Mar 28 2015

The Flounder Bowl is back!

The “Flounder Bowl” is back. This year’s tournament is scheduled for June 27 with a captains meeting June 26. The tournament will be capped at 120 boats again this year. Online registration is available and encouraged at . Both anglers and sponsors can join at the Flounder Bowl website.


This event is a two-day party with a fishing tournament on the side. The Flounder Bowl is hosted by the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association but it is the many businesses that sponsor this event which make it such a great time. These businesses are providing a guaranteed First Place award of $5,000. They also make it possible to provide food, drink and music for participants at both the captains meeting and at the weigh-in. The sponsors provide for team buckets given out at the captains meeting and they are also providing various prizes which will be given away at the weigh-in. Each team will find door-prize tickets in their team buckets which will give them chances to win these prizes.

The Flounder Bowl will be held out of Dare Marina and Yacht Sales ( Boats will be allowed to fish from any port but the fish must be brought to Dare Marina for weigh-in.

This is a team tournament with an entry fee of $200 per boat with up to 4 anglers ($125 early entry). Additional anglers will cost $25 each. Winners will be determined by the combined weight of the team’s top three fish. Cash prizes will be paid through six places.

To give everyone a chance to win, teams not placing in the top six will be entered in a “Lucky Dog” drawing. The team drawn will win an additional cash prize.

There will be a prize for the heaviest flounder caught by a child and a prize for the heaviest flounder caught by a woman in the tournament. There will also be a prize for the heaviest flounder weighed in by a member of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association.

Teams will be given the option of entering a “Big Fish Calcutta” for an additional $100 entry fee. The winner is the team that has entered the Calcutta, which weighs in the single heaviest flounder.

There will be a second optional “Stringer Calcutta” with a $100 entry fee. The winner is the team that has entered this Calcutta, which has the heaviest stringer weight.

There is a special Sponsors’ Challenge Division where teams entered by the tournament sponsors will compete with each other for the special Sponsors’ Trophy. The winning sponsor will get to keep this trophy until next year’s tournament. Currently, the Sponsors’ Trophy is in the possession of M & M Custom Painting.

The 2014 Flounder Bowl had a total cash payout of $19,850 plus sponsor donated merchandise prizes. The winnings are expected to be larger this year. This is your chance to fish with and against some of the best flounder anglers in the state. There will be food, drink, music, and multiple chances to win. Come on out and join the fun!

You can find the Flounder Bowl on Facebook and visit and .

Sponsor support for this event is nothing short of fantastic! These businesses are going out of their way to make sure that the local fishing community has a good time. We encourage Flounder Bowl participants to support the sponsors who make this event possible.

Generous sponsor support has allowed the Flounder Bowl to support various worthy causes. Flounder Bowl proceeds have been used to make donations to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, the CCA, RFA, Children’s Fishing Clinic, Salem United Methodist Church Wickel Food Pantry, and to local families in need.

If you are interested in becoming a Flounder Bowl Sponsor, contact Nelson Ortiz: (757) 812-0769 or email at . You can register as a sponsor at . Sponsorship levels are: Silver at $250, Gold at $500, and Platinum at $1,000.

flounder bowl banner

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Mar 28 2015

Weekly Virginia Fishing Report


By Dr. Julie Ball

We endured yet another harsh winter, and now Spring fever is rampant. But with water temperatures still lagging in the low forties, expect a late start to the much anticipated arrival of the first species of the season such as croaker, flounder, bluefish, red drum and black drum.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

Tautog is still pretty much the only game in town until the waters warm up. But the Bay action will remain behind the curve with the chilly temperatures, and the coastal and offshore action is slow. Although a few die-hard tog anglers have tried their luck on various offshore wrecks, only a few fish have resulted from their efforts. Scattered fish pushing up to around 15-pounds have made it back to the dock, with one boat reporting a catch of two keeper tog resulting from an all day trip this week. Seabass are also still hitting on these same wrecks, but continue to throw them back since the season is closed.

Speckled trout and puppy drum, often an alternative species for this time of year, is a no-go for the few anglers still trying their luck.

As we anxiously await our chance to finally get in on some decent fishing opportunities with warmer weather, our fisheries management representatives are at work changing regulations, guidelines and limits. Don’t expect great news on this level, as the recent announcement involving more restrictive striped bass regulations will only add to your frustration. New for the 2015 striped bass season, in the Bay the minimum size of fish you can keep has increased from 18 to 20-inches, and for the Spring trophy season, the minimum size has increased from 32 to 36-inches…but, wait for it…now you also have the honor of having to obtain a permit to do this. The coastal guidelines still allow for a only a single fish at 28-inches. So, be sure to review the regulations before you fish for rockfish in the 2015 season. The good news is, you can now fish for sea bass four days earlier on May 15th, and your fishing license fee was rolled back by a whopping five bucks starting in April. Just be happy remembering that Spring is here, and just hope to catch a fish you can actually legally target and keep! But hey, at least you saved five bucks!

The deep dropping interest off the Virginia coast is still good. When the weather allows, boats continue to catch an assortment of bottom dwellers, including blueline tilefish, golden tilefish, black bellied rosefish, and a variety of grouper. The dog fish are still out in force, making this activity a challenge, especially when cranking these pests up from around 400 to 800 feet down, where electric reels could be the answer.

Bluefin tuna are still the main interest for offshore boats off Carolina, with some decent yellowfin and some blackfin tuna also in the mix. Several bluefin continue to push to over 200-pounds. This action should continue to move closer into range for the Virginia fleet over the next weeks.

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Mar 26 2015

Fish News


By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA



Beth Synowiec

Beth Synowiec with a nice taug!


Striped bass regulations have been set. The coastal regulations remain at 1 fish, 28 inches. The bay seasons stay the same with the minimum increased from 18 to 20 inches. The Spring Trophy Season now has a permit required. The minimum has been increased to 36 inches; any fish kept must still be reported. The new permit is only required to be able to keep a striped bass, 36 inches or greater from the start of the Spring Trophy Season May 1 through the Spring Bay Season that ends June 15. You do not need it for any other striped bass fishing.

Like the Tilefish/Grouper Permit, the Spring Trophy Striped Bass Permit is free. These free permits cannot be obtained from all of the normal fishing license outlets. The free permits can be obtained for VMRC Authorized Agents, where commercial fishing licenses are sold. These locations are not conveniently located for everyone. You can now get your Tilefish/Grouper Permit and the Spring Trophy Striped Bass Permit online at: .

Sea bass was set to open on May 19. It will now open on May 15.

Recreational Saltwater License fees will be decreased an average of $5 each beginning April 1.

The VMRC has taken steps to enhance communication with the angling public. You can find VMRC on Facebook: , follow them on Twitter: @VaMRC and their mobile-friendly website is a very useful tool for anglers. Visit for instructions on how to place VMRC Mobile on the homepage of your iOS or Android mobile device. A direct link to VMRC Mobile:  .

When boats can get out of the Outer Banks some tuna are being caught. It is not red hot but decent numbers of bluefin, yellowfin and blackfin tuna are being caught. Out of Virginia, it is tilefish offshore bottom fishing. Tautog are being caught on the coastal wrecks. There have not been any recent reports of speckled trout or puppy drum catches. Anglers trying for them report dead fish floating around. Commercial fishermen are doing well on big striped bass in the rivers but I have not heard of any catch and release action by recreational anglers. Things should improve a lot over the next few weeks as tautog turn on in the bay, the first flounder catches will be made, croaker will arrive in the bay and big drum will arrive in the seaside surf of the Eastern Shore.

The Hampton Boat Show will be at the Hampton Roads Convention Center March 27-29. The PSWSFA will have a table at the boat show and we need volunteers to help man it. Contact Nelson Ortiz if you are willing to spend some time at the table to hand out information on the club and flyers for the Flounder Bowl.

The Flounder Bowl will be held on June 27. Again, it will be limited to 120 boats. This event is made possible through tremendous business support. Participants are encouraged to patronize these businesses that support recreational fishing. Anglers and sponsors can register for this year’s Flounder Bowl at .

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Mar 21 2015

Weekly Sportfishing Rundown

By Dr Julie Ball

By Dr Julie Ball

Now that spring is officially here, anglers are hopeful that the arrival of new species will jump-start a good early season. The weather is cooperating more lately, so the water temperatures will continue to warm, and flounder and croaker will debut soon. But with water temperatures still lagging, anglers may just have to be patient. In the meantime, this is a great time to get your fishing gear and tackle in order.

Tautog is a likely species to target when the weather allows. But with water temperatures still chilly in Bay waters, anglers will opt for deeper wrecks and more southern structures to find the action for now. Coastal and deep water wrecks can produce good catches this time of year, but recent offshore tog trips have reported less than favorable results. Jumbo black seabass will take offered baits on these structures, but throw them back as the season is still closed.

Striped bass along the coast will become officially off limits at end of the month, but most anglers will hardly notice since folks gave up on rockfish earlier this winter. Most stripers heading into the Bay are rushing into the tributary rivers for their spawning rituals.

Speckled trout action is still at a standstill, with very little action to report. Puppy drum could provide some action for those still hoping for trout in Rudee, Lynnhaven and Little Creek Inlets, as well as the seaside and Bayside creeks on the Eastern Shore.

Not many boats are making it to deep drop territory since the wind is keeping most folks closer to shore. But the boats making it to the edge of the Norfolk Canyon are fighting for their catch due to the barrage of dogfish. A variety of tilefish, grouper, and blackbellied rosefish are available once you get through the nuisance fish to reach them.

Those trying their luck in North Carolina are still faring well with the bluefin tuna. Many of these tuna are ranging from 100-250-pounds.

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Mar 20 2015

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Releases Annual Report


The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is pleased to provide you with our 2014 Annual Report. LINK

It describes the Commission’s activities and progress in carrying out our public trust responsibilities for the valuable marine fisheries under Commission stewardship. Included in this report are figures displaying the historical trends in stock status or landings for each species managed by the Commission. Also provided is a summary of the significant management actions Commissioners took in 2014 to maintain and restore the abundance of Commission managed species.

This report reflects our Commissioners’ commitment to accountability and transparency in all they do to manage and rebuild stocks under their care. We hope that you will find the information contained within this report useful and interesting.

Tina Berger
Director of Communications
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200A-N
Arlington, VA 22201

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