By TH Spangler | Connie Barbour
Tautog, red drum, black drum, striped bass, flounder, trout and croaker are all available in Virginia waters now.
The best flounder fishing is taking place in our seaside inlets. The tautogs are being caught on structure, near shore and in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Red drum are here and will be available throughout the lower bay for several weeks. Many anglers like to set up near the rock islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel for them. Occasionally they can be spotted swimming on the surface. They also love to feed on the shoals near the Eastern Shore.
Black drum anglers don’t forget the Fourth Annual Black Drum Chase. It will be held May 11th-20th and you can sign up at Chris’ Bait and Tackle on the Eastern Shore.
The trophy striped bass season is open and fish over 40 pounds have been weighed in.
The first sheepshead are here and the cobia will be arriving soon. Cobia are already being caught off Hatteras NC. Remember the Virginia cobia season does not open until June 1. Don’t forget about the 2018 Cobia Bowl July 19th-21st. The Cobia bowl, now known as the Monarch Cobia Classic looks to be bigger and better than ever!
Offshore the tuna fishing remains very good to our south. A few Virginia Beach Charter Boats are now available for the long run to the tuna. Offshore bottom fishing for tilefish and grouper is very good. The Rudee Angler just returned from a great trip. The sea bass season will re-open again May 15 and the blueline tilefish season opened May 1.
Down on the Other Banks of North Carolina surf anglers are catching red drum, sea mullet and jumbo bluefish near Buxton. Anglers fishing off the Little Bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo causeway are catching small trout and small puppy drum.
The OBX pier report sounds like this. Avalon: trout, sea mullet, bluefish and drum. Nags Head: slow. Jennette’s: sea mullet and bluefish. Outer Banks: bluefish.
Boats fishing along the beach near Oregon Inlet are catching albacore and lots of bluefish. The Headboats are catching sea mullet and bluefish.
The OBX offshore fleet is enjoying fantastic tuna fishing, yellowfin, blackfin and bigeye are all available. So are the dolphin, with some being gaffers. A few wahoo and billfish round out the catch.
CBBT: Not Available
Cape Henry: Not Available
Kiptopeke: 60.3 F
Duck NC Pier: 55.6 F
Oregon Inlet Sound side: 64.2 F
OI offshore Buoy @ 60 feet: 61.9 F
Hatteras Surf: 67.3 F
Diamond Shoals Tower: 75.4 F