Virginia Saltwater Fishing Outlook

red drum

Truly A World Class Fishery!

Large schools of Red Drum continue to migrate along the coast on their way to their breeding grounds in the Chesapeake Bay. Schools popped up along the oceanfront this week, anglers were able to sight-cast to them. If you don’t find a school on the surface, your best chance at landing one of these beasts is to anchor up near shoals. The north end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel near Fishermans Island or Poquoson flats are good locations. Black Drum are still a good possibility in the same area. A released Red or Black Drum measuring 46 inches or more qualifies you for a Virginia State citation award. Captured Black Drum citation is 80 pounds.

spanish mack

Spanish At The Virginia Beach Pier

Large Bluefish have shown up just about everywhere. And Spanish Mackerel numbers are on the rise. Try trolling or casting to schools near inlets, along tide lines and over coastal wrecks. Anglers on the Virginia Beach and Buckroe piers caught both Spanish and Blues this week. So far, the Spanish are averaging between 1 and 2 pounds. A much larger class is on the way.


Dr Neill getting In on some late season Togging

Tautog action continues to be good. Catches along the CBBT and on Bay structure remains steady. There are only a couple days left in the Virginia season, it closes at midnight the 15th.

Our upcoming Cobia season should be a very good one. A few have arrived along the Virginia Beach oceanfront and large schools are migrating along the OBX on their way to the Bay now. Anglers to our south have been sight-casting Cobia and Drum swimming together. Virginia recreational Cobia regulations are as follows: 40-inch, total length, minimum size limit; 1-fish daily possession limit or 2-fish-daily vessel limit, whichever is more restrictive; only one fish per vessel per day may be greater than 50 inches in total length; an open season of June 15 through September 15; and gaffing is prohibited.

As nighttime air temperatures start remaining above 60 degrees the inshore flounder bite should heat up … it’s off to a good start with most of the big fish coming from the inlets and tidal marshes on the Eastern Shore barrier islands. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle is reporting a few flounder catches inside Lynnhaven Inlet. Generally large baits will catch larger fish, especially in deeper Bay water.

Sheepsheads are starting to arrive at the Bridge Tunnel. Their numbers will peak in June, and they will hang around until September. They love fiddler crabs, sand fleas or clams fished up against the pilings. Most fish are in the 3-to-8-pound class, but the state record is 20 pounds, 12 ounces.

Speckled trout are scattered in the marshes along the lower Chesapeake Bay and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Look for them in the surf and inside inlets, near marshes.

Spadefish should start showing anytime now. The good bite will occur in June. They will be available all summer.

Now is a great time to hit the water, and as June approaches, things will only get better!!



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