Virginia Beach, Long Bay Pointe Report –
Dr. Ken Neill and crew on the Healthy Grin returned to the wrecks for more sea bass action this week. This time Stan Simmerman caught the trophy fish, a state citation sea bass. The boat Playin’ Hookey got in on the action as well. They caught fish in the 4 to 5 pound class and had one qualify for a state trophy citation. Ken said the bluefish were not as plentiful as they were on his last trip. The dogfish were still thick, but everyone managed to land a nice catch of sea bass. He also landed a lone blueline tilefish, which was released.
Back at the dock VMRC fishery personnel measured, weighed and counted everyone’s fish. The February sea bass fishery is a closely monitored recreational fishery. You have to have a special permit, call VMRC before you head out, call again when you return and be met at the dock. Ken said, “if this sounds like a lot it is … but it really hasn’t been a problem at all. The VMRC people, both fisheries and law enforcement, have been friendly and appreciative. They are making up for decades of zero federal “wave-one” catch data during this special fishery, which has turned out to be a big science project.” Permits can be obtained online here or at an VMRC Licensing Agent. Reporting can be done online through the Saltwater Journal or using forms provided by the VMRC.”
Offshore Virginia Beach last week the boat Diehard got into some nice February yellowfin tuna and picked up a wahoo as well.
On North Carolina’s outer banks there have been reports of puppy drum around Hatteras and near ramps 43 and 44. Offshore conditions have been snotty, but those who fished picked up some yellow fin and blue fin tunas, one blue fin dressed out at 400 lbs.
In cobia news, NOAA fisheries has announced changes to cobia management in Atlantic federal waters. This change removes Atlantic cobia from NOAA’s fishery management plan. Atlantic cobia will now be managed under the purview of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, because the majority of Atlantic cobia landings are in state waters. The final rule is effective on March 21, 2019.