Feb 19 2018

Sea Bass and Tautog Fishing Excellent

Our mild February temperatures allowed anglers to hit the water again and they were rewarded with some excellent sea bass and tautog catches. Yesterday, Connie at Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle weighed in these nice tautogs (above), ranging from 9 to 12 pounds.

Captains running offshore to bottom fish are seeing large schools of stripers 30 to 50 miles out, well beyond the 3 mile limit.

A few local head boats have been anchoring and chumming over wrecks, and are catching codfish and pollock.

Dr. Ken Neill checked in after his last trip. He said at about 20 fathoms his crew saw porpoise, whales and some bird activity. They did not stop, but he told his crew to have their tuna jigs ready on the ride home. He has found bluefin tuna in those conditions. When he got to his wreck it was loaded with sea bass. Conger eels were also prevalent. They did not catch a single dogfish. They caught a limit of sea bass with fish to over 5 pounds. On the way in, they did not see the same activity they spotted on the way out, but there were some birds, and slicks. When he slowed down, they saw some big bunker floating on the surface. They had just missed something. They cruised around and saw some fish marks. They dropped their jigs and hooked up. No tuna or bluefish, but a lot of big rockfish. They moved around a bit to see if they could find a tuna or bluefish. After a few tries with only rockfish to show, they left them alone and headed in.

Remember the Virginia black sea bass season only runs through Feb 28. A no-cost recreational species permit along with your regular saltwater fishing license is required to catch the sea bass.

Down on the outer banks of North Carolina, surf anglers have found drum between Frisco and Hatteras. The bluefin tuna are off the outer banks right now and some very impressive fish have been weighed. Commercial crews are catching lots of yellow fin tuna.

Water Temperatures
Cape Charles: 42.6 F
Cape Henry: 42.8 F
Kiptopeke: 42.8 F
Duck NC Pier: 44.4 F
Oregon Inlet Surf: 48,0 F
Hatteras Inlet Surf: 56.1 F

The Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament announced there will be no changes to citation requirement in 2018.

Be cautious while running offshore. The endangered right whales are active off the Virginia North Carolina coast from November to April. You can read more: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike/

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2018/02/19/sea-bass-and-tog-fishing-excellent/

Feb 06 2018

Virginia Black Sea Bass Season Open

The Virginia black sea bass season opened Feb 1 and runs through Feb 28. Remember, a no-cost recreational species permit along with your regular license is required to catch sea bass. The head boats will be running trips; and we should have some good reports coming. In the mean time cod, large red hake, cunners and pollock have been keeping head boat anglers busy while fishing the ocean wrecks.


Recently Dr Ken Neill fished some ocean wrecks. On the ride out he said the boat became covered in ice from the spray. Once they arrived their destination the water was warmer and they were able to use buckets of it to thaw the deck so they could stand. They fished a number of wrecks, catching sea bass, tautog and spiny dogfish. Because of the numerous dogfish they were forced to use jigs on the sea bass. They targeted the togs with green crabs. They had three fish weigh enough for trophy-fish citations: two sea bass and one tautog.

Beth and Kevin Synowiec fished the canyon January 27. On their first drop they caught two fish each, a large golden tilefish and some nice sized red hakes. They continued catching with each drop, with many producing two fish at a time They finished the day with large red hakes, golden tile fish, a large black belly rose fish and a alfonsino fish.

On North Carolina’s OBX beaches the fishing slowed a bit with just a few reports of slot red drum coming from near Hatteras Inlet and some black drum and red slot drum from near the Frisco Pier.

Offshore there has been a few blue fin tuna and some limits on yellow fin tuna.

Cape Charles Water Temperature: 39.7 F
Cape Henry Water Temperature: 39.6 F
Kiptopeke Water Temperature: 37.8 F
Duck NC Pier Water Temperature: 40.8 F
Orogen Inlet Surf Water Temperature: 43.7 F
Hatteras Inlet surf Water Temperature: 50.7 F

Be cautious while running offshore. The endangered right whales are active off the Virginia North Carolina coast from November to April. You can read more: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike/

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2018/02/06/virginia-black-sea-bass-season-open/

Jan 24 2018

Mid-Winter Virginia North Carolina Fishing Report

Outer Banks Marina Wanchese. North Carolina

Now that the super cold weather has broken anglers are finding there way back out on the water. The fridged icy water took a toll on some Chesapeake Bay stripers and our local speckled trout population. Hopefully not to many were stunned to death. The bay water is still way too cold for much fishing. At Cape Charles the water temperature is 39.0 F. Cape Henry it’s 39.6 F and at the buoy off Duck NC it’s 40.6 F

Anglers making the long offshore run to the canyons are finding lots of spiny dogfish waiting for them. Mixed in with the dogfish are a few golden tilefish and hake. They are being caught on jigs and fresh bait. The blueline tilefish season is closed right now. On a recent trip to the canyon Dr Ken Neill’s crew caught a rare beardfish. The headboats are finding some cunners, taugs and pollock on nearshore wrecks. The black sea bass season is closed. Black sea bass seasons are Feb 1-Feb 28, May 15-Sept 21, Oct 22-Dec 31.

Down on the Outer Banks of North Carolina surf anglers have found some slot size red drum on Frisco and Hatteras beaches. The first giant blue fin tunas have been showing up on commercial docks in Wanchese.  Carolina captains are also finding some yellow fin tuna.

Be cautious while running offshore. The endangered right whales are active off the Virginia North Carolina coast from November to April. You can read more: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike/

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2018/01/24/mid-winter-virginia-north-carolina-fishing-report/

Jan 23 2018

News Release – Mid Atlantic Council Meeting in Raleigh

Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh/Crabtree Valley 
3912 Arrow Drive
Raleigh, NC 27612
Telephone 919-703-2525

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s February 2018 meeting to be held February 13-15, 2018 in Raleigh, NC. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh/Crabtree Valley, 3912 Arrow Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612, Telephone 919-703-2525.

Meeting Materials: Briefing documents will be posted at http://ww.mafmc.org/briefing/february-2018 as they become available.

Public Comments: Written comments must be received by Wednesday, January 31, 2018 to be included in the Council meeting briefing book. Comments received after this deadline but before Thursday, February 8, 2018 will be posted as “supplemental materials” on the Council meeting web page. After that date, all comments must be submitted using an online comment form available at available at http://www.mafmc.org/public-comment.

Webinar: For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest at: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/february2018.


PDF Agenda

Tuesday, February 13th

1:00 p.m. Council Convenes

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Risk Policy Framework and MSE
John Wiedenmann and Doug Lipton

  • Council discussion on integration of more comprehensive social and economic analyses into MAFMC MSE model developed to evaluate Council risk policy and ABC Framework

Council Staff

  • Risk policy and butterfish specifications

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Climate Change and Fisheries
Bradford Dubik/Elizabeth Clark (Duke University)

  • Trends in average commercial fishing locations over time in response to shifts in species distribution

Jim Morely (Rutgers)

  • Discuss future direction of Rutgers/MAFMC Climate Velocity COCA project

Wednesday, February 14th

9:00 a.m. Council Convenes

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Ricks E Savage Award

9:15 a.m. Demersal Committee Meeting as a Committee of the Whole

9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Black Sea Bass Recreational Management Measures

  • Adopt 2018 Federal waters management measures (tabled motion from December 2017 meeting)
  • Review state proposals for 2018 February fishery
  • Discuss progress on LOA Framework

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measures Framework – Meeting 2

  • Review and approve preferred alternatives

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. Council Convenes

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Council Habitat Update

  • Progress towards a Regional Fish Habitat Assessment
  • Council engagement on Offshore Wind Energy Planning
  • Habitat projects of interest (GARFO/Habitat Conservation update)

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. North Atlantic Right Whale 5-Year Review and Reinitiation of Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 Fishery Biological Opinions
Michael Asaro (NMFA PRD)

  • Update on the status of right whales and a summary of recent research
  • Overview of consultation on commercial fisheries under Section 7 of the ESA
  • Update on planned activities of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team under the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 2018

Thursday, February 15th

9:00 a.m. Council Convenes

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Business Session

  • Committee Reports
  • Executive Director’s Report, Chris Moore
  • Science Report, Rich Seagraves
    • Review final draft of EAFM Risk Assessment
  • Law Enforcement Reports
    • NOAA Office of Law Enforcement
    • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Organization Reports
    • NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Office
    • NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center
    • NOAA Office of General Counsel
    • Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
  • Liaison Reports
    • New England Council
    • South Atlantic Council
    • Regional Planning Body
  • Continuing and New Business


Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2018/01/23/news-release-mid-atlantic-council-meeting-in-raleigh/

Jan 11 2018

Council Seeks Input on Proposed Changes for Atlantic Cobia Management

Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council are soliciting public input on proposed management changes for Atlantic cobia as they consider revising the current management system. Public hearings will be held via webinar with public listening stations beginning January 22, 2018. Information on the proposed changes is now available from the Council’s website at: http://safmc.net/safmc-meetings/public-hearings-scoping-meetings/. Written comments are also being solicited using the online comment form available from the website page.

Atlantic cobia are managed in federal waters along the Atlantic coast from Georgia through New York in cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; two voting seats are provided to the Mid-Atlantic Council on the South Atlantic Council’s Mackerel Cobia Committee. This arrangement provides an opportunity to include the views of constituents from Virginia northwards. Cobia in federal waters off the east coast of Florida are considered part of the Gulf of Mexico migratory stock. The management boundary for the two stocks was modified following a 2013 stock assessment and annual catch limits for each stock were set. NOAA Fisheries determined the recreational catch limit for Atlantic cobia was exceeded in 2015, leading to a shortened season in 2016. Cobia harvested in both state and federal waters count toward the annual catch limit. Subsequent overages occurred during 2016 and the recreational fishery was closed in federal waters on January 24, 2017.

In order to provide for effective management and fair and equitable access to the Atlantic cobia fishery without reducing protection to the stock, the Council is considering a range of alternatives for managing Atlantic cobia, from complementary management with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to removal of Atlantic cobia from the federal management unit. The ASMFC recently approved an Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Cobia that will be implemented in April 2018. Should the Council choose to remove Atlantic cobia from the current federal management unit, the ASMFC Interstate Plan would be applied to both state and federal waters, allowing for additional management flexibility.

Public Hearings for Atlantic Cobia Management

(Amendment 31 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan)

Public hearings will be conducted via webinar with listening stations as noted below. Attendance at the listening stations is encouraged but not required. During the public hearings, Council staff will present an overview of the amendment and will be available to answer questions via webinar. Area Council members or state agency representatives will be present at each of the listening stations. Members of the public will have an opportunity to go on record via webinar or at the listening stations to record their comments for consideration by the Council.

January 22, 2018 Webinar – begins at 6:00 PM

Listening Stations:

Port Royal Sound Maritime Center: 310 Okatie Hwy, Okatie, SC 29909

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office: 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City, NC 28557

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Division: One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31523

January 23, 2018 Webinar – begins at 6:00 PM

Listening Station:

Hatteras Community Center; 57689 NC Highway12, Hatteras, NC 27943

January 24, 2018 Webinar – begins at 6:00 PM

Listening Stations:

Haddrell’s Point Tackle: 885 Ben Sawyer Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

Virginia Marine Resources Commission (The Maritime Building); 2500 Washington Ave., 4th Floor, Newport News, VA 23607 *Note: The VA location is a state-organized listening station and was arranged to provide the public in Virginia the opportunity to attend and provide comments in-person.

Registration for each webinar is required. Registration information, along with public hearing documents, video presentations, and other materials is now available from the Council’s website at: http://safmc.net/safmc-meetings/public-hearings-scoping-meetings/. An online public comment form for written comments is also available. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. February 9, 2018 to be included in the briefing book materials for the Council’s March 5-9, 2018 meeting in Jekyll Island, GA.

The Council is also asking for public input on the timing of measures proposed in Amendment 31. A Stock Identification Workshop for Cobia is scheduled to begin in April 2018 as part of a benchmark stock assessment Atlantic cobia. For additional information, contact Christina Wiegand, Fishery Social Scientist at Christina.Wiegand@safmc.net or contact the Council office at 843/571-4366.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2018/01/11/12671/