Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report

Giant Bluefin Tuna have shown up in numbers off Virginia Beach. The fish are strung out from Morehead City NC to Maryland. Slot size fish have been caught in 50 to 60 feet of water off Smith Island, where there are a lot of Omega Menhaden boats competing for their food source. Oversized fish have been released to the south, near the Chesapeake Light tower. Catches have come from as close in as just outside the CB buoys. I believe it was 2012 when a few were caught inside the Chesapeake Bay. VBSF sponsor High Hopes Charters is offering inshore trips for these fish now. Most likely our sponsor AquaMan Charters will also.

Bluefin tuna can be caught in Virginia waters from November to January. However, there are strict regulations for catching this species. According to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), anglers who want to catch bluefin tuna must have a valid recreational fishing license and a Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). They must also follow the size, bag, and possession limits set by the NMFS, which vary depending on the season and the area. Additionally, anglers must report their catch to NMFS within 24 hours of landing and use only rod and reel or handline gear. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in fines and penalties. Don’t bother trying to catch these monsters unless you have … HEAVY tackle!

Larger Rockfish are becoming more numerous in the rivers. Umbrella rigs seem to be producing best. Stripers are also around the CBBT. The best fishing is at night under the lights.

Trout and Puppy Drum get a lot of attention this time of year. Anglers continue to make good catches on fresh cut bait as well as with Mirr-o-lures, and paddle tail swim baits. Captain Todd, Knot Wish’n Charters says Trout fishing continues to be good inside Rudee Inlet with the water temperatures around 55°. He is catching both speckled and gray Trout.

Sheepshead and Tautog are available at the CBBT. The best bait is crab, but shrimp and clams work well also.

The ocean wrecks are holding Tautog, and Sea Bass.


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