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Large Stripers In Chesapeake Bay, Swordfish Offshore

Long Bay Pointe, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Bay Report – Next report December 29th


The weather has been a hindrance some days; but anglers remain focused on an excellent striper season….. And just in time for local rockfish tournaments, the super sized fish are providing the action. 40 to 60-pounders have hit the scales. Most of these large fish are coming from the eastern side of the Bay, Plantation Light to Cape Charles, where boats are drifting and slow trolling with eels. School-sized rockfish are also available for anglers casting along bridge pilings and the artificial islands of the CBBT. Find diving birds and you usually find the fish close by. Some larger stripers are also in our rivers.

The local speckled trout bite has slowed; it was nice to see a comeback from the widespread kill resulting from the hard freeze of last winter. The average speck was around 22-inches, but a few gator-sized fish stretching from 27 to 30-inches were caught.

Tautog numbers should be picking up on the lower Bay and on coastal structures. Jumbo sea bass are available on many ocean wrecks along with scattered catches of triggerfish. Seabass become off limits at the end of the year, the open recreational seabass season is February 1 through February 28 and May 15 through December 31. Some big bluefish could also still make a showing near these same structures. This is the time of year boats are on the lookout for bluefin tuna rolling in some of these same areas. A lot of giant bluefins have hit the docks to our south, in Morehead City NC.

Riley Grace and crew, three nice swords

When boats can get out deep droppers should find tilefish around the Norfolk Canyon. Big seabass and bluefish are a good bycatch, as these fish often compete in the same areas. Those targeting swordfish off Virginia Beach have been rewarded with some nice fish recently.

North Carolina Outer Banks

The Kitty Hawk to Nags head beach has been slow, with mainly sea mullet and bluefish reported. Anglers fishing the little bridge in Manteo are catching speckled trout and stripers using soft plastics. Soundside anglers are reporting striped bass being caught around bridge pilings. Oregon Inlet has produced a few speckled trout and stripers.

Surf fishing on Hatteras beaches has been more productive. Large sea mullet, puffers and sheepshead are feeding on shrimp. A good number of bluefish are being caught on cut bait. Large speckled trout have been in the deeper holes along the beach. Flounder have been caught around Ramp 43. Puppy drum are scattered from Buxton to Frisco. A few citation red drum are at the point but action has slowed down lately.

Offshore trips have had a rough time with the weather but when they get out they are finding lots of false albcore, blackfin tuna, a few yellowfins, some bigeye tuna and a few wahoo.

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