Virginia’s sea bass fishery is open until the end of the month, it’s a special one-month fishery. A no-cost permit is required by the boat captain, reporting is mandatory and you must tell VMRC when you are fishing so they have the opportunity to have a biologist meet you when you return. Please do not overlook the recreational minimum size, 12-1/2 inches in total length.
Here’s the VMRC regulation: “It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to take, catch, or possess any black sea bass, from February 1 through February 28, without first having obtained a Recreational Black Sea Bass Permit from the Marine Resources Commission. It shall be unlawful for any black sea bass permittee to fail to contact the Marine Resources Commission Operation Station at (800) 541-4646 before returning to shore at the end of the fishing trip during the February black sea bass season. The permittee shall provide the Operations Station with his name, VMRC ID number, the point of landing, a description of the vessel, and an estimated return to shore time. Permits can be obtained online here or at an MRC Licensing Agent. Reporting can be done online through the Saltwater Journal or using forms provided by the VMRC.” All this is an effort to collect data on this wintertime fishery that was closed for several years.
VBSF sponsor, the Rudee head boats have enjoyed some successful sea bass trips. Fishing has been excellent, with everyone catching limits. They are running trips on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Saturday tips filled up quickly so due to demand they have added some Friday trips.
Usually in mid-February someone finds some very nice tautogs. So far I haven’t heard any good news.