Fishery News, Flounder, Black Sea Bass

Mid-Atlantic Council Seeks Input on Summer Flounder Recreational Management

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is collecting public comments and suggestions regarding current and future management of the recreational summer flounder fishery. Input provided through their scoping comment form will help inform the development of a management strategy evaluation which will evaluate different management strategies designed to minimize discards in the recreational summer flounder fishery.

The Council is collecting this information as part of the continued progress and implementation of its Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) structured framework process.

See: for more information.

The Council encourages all stakeholders who have interest, knowledge, or experience related to the recreational summer flounder fishery to provide comments. The form should take 10-15 minutes to complete, and your answers will be kept confidential.


VMRC – Virginia Recreational Black Sea Bass Info

Virginia’s February 2021 Recreational Black Sea Bass fishing season will start February 1st and end on February 28th, 2021. VMRC has provided the link below to learn more about the required permit, information, and reporting requirements, that are critical for Virginia to continue participating in this special recreational season!


Or you can go through one of their licensing agents ( Agent locations may be closed to the public at this time; call ahead before picking up a permit in person.

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Virginia Beach Fishing Rundown

Happy New Year and tight lines from VBSF to all in 2021. (VBSF 2000-2021).  Time sure does fly, where did the past 21 years go!

The Chesapeake Bay striper season closed on December 31. The ocean season began January 1st, with a minimum keeper size of 28 inches and a maximum size of 36 inches.


Charles Southall, Gabe Sava, Lexi Sava and Danny Forehand decided to spend New Year’s eve ringing in 2021 with some catch and release Striper fishing on SpecialKate.


There’s still lots of large stripers in the Bay, some over 50 pounds were caught and released near Cape Charles this weekend. Most were landed while drifting live eels. If the fish are holding near the bottom, mojos might be a better option .

Speckled trout are still available inside Lynnhaven Inlet and Rudee Inlet.

Tautogs are being caught at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and on ocean wrecks and reefs. Fresh crab is the preferred bait for the Togs.

Some nice flounder have been caught near offshore structure.

Our excellent seabass season has come to a close, but a special permit season will open for the month of February. You can obtain a special season Recreational Black Sea Bass Permit from the Marine Resources Commission. They can be obtained online or from a VMRC Licensing Agent. Every trip must be reported online within 7 days of the trip through the Saltwater Journal or using forms provided by the VMRC. Lack of activity on the permit must be reported by March 15 through the Saltwater Journal or using the same VMRC form. You can find more information on their website.

VMRC released their last “2020 New Leader” update last week.

VA Saltwater Fishing Tournament
VA Game Fish Tagging Program

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Virginia Beach Christmas Fishing Report

Ken Neill Striper

Large rockfish are moving out of bay tributaries into the Bay. Look for them on the eastern side, near Plantation Light and along Cape Charles. Anglers are drifting or slow trolling eels. Mann’s Stretch 25 lures and tandem rigs are also effective. A number of healthy, fat, 45-to-50-inch fish were caught during the recent Rock Fish Shootout tournament. The crew on “Mystic Lady” took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the Shootout. They walked away with $42,785.80. Congratulations.

Slot-sized stripers in the 20-inch minimum, 36-inch maximum range are available by casting along the bridge pilings and around the artificial islands of the CBBT….  and in most rivers.

taug fish

Bay Taug

Tautogs are available on structure. The bay water temperature is at 51 degrees. Once it drops below 50 the ocean wrecks will probably produce best. Fiddler crabs and quartered blue crabs are the preferred baits. The Tautog season is open throughout the winter.

Speckled trout reports are still coming in. Last week, Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle registered several citations caught in Long Creek. Greg Licurance released a 24 1/2″ speckled trout, Brian Hostetter a 25″ speck, Randy Morton weighted a 5 lb. 8 oz. 24 1/2″ fish and Paul R. Ewing registered a 24″ release. Captain Todd Beck, Knot Wish’n charters says speckled trout fishing inside Rudee Inlets is still good, a lot of short ones but some nice ones mixed in. One went 7.5 pounds and measured 28”. Mirr-O-Lures and swim baits are working well.

sea bass

Sea Bass on the headboats

The Rudee Head Boats are catching lots of large seabass on the ocean wrecks. The season for the seabass closes December 31st. Some big bluefish could show near the same structures.

This time of the year captains are on the lookout for bluefin tuna rolling. Some really large ones in the 600-to-900-pound range have been off the Morehead City North Carolina coast for several weeks. Unfortunately, the bluefin capture season was closed by NOAA on December 14th.

When boats make it out to deep drop they are finding good numbers of tilefish and sea bass.

Va State Record

Captain Jake’s February 2020 Record

Captain Jake Hiles’s 708-pound bluefin tuna caught last year on February 16, 2020 was certified this week as the new Virginia State Record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament’s Director Lewis Gillingham.

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Virginia Beach Fishing Roundup

Catching trout with Knot Wisn’n Charters

Speckled trout anglers have been doing quite well. Lynnhaven Inlet has been especially good …… Over the recent Thanksgiving break David Dick registered a 24 ½ inch trout release, Jerry Snyder weighed a 5 lb. 9 oz fish, James Robinson a 5 lb. 4 oz. fish, Tony Masciangelo released a 24 ¾ inch fish, Richard Parmelee a 24 incher, Todd Sturtevant weighted a 5 pounder, Ryan Gingrich released a 24 inch fish and Conor McManus released a 24 ½ inch fish. Depending on how cold it gets the bite can last throughout the winter. Try using Mirr-o-lures and jerk baits.

Tautog anglers are enjoying a good bite both inside the Chesapeake Bay and on the nearby ocean wrecks. Craig Irwin’s son (above) picked up his first ever tog over the holiday while fishing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel area.

Dr Ken Neill slipped out in the fog a couple of times last week and caught limits of tog and sea bass.  One trip he collected 10 triggerfish and tagged smaller trigger and sheepshead. Two of the triggers weighed over 4 pounds.

The Rudee Tours headboats are running trips out to the ocean wrecks and enjoying some excellent catches of black seabass, triggerfish with a few flounder mixed in.

Soon most anglers will turn their attention to rockfish. This week boats stumbled on some larger winter fish that are moving to the lower Bay. But most fish are medium in size and still up the rivers, the Elizabeth, James, Rappahannock and Potomac. Most anglers are trolling Umbrella rigs and if they spot feeding birds, they switch up and cast buck tails, rattletraps, swim baits, and spoons into the frenzy.



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Thanksgiving Fishing Rundown


Bob Caudle with a nice 6 lb 1 oz. speck!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Fishing for speckled trout and puppy drum has been excellent, hopefully many of you can take advantage of the long weekend and get in on the action.

The trout are being caught in a number of locations. Inside Lynnhaven Inlet, Rudee Inlet, Little Creek Inlet, on the Poquoson Flats, in most creeks along the bay side of the Eastern Shore and in the York and Elizabeth rivers. Live shrimp is the best bait if you can find them but a 4-inch sea shad, various Mirr-o-lures or suspending jerk baits will work.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel pilings are holding striped bass. School-sized rock are being found in good numbers throughout the lower bay, especially at night around any bridges and piers with lights.


Dr Ken Neill, puppy drum in the Bay

Some sizable puppy drum are being caught in the inlets and rivers as well as in the ocean surf.

The tautog bite is good right now. Fresh cut crab or fiddler crabs will be your best bait. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel islands are an excellent place to target the taugs.

There’s an excellent black seabass bite on offshore structures now. The same structures are holding some quality flounder, black drum and triggerfish.

The offshore OBX charters are doing well with the yellowfin and blackfin tuna right now. Catches of wahoo are in the mix as well. There’s some red hot live bait king mackerel fishing out of Hatteras Inlet.


Eric Stevens, swordfish, congratulations!

Virginia Deep-droppers can expect good catches of sea bass, tilefish and some snowy grouper. And there are good numbers of swordfish available.

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Virginia Beach Fishing Rundown

Virginia’s fall speckled trout season is in full swing. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle has been weighing in some nice 5 to 6 pounders. The specks are holding in all the usual hot spots. Look for them inside Rudee Inlet, Lynnhaven Inlet, Little Creek Inlet, in eastern shore bayside creeks, on the Poquoson Flats and in the York and Elizabeth Rivers. They are feeding on shrimp and minnows near marshes. Shrimp hooked under a popping cork, jigs, plugs and topwater baits are all productive.

Puppy drum are in the same areas and hitting the same baits. A few large red drum are still hanging around in the lower Bay. Anglers fishing Sandbridge, near the wildlife refuge are landing them in the surf.

Sheepshead, tautog and flounder are available inside the Bay.

Lots of school-sized striped bass are available around lighted bridged and piers.

Offshore bottom fishing continues to produce seabass in good numbers and a few large flounder, some bluefish, black drum and triggerfish.

Offshore trollers are picking up some nice tuna and a few wahoo. Many are successfully targeting swordfish and tilefish.

Congrats to the crew of the Relentless for catching a rear Opah Fish. This is one of the first opah caught recreationally in our area.

VBSF Contributors

The Rudee Head Boats are now focusing their effort on offshore trips. Their full-day and 12 hour trips have been loading up!  Anglers are catching limits of black sea bass with many citation fish in the mix. Also big bluefish, triggerfish and 10 to 12 flounder each trip.


Captains Todd and Jake Beck with Knot Wishn Guide Service are finding plenty of trout inside Rudee Inlet. Lots of short fish, with a number of keepers mixed in.

Dr Ken Neill fished the Triangle Reef. While jigging for sea bass he caught a half-dozen big black drum, a bunch of small bluefish and a handful of nice triggerfish. He kept a limit of big sea bass. He finished the weekend on the artificial reefs inside the bay where he caught little sea bass, more small bluefish, pufferfish, pigfish and a good number of tautog that he tagged and released.

Captain David Wright on the High Hopes is focusing on half-day trips now.

Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle continues to weight in lots of citation fish!

Joshua Caples 46″ Red Drum Release 11/8/20
Antony Nahitchevansky 4 lb. 4 oz Grey Triggerfish 11/7/20
Stephen Gasecki 107 nlb. Swordfish 11/7/20
Bill Susewind 24″ Speckled Trout Release 11/6/20
Brian Hostetter 24 1/4″ Speckled Trout Release 11/6/20
Kelly Hoggard 4 lb. 8 oz. Grey Triggerfish 11/5/20
Michael Jones 5 lb. 2 oz. Speckled Trout 11/5/20
W. Casey Copeland 5 lb. 4 oz. 24 1/2″ Speckled Trout 11/5/20
Andrew J. Reid 25″ and 24 3/4″ Speckled Trout Releases (2) 11/5/20
Mike Firestone 24″ Speckled Trout Release 11/5/20
Ronnie Williams 39 Lb. Wahoo 11/4/20
Devin King 65 Lb. Wahoo 11/4/20
Sunny Caraco White Marlin Release 11/4/20
David Oden 25″ Speckled Trout Release 11/4/20
Cashin Prutsman 5 Lb. 6 oz. Speckled Trout (weigh citation but fish was released) 11/4/20
Matthew Venner 6 Lb. 2 oz. Speckled Trout 11/3/20
Matt Masciangelo 25 1/2″ and 24″ Speckled Trout Releases (two fish) 11/3/20
Mike Firestone 24″ Speckled Trout Release 11/1/20
Cashin Prutsman 26″ Speckled Trout Release 10/27/20

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Virginia Beach Fishing Rundown

Speckled trout and puppy drum fishing is great just about everywhere. Some big reds continue to be caught in the Bay and along the coast.

There have been good numbers of king mackerel along the Virginia Beach oceanfront the past few days.

Large sheepshead continue to be caught on Bay structures.

Tog fishing is picking up in the Bay.

Coastal wrecks, like Triangles are producing sea bass, flounder, and a few red snapper.

Anglers fishing off the Virginia Beach fishing pier are picking up small spot, small black drum, small trout, roundhead and few puppy drum. The water temp is 65 degrees.

Surf anglers fishing near Sandbridge continue to land big reds from the beach. Frank Marble picked up his third last week.

Offshore swordfish catches have been very good.

VBSF Contributor Reports

Captain Jake Beck at Knot Wish’n guide service at Rudee Inlet enjoyed quality speckled trout fishing inside the inlet last week. He said it’s still a bit hit and miss depending on the day and tides, but there are plenty of nice size fish around. His ocean trips got in on the hot king mackerel bite. The kings have been skying through menhaden bait balls regularly he said. There are still some spanish mackerel lingering and there are plenty of bluefish.

Rudee Tours offshore headboat fishing has been great! Numerous citation blueline tilefish have been landed weighing up to 17 pounds.  Their inshore trips are picking up seabass, triggerfish and red drum. The bluefish are starting to show up on the inshore wrecks as the water temperature is starting to cool down.

Captain Nolan Agner at Aquaman Charters said they have been deep dropping for sea bass and tilefish.  They’ll be running sea bass trips through end of year.

Dr Neill spent a couple of days wreck fishing inside the bay and trolling along the oceanfront. At night, he fished from his dock. Small sea bass and oyster toads were a problem at times, but he managed to also catch sheepshead, tautog, pufferfish, pigfish, pinfish, porgy, flounder, bluefish, king mackerel, red drum, perch, speckled trout, and gray trout. Nothing big. He said there’s a good amount of bait around and he saw a number of whales, as many as a half-dozen at a time. It should be a good whale-watching season.

Captain David Wright and crew on the charter boat High Hopes had an awesome day last week. They caught a limit of blueline tilefish, four of which were citations. They landed some beautiful black sea bass. Then topped the day off with two swordfish, one 78 pounds and the other 201 pounds.

VMRC Cobia News

Virginia has exceeded its recreational cobia harvest quota in the last few years and must adhere to the regulations set forth by Amendment 1 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic cobia. To keep the recreational fishery in compliance, Virginia must adjust management measures to achieve a 42% reduction to the recreational cobia fishery for the 2021-2023 seasons. Virginia must adjust seasons and vessel limits according to specific language in the Fishery Management Plan.

We are soliciting public input through this survey to provide feedback to the Commission. This information along with VMRC staff and the Finfish Advisory recommendations will be brought before the Commission for deliberation at the December 8, 2020 meeting.  Final regulations for the 2021-2023 recreational cobia fishing seasons will be decided at that meeting.

The link for the recreational cobia survey can be found here:

The survey will be open until close of business (2:30 PM) Friday, October 30, 2020. Feel free to distribute.

Fisheries Management Staff
Virginia Marine Resources Commission
380 Fenwick Rd., Building 96
Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA 23651-1064

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Virginia Beach Fishing Rundown

Fall is speckled trout season! Fisherman are finding them in all three southside inlets and in the surf from Sandbridge, south. Captain Jake Beck, Knot Wish’n Guide Service, said the trout and puppy drum bite inside Rudee Inlet has been hit and miss … with some great days and some very slow ones. If you can find live “shrimp” to fish under a popping cork it’s a trout’s favorite snack. Topwater plugs and jigs with plastic tails are also effective.

Puppy drum like fresh cut bait fished under a float or on the bottom. The key is fresh. Fresh spot is my favorite for puppy drum. There have been plenty of spot around, catches have come from the piers and inside Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. Croaker are mixed with the spot.

Captain Jake said the spanish mackerel bite turned on again last week and anglers were able to load up.  King Mackerel and schools of large drum also popped up off the beach.

Frank Marble kept his annual Sandbridge, red drum in surf, release string intact by picking up a nice 49 incher this week.

Tautog action is picking up. Look for fish along the CBBT and on the inshore wrecks and reefs. Dr. Ken Neill caught 24 tautogs on a recent trip. They were tagging and releasing them, they caught two twice.

They also picked up sea bass, gray trout and red drum. Dr. Neill released his largest red drum of the season.

Hunter Southall rounded out the trip with three big sheepshead.

Our striped bass season is open and you’re allowed to keep one fish that measures between 20 and 36 inches per angler per day in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and one fish that measures between 28 and 26 inches per angler per day along the coast inside three miles. Right now look for them along the CBBT and at night near piers and jetties with lights.

The flounder are moving to deeper waters, a few were landed at the triangle wrecks this week.

Offshore, swordfish have become a very popular target. Anglers have been enjoying good action. Captain David Wright, High Hopes Charters, released an under size, 44 inch swordfish Saturday. They pulled the hook on a larger one. He rounded out his day with a nice catch of dolphin, sea bass and tilefish. Others got into a nice tuna bite as well.

Deep-droppers are finding plenty of tilefish. Remember a NOAA Species permit for both blueline and golden tilefish is required now.

The Rudee Head boats will be running offshore deep drop trips all month on Tuesdays and Saturdays. They said fishing is excellent, with citation tilefish and seabass being caught. They also had some snowy groupers brought in with the largest weighing in at 53 pounds! Inshore bottom fishing is slowing down somewhat, but they are still catching seabass with some triggerfish mixed in.

Don’t forget to reports your summer cobia catches. The VMRC reminds us that it’s time to take care of our required reports. They are due by October 21, 2020. If you have questions about how to meet your reporting requirements, you can visit the VMRC recreational cobia website at:

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News: It’s time to report cobia info to VMRC

The recreational cobia season has ended. The VMRC reminds us that it’s time to take care of our required reports. They are due by October 21, 2020.

If you have questions about how to meet your reporting requirements, you can visit the VMRC recreational cobia website at:

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NOAA Fishery Bulletin – Billfish

Catch and Release Only For Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Roundscale Spearfish for the Rest of 2020 in All Areas of the Atlantic Ocean

Based on the best available landings information, NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish 250-landings limit has been met and exceeded for 2020. Under applicable regulations, only catch-and-release fishing is permitted for these species for the rest of the year.

Effective September 30, 2020, through December 31, 2020, NOAA Fisheries is requiring catch-and-release fishing only for Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish in all areas of the Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Caribbean.

HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category permit holders and persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial that fish in registered Atlantic HMS Tournaments, may catch-and-release (or tag and release) Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish of all sizes. Atlantic sailfish may continue to be landed (retained) consistent with applicable regulations.

Anglers are reminded that Atlantic billfish that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from the water. For additional information on safe handling, see the “Careful Catch-and-Release” brochure.

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Virginia Beach Fishing Rundown

Here comes October …. a time of transition. Our summertime species start leaving, the waters are less crowded and fish are very active.

When weather cooperates it’s a great time of the year to be on the water. Lately large swells from offshore storms have made ocean inlets in Virginia and North Carolina challenging, but things are improving and those venturing out to the deep are catching sea bass, tilefish, swordfish, blue and white marlin, wahoo, dolphin and tuna. (Above) Captain David Wright, High Hopes Charters picked up dolphin and tuna on a recent outing. Boats fishing the triangle wrecks are limiting out in short order on the sea bass.

Dr. Ken Neill met Nicholas Kontodiakos at Rudee Inlet recently to certify a potentially new Virginia state record, 579 pound swordfish. Angler’s name  and details to follow from the VMRC.

The Rudee Tours head boats have offshore 17-hour fishing trips planned for October 6, 13, 20, 27 and 12-hour sea bass trips starting in November on Saturdays. They also have inshore ½ and full day trips.

Inshore, cobia are on the move. There’s only a couple of days left in the capture season; it closes September 30.

Captain Jake Beck, Knot Wish’n Charters took advantage of a weather window recently and was rewarded with some nice Spanish mackerel.

On a recent trip to the CBBT area Dr Ken Neill and crew caught sheepshead, tautog and several nice puppy drum.

There’s still large red drum around, but catches have slowed in the bay. Large drum should be feeding in surf along Sandbridge and along the wildlife refuge especially when its rough.

Speckled trout anglers are catching some quality fish. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle reports speckled trout and puppy drum biting inside Lynnhaven Inlet, and Captain Jake Beck found a mix of specks and redfish inside Rudee Inlet as well.

Flounder fishing in the Bay has been slow.

Pier anglers on the Virginia Beach Pier are catching puppy drum, trout, some spots, pompano, small croakers and small flounder.

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Virginia Beach Fishing Rundown

Red drum are starting to migrate out of the Bay, look for schools on the surface. As they depart surf anglers will be able to get in on the action as well. Frank Marble said the first large drum, 47 inches, was landed on the Little Island Pier in Sandbridge a couple of days ago. Look for some nice fish to be landed in the Sandbridge surf.

Cobia reports are scattered around the lower Bay. Captain Todd Beck with Knot Wish’n charters said the cobia bite should get very good along the oceanfront as they begin exiting the Bay. The cobia season closes September 30.

Anglers trolling are still finding spanish mackerel scattered in the lower bay and along the oceanfront. There are some albacore fixed in now. Captain David Wright on the High Hopes had a nice catch of Spanish last week.

Boats working off the oceanfront are picking up a few “smoker” king mackerel. The Flatline (Aquaman Charters) picked us the nice king pictured above.

Now is usually when we see some of the largest flounder of the year caught. They are biting inside the Bay and around ocean structure. The largest fish are usually caught on a live Spot. Speaking of spot, it’s time for a run of large yellow belly spot.

Speckled trout and puppy drum are feeding in Bay tributaries and area inlets. Connie at Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle said the speckled trout fishing has turned on inside Lynnhaven Inlet. Dr Ken Neill has been catching shrimp off his dock at night and fishing them on the flats near Seaford Va. He’s had good luck using artificial lures and peeler crabs but said a live shrimp was tops, can’t keep them in the water long without a hookup.

Rudee Tours, the Rudee Inlet head boats have had great success with their new fall scheduled. They are getting nice catches of black sea bass, triggerfish, spadefish, amberjacks, and flounder.

Anglers fishing off the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier are catching spot, pompano, drum, small croaker and few roundhead.

When the weather permits, offshore boats are enjoying some great billfish action. The Rebel recently caught 3 blue marlin and 12 white marlin and found time for a limit of tilefish. Look for the wahoo bite to pick up over the next few weeks.

Next Report September 28th.

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South Atlantic Board Releases Atlantic Cobia Draft Addendum for Public Comment

Arlington, VA – The Commission’s South Atlantic States/Federal Fisheries Management Board has approved for public comment Draft Addendum I to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia. The Draft Addendum was initiated in response to the 2020 quota, which is based on the results of the 2020 Atlantic cobia benchmark stock assessment. The benchmark assessment incorporated new recreational catch estimates, which were about two times higher than those previously used. The Draft Addendum considers options to change the allocation between commercial and recreational sectors, taking into consideration the change in recreational estimates. Currently 92% of the total quota is allocated to the recreational fishery, and 8% is allocated to the commercial fishery under Amendment 1.

The Commission and its member states from Maryland to Georgia will be conducting a series of public
hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum I. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all hearings will be conducted via webinar, with some hearings state-specific and others regionally-focused. Webinar links and call-in information are below. Please note that in order to comment during the hearings you will need to use your computer or download the GoToWebinar app for your phone (the phone numbers provided below are for listening only). Additional details on participating in the webinar can be found later in this release; this information is particularly important for those that have not used the GoToWebinar platform before.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission,September 22; 6 – 8 PM
Webinar link:
Call in listen only 877.309.2074
access code: 200.660.341
Contact: Somers Smott at 757.247.2004

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Virginia Beach Fishing Rundown

Cobia two at a time on the Healthy Grin

Starting in September, throughout the fall and winter our fishing report will be posted every other week. Be sure and check back often though because we will post breaking news and trophy fish reports as soon as they come in. Our next report will be September 14th.

Cobia are on the move as they start to head south. Dr Ken Neill has been catching them two at a time while trolling the oceanfront. A purple Rapallo has been his favored trolling lure.

Red drum are still roaming about the lower Bay and around the shoals of the Eastern Shore barrier islands. Look for them near the islands of the CBBT. Next month a northerly blow will jump start some good surf fishing action. Big bull reds will show in the surf lines along Sandbridge and the Wildlife Preserve.

Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ribbonfish trolling remains productive. Pictured is a very nice 7lb 2oz spanish mackerel caught by Jesse Thompkins of Suffolk VA.

September is typically peak king mackerel season off Virginia Beach. A number of smoker kings have already been landed and they crashed both live and trolled baits. Frank Riganto land this really nice smoker!

Flounder catches are improving. Look for them around the CBBT pilons, near the rocks that cover the tunnels and around coastal reefs and wrecks. Many are caught around the jetties at Rudee and Little Creek inlets.

As the summer give way to more temperate breezes and cooler days, folks of all ages anticipate the big run of the tastiest panfish on the Eastern seaboard, Norfolk spot. Schools of exceptionally large yellowbellies will provide non-stop bottom fishing at its finest.

Virginia Beach pier anglers can look forward to lots of spot, some croaker, sea mullet, ribbonfish, sand perch and flounder this time of year.

Offshore anglers are finding plenty of dolphin. The white marlin bite has been consistent with a few blue marlin and sailfish mixed in. The boats deep dropping are catching mostly tilefish and seabass.

David Wright, captain of the High Hopes put his crew on dolphin this week ….. then top off the trip with a sailfish release.

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Mid-Atlantic Council Announces New Mobile App for Recreational Tilefish Reporting


August 24, 2020

Mid-Atlantic Council Announces New Mobile App for Recreational Tilefish Reporting

eFin Logbook Provides Anglers a Simple and Convenient Reporting Tool

NOAA Fisheries recently implemented new permitting and reporting requirements for recreational tilefish fishermen. All recreational vessel operators (including for-hire operators using their vessels on recreational trips) targeting or retaining golden or blueline tilefish from Virginia to Maine are now required to obtain a free permit from NOAA Fisheries and submit electronic vessel trip reports (eVTRs) within 24 hours of returning to port.

A new app has been released to make the reporting process easy and convenient. Harbor Light Software’s eFin Logbook has received certification from NOAA Fisheries as an approved application through which anglers can report their trips. Funded by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, eFin Logbook is a user-friendly application designed specifically for recreational tilefish anglers. The app is available for use on all Apple and Android mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet).

“During our initial outreach efforts, many anglers told us that the existing NOAA-approved reporting systems were too complicated for recreational reporting,” said Mid-Atlantic Council Executive Director Chris Moore. “Recreational stakeholders are generally supportive of the need for improved data collection on tilefish but have stressed the need for a simpler, more user-friendly interface. In response to this feedback, we collaborated with Harbor Light Software on the development of eFin Logbook, the first NOAA-approved electronic reporting system designed specifically for recreational fishermen.”

At present, eFin Logbook can only be used by tilefish recreational anglers to satisfy reporting requirements. Future modifications may expand its capabilities to other reporting and personal fishing log applications. For-hire operators, many of whom have other reporting requirements, are encouraged to choose different software. To learn more about other electronic reporting options and decide which one is right for you, visit the NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region Electronic Reporting Web Page.

To get started with eFin Logbook: Obtain a free permit from NOAA Fisheries, download the app from the Apple or Google Play store for free (search for “eFin Logbook”), and you will be all set to begin reporting your tilefish trips. For more information and instructions on how to get started with eFin Logbook, visit:

Additional Resources


Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901
(302) 674-2331 | Toll-Free:(877) 446-2362 | Fax: (302) 674-5399

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