year. All of this will stop shortly as just when it is really turning on; the tautog season will close at the end of April and will not reopen again until Sept. 20.

Puppy drum have been providing good action inside Rudee Inlet and in the Elizabeth River. They are now becoming more active inside Lynnhaven Inlet, and in the shallows of Back River, York River and in Mobjack Bay. Big drum are knocking on the door and that fishery should kick off shortly. Big reds have been caught from the Hatteras surf over this past week and a few black drum have been caught from the surf of the Eastern Shore.

The shallow water flounder bite has started with some good catches in Back River and some flatfish have been caught in Rudee Inlet and they are starting to be more cooperative inside the seaside inlets of the Eastern Shore. Croaker have arrived and some good catches have been made from our area’s fishing piers.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/04/16/peninsula-salt-water-sport-fisherman-weekly-3/

Apr 16 2014

Oregon Inlet Is Too Shallow To Dredge

Oregon Inlet is too shallow to dredge?


Outer Banks, N.C. – The Army Corps of Engineers say part of the Oregon Inlet is too shallow to dredge. The Virginian-Pilot ran a story reporting that the channel under the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge connecting Hatteras Island and the northern Outer Banks is only about 2 feet deep. Army Corps of Engineers issued the following statement.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, today, announced its side-cast dredge MERRITT is unable to open Oregon Inlet at the navigation span of the Bonner Bridge.

Even with favorable wind and tides, the MERRITT cannot break through the two-foot depth with a pilot channel. The district’s most seasoned side-cast dredging Master Ray Bleam states:

“I had not seen the conditions that bad before and that when we were able to move enough sand to float, the surrounding sand would fill the hole we had dug, immediately filling in behind us and trapping us in place,” said side-cast dredging Master Ray Bleam.

Captain Bleam said the shorter span immediately adjacent to the main span to the south was close to being closed as well. The U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon Inlet, will announce safety broadcasts every 60 minutes on VHF Marine Channel 16 to alert mariners of the navigation span condition.

The Wilmington District is relocating the MERRITT to the Hatteras Ferry Channel tomorrow. The special purpose dredge CURRITUCK will begin dredging the Hatteras Ferry Channel around April 17.

The district’s survey section will step-up monitoring of the channel at Bonner Bridge with bi-weekly surveys. If conditions change that could possibly allow the MERRITT to open a pilot channel, the district will react accordingly.

The district does not have funding to contract for a pipeline dredge. The last pipeline dredging contract was completed by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company on Dec. 10, 2013 at a cost of $7.8 million, leaving the main span 600-ft wide by at least 14-feet deep.

The Coast Guard plans to broadcast safety information to alert sailors about the conditions.

The corps spent nearly $8 million last year to clear the inlet to depths of about 15 feet. The inlet has rapidly filled after repeated winter storms.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/04/16/oregon-inlet-is-too-shallow-to-dredge/

Apr 10 2014

OBX Fishing News


By TH Spangler

When weather permits the Oregon Inlet fleet is still finding some nice bluefin tuna action offshore. Captains are trolling and jigging these fish. More and more yellowfin tuna are starting to show up, the yellowfin bite should continue to improve in the coming weeks. Offshore deep droppers are being rewarded with plenty of nice tilefish.

Surf anglers are starting to see puppy drum along the beach from Nags Head to Oregon Inlet. There’s been an excellent bite in and near the inlet. Boaters fishing sound side near the Coast Guard station are finding puppy drum. Anglers fishing from Jennette’s Pier have been catching plenty of dogfish and skates and a few puppy drum. They are also catching some hickory shad. The water temperature at Duck has risen to 50.7 F. And in the sound, near the coast guard station it’s up to 58.5 F.

portsmouthThe Hatteras Inlet offshore fleet has been slowed by the weather the past few weeks, but when they can get out they are finding blackfin tuna and dolphin waiting. Bottom bouncing off Hatteras is producing tilefish, triggerfish, sea bass, and grouper. One boat returning in from offshore ran across a nice school of cobia recently.

Hatteras Island surf casters are finding puppy drum from Oregon Inlet to Hatteras Inlet. Although the Point has been closed to vehicular traffic some anglers have made the long walk around the closure. They are catching some nice sand tiger sharks and red drum. One nice 43” drum was caught and released near Hatteras Inlet last weekend. There are some sea mullet and pufferfish in the surf as well. Puppy drum are available inside Hatteras inlet, and the warming weather should really start to turn on the sound side action. The surf water temperature at Frisco is up to 60.6F.

Probably the best drum bite in years continues on Ocracoke Island. Now citation class red drum have shown up and anglers caught and released fish all weekend.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/04/10/obx-fishing-news-5/

Apr 10 2014

Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman Weekly


By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA

The recreational trophy bluefin tuna fishery closed as of April 11. Speckled trout are closed. Striped bass: closed, sea bass: closed, tautog: closes at the end of the month … seeing the pattern? You can keep one gray trout per day but there are no gray trout.

It has been a tough winter/spring for everyone who is part of the recreational fishing industry. The water is warming up, breaking the 50 degree barrier at the CBBT. Things will get better. The tautog bite has been non-existent in the bay but that should change this week. We should have almost three good weeks of tog fishing before the season closes. Hopefully, the weather will let us fish some during what remains of April.

Wally Veal

Just in time for banging the drum, we have Wally Veal speaking at the April 15 meeting of the PSWSFA. Wally is accomplished at catching both big red and black drum: www.pswsfa.com/meetings.htm

One of the few inshore bright spots has been a tremendous red drum fishery. Puppy drum are already here and are being caught up in the inlets and rivers. Big reds will begin biting along the barrier islands of the Eastern Shore over the next couple of weeks. There have been some big reds caught along the beaches of Hatteras and Ocracoke, we will not be far behind.

By the end of April, big black drum will also be available. There have been a few flounder caught in shallow, warmer waters. That fishery should pick up now.

Offshore, we can still catch bluefin tuna, we just cannot keep the big ones. We can still keep one less than 73 inches per day. Big bluefin are still being caught out of Oregon Inlet along with the occasional yellowfin tuna. Yellowfin tuna should become a more common catch out of the Outer Banks and off of Virginia over the next few weeks. Offshore bottom fishing for tilefish, blackbelly rosefish, and the occasional grouper remains good around the Norfolk Canyon.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/04/10/peninsula-salt-water-sport-fisherman-weekly-2/

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