Fall is speckled trout season! Fisherman are finding them in all three southside inlets and in the surf from Sandbridge, south. Captain Jake Beck, Knot Wish’n Guide Service, said the trout and puppy drum bite inside Rudee Inlet has been hit and miss … with some great days and some very slow ones. If you can find live “shrimp” to fish under a popping cork it’s a trout’s favorite snack. Topwater plugs and jigs with plastic tails are also effective.
Puppy drum like fresh cut bait fished under a float or on the bottom. The key is fresh. Fresh spot is my favorite for puppy drum. There have been plenty of spot around, catches have come from the piers and inside Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. Croaker are mixed with the spot.
Captain Jake said the spanish mackerel bite turned on again last week and anglers were able to load up. King Mackerel and schools of large drum also popped up off the beach.
Frank Marble kept his annual Sandbridge, red drum in surf, release string intact by picking up a nice 49 incher this week.
Tautog action is picking up. Look for fish along the CBBT and on the inshore wrecks and reefs. Dr. Ken Neill caught 24 tautogs on a recent trip. They were tagging and releasing them, they caught two twice.
They also picked up sea bass, gray trout and red drum. Dr. Neill released his largest red drum of the season.
Hunter Southall rounded out the trip with three big sheepshead.
Our striped bass season is open and you’re allowed to keep one fish that measures between 20 and 36 inches per angler per day in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and one fish that measures between 28 and 26 inches per angler per day along the coast inside three miles. Right now look for them along the CBBT and at night near piers and jetties with lights.
The flounder are moving to deeper waters, a few were landed at the triangle wrecks this week.
Offshore, swordfish have become a very popular target. Anglers have been enjoying good action. Captain David Wright, High Hopes Charters, released an under size, 44 inch swordfish Saturday. They pulled the hook on a larger one. He rounded out his day with a nice catch of dolphin, sea bass and tilefish. Others got into a nice tuna bite as well.
Deep-droppers are finding plenty of tilefish. Remember a NOAA Species permit for both blueline and golden tilefish is required now.
The Rudee Head boats will be running offshore deep drop trips all month on Tuesdays and Saturdays. They said fishing is excellent, with citation tilefish and seabass being caught. They also had some snowy groupers brought in with the largest weighing in at 53 pounds! Inshore bottom fishing is slowing down somewhat, but they are still catching seabass with some triggerfish mixed in.
Don’t forget to reports your summer cobia catches. The VMRC reminds us that it’s time to take care of our required reports. They are due by October 21, 2020. If you have questions about how to meet your reporting requirements, you can visit the VMRC recreational cobia website at: