By TH Spangler | Connie Barbour
There are plenty of options for Virginia saltwater anglers at this time of year!
The spadefish and sheepshead are on structure now. Most of the big spades are coming from the Chesapeake Light Tower, an 11-pound fish was weighed in this week. 9 pounds is the minimum size for a state trophy recognition citation. The sheepshead are hanging around bridge pilings. Look for both these fish to thicken up at the Bay Bridge Tunnel and The Cell.
Red drum and cobia are available through out the lower bay. The cobia action is outstanding. They are being caught from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to Windmill Point. Catches have also been made along the oceanfront, in the surf and on the Buckroe Pier. Anglers are chumming and sight casting, but sight casting seems to be how most fish are encountered. There should be plenty of cobia around for the Monarch Cobia Classic.
Schools of Red Drum are being spotted while searching for Cobia. Anglers fishing the bottom with cut bait are picking up the drum as well. The area around the Bridge Tunnel Islands and the Eastern Shore shoals are hot spots.
Flounder action is picking up inside the bay. Large flounder are showing up near the bridge tunnel. An 8-pound fish was weighed last week. There have been some catches coming from inside Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets as well.
Speckled Trout catches are on the rise. Gulp baits and paddle-tailed plastics are producing best. But top water baits seem to be producing a larger class fish.
Anglers trolling the oceanfront are catching spanish mackerel and encountering cobia and red drum.
Virginia’s offshore tuna action has picked up just in time for the Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament. Yellowfin and bigeye tuna catches are showing up on local docks. To the south boats have found tuna busting on the surface and were able to catch them by casting. There have been some good tuna catches reported to our north, by boats fishing from Ocean City, MD. So now Virginia captains will have to decide which way to run each morning. Dolphin are available and our first billfish have been caught.
The OBX/Hatteras surf is providing pompano, bluefish, and sea mullet. There has been some large sharks landed in the Nags Head and Hatteras surf.