Jul 28 2016

Virginia Freshwater Fishing Update

By Charlie Taylor

By Charlie Taylor

POTOMAC RIVER – D.C. – Fletcher’s Boathouse area is giving up some catches of bass and catfish. Downriver, bass are holding on wood cover and structure from Blue Plains to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Main river bridge pilings are excellent places to find bass, using crankbaits, plastic worms and jig ‘n pig. Some fish are available along the riprap above Columbia Island Marina and a few fish are being taken from the War College Wall in Washington Channel. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastic baits are taking the better fish.

POTOMAC RIVER – BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE – Topwater baits and soft plastic stick baits are producing lots of bass in the main river grass beds. Pop R’s, Baby One Minus, buzzbaits and Zoom Horny Toads are attracting fish, while swimbaits are also taking their share of good fish. Plastic worms and spinnerbaits are taking fish on main river points, downed wood and man-made cover. In the creeks, bass are oriented to grass beds, lily pad fields, dropoffs and submerged wood. Falling tides are finding the fish aggressive, taking white spinnerbaits, while rising tides find them with their noses buried in the bark of submerged wood or in the thickest parts of the grass beds. Flippin’ soft plastic baits is the better method of catching these fish. Catfish action has slowed, but fish are still available on cut bait, clam snouts and crab. White perch are available throughout the river. The larger fish are coming on 1/8th oz. spinnerbaits, Bomber 2A and Shad Rap 7S crankbaits.

OCCOQUAN RIVER – Lots of fish are being caught, with most of them orienting to submerged wood or the grass bed at the mouth of the river. Bass, crappie, bream and catfish are available for anglers dropping plastic and live baits adjacent to wood structure. Boat docks are the prevalent structure in the river, producing good numbers of fish. Spinnerbaits, Flukes, Senkos, frogs and Mann’s Baby One Minus will take the fish in the grass at high tides, while punching plastic baits through the grass will take them at lower tides.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR – Lots of bass are available. Most of the bass are taking crankbaits and plastic worms along the rock walls and on main lake points. Crappie anglers are taking some good fish from submerged brush along the river channel, while pier anglers are also taking crappie, small bass and catfish. Clam snouts are good bait for channel catfish anglers fishing the points.

BURKE LAKE – Bass activity has picked up. Fish plastic worms and crankbaits in the edges of the grassbeds and on dropoffs. Some muskie are being caught, with a lot more follows. Catfish anglers are taking lots of fish in the 8-15 pound class. Preferred baits include cut bait, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Lots of good fish are coming from the pier, particularly panfish and crappie.

FARM PONDS – Activity has been picking up, with topwater baits taking lots of good fish early and late in the day. Flyrod poppers are taking both bass and sunfish, while plastic worms and Rat-L-Traps are taking fish during the heat of the day. Fish the shallows for sunfish, while the bass are holding in the deeper water around the dam. Trees or bushes with their feet in the water, hold some lunker largemouth bass. Don’t discount those ponds with lots of “scum” on the surface. Toss out a floating plastic worm and twitch it seductively. Big bass will frequently come busting up through the algae and take these baits agressively.

POTOMAC RIVER – UPPER – Smallmouth bass are very aggressive. Small crankbaits are taking good fish in the 1-3 pound range. Chartreuse and orange are the better colors in the stained water while gold and white are better in clear water. The deeper holes and riffles hold larger fish. Best lure choice is small plastic jerkbaits in white and chartreuse and Yamamoto Baby Senkos in dark colors, fished weightless. Bream are also aggressive, taking small spinners, Tiny Torpedos and tiny crankbaits.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER – Above the city, smallmouth are being taken on topwater lures early and late in the day. After the sun rises, switch to plastic grubs, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits. Bream are active. Tidal water is giving up largemouth bass to anglers fishing shad colored crankbaits and plastic worms, along the Southern shoreline, in downed timber and undercut banks. Best action is found in the Green Bay area of the river. Blue catfish, 20-35 pounds, are taking live white perch and cut bait in the outside bends of the channel. Crappie action is slow.

SHENANDOAH RIVER – Smallmouth bass are biting well. Small crankbaits, spinners and plastic grubs are taking lots of bass, along with some nice bream. Catfishermen are doing well on chicken livers, cut bait and live shiners. Deeper water is producing the better catches.

MATTAPONI/PAMUNKEY RIVERS – Lots of catfish and stripers are taken on peeler crab baits in both rivers. Other species being taken are bass, white and yellow perch and bream. Spot, croaker and a few trout are being caught in the lower parts of the rivers.

MOTTS RESERVOIR – Recent report shows lots of eating size white perch very aggressive. Small spinners, jigs and tiny crankbaits will take the fish when cast next to the shore and retrieved into deeper water. Bass are available on wood cover with plastic worms and jig ‘n pig.

LAKE ANNA – Bass are taking Silver Buddies, crankbaits and large plastic worms in 18-27 feet of water on ridges and points. Four inch power worms in june bug and blue fleck are taking some nice bass in 19-21 feet of water, off the main lake islands around Dukes Creek. Schooling bass may be found on points, dropping into deep water. Grubs are the better baits for the schoolers. Pop-R’s, Zara Spooks and buzzbaits are taking some fish early and late in the day. Stripers are taking live shad, particularly at Rose Valley, the Splits and Terry’s Run. Catfishing is on and off. Crappie schools are suspended over creek channels in 15-25 feet of water and bridge pilings in 35 feet of water.

JAMES RIVER – Lots of smallmouth bass are being caught on weightless Senkos and plastic grubs, above Richmond. Largemouth are holding on points and wood cover in tidal waters. Try fishing weightless Yamamoto Baby Senkos around the standing cypress trees in any of the tidal creeks, but be prepared for very aggressive strikes. In the Appomattox, fish large spinnerbaits around the main river channel markers for good quality fish. The outside bends of the river channel are producing good size blue and flathead catfish on cut eel baits.

LAKE CHESDIN – Crappie fishing is improving daily, with better catches coming on live minnows in shallow water. Bass are taking plastic worms in 6-8 feet of water throughout the lake. Aggressive fish are located near the upper end of the lake, taking crankbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is excellent on chicken livers, while bream are taking crickets.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER – Buzzbaits, frogs and plastic worms are the preferred baits for bass anglers, while flyrodders are using poppers. Lily pad fields and cypress trees in deeper water are the best structure, although the hydrilla beds are also giving up some nice fish on plastic jerkbaits and frogs. Catfish are taking turtle livers and nightcrawlers.

CHICKAHOMINY LAKE – Some bass are being taken on flyrod poppers, Zoom Horny Toads, plastic stickbaits and live minnows. Live minnows are also responsible for catches of bowfin, pickerel and catfish. Bream are taking crickets and nightcrawlers.

LITTLE CREEK RESERVOIR – Bass fishing has improved dramatically. A number of fish in the 5-7 pound class have been caught, most on drop shot, Carolina rigs and Jig ‘n Pig. Some small bass and bream are also being caught, along with lots of large pickerel. Stripers, to nine pounds, are being caught on live herring baits, fished on deeper points. Catfish and walleye are taking nightcrawlers around the dam.

BACK BAY – Flounder, white perch and catfish are biting well in the main areas of the bay, while bass, catfish, perch and bluegills are biting in the creeks. Some bass, 4-6 pounds, are being caught in the deeper water along Long Island in Back Bay. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, frogs and Johnson Silver Minnows are the top choice of baits. Lots of stripers are being caught from the Knotts Island Causeway, early and late in the day.

SUFFOLK LAKES – Plastic worms, Rapalas and Rat-L-Traps are successful for a few anglers fishing for largemouth bass. Crickets and red wigglers are the preferred bait for shellcrackers, bream and crappie. Gar and catfish are also active, with live minnows producing best. White and Yellow perch are biting well.

LAKE GASTON – Crappie are holding in brushpiles in 12-18 feet of water and taking live minnows. Downlake, largemouth bass are holding in 12-20 feet of water and may be taken on plastic worms and deep-diving crankbaits. Topwater lures are taking fish early and late in the day. Most of the better fish are located on main lake points and creek mouths. Boat docks are also holding a few fish. Small plastic grubs are the ticket for the boat docks. Uplake, fish the grass beds on the main lake and in the creeks and coves with topwater frogs, floating worms and buzzbaits. Areas between docks, with submerged grass, are giving up good bass on plastic worms. Stripers are being caught on rattling crankbaits, fished near the bottom on river channel points. Lots of stripers are available on topwater baits below the Gaston Dam in Roanoke Rapids Lake.

BUGGS ISLAND LAKE – Stripers are being caught vertical jigging with Hopkins spoons. Better areas are Nutbush Creek and County Line Creek, on the lower end of the lake. Rattling crankbaits and plastic lures in pumpkinseed or june bug colors are taking largemouth bass. The fish are located in 17-30 feet on main lake points. Crappie are located on brushpiles in 10-12 feet of water. White bass are taking Dollflies from Clarksville to Bluestone Creek.

BRIERY CREEK & SANDY RIVER RESERVOIRS – Bass anglers are catching fish in the 2-4 pound class on topwater baits and plastic worms. Better fish are coming from points and dropoffs. Bass are also being taken from the dollar pads on Zoom Super Flukes and plastic stick baits. Catfish are taking chicken livers and bluegill are hitting crickets and red wigglers.

sml-july28SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE – Fishing is good, with stripers to 20 pounds being caught at the log boom, near the islands, at the “S” turns and off the mouth of Gills Creek. Most of the fish are being taken early in the morning or at night. Largemouth bass are being caught in 18-25 feet of water on deep-diving crankbaits and plastic worms. Topwater lures are taking fish early and late in the day.

LEESVILLE RESERVOIR – Largemouth bass are being taken on plastic worms and jig ‘n pig. Stripers are taking trolled Red Fins. White bass are taking Rebel Pop-Rs when the schools of fish are on the surface. When the schools sound, switch to a Rapala Shad Rap. A few walleye are also being caught.

LAKE MOOMAW – Trout are rolling on the surface early and late in the day. A few 5-7 pound brown trout are being taken by anglers fishing deep with live minnows. Channel cats are being caught on cut bait. Bass are taking topwaters early and late, and plastic worms in 15-18 feet during the day.

PHILPOTT LAKE – Some bass and walleye action, but not much. The fish being caught are generally large ones, but patience is required. Fish live minnows early and late in the day. Bass anglers, fishing at night with large spinnerbaits and jig ‘n pig are making nice catches of bass. Catfish action is good. Anglers fishing the Smith River for trout are taking limits of trout.

NEW RIVER – Excellent smallmouth bass action for 2-3 pound fish on Baby Torpedos and plastic grubs. Catfish are being taken on cut bait at night. A few musky are reported. Walleye are being taken by night fishermen on live bait, below the dam.

FLANNAGAN RESERVOIR – Trout fishing is picking up, with 16-24 inch fish being caught. Most of the fish are browns, with a few rainbows mixed in. Flathead catfish, 14-21 inches are taking cut bait and bluegills are hitting crickets.

SOUTH HOLSTON RESERVOIR – Catfish and walleye are biting well on nightcrawlers. Bass fishing is slow, but some anglers are taking limits on brown jig ‘n pig baits. Crappie anglers are doing well on live minnows. All the fish are being taken from deep water.

CLAYTOR LAKE – Catfish and stripers have turned on, taking live shad and alewives at night. Bass anglers are catching lots of bass at night. Walleye are taking spinner/nightcrawler combinations, with the fish averaging four pounds.

TROUT STREAMS – Most of the National Forest and Park streams are producing quite well for fly fishermen using small dry flies, imitating terrestrials. Mepps and Shyster spinners are taking fish for the spin fishermen. Stoney Creek and Passage creek are the best bets for a day trip, while Martin’s Creek, the North Fork of the Powell River, Bullpasture River, Jackson River, Cedar Creek and Clearbrook lake are all producing good catches. Beartree Lake, in Washington County and Whitetop Laurel are also giving up some trout. Maryland creeks producing good trout fishing include Gunpowder Creek, Hunting Creek and Savage River. Streamers are the recommended lure, but terrestrials are working well on Gunpowder Creek.


Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2016/07/28/virginia-freshwater-fishing-update/

Jul 23 2016

Coryphaena Hippurus, Dolphin, Dorado, Goldmakrele Season In Virginia

By Don Malkowski

WHAT: Mahi-mahi are probably the most colorful fish found while trolling the open oceans. Scientifically named Coryphaena hippurus, they go by many other names like, Dolphin, Dorado, or Goldmakrele. They also have other nicknames based on their size…Chicken, Peanut, Bailer, Gaffer, Hoister, Cow, Bull. The name Mahi-mahi is Hawaiian for “strong-strong”. No Matter what you call them, they are not only one of the best tasting fish in the ocean, but can be one of the most dogged fighters swimming in the tropical waters.

mahi2Dolphin are easily distinguished for both its coloring and its shape. Dolphin have long, compressed bodies with a large forked tail and a dorsal fin that extends nearly the entire length of its body. Males have a tall blunt head, while females, and both sexes of the smaller species of Dolphin, the Pompano Dolphin, Coryphaena equisetis, have a rounded head. Colors are bright and brilliant ranging from yellows, greens, to blues. Their underbellies are usually lighter in color, while the backs are darker green to shades of deep blue. They can be spattered with dots of blue and green. While free swimming, they are more subdued, but once excited, they become electric and each fish seems to be different. Fish have been witnessed being nearly all blue or even white with blue spots.

Mahi feed aggressively from birth and grow extremely fast. They can weigh near 3-5 pounds within a span of 6 months and within a year can reach lengths of 3 feet and top 20 pounds on the scales. Some can reach 4-5 years of age and weigh over 50 pounds, but many don’t live longer than a year or two since they are a target of fisherman and larger pelagics like Billfish. The current World Record Mahi is 87 pounds and was caught in Costa Rica in 1976. The young feed primarily on crustaceans and larvae of other pelagic fish while larger, more mature fish, feed on flying fish, mackerel, triggerfish, and just about anything else floating around sargassum beds. Studies show that Mahi feed primarily during the day, but have been know to feast at night when the moon provides the needed light to see its prey. Breeding can begin very early when fish are as small as 8 inches. Mahi reproduce often, sustaining this great fishery.

Mahi roam the open tropical and temperate oceans (waters 68-86 degrees) in search of food. Smaller fish tend to school together and can be found around any piece of floating debris or along sargassum beds. Larger fish become lone rangers or can be found in male-female pairs. They are extremely fast swimmers and can cover vast areas searching for food. Some scientists believe Mahi can reach speeds of 50 mph in short bursts.

Anglers target these fish not just for their delicious meat, but also for their fighting ability. Mahi, once hooked, are magnificent fighters. The name Mahi-mahi comes from Hawaii meaning “Strong-strong”. Tailwalking and superb aerial shows can ensue. Fish are know to scream line off a reel in one direction, only to do an about-face and take the fight in the other direction. They can also use their broad bodies and tall dorsal fins to their advantage and dig in for a tug-of-war. They don’t stop fighting once in the boat, either. They’re know for flopping around a pit, so proceed with caution when boating these breathtaking fish.

WHEN & WHERE: Dolphin roam all tropical and sub-tropical waters over the Globe. Waters ranging in temperature from the upper 60’s to mid 80’s are prime spots for Mahi. Most Mahi are caught as a by-catch if you will while anglers are trolling for other species like Tuna or Marlin. For those wanting to target them, finding any type of floating debris or sargassum is key.

Large weed patches and flotsam can be home to small baitfish. They congregate around these areas for protection. And where there’s bait, the predators are soon to follow. Smaller Dolphin will school under these weeds and debris in ambush of these smaller baits, and as protection from their own predators. Larger Bulls and Cows are known to hang on the outskirts of large weed beds. With their tremendous bursts of speed, they are able to strike from a distance in a hurry.

Locally along the Mid-Atlantic, Mahi can be caught as close as Navy towers off the Outer Banks and the Triangle Wrecks out of Virginia, all depending on water temperatures. Mahi landings start in Hatteras and Oregon Inlet in mid to late April and will continue through the Summer. Once waters warm up over the Cigar and Norfolk Canyons, Dolphin will appear on the docks of Virginia marinas.

HOW: Trolling, jigging, casting, and chunking are all great ways to catch Mahi. Once you find them, they will accept nearly any bait offered to them. I’ll cover the basics of trolling along with some techniques for bailing Dolphin in this How-To.

Trolling is the best way to locate these fish. Like I said earlier, most Mahi are caught while in pursuit of other game fish, like Tuna and Marlin. When you come across a weed patch or debris field, spreads can be adjusted to entice more large Mahi strikes.

As with other offshore game fish, you’ll be trolling a spread of rigged ballyhoo and lures. A typical spread I run for Mahi consist of seven lines. I like to have medium size Ballyhoo in the cooler with a couple of Horse Ballyhoo to weed out the smaller Dolphin. Lures selection will contain Shooters, a couple of sea witches, a few larger chugger style lures, a couple of daisy chains, a Mini Bar or two, and of course a Boone bird. My color choice will be on the bright side, greens and yellows, pinks, and blue and white.

Down the center in the Shotgun position will be a Boone Bird with a Horse ballyhoo rigged behind a chugger style lure, like a Get Reel Lure T.C.B., or a bullet shaped lure like a G&H Islander. Off the Long Riggers, I’ll set rigged medium ballyhoo behind seawitches or Shooters. The Short Riggers will be either Mini Bars or Conga Line Daisy Chains, again with trailing rigged medium ballyhoo. The Flat lines will see a smoking chugger lure on one side and another skipping medium ballyhoo behind a witch or Shooter. Cedar plugs, Boone Marauders, or even naked ballyhoo can be substituted on the Flats. Larger lures can also be run off the riggers. The larger baits will sift through the smaller bailer Dolphin and bring in the larger trophy fish. Mahi aren’t picky eaters. Their voracious eating habits get the better of them.

Once you hook a Mahi, be prepared for a nice fight, especially if you’re using lighter tackle. Mahi around 15 to 20 pounds and smaller will travel in schools of approximately the same size fish. If you hook one, there are bound to be others around. This is when bailing comes into play. A bailing rig can be as simple as a hook tied to a length of leader and attached to your mainline, either by knot or snap swivel. If using lighter leader, a snap swivel is best as Mahi do have small teeth and will chaff a leader quickly. With a school of fish behind the boat at this time, speedy changes are key.

Circle hooks are great as they improve hook-ups as well are better for the fish if you plan on releasing what you can’t eat. Tie your 4/0-7/0 hook to your leader, about 3-4 feet of 30-60 pound mono or fluorocarbon, and attach to your main line. You can use a Spider Hitch to make a loop in the other end of your rig to attach to the main line via a snap swivel. Size of hook and leader depend on the size of fish behind your boat. It good to have several rigs made up in advance in varying sizes. Storing these can be made easier by using a kids pool toy. Take a section of those foam noodles kids use to float around in the pool. Lay the looped end on the noodle and then wrap the hook around and then push the hook point into the foam. Nicely stored and ready for action.

Cut bait, like ballyhoo, shrimp, and squid are good baits, but cut False Albacore will drive them nuts. Cut bait into chunks and broadcast a handful out. Don’t feed the fish; just get them into a frenzy. Bait your hook with the same bait and drift it back with the chunks. The Mahi will come running as if you rang a dinner bell. This is also a great technique to draw fish out from under a weed patch. We often have a few spinning rods rigged with bucktails ready to go as well. Another great lure is a top water plug. Seeing a Mahi crash a bait and feel the hit is intense.

To help keep the fish around the boat, leave a hooked fish in the water until another gets hooked. The rest of the school gets excited by the stimulus of one of their buddies being lit up. This goes back to their eating habits. They see one fish eating and the competition is on for them to get their own meal, causing the frenzied feeding we want behind our boats. Sometimes if the school has been worked by previous boats, getting bites can be difficult. This is where having different kinds of bait to offer will come into play.

There are currently no size limits on Mahi in VA and NC, only bag limits of 10 per person per day, not to exceed 60 per boat per day. Some states do have length limits, like Florida for example, which is 20” curved fork length. Try to remember that someone has to clean all those fish when you get back home. Keep what you can eat and let the others swim another day. Most of those little fish will be over 20 pounds in less than 6 months, almost a paper in Virginia.

Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2016/07/23/dolphin-dorado-goldmakrele-season-in-virginia/

Jul 23 2016

Virginia Fishing Scene Continues To Evolve

By Dr Julie Ball

By Dr Julie Ball

As summer temperatures heat up, the fishing scene continues to evolve.

Some overcast conditions are creating a challenge for cobia sight casters this week, but when conditions allow, most are reporting solid catches. Although most fish are still averaging in the 30 to 40-pound range, scattered bigger fish weighing over 50-pounds are also hitting the docks. Chummers are still finding fish, with a few bruisers pushing to over 60-pounds in the mix this week. Red drum are also still providing top water action as they school around the mouth of the Bay, especially near the Baltimore Channel.

The flounder action in the Bay is still productive, with some respectable flatfish to show. Good action is still coming from nearshore and inshore wrecks, where anglers are cleaning up with limits of nice fish averaging from 22 to 24-inches lately. Some keeper seabass will also take offerings on these same wrecks. For the Bay flounder hotspots, jigging and live bait are most effective right now, with both techniques working around all four islands of the Bay Bridge Tunnel, with the average flattie averaging around 20 to 22-inches. Anglers drifting with strip baits and minnows are also lucking into good numbers of fish near the 1st island, the Hampton Bar, the Thimble Shoal Channel. Both Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets are also giving up a few keepers lately.


Sheepshead action is still very good, with fish ranging between 10 and 14-pounds taking fiddler crabs presented along the Bridge Tunnel complex. Plenty of triggerfish are also available in these same areas. Spadefish continue to school on nearshore wrecks and most of the span of the CBBT, with a few surprise fish pushing to 7-pounds.

Spanish mackerel continue to hit very well off the Virginia Beach ocean front. Some Spanish are big, pushing to over 2-pounds. Taylor bluefish are also mixed in with the Spanish. King mackerel are available in the same areas, with a few scattered rumors of catches.

Croaker are hitting in the usual hot spots throughout the Bay, with good hauls also coming from the backwaters of Oyster and area 262 in Magothy Bay, where the hardheads are ranging to around a pound. Spot are also biting along the oceanfront, the southern shores of the lower Bay, as well as near the Bay Bridge Tunnel. A few keepers sized spot are also hitting within Lynnhaven Inlet. Puppy drum are responding in most lower Bay shallows, along with some speckled trout.

The word on the tarpon scene on the Eastern Shore is that it is good. Plenty of sliver kings are being sighted, with some hook-ups, jump-offs, and released fish reported recently.

Amberjack are biting at the Southern Towers, with fish pushing to over 50-inches ready to bust your tackle. Deep droppers are still pulling in good numbers of tilefish, rosefish, wreckfish, and grouper along with a smattering of seabass near the Canyon edges.

Offshore, billfish encounters are still on the rise. White marlin, with scattered blue marlin are honoring boats with several flags flying this week. Yellowfin tuna are still around, with some fish pushing to around 60-pounds hitting the docks lately, along with some huge bigeye tuna. Big gaffer mahi are coming on strong, with some massive fish weighing in at over 40-pounds boated this week. Wahoo are a possibility, and swordfish have been caught on overnight trips this week.


Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2016/07/23/virginia-fishing-scene-continues-to-evolve/

Jul 22 2016

Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland Saltwater Fishing Report

By Charlie Taylor

By Charlie Taylor


LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA – Excellent spot and croaker action is to be had around the First Island and the Small Boat Channel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Some cobia catches are recorded around the Second and Third Islands. Flounder catches rate an ole’ from anglers fishing around the High Level Bridge and Small Boat Channel. Lots of big flounder, to seven pounds are being weighed. A few speckled trout and several puppy drum were caught inside Lynnhaven Inlet, while flounder anglers were doing well at the mouth. Inshore boats were taking sea bass and tautog off the wrecks. Snapper bluefish are taking poppers or spoons cast toward the rocks around the Fourth Island. Cobia catches continue around Latimer Shoals, while York Spit and the Hump are also producing well. Amberjack, to 50 pounds, are taking live fish, drifted around the Chesapeake Light Tower. Fair catches of spot, croaker, flounder and a few trout are being made at Twin Stakes and Y-9, while yellow bellied spot are showing at C-39. Flounder continue to bite well around Plum Tree, the Bell Buoy and Bluefish Rock. Good hauls of spot and croaker, plus a few grey trout are also being made at Buoy 22. Larger croaker are found at the “Lumps”, located just off Cheatham Annex, in 35 feet of water. Some speckled trout are being taken from the grass beds at the mouth of Mobjack Bay.


Justin Wilson and a nice sword!

VIRGINIA BEACH – Bluefin and yellowfin tuna, and dolphin are the mainstay offshore, while sailfish and swordfish catches are marginally successful. Inshore, amberjack remain active at the Southern Tower and the inshore wrecks, taking drifted live bait. Trolling in the same area produces dolphin and bluefish. The headboats are registering good catches of croaker, pan trout, sea bass and triggerfish.


LYNNHAVEN – Bottom fishermen are catching spot, croaker and sea mullet. Occasional runs of grey and speckled trout spice up the action. Casters are taking bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Crabbing is good.

VIRGINIA BEACH – A good mix of spot, sea mullet, flounder, pan trout and croaker provide good action for bottom anglers. Casters continue to find Spanish mackerel and taylor blues from the end of the pier.

SANDBRIDGE – Spot and croaker provide the bulk of the action, with sea mullet and flounder also reported.

CHINCOTEAGUE – Catches include a mixed bag of flounder, croaker, spot, sea mullet and sea bass, with best catches of flounder being made at Turner’s Lump just outside the inlet, the Main Channel and around the mouth of the inlet, during clear water. Inside the inlet, croaker, to 18 inches, are biting anything put in the water. Best area is Curtis Merritt Harbor, but limits may be taken anywhere inside the inlet. Offshore, yellowfin tuna and dolphin are being caught in Washington Canyon. Best catches of tuna are made less than 30 miles from the inlet by anglers chunking with fresh butterfish. Bluefin tuna are being caught at the Parking Lot, along with occasional king mackerel and dolphin. Some king and Spanish mackerel are being taken by trollers, while surf anglers are taking fair numbers of flounder, spot and sea mullet. Inshore boats are taking triggerfish over ocean wrecks.

WACHAPREAGUE – A few yellowfin tuna are reported at the 20 Fathom Fingers, while bluefin dominate the catches at the 21 and 26 Mile Hills. A sprinkling of dolphin to 12 pounds, false albacore, king and Spanish mackerel, and amberjack are also being caught. Billfish are thick in the waters of Washington and Poor Man’s Canyons. Inside the inlet, huge schools of croaker have arrived, with flounder, sea mullet and trout being mixed in the catches.

ONANCOCK – Excellent bottom fishing for spot and croaker in Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds. Flounder remain in above average abundance, although lots are undersized. Mixed in the catches are blowfish, dusky shark, sea mullet, small cobia and lots of porgy. Late evening finds speckled trout feeding in the creeks.

QUINBY – Several good flounder have been caught, particularly near the mouth of the inlet, with some hitting on the backside of Hog Island. Croaker and spot are showing well with the croaker approaching two pounds. A few sea trout, 1-3 pounds, have also been showing. Better action has been at the Gap and Eggen Marsh.

CAPE CHARLES – Citation flounder action is excellent in the Buoy 36A area. Cobia and shark are being caught in the buoy 36A and 38A area, along with a few red drum. Excellent fishing for croaker and spot along the channel edge just off the Cement Ships on strips of squid or chunks of peeler crab. Speckled trout are showing with consistency on the bayside creeks. On the seaside, fair to good action on pan trout and flounder, along with 2-4 pound croaker, has been found out of Oyster, near the Tripod buoy.


OUTER BANKS, N.C. – Bottom fishing for spot, croaker, sea mullet, flounder and trout has been excellent. Anglers using live bait at the end of the piers are connecting on occasional cobia and king mackerel. Good numbers of speckled trout are found along the beach, but many are small. Snapper blues, spot, croaker and flounder are abundant at Oregon Inlet, while sheepshead and black drum also put in appearances.

Boaters are making some good catches of flounder, to four pounds, in Davis Channel. Beach anglers report two pound pompano along with sporadic catches of Spanish mackerel and taylor blues. Outside the inlet, Spanish mackerel are found near Bodie Island Lighthouse, with only a few taylor blues mixed in the catches. The inshore towers are loaded with amberjack, where an occasional king mackerel or cobia is also taken.

Offshore, yellowfin tuna action is very good, NE of the inlet, along the 785 line. Good billfish action is also available at the 480 line. Chicken dolphin are plentiful, with limits common. Occasional bigeye tuna, to 200+ pounds, are also available. Headboats are loading up on medium croaker.


MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA – Excellent catches of small bluefish are being made from Smith Point Light to Tangier Island in the evenings. Many of the largest fish are found in deep water along the eastern side of the shipping channel. Bottom anglers are taking plenty of keeper spot and croaker, along with some flounder and pan trout at Blackberry Hang. Panfish continue to bite well at Mud Leads, with croaker, spot, flounder and bluefish mixed in the catches. Fair numbers of flounder are showing along the Smith Point Jetty. Taylor blues are abundant around the Smith Point Light. The best bottom fishing in the Rappahannock River for spot and croaker was off Gwynn Island. Speckled trout continue to hit rubber-tailed jigs, fished on the grass flats at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. Some cobia continue to be taken in the vicinity of the Cut Channel. Spot fishing is excellent at the Silos. Some large croaker and a few flounder are mixed in. Good catches of spot are also made at Buoy 16 and Bowlers Light, while one pound croaker are being taken at Bowlers Rock and just below the Power Lines.

UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA – Excellent bottom fishing is available for spot, croaker, flounder and grey trout at Snake Reef, inside the Severn River, near Brick House Bar, around Deale, at the mouth of the Choptank River, Sharps Island Flats, Richland Point, Hooper Island Light and the Old 54 Wreck. Snapper bluefish are available throughout the area. Better catches are coming on small gold spoons, trolled through the schools and topwater baits and spoons, cast into the schools.

OCEAN CITY – Good catches of flounder are available in the bay, while trout and bluefish are available from the jettys. Offshore, dolphin and yellowfin catches are good in Baltimore, Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons, along with excellent white marlin action.




Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2016/07/22/virginia-north-carolina-maryland-saltwater-fishing-report-2/

Jul 20 2016

News Release: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting VA Beach

August 2016 Council Meeting Agenda
Monday, August 8, 2016 – Thursday, August 11, 2016
Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Telephone 757-213-3000
Webinar: For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest at:http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/august2016.
Briefing Materials: Documents will be posted at http://www.mafmc.org/briefing/august-2016 as they become available.


Open PDF Agenda

Monday, August 8th  

9:00 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Executive Committee Meeting (closed session)


9:20 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Executive Committee Meeting (open)

  • Review letter regarding governance of summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass
  • Coordination of research with SAFMC

10:00 a.m. Council convenes


10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Unmanaged Forage Amendment Final Action

  • Review comments received during public hearings
  • Review Ecosystem/Ocean Planning Advisory Panel and Committee recommendations for final action
  • Select preferred alternatives

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Unmanaged Forage Amendment Cont’d


2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) Guidance Document

  • Review, finalize, and approve EAFM Guidance Document
  • Review and discusspotential framework for integrating ecosystem interactions into fisheries assessment and management

Tuesday, August 9th

9:00 a.m. Demersal Committee Meeting as a Committee of the Whole with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass and Bluefish Boards


9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Summer Flounder Allocation Project Report

  • Presentation on summer flounder allocation model and initial findings

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Summer Flounder Amendment Alternatives

  • Review and provide feedback on list of amendment issues and Fishery Management Action Team recommendations

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Summer Flounder Amendment Alternatives cont’d


2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Summer Flounder Specifications

  • Review SSC, Monitoring Committee, Advisory Panel, and staff recommendations regarding 2017 – 2018 specifications
  • Recommend any changes if necessary

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Black Sea Bass Specifications

  • Review SSC, Monitoring Committee, Advisory Panel, and staff recommendations regarding 2017 specifications
  • Recommend any changes if necessary

Wednesday, August 10th

9:00 a.m. Demersal Committee Meeting as a Committee of the Whole with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass and Bluefish Boards


9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Scup Specifications

  • Review SSC, Monitoring Committee, Advisory Panel, and staff recommendations regarding 2017 – 2018 specifications
  • Recommend any changes if necessary

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Bluefish Specifications

  • Review SSC, Monitoring Committee, Advisory Panel, and staff recommendations regarding 2017 – 2018 specifications
  • Recommend any changes if necessary

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch


1:00 p.m. Council Convenes


1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Executive Committee Report


1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Policy on Fishing Impacts on Habitat

  • Review and consider approval of draft policy

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. For-Hire Electronic VTR Framework Meeting 2

  • Review Framework document and analyses
  • Address issues raised at June Council meeting
  • Summary of constituent input
  • Summarize revisions made
  • Select final alternative(s)
  • Discuss implementation process

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Reports

  • NOAA Office of Law Enforcement
  • U.S. Coast Guard

Thursday, August 11th

9:00 a.m. Council Convenes


9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Swearing In of New Council Members/Election of Officers


9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Business Session

  • Organization Reports
    • NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Office
    • NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center
    • NOAA Office of General Counsel
    • Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
  • Liaison Reports
    • New England Council
    • South Atlantic Council
    • Regional Planning Body
  • Executive Director’s Report – Chris Moore
  • Science Report – Rich Seagraves
  • Committee Reports
    • Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Committee
    • SSC
  • Continuing and New Business

The above agenda items may not be taken in the order in which they appear and are subject to change as necessary.  Other items may be added, but the Council cannot take action on such items even if the item requires emergency action without additional public notice.  Non-emergency matters not contained in this agenda may come before the Council and / or its Committees for discussion, but these matters may not be the subject of formal Council or Committee action during this meeting.  Council and Committee actions will be restricted to the issues specifically listed in this agenda.  Any issues requiring emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act that arise after publication of the Federal Register Notice for this meeting may be acted upon provided that the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency.  The meeting may be closed to discuss employment or other internal administrative matters.


Press Contact:

Mary Clark



Permanent link to this article: http://vbsf.net/2016/07/20/news-mid-atlantic-fishery-management-council-meeting-va-beach/

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