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: webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/permits .
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: www.facebook.com/MRCVirginia , follow them on Twitter: @VaMRC and their mobile-friendly website is a very useful tool for anglers. Visit www.mrc.virginia.gov/mobile for instructions on how to place VMRC Mobile on the homepage of your iOS or Android mobile device. A direct link to VMRC Mobile: https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/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 www.flounderbowl.com .