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Local Tips



Here is where you can read the What, When, Where and How’s that will help you catch more fish. Our collection of articles cover the background, habits, favorite foods for many local species. Uncover the seasons, regulations, and the hot spots for encountering a targeted fish. Dive into proven strategies for catching them. Included are pictures, diagrams and insights from local anglers and captains that catch these fish on a regular basis.

More VBSF Articles

Ethical Angling Tips, Fish Eye News

Hooked – Fish Taco’s, By Jim Baugh

Hooked – Where Are The Fish?, By Jim Baugh

Hooked – Lets just get a little sensitive, By Jim Baugh

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Chesapeake Bay Spot

By Dr. Julie Ball As the summer days give way to temperate breezes foretelling of the cooler months to come, folks of all ages anticipate the big run of the tastiest panfish on the Eastern seaboard, the Norfolk spot. The congregation of exceptionally large specimens of this popular bottom feeder hallmarks non-stop bottom fishing at …

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Deep Dropping for Tilefish – Grouper – Large Sea Bass

by Ken Neill What: The blueline tilefish is a dull olive-gray overall and white below. The lack of fleshy protuberance behind the head distiguishes it from the commercially important tilefish, Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps. The blueline tilefish is a bottom dweller found in water ranging from 240-780 feet deep, from Virginia to the Campeche Banks of Mexico. …

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Giant Hatteras Bluefin From a Small Boat

An Excellent How to by William Tyler Introduction There is a recreational fishery on the East Coast and it is like no other in the world. Imagine catching 10 to 20 fish in one day ranging from 300 to 800 pounds and being able to keep one. The press has been labeling this fishery as …

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High-speeding for Wahoo!

By Don Malkowski Get Reel Lure Co. Fuel prices are growing over $4.00 a gallon, so optimizing your day offshore is going to be key this fishing season. We will all need to do more research and planning for our fishing trips. We’ll be waiting for the perfect weather windows, pristine water conditions on the …

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Mackerel Fishing

By: Spanish mackerel are in our area from June on into October. They can be caught throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay and in our ocean waters. Good areas in the bay include the waters around the CBBT, around York Spit Light, along the Baltimore Channel, around any wreck or reef, the 4A buoy, Cape …

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Mahi-Mahi Fishing

By Don Malkowski Get Reel Lure Co. WHAT: Mahi-mahi are probably the most colorful fish found while trolling the open oceans. Scientifically named Coryphaena hippurus, they go by many other names like, Dolphin, Dorado, or Goldmakrele. They also have other nicknames based on their size…Chicken, Peanut, Bailer, Gaffer, Hoister, Cow, Bull. The name Mahi-mahi is …

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Red Drum Bottom Rig

Red and Black Drum

By Don Malkowski WHAT:  Drum are the largest members of the Croaker family of fish.  This family includes the Speckled Trout, Gray Trout, Spot, Whiting, and of course, the Croaker.  Members of the family are wide spread along the coast of the Atlantic and are sought after by anglers from New England to the Gulf …

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Spadefish – The Chesapeake’s version of an Angle Fish

By DR Julie Ball What: Ephippidae is the fish family containing the spadefishs. There are about 20 species. Scuba divers sometimes mistake them for angelfish, which are similar in shape but not closely related. The Atlantic spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber) is an attractive black and white zebra-striped fish common just offshore in the southeastern United States …

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Summer Cobia Fishing

By Dr. Julie Ball Very few inshore saltwater species offer the big fish thrill like the powerful cobia. Luckily for Mid Atlantic anglers, we get our share of this stealthy scavenger, with many large fish available. Last year was among one of the top years for cobia, with good numbers of fish, with many big …

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Surf Fishing 101

Recently there have been a lot of members of the forum asking a lot of questions about all aspects of surf fishing.  While I do not mind at all answering questions, especially about something I love to do, many of the questions are generally about the same things.  So I have decided to do a …

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The Atlantic Swordfish

  By Dr Julie Ball The Atlantic Swordfish As most saltwater anglers are aware, a magnificent creature patrols the depths of the ocean waters off our Mid-Atlantic coast. This fish is most certainly a silhouette of power, grace, and remarkable distinction. Appropriately earning the title, “gladiator of the deep,” those who tangle with this beast …

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Tips & VBSF Vids – Abandon Ship! Be Prepared!

By Don Malkowski As boaters, sailors, captains, and fishermen, they are the words that we all hope and pray that we never hear or to speak… ‘Abandon Ship!’ Being prepared is the one thing that could save your life if the inevitable should happen. Along with having all the required Coast Guard safety equipment aboard …

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Tips For More Stripers

By Don Malkowski Get Reel Lure Co. WHAT: It doesn’t matter what you call it, Striped Bass, Rockfish, Linesider, True Bass, or Striper, it’s probably the most sought after near shore species on the East coast from the Carolinas north to New England. Morone saxatilis, as its known in the scientific world, excites anglers with …

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Tips For More Tautog

By Don Malkowski Get Reel Lure Co. Tautog, or Blackfish as they are called in the northeast, is one of the favored targets of inshore anglers. Pier fisherman and boat anglers both have the opportunity to land these rock dwelling fish. WHAT: Tautog, or Tog for short, are a bottom dwelling fish. A member of …

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Tips For More Tuna

  By Don Malkowski . Page 1 2 WHAT: During this “How-To”, we’ll primarily be focusing on the Yellowfin Tuna ( Thunnus albacares). Many of the tactics and fishing holes will easily transition to cover the other tunas like, Big Eye, Blackfin, and Longfin. Bluefin will be discussed separately. So lets dive in. Yellowfin are …

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Virginia Beach Fishing

Virginia Beach and the Lower Chesapeake Bay are world famous for saltwater fishing! Inshore fishing on a Virginia Beach charter boat may include trips for striped bass, flounder, sea bass, cobia, sheepshead, spadefish, croaker, sea trout, spot, red drum, black drum, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and other species. The Chesapeake Bay has one of the …

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Virginia Flounder

By Dr Ken Neill III Flounder are one of the most sought after fish in our waters. They are great to eat and are fun to catch. Lately, there has been a surge in the number and in the size of flounder. In Virginia, it is primarily an April through November fishery though some are …

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Virginia’s Chesapeake Light Tower

By DR Julie Ball Approximately thirteen miles off the beautiful mid-Atlantic shores of Virginia Beach, Virginia stands a solitary light tower dutifully guarding the mouth of the flourishing Chesapeake Bay. Appropriately named the Chesapeake Light Tower, this key aid to navigation has served as a guiding beacon for maritime vessels for over 40 years. This …

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VMRC Fishing Guide

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission has provided an online Virginia Saltwater Anglers Guide. The Guide has been divided into individual sections to increase download speeds. It’s an excellent resource for local anglers. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission works with recreational and commercial anglers to maintain healthy, self-sustaining populations of all Virginia coastal fish species. VBSF …

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What Where When How, Amberjack

By VBSF Staff Member What: Amberjack is the name of a pair of species of fish of the Carangidae family, which includes the jacks and the pompanos. Greater amberjacks, Seriola dumerili, are the largest of the jacks. They usually have dark stripes extending from nose to in front of their dorsal fins. They have no …

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