Aug 29 2015

Virginia Sport Fishing Rundown

By Dr Julie Ball

By Dr Julie Ball

As we cruise towards the end of summer, the heat is starting to give way to some cooler winds from the North. This gusty weather can make getting out on the water a challenge. Calmer conditions over the next few days could provide some productive fishing ventures as many species begin to display more late summer patterns.

Nice Cobia on Key Dreams

With cloudy days and breezy conditions prevailing over the past several days, cobia action for sight casters has been less than optimal. Some nice fish are still hitting the docks when boats can get out, but the cloud cover is still obscuring any visual advantage for casters. A few chummers are also experiencing similar results lately. This fishery will begin winding down soon for the season.

Blustery winds don’t bother red drum, and these fish are not taking any breaks as they fatten up for their journey south in the fall. Schools of bull reds are roaming lower Bay waters, providing good casting opportunities. Big red drum are also taking bait for anglers bottom fishing on the Bayside of the Eastern Shore, and for surf anglers along Smith Island over the past several days. Puppy drum are also active in the shallows, hitting Gulp lures and cut bait.

Founder pounders are also dealing with trying weather conditions, making decent catches a challenge. Protected areas are providing easier fishing conditions, with Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets giving up some keeper flatfish lately. Anglers working the Eastern Shore inlets, off the concrete ships, and along the high rise area of the CBBT are also finding some luck. The better catches are coming from the offshore wrecks when boats can reach them, where anglers can also find seabass and triggerfish.

Sheepshead are still going strong as anglers entice big fish from the pilings and all four tubes of the CBBT using fiddler crabs and clam. Big trigger fish are also providing action in all the same locations, with several of these fish still pushing to over 3-pounds. Spadefish are still biting around the islands of the CBBT, with anglers finding scattered 4 and 5-pounders near the 3rd island.

Spot are gaining more attention, with good hauls of decent fish coming from local inlets, Willoughby Bay, and the lower Bay rivers. Croaker are also providing action inside Rudee Inlet lately. Some puppy drum are around in most backwater locations, but speckled trout are slow to evolve as we watch carefully for a rebound.

Spanish mackerel are still providing good action along the Virginia Beach oceanfront for trollers on small gold and chrome spoons. Some king mackerel are also responding to trolled baits this past week. Anglers are still finding mahi along the CB buoy line and near the Tower Reef areas. Plenty of smallish sharks continue to entertain anglers in the same areas.

Amberjack are still available at the South Tower, and jack crevelle could be circling the Chesapeake Light Tower. Deep dropping for blueline tilefish, barrelfish and blackbellied rosefish is still productive, with by-catches of jumbo seabass also common in the same areas.

The offshore billfish bite is fair according to offshore captains, with scattered catches of white marlin, and occasional blue marlin and sailfish a possibility lately. The dolphin bite is still good, while wahoo action is on the rise this week. A few nice yellowfin tuna were boated this week, along with some decent bigeye tuna.

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Aug 28 2015

Saltwater Sport Fisherman Report


By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA

Good yellowfin tuna catches are being made at the Washington Canyon. Bigeye tuna are being caught at both the Washington and Norfolk Canyons. Billfish action remains good but scattered up and down the line. We have not had anybody go out and catch 20 plus bills in a day yet. It has been mostly a few per boat but the variety is good allowing for possible grand slams. Dolphin fishing remains good. The wahoo bite has really turned on and anglers targeting them are having good success from Virginia on down to Morehead City.

George Wojcik cobiaAmberjack are still available at the southern towers. Amberjack and jack crevalle are possible over some of the ocean wrecks and there should be some at the Chesapeake Light Tower. The wrecks in that area are holding spadefish, some nice sea bass, flounder and triggerfish catches are becoming more common.

The CBBT sheepshead bite is very good and it should continue through September. Spadefish Flounder are being caught in good numbers by some CBBT experts. Cobia are podding up and hanging around buoys making for some excellent sight fishing opportunities in the lower bay and along the oceanfront. Big red drum are being caught along the eastern shore and it is time to find them around the islands of the CBBT. Spanish mackerel and some large king mackerel are being caught along the oceanfront.

Not all of the speckled trout are gone. There have been some catches in the Mobjack, York and Back Rivers, and on the flats. Not in any great numbers but a few are around. Spot catches have greatly improved. It is not like the glory days but catching a mess of nice spot is not hard to do right now.

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Aug 23 2015

Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament Results

david ice

Congratulation to the 2015 Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament winners. Weldor’s Arc captained by Mike Taylor took home top honors with seven billfish and 490 points. The victory was based on time of catch. Second went to Croupier and Capt. Will Austin, also with 490 points. Also with 490 points, third went to Home Run and Capt. Grant Bentley.

John Roberts on Weldor’s Arc was the top overall angler with six billfish. Janice Drimer on Croupier was the top female, also with six billfish.

The largest Tuna was an 88.1 pounder caught on the “Micabe” by angler Jay Bremer. The biggest dolphin was a 29 pounder caught by the “Wildlife”, angler Shawn Welch. And the Largest Wahoo went to Mike Dillon fishing on the Tippecanoe, Mike’s fish weighed in at 70.5 pounds.

The top junior angler in the meatfish division went to Blake Hulling on the Outer Limits, and the top junior billfish angler was Tom Barton IV on the Git-R-Done.

Billfish Standings through Saturday

1 Weldor’s Ark Morehead City, NC 490
2 Croupier Virginia Beach, VA 490
3 Home Run Edisto Beach, SC 490
4 Sally Girl Virginia Beach, VA 420
5 Triple 7 Manteo, NC 420
6 Coverage Raleigh, NC 420
7 Sea Breeze Elizabeth City, NC 420
8 Builder’s Choice Newbern, NC 350
9 Skiligal Virginia Beach, VA 350
10 Micabe Beaufort, SC 350
11 Sea Striker Morehead City 280
12 Obsession Manteo, NC 280
13 Cuttin’ Up Virginia Beach, VA 280
14 Bi-Op-Sea Manteo, NC 280
15 Just Right Virginia Beach, VA 280
16 Backlash Virginia Beach, VA 280
17 Poor Girl Virginia Beach, VA 280
18 Saga Manteo, NC 280
19 Delta Dawn Atlantic Beach, NC 210
20 Compromise Charleston, SC 210
21 Haphazard Manteo, NC 210
22 Sandman Virginia Beach, VA 210
23 Alexis North Palm Beach, FL 210
24 Sportin Life Charleston 210
25 Outer Limits Manteo, NC 210
26 Starflite Beaufort, NC 210
27 Safari Whiteville, NC 210
28 Tippecanoe Manteo, NC 210
29 Waste Knot Manteo, NC 210
30 Rebel Virginia Beach, VA 210
31 Della Anne Jupiter, FL 210
32 Reel Passion Hatteras, NC 210
33 Wired Up Virginia Beach, VA 210
34 Desperado Manteo, NC 140
35 Mimi Virginia Beach, VA 140
36 Git-R-Done Pungo, VA 140
37 Sea I Sea Swansboro, NC 140
38 Full Pull Charleston, SC 140
39 Release Hatteras, NC 140
40 Instigator Virginia Beach, VA 140
41 Sea Trader Virginia Beach, VA 140
42 Skirt Chaser Manteo, NC 140
43 Evelyn Kennedy Virginia Beach, VA 140
44 Piracy Morehead City, NC 140
45 Ann Warrick Manteo, NC 140
46 Hey Chama Oregon Inlet 140
47 Legacy Oregon Inlet, NC 140
48 Anticipation Virginia Beach, VA 140
49 Dirty Business Lafayette, LA 70
50 Waverunner Virginia Beach, VA 70
51 Diamond Girl Morehead City, NC 70
52 Point Runner Manteo, NC 70
53 Reelin N Dealin Virginia Beach, VA 70
54 Katherine Anne Virginia Beach, VA 70
55 Juggernaut Virginia Beach, VA 70
56 Canyon Express Virginia Beach, VA 70
57 Smoker Manteo, NC 70
58 BB Wrightsville Beach, NC 70
59 Contango Virginia Beach, VA 70
60 Bay Custom Hampton, VA 70
61 Stream Weaver Hatteras, NC 70
62 Victory Lap Virginia Beach, VA 70
63 Sniper Poquoson, VA 70

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Aug 22 2015

Virginia Sport Fishing Rundown

By Dr Julie Ball

By Dr Julie Ball

A persistent northerly wind direction this time of year can provoke changes in the fishing scene, so anglers are watching the upcoming forecast with predicted northerly gusts with interest.

The cobia bite has been good this season, and this week is no different. More fish are gliding along the surface in small pods in lower Bay waters and along the Virginia Beach ocean front, making favorable targets for sight casters. Casters are also still finding agreeable fish hanging along tide lines and under turtles, with some big fish available right now. The typical trend of the fish favoring buoys and bridge pilings also continues to gain momentum as the summer draws to a close. Chummers are still luring cobia to the shoal areas in the lower Bay, with some decent fish to show lately. Big red drum are also a welcome by-catch for cobia hunters as they also roam about much of the lower Bay and ocean shorelines.


Flounder action is still waning on some days, but for those putting in the time, nice flatfish are responding from many areas in the lower Bay. Most of the lower Bay structures can produce fish for anglers working live bait or jigs and Gulp baits. Most flatties are decent sized lately, averaging to around 21-inches, with a few trophies available. The bite within local inlets slowed up some this week. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, decent flatfish are also available on most inshore and offshore wrecks. Nice keeper sized seabass are also providing some good action on many offshore structures.

Spanish mackerel are still providing action from mid-Bay on out to the Chesapeake Light Tower, where anglers are also still encountering some stray bailer mahi. King mackerel are also a possibility in these same areas.

Trigger fish are everywhere near structure in lower Bay waters, with a few fish pushing to over four-pounds caught near the 3rd and 4th islands of the CBBT recently. Sheepshead anglers continue to find good catches on the bridge pilings of the CBBT as well as over the tubes of the artificial islands. Spadefish are also still lingering in these same areas and near the Tower Reef, but not for long.

Northerly winds can jump-start the spot run this time of year. Spot are available in the usual hot spots on the southern end of the Bay, inlets, and along the Beach ocean front. Local piers are reporting good spot action on a moving tide, along with a smattering of decent croaker. On the Eastern Shore, the croaker run in Oyster lagged this week. And if water temperatures drop too quickly, the tarpon will begin moving out.

Big amberjack are lurking among the legs of the Southern Towers as well as on several offshore wrecks, and jack crevelle are still a possibility at the Chesapeake Light Tower. Deep dropping is good when boats can get out to target the deeper water off Virginia. Nice blueline tilefish, blackbellied rosefish, and a good number of barrelfish continue to keep anglers happy. Tinker mackerel are also making a good showing in these same areas this year.

Bluewater anglers are encountering decent numbers of billfish, but a Northeasterly blow could escalate the bite. Boats fishing in the popular ‘Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament’ this week are experiencing good results with a mixture of white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, and some spearfish. A few grand slams have been reported, and some nice wahoo are also stripping rigs. Although tuna action is slow, a flurry of yellowfin tuna along with some big eye tuna are showing promise lately. Bailer and gaffer dolphin are plentiful, often filling the void for other offshore species.

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Aug 18 2015

Saltwater Sport Fisherman Report


By Dr. Ken Neill III, Seaford VA


With both the Mid-Atlantic and the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournaments this week, there are a lot of boats out there targeting billfish. Most of the catches are white marlin but there are also good numbers of blue marlin, sailfish and even spearfish being caught. Along with the billfish, there has been an increase in the yellowfin tuna catches, dolphin fishing remains good, more wahoo are being caught and the bigeye tuna bite has remained consistent. If you are having a slower day on the pelagics, bottom fishing is good for tilefish and other deep-water fish. Boats overnighting are having some swordfish encounters.

Amberjack are available at the south towers and over some of the ocean wrecks. They and jack crevalle are a possibility at the Chesapeake Light Tower. The wrecks and artificial reefs in this area continue to produce good flounder catches along with some nice sea bass. Dolphin have been caught around the Light Tower area for most of the summer.

Some big sheepshead and decent spadefish are being caught at the CBBT. Triggerfish are also being caught from the structure. Flounder catches are good here especially for those that are good at jigging for them. Cobia fishing remains excellent in the lower bay, especially for sight-casters on sunny days. Guys running the buoys are also doing very well. Some really nice tripletales have been found on some of the buoys. Cobia anglers are also finding big red drum and some jack crevalle.

Spanish mackerel and small bluefish are being caught by trolling spoons along the oceanfront and in the lower bay. Some king mackerel are being caught along the oceanfront. Tarpon are still on the Eastern Shore but they will be leaving soon. Missing for most of the summer, there have been some speckled trout caught the past couple of weeks.

The Triple Threat Tournament, sponsored by Bishop Fishing Supply, has finished up. Winners were determined by the combined lengths of the anglers’ longest cobia, red drum, and black drum. Taking first place was Rick Wineman with his 3 fish measuring 161 inches. Coming in second place was Ken Neill with a length of 149.25 inches. Taking the final money spot was Charles Southall with 149 inches. Currently, the PSWSFA club Don Forman Cobia Tournament is underway and runs the entire month of August. Register with Rick Wineman prior to catching that big fish.

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