Oct 24 2014

Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman Weekly


By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA


When boats can get offshore, fishing has been pretty good. Out of Virginia, the wahoo bite is good and there are some yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, king mackerel and dolphin being caught. Out of Oregon Inlet, the main catches are yellowfin and blackfin tuna along with some dolphin, king mackerel and wahoo. Boats out of Hatteras are experiencing very good king mackerel fishing and a good wahoo bite along with good catches of dolphin and some blackfin tuna.

Offshore bottom fishing will produce predictable catches of blueline tilefish and you can now keep the sea bass by-catch. Sea bass can be caught on the offshore wrecks all the way into those close to the beach. You may need to do some wreck hopping to find the right wreck. Triggerfish are also holding on the wrecks and this is a good time of year to find some nice flounder around the wrecks. The Triangle Reef area will be holding some nice flatfish. There are still some sheepshead holding on the inshore wrecks and you are likely to encounter both red and black drum while fishing wrecks close to the beach and in the lower bay.

Flounder are still being caught inside the bay with the CBBT being the prime location. Boats that are wire-lining the CBBT are catching a mixture of gray trout, flounder, striped bass, bluefish, and red drum. Medium to large-size red drum continue to be caught at the CBBT and from the surf from the Eastern Shore on down to Hatteras. Big red drum are being caught from all of the seaside fishing piers. That bite shout continue to shift south but for now, there are still big red drum in the bay.

Puppy drum continue to be caught throughout the lower bay and inside the seaside inlets. Anglers targeting striped bass at the HRBT at night are finding some nice puppy drum along with plenty of bluefish. Striped bass are also being caught at all of the areas crossing with the best times being very early and late in the day and along the light lines at night. Striped bass and some puppy drum are also being caught by anglers targeting speckled trout.

Speckled trout action is good most everywhere from the Eastern Shore creeks, the Mobjack Bay area, the York, James, Back, and Elizabeth Rivers, on Poquoson Flats and the action is picking up inside Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. There are a lot of small trout around which bodes well for next year if we can avoid another winter kill.

Spot continue to be caught as the water is still warm enough but if you have not gotten your spot fix yet, do so soon as this bite is winding down. Winding up, is the tautog bite. There are good catches being made on the artificial reefs inside the bay and at the CBBT. This bite will continue to improve as the water cools down more.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/10/24/peninsula-salt-water-sport-fisherman-weekly-30/

Oct 17 2014

Virginia Sport Fishing Rundown


By Dr. Julie Ball

We are now well into the fall fishing season, with plenty of good fishing opportunities for anglers in most any venue along the Mid-Atlantic.

Inshore, many anglers are focusing on the improving speckled trout bite. Although many of the specks are on the small side, enough of keepers ranging mostly from 18 to 21-inches are keeping anglers content. Some gator-sized trout are also crashing baits, with some fish pushing to over 30-inches caught this week. Most any style jig or lure, and most any color combination seems to work right now, although top water lures are attracting the most strikes. The most consistent action is happening in Rudee Inlet, Little Creek, Lynnhaven River, Back River, the Eastern Shore shallows, the Poquoson flats, and the Elizabeth River. The bigger fish ranging to over 5-pounds are coming from Rudee Inlet, Little Creek Inlet, and the Elizabeth River this week. A few nice-sized puppy drum are also around in the same areas. Surf and pier anglers are also enjoying a run of speckled trout, with reports of trout hitting in the surf from Fort Story to Sandbridge.


Although the red drum bite in the surf off of Sandbridge and the Wildlife Refuge slowed up this week, some nights are still producing 5 or 6 fish for anglers waiting it out. The best offering is still fresh cut bait, with fresh spot still the number one enticement. Big reds are a still a possibility for boats along the ocean front, along the Eastern Shore shoals, and near the islands of the CBBT, but the bite is slowing down. Some bruisers stretching to over 50-inches along with some nice puppy drum, were released this week by anglers bottom fishing with cut bait near the 3rd island of the Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

Boats trolling along the ocean front are finding some Taylor bluefish, along with some keeper-sized Spanish mackerel. King mackerel are still a possibility, but finding clean water and suitable water temperatures is a challenge. False albacore are also showing up in schools from the beach out to the Chesapeake Light Tower.

Striped bass are becoming more active, but the water is still too warm for the bite to really take off. Casters are scoring with schoolie-sized rockfish between 18 to 22-inches in most lower Bay tributaries and inlets, as well as along the Monitor Merrimack, the James River Bridge, the HRBT, and the CBBT. The bite is particularly good at night along the light lines, with lots of snapper bluefish rounding out most catches in the Bay.

The inshore tautog activity is generating more interest as keeper-sized fish continue to snap at offerings on most any lower Bay structure and along the CBBT. Blue crab is the top bait for limits of fish pushing up to around 6-pounds lately. Sheepshead are still around, but most catches are occurring as a by catch for tog enthusiasts. Deeper wrecks will also earn more attention as more species exit the area, with some nice tog and ample numbers of respectable triggerfish available. Seabass are also on these same structures, which are now available to keep with the season reopening the 18th this month. Chopper bluefish should show up any day now on the offshore wrecks.

Anglers are finding some cooperative fish, but the flounder bite is sluggish due to the muddy water lately. The flatfish are plump right now as they fatten up in preparation for their migration offshore. Some of the deeper water wrecks are giving up a few decent flatties mixed in with shorts.

Spot reports are hit and miss in the lower Bay, but surf and pier anglers are still catching good numbers of nice-sized spot in Rudee Inlet and off of Sandbridge, although all the lower Bay inlets are still hosting a good range of nice spot. Some croaker are still hovering near the CBBT, especially near the bend at the 3rd island, the HRBT, as well as in the lower Bay inlets.

Deep droppers are finding good sized tilefish and rosefish along the edges of the Norfolk Canyon when they can get out, with several tiles exceeding 10-pounds.

The wind is a factor lately offshore, keeping many boats closer to shore. The wahoo action is slower this week, with the bite moving further to the south. Bailer and gaffer mahi, false albacore, and a few yellowfin, blackfin, and bigeye tuna are also hitting for trollers when they can get out.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/10/17/virginia-sport-fishing-rundown-3/

Oct 17 2014

Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman Weekly


By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA


The spot run continues to be strong with 1/2-3/4 pound spot being caught in the York River, inside Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets, at the MMBT, along the Eastern Shore and the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Good numbers of pigfish, sea mullet and some croaker are also being caught by bottom bouncers. Flounder are still available in the normal flounder spots in the lower bay. The CBBT is still holding good numbers of flatfish but windy conditions and stirred up water is limiting catches. Flounder can be found around most of the coastal wrecks.

Speckled trout fishing is very good in a number of locations. The Mobjack Bay area is producing. The York River continues to be good. Poquoson Flats and Back River are picking up. Good catches are being made on the bayside and seaside of the Eastern Shore. There are still some puppy drum being caught and speckled trout anglers are catching some striped bass. Striped bass can be found at all of the area crossings. The James River Bridge has been good. The islands of the CBBT are producing some larger rockfish but it has been hit or miss. Any structure with a light on it is likely to be holding trout, bluefish, and striped bass at night. There are a lot of small bluefish throughout the lower bay and along the oceanfront.

Tautog are biting on most structures in the bay with the CBBT receiving the most attention. Sheepshead, puppy drum and small black drum are all common by-catch in the tog fishery right now. Big red drum continue to be caught at the CBBT and along the oceanfront from the Eastern Shore all the way down to Hatteras.

With the opening of the sea bass season on October 18, fishing the ocean wrecks becomes much more attractive. It is a great time of year for fishing the wrecks with sea bass, triggerfish, bluefish, flounder, sheepshead, and drum being likely catches. Depending on the wreck, jack crevalle or an amberjack is a possibility and trolling over and around the wrecks can produce king mackerel and false albacore.

When boats have been able to get offshore, they have been catching dolphin, wahoo, and some tuna. Yellowfin, blackfin, bigeye, and even some longfin are being encountered but it really has not developed into a bite that you can count on yet. There is enough stuff out there that an offshore run should produce some bites.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/10/17/peninsula-salt-water-sport-fisherman-weekly-29/

Oct 12 2014

Outer Banks Fishing Update


By TH Spangler

The Oregon Inlet offshore fleet is enjoying good dolphin action along with a scattered black and yellowfin tuna bite. A few wahoo and billfish are still in the mix.

Boats dropping baits to the bottom offshore are catching nice grouper in the 20 pound class and plenty of tilefish.

Nearshore trollers are seeing plenty of bluefish action while trolling small spoons and other flashy lures.

Surf anglers along the northern beaches are finding some red drum (to 40 inches), bluefish, sea mullet … and some speckled trout are available. Use cut baits for the reds and bluefish, shrimp for the others.

Anglers fishing off the piers are catching much of the same along with some flounder, sheepshead, black drum and gray trout. Anglers casting large cut baits from the end of the piers have released several citation-class red drum this week. Anglers bottom fishing off Jennette’s Pier are encountering some pretty nice spot runs. Sea mullet, sand perch, gray trout, taylor blues and croaker are biting with the spot. Some flounder are hitting live and strip baits fished under the pier. Avalon Pier anglers are catching some gray trout and spot. The Nags Head pier is catching trout, spot and sheepshead. The Outer Banks Pier is seeing some spot and black drum.

Those casting from the little bridge on the causeway are catching a few smaller puppy drum, striped bass, and speckled trout, primarily while working artificials.

Boats working the sound from Manteo to Oregon Inlet are catching gray trout, puppy drum, flounder, and bluefish. Use cut baits along with a variety of artificials in the sound.

Bottom fishing around Oregon Inlet is producing fast action with panfish like sea mullet, spot, and croaker.

romThe Hatteras offshore fleet has been catching a lot of wahoo and dolphin trolling the bluewater. Most are falling for a ballyhoo behind a sea witch. A few sailfish are also in the mix.

Inshore, the excellent puppy drum fishing continues for anglers soaking bait and working artificials in the sound. Decent numbers of flounder are also finding their way into coolers. Trolling and casting around Hatteras Inlet is producing spanish mackerel and bluefish.

On Hatteras Island surf anglers are enjoying plenty of action with red drum, both along the beachfront and back in the sound. Sea mullet, pompano, and other panfish are biting shrimp and sand fleas in the surf. Anglers working metal casting lures in the surf are finding plenty of action with bluefish and spanish mackerel.

Flounder are on the move in all the inlets. Speckled trout are beginning to move from the sound out to the ocenfront and anglers are starting to catch a few in the surf and inlets using MirrOlures and soft plastic.

Those making the ferry over to Ocracoke are finding citation-class red drum from the surf and in the sound from boats. Most are falling for large cut baits. A cobia was also landed by a surf caster last week.

Offshore boats departing Silver Lake are catching lots of dolphin and wahoo.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/10/12/outer-banks-fishing-update-12/

Oct 11 2014

Virginia Sport Fishing Rundown


By Dr. Julie Ball

The Columbus Day holiday weekend could be good for anglers, if they can get out on the water. This is always a challenging time of year with the weather, so many anglers will opt for more inshore opportunities.

Cobia are likely a memory until the spring. If any fish are around, they will probably come as a by-catch for those targeting other species, such as king mackerel or drum. King mackerel have been active along the beaches and a few miles from shore, with both live bait and trolling lures are attracting bites from Damneck down to False Cape. Look for clear water and plentiful bait for your king hook-up. Some of these smokers are pushing to well over 30-pounds. Accessory catches of scattered Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and false albacore are also possible in the same areas.

The late season red drum scene continues to escalate in lower Bay and coastal waters. The arrival of bull reds in the surf lines is the local surf angler’s rite of passage. Surf casters anticipate this event all year, as folks flock to the beaches with hopes of tangling with a big red in the wash. And most aren’t disappointed, as big drum rush the beaches off Sandbridge and the Wildlife Refuge. Some casters are reporting multiple catches per outing, with many reds pushing to well over 48-inches. The favorite offering is still fresh cut bait, with the best luck still happening at night and at first light. A mix of puppy drum, speckled trout, small black drum, sea mullet, spot, croaker and bluefish are also providing some diversity along the shorelines for both surf and pier anglers. The Eastern Shore barrier islands are still hosting red drum activity, with anglers reporting catches of fish on fresh mullet, bunker, and spot. The bite around the islands of the CBBT is still good, with a range of sizes of red drum available.

The Bay striped bass season is off to a good start this week. Anglers are landing school-sized fish averaging around 22 to 25-inches on top-water plugs along the rocks and islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, with the 1st and 3rd islands offering the best action. Anglers working the light lines at night are finding plenty of smaller schoolies along the structure of the CBBT, the HRBT, the MMBT, and within most lower Bay inlets and rivers.

specs-oct14Backwater species are drawing more interest, especially when working against the weather, with speckled trout at the top of the list. The size of the trout is improving as the weather cools, with most fish ranging between 18 and 21-inches, with some gators pushing to over 27-inches. Both Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets are hosting some decent speck action, along with most of the usual Bayside flats and creeks, although the bite slowed a bit after the rain last week. The Elizabeth River speck trend is also on the upswing, with several fish exceeding five pounds taking top water lures and jigs before the rain. Although the action is not hot, some nice puppy drum are still taking lures intended for trout within the Southside and Eastern Shore inlets and the Elizabeth River. Spot are still providing results on bloodworms in Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlet, lower Bay tributary rivers, and along the Bay and ocean shorelines, with some days better than others.

Flounder action eased up due to the rain and muddy water, and anglers are also having a hard time getting out to target them. The best catches were coming from channel edges and the 1st and 2nd, and 4th islands of the CBBT. Deeper water wrecks are providing good catches of flatfish, although it is hit and miss right now. Decent sized sea bass are hitting in the same area, but you can’t keep them until the 18th of the month. Big triggerfish are making a good showing on inshore and offshore structures this year. Tautog action is on the rise in Bay waters, with limits of keeper fish pushing to around 4-pounds favoring fiddlers around the islands, pilings, and tubes of the CBBT. Some smallish sheepshead are still taking bait intended for tog in these same areas.

Amberjack are still available at some deeper wrecks and at the South Tower. A few amberjack and jack crevalle were also caught at the Chesapeake Light Tower recently, but this bite will not last much longer. Deep water bottom fish are responding well when boats can get out, with good hauls of blueline tilefish and blackbellied rosefish, along with some grouper and barrelfish.

Wahoo are the main event offshore when boats can get out, with several fish pushing to over 60-pounds boated recently. This trend should last through October. Scattered white marlin are also still around, along with lots of bailer and gaffer mahi. The occasional yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna also a possibility.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2014/10/11/9849/

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