Aug 27 2014

Outer Banks Fishing Update


By TH Spangler

High wind and rough seas are making fishing difficult right now. Anticipating great surf action as Hurricane Cristobal passes between the Outer Banks and Bermuda, locals are trading in their rod and reel for their surfboard today. Forecasts are calling for the highest waves to occur today into Thursday morning, with winds moderating from a stiff onshore wind to a 4-8 mph offshore breeze. Coupled that with hurricane generated waves and beaches will see 7’-11’ swells.

Before the blow the Oregon Inlet billfish bite had been getting better with each passing day, boats have been releasing excellent numbers of white and blue marlin along with a few sailfish. The fleet has also been finding plenty of schoolie dolphin, with some nice gaffers mixed in. Yellowfin tuna and blackfin tuna are feeding in the bluewater and some wahoo are also finding their way into fish boxes.

Leen Dykstra and friends had this impressive catch fishing aboard the Release.

Leen Dykstra and friends had this impressive catch fishing aboard the Release.

The Hatteras offshore boats are finding excellent dolphin action trolling the bluewater off Hatteras Inlet. Good numbers of wahoo and some blackfin tuna are mixed in and falling for ballyhoo and skirted trolling lures. The billfish bite remains good as well, with boats releasing decent numbers of sailfish, blue and white marlin.

Bluefish and spanish mackerel are feeding around Oregon Inlet and along the beachfront and boaters are hooking big numbers of both while trolling Clarkspoons and other flashy lures.

Anglers fishing the sound from boats are reporting that the puppy drum and speckled trout action remains excellent. Most of the fish are falling for soft plastics, spoons, and other artifcials, but anglers can also hook up on a variety of natural baits.

The piers have been empty the past couple of days due to windy conditions. Before the blow the Avalon pier saw some early morning bluefish and a few small sea mullet. The Nags Head pier was catching some pompano, bluefish and bar jack. There were plenty of cobia sighted, but not biting. Jennette’s pier was catching bluefish, black sea bass, pigfish and spot.
The Outer Banks pier was catching mostly spot

Anglers bottom fishing from the little bridge on the causeway have found some hungry fat croakers recently.

Surf casters fishing the northern beaches are connecting with some sea mullet, spot, and other bottom feeders along with good numbers of bluefish. Shrimp, bloodworms, and cut baits are producing most of the action in the breakers.

On Hatteras Island surf casters working metal casting lures around Cape Point are hooking some spanish mackerel. Bottom fishermen are catching sea mullet and pompano on shrimp and sand fleas. Some flounder are falling for Gulp and strip baits in the surf.

Water Temps

Duck Water Temperature: 75.7 F
Oregon Inlet Soundside Water Temperature: 77.2 F
Frisco Surf Water Temperature: 77.7 F

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Aug 24 2014

11th Annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament Rundown

SOLD OUT!!! …. That was the official statement from the directors of the 11th Annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament! With 443 registered anglers, the VBBT reached its capacity of 75 boats all vying for top honors and their share of the $424,000 cash purse.

The winner of the 11th Annual VBBT was the Florida based “Uno Mas” captained by Tom Lynskey.

The winner of the 11th Annual VBBT was the Florida based “Uno Mas” captained by Tom Lynskey.

The Rudee Inlet marinas would be hanging out ‘No Vacancy” signs as teams from New Jersey to Florida filled the docks. One boat did have to anchor up in the Lake, but no worries. They had their own mother ship! This event has reached a new high when they can boast full slips and mother ships traveling to participate.

The majority of the fleet would fish on the first two days as weather conditions gave crews slick calm seas and light winds, making it easy to spot the bait balls and cutting White Marlin. Many boats returned on the first fishing day with 4 to 6 billfish, but ‘Evelyn Kennedy’ set the bar with her 11 releases. The rest of the field new what had to be done to catch the team on the “Evelyn Kennedy” and Day Two’s results showed that it was still anyone’s game. “Evelyn Kennedy” still sat in first place with 13 releases on time followed by “Sadie Beth” and “Bi-Op-Sea” also with 13. “Viking 62” had 12 scratches and three teams trailed with 11 billfish each. The final day of fishing would be a nail biter for those that had fished out the tourney.

The final day saw 28 boats hit the fishing grounds. Despite the reports of bait balls and crews seeing cutters on the surface, some teams headed to the Norfolk Canyon with others working south to hunt for the Sailfish in the shallows, while a few pulled out the big lures in hopes of hanging a big Blue Marlin.

The results came down to the wire like two boxers duking it out to the final ring of the bell in the last round of championship prizefight. “Stream Weaver” with Capt Mike King at the helm from Wrightsville Beach, who had only three releases to their credit on their first day of fishing, would climb the ranks and take second place with 14 billfish, 11 White Marlin and 3 Sailfish. They would take home $97,067 of the purse.

The hometown team on the “Evelyn Kennedy” skippered by Capt Kevin Pankoke cashed out with $68,767 for their 13 White Marlin.

The winner of the 11th Annual VBBT was the Florida based “Uno Mas” captained by Tom Lynskey. With the team’s 12 White Marlin and 3 Sailfish, they would capture the Wayne McLeskey Memorial Top Boat award and earn a $209,500 payday.

Meatfish awards were good for $18,125 and went to “Cotton Picker” out of Savannah, Ga., for a 51.1-pound wahoo and Virginia Beach-based “Cuttin’ Up” for a 34.8-pound dolphin.

Elliott Enslen, 15, aboard the “Welder’s Arc” was named the Top Junior Angler for releasing a blue marlin and four whites.

The Top Overall Angler and Top Lady Angler was Cheryl McLeskey on the “Croupier”. She released six White Marlin and one sail.

The Joel Webb Memorial Top Mate Award was given to A.J. Allesio on the “Tippecanoe”.

The field caught and released a three-day total of 433 billfish – 15 Blue Marlin, 61 Sailfish and 357 White Marlin.

Not only is the VBBT about promoting the great fishery off the Virginia coast but also supporting local charities in the area. The charities also were big winners, with $5,000 going to DARE, $7,000 to Stop Abuse, and $12,500 each going to the Boys and Girls Club and Achievable Dreams.

Tournament officials also announced Aug. 19-22 as the 2015 dates. Until next year, get out there and…

Catch ‘em Up!

Make Everyday a Blue Marlin Day!

Capt. Don Malkowski

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Aug 24 2014

Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament Results


The 2014 Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament featured a sold-out field of 75 boats, 443 anglers and a $424,000 purse. The three day event concluded Saturday night at the Awards Banquet sponsored by Desperado Sportfishing. The field caught and released a three-day total of 433 billfish – 15 blue marlin, 357 white marlin and 61 sailfish.

Team Uno Mas from Florida, captained by Tom Lynskey took home top honors. They caught and released 12 white marlin and three sailfish, finishing with 1,050 points, enough to win the coveted “Wayne McLeskey Memorial Top Boat” award and a $209,500 paycheck.

Second place went to Stream Weaver and Capt. Mike King from Wrightsville Beach. They released 11 white marlin and three sails for a $97,067 payday.

Third place went to Evelyn Kennedy and Capt. Kevin Pankoke of Virginia Beach with 13 white marlin. The team received $68,767.

Meatfish awards went to Cotton Picker from Savannah, Ga (51.1-pound wahoo) and to Virginia Beach’s Cuttin’ Up (34.8-pound dolphin). $18,125

Fifteen year old Elliott Enslen aboard the Welder’s Arc won top junior angler, releasing a blue marlin and four whites.

The top overall angler and top lady angler was Cheryl McLeskey on the Croupier. She released six white marlin and one sail.

The Joel Webb Memorial Top Mate Award was given to A.J. Allesio on the Tippecanoe.

Charities also were big winners, with $5,000 going to DARE, $7,000 to Stop Abuse, and $12,500 each going to the Boys and Girls Club and Achievable Dreams.


Next years event will be held Aug. 19-22, 2015.

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Aug 24 2014

25th Alice Kelly Ladies Memorial Billfish Tournament

25th Annual Alice Kelly Memorial Tournament from Tom Spencer on Vimeo.

akLeading up the Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament the ladies get their turn to reel in the Big One! The Alice Kelly Tournament is an annual event the Sunday before the Billfish Tournament. The 24th Annual Alice Kelly Tournament, was held August 11th is a fundraiser event for the Outer Banks Cancer Support Group.

This year’s Tournament was another successful and exciting one with 64 boats fishing in this years event. Your leaderboard results are posted below.Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!


Top Boat:
1st. Triple 7, Charles Haywood (Captain) 350 Pts.
2nd. Desperado, Rob Barker (Captain) 310 Pts.

3rd. Smoker, Brynner Parks (Captain) 280 Pts.

Top Lady Angler:
1st. Salvation, Pamella Simmons 140 Pts.
2nd. Samanna, Kim Kessler 70 Pts.

3rd. N/A

Top Junior Angler:
Pelican, Emily Bracher

Largest Tuna:
True Grit, Missy Swain (Angler), 61.7 lbs.

Largest Dolphin:
Smoker, Rebecca Powell (Angler), 28.5 lbs.

Largest Dolphin Jackpot:
Fin Planner, Ann White (Angler) 26.6 lbs. worth $8,925.00

Largest Wahoo:

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Aug 23 2014

Weekly Virginia Sport Fishing Rundown


By Dr. Julie Ball

Anglers are taking advantage of the recent good weather and moderate temperatures, but a northeasterly blow later this weekend could slow up the activity for a few days.

The cobia bite has been very good over the past few weeks, and the action continues to heat up. The fish are cruising along the surface in small pods in lower Bay waters and along the Virginia Beach oceanfront, making excellent targets for sight casters. This pattern will only improve over the next several weeks as fall approaches. Willing fish are also emerging along tide lines, from under schools of rays, and near pods of bait. Some very big fish are available, with anglers frequently passing up 40-pounders in order to target brutes pushing to over 60-pounds. Chummers are still holding their own, with several nice fish taking offerings this week.

Jack crevalle continue to offer some challenging battles for those happening across schools of jacks zipping near the entrance of the Bay. Big red drum are also welcome by-catches for sight casters looking for cobia around the mouth of the Bay and near the 3rd island of the CBBT. Black drum are still schooled at the 3rd and 4th islands, but not for long.

Paige II Chaters

Paige II Chaters

Nice flounder ranging to around 6-pounds are still filling limits from lower Bay waters. Live baiters are experiencing great results all along the CBBT, especially near the tubes at the 1st, 3rd, and 4th islands lately. Those jigging along the pilings and tubes near the 3rd and 4th islands are also scoring with nice flatfish this week. The lower Bay inlets are giving up some keepers, with many flatties ranging up to 22-inches in both Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets responding, especially on an outgoing tide. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, decent flatfish are also showing on inshore and offshore wrecks. Nice keeper sized seabass are also providing good action on many offshore structures.

Sheepshead are still around, with some really big fish taking fiddlers and clam this week. The entire span of the Bay Bridge tunnel is holding fish, with more fish grouping on the tubes lately. Some big trigger fish will also compete for your offerings in many of these same locations. Spadefish are still hanging around the 4th island this week, with reports of some fish weighing to nearly 7-pounds.

Spanish mackerel are active off Cape Henry, as well as over the tubes of the CBBT, and along tide rips in the lower and middle Bay areas, with many ranging to nearly 3-pounds. King mackerel action could be decent this year if the easterly winds prevail and the bait sticks around. Bobby Crutsinger of Virginia Beach boated a nice 33-pound smoker while king fishing off the oceanfront last week. Some surprise bailer-sized mahi also taking trolled spoons within sight of land.

Small to medium-sized croaker are available near the MMBT, the CBBT, and the Cell. The croaker bite in Oyster is good, but that may slow a little this week with the easterly winds. Nice spot are also making a showing within Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets, with bloodworms the best bait. Spunky puppy drum continue to keep inshore anglers busy within most any lower Bay inlet or shallows, and the speckled trout bite is also showing promise in these same areas, with specks up to around 30-inches reported from the Elizabeth River this past week. Big gray trout up to about 5-pounds are still lingering near the crossings near the Eastern Shore, along with nice sea mullet hitting along to the bottom.

Big amberjack are still available at the South tower, and jack crevalle are also a possibility at the Chesapeake Light Tower, especially later this month. A variety of nice blueline tilefish, scattered grouper, black-bellied rosefish, jumbo seabass and barrel fish are on the deep dropping menu lately.

Offshore, the billfish bite is still on the upswing, and should continue to improve throughout the month. Most boats are releasing multiple white marlin, with a smattering of blue marlin, sailfish and spearfish are also rounding out catches. Tuna are scarce, but a few yellowfin and big eyes are around, along with some big wahoo and dolphin. The Wine, Women and Fishing Billfish Tournament was a success with a sold-out roster. Top honors went to Dr. Julie Ball’s Team from Virginia Beach aboard her boat the JUBILEE out of The Virginia Beach Fishing Center, captained by Bill Richardson.

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