Virginia Thanksgiving Saltwater Fishing Report

Happy Thanksgiving! The Bay’s water temperature is currently hovering in the high 50s, which means that Tautog fishing is improving at the CBBT Islands and on the lower bay’s wrecks and reefs. Blue crab is the most effective bait, but Togs will also take mole crabs, clams and whelk.

Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum are the main targets right now. These fish can be found in most of the tidal inlets, creeks and rivers. Captain Todd Beck with Knot Wish’n charters reported a fantastic Trout bite at Rudee Inlet on Friday, with almost every cast producing a fish for 3 hours. However, most of them were undersized. Big Red Drum should show up in Rudee soon, as the water temperature there is 56 degrees. Connie at Long Bait Pointe Bait and Tackle said that Trout and Drum catches are increasing inside Lynnhaven. They’ve weighed several trophy-sized Trout in the past two weeks. Popping corks with shrimp baits, swimbaits and Mirr-o-lure are good options for bait.

Small Rockfish, under 10 pounds, are being caught in the rivers, the Rappahannock, James, Piankatank, Elizabeth and York. Some are also around the CBBT. Umbrella rigs, tandem rigs, swim shads or bucktails are good lures to use. Many creeks and inlets have lighted docks at night, which attract baitfish and hungry rockfish. Cooler temperatures should trigger the migration of larger Rockfish down the coast and into the Bay.

Sandbridge surf anglers are catching a few Black Drum, Red Drum and Sea Mullet.

Black Seabass fishing is good on the offshore wrecks. The season is open until the end of the year. Anglers can keep 15 fish each. Citation plaques are awarded for any caught over 5 pounds.

Further out there have been a few reports of Blackfin Tuna and King Mackerel. Those targeting swordfish have been successful.



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Cooler Water, Trout for Dinner!


One of the benefits of cooler water temperatures is the speckled trout bite, which are delicious to eat. If you are lucky enough to catch some, you might be wondering how to cook them in a way that brings out their flavor and texture. Here are three great recipes that you can try at home, using simple ingredients and easy methods.

– Lemon and herb baked trout: This recipe is perfect for a light and refreshing meal. You will need four trout fillets, salt, pepper, butter, lemon slices, fresh parsley, and fresh dill. Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season the trout fillets with salt and pepper and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Dot each fillet with butter and top with lemon slices, parsley, and dill. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with rice or salad.

– Cajun-style blackened trout: This recipe is ideal for a spicy and flavorful dish. You will need four trout fillets, Cajun seasoning, oil, butter, and lemon wedges. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat and coat it with oil. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning generously over both sides of the trout fillets. When the skillet is very hot, add the butter and swirl it around. Carefully place the trout fillets in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes per side or until charred and cooked through. Squeeze some lemon juice over the fish and serve with cornbread or coleslaw.

– Almond-crusted trout with creamy sauce: This recipe is suitable for a rich and decadent meal. You will need four trout fillets, salt, pepper, flour, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, sliced almonds, oil, butter, heavy cream, white wine, and fresh parsley. Season the trout fillets with salt and pepper and dredge them in flour. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In another shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and almonds. Dip each fillet in the egg mixture and then in the almond mixture, pressing to coat well. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add some oil and butter. Fry the trout fillets for about 4 minutes per side or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a platter and keep warm. In the same skillet, add some more butter and whisk in the heavy cream and white wine. Bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in some chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the trout fillets and serve with mashed potatoes or green beans.


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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report


Today VBSF honors and celebrates the brave men and women who have served our country with courage and dedication. They have sacrificed so much for our freedom and security, and we owe them our deepest gratitude and respect. We also remember those who gave their lives in the line of duty, and we keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you, veterans, for your service and your legacy. You are our heroes and our inspiration.

Mike Firestone, SPECKLED TROUT

Quality Speckled Trout are being caught in local creeks and inlets. Prolonged, unseasonable warm water temperatures, (61.2 F in the bay), have held smaller speckled trout longer than usual. Larger trout should show in greater numbers as the water cools. Grassy areas using either popping corks baited with shrimp, swim baits or Mirr-o-lure plugs are effective. The minimum size limit is 14 inches and anglers are allowed 5 per person, only 1 greater than 24″. The capture citation size is 5 Lbs. and the release citation size is 24 inches.


Puppy Drum and Grey Trout or Weakfish are feeding in the same areas. Grey trout must be at least 12 inches, with a bag limit of 1 per person. Citations are available for any greater than 9 Lbs. or any released 30 inches or greater. The Drum capture slot limit is 18 inches to 26 inches, 3 per person.

The Rockfish bite is still mostly up the rivers. The islands of the CBBT have been producing a few at night. The minimum size for Rockfish inside the Bay for the Fall Chesapeake Bay Season is 20 inches, with the maximum size being 31 inches. The possession limit October 4 through December 31 is 1 per person.



Tautog action is getting better inside the Bay, with some Sheepshead sharing the same structures. Crab and clam is best for the Togs, and Sheepshead.

sea bass


Offshore anglers are doing well for Sea Bass on ocean structures. Quality Triggerfish are also being caught. Boats have been targeting Swordfish successfully.

Offshore anglers in Carolina have been finding Blackfin Tuna, King Mackerel, and some Wahoo.


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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report


Frank Marble and a nice 47-inch Drum in the Sandbridge surf

One of the most rewarding experiences for anglers is to catch a Red Drum in the surf. These powerful fish put up a great fight and reward you with a memorable catch. Frank Marble and friends had an amazing time last week fishing Sandbridge, when they encountered ideal conditions and plenty of Drum. Using medium-heavy rod and reels, Drum rigs baited with cut mullet or spot, they released fish from 47 to 50 inches.

Mark “The Shark”, 47 inch release

“Hippie” Matt, 47 inch release

“Pier” Jay, 47 inch release

“Solo” Ward, 49 inch release

If you prefer fishing on Bay structures, large sheepshead are still hanging around. These fish have impressive teeth and can be very challenging to hook and land.

Tautog or Tog

Tog fishing is getting better in the Bay. As the water temperature drops, more togs will move in and provide some good fishing opportunities. The Bay water temperature is 64.8 F now.

Some anglers have also reported catching King Mackerel along the Virginia Beach oceanfront. These fish are fast and strong and can make for an exciting catch.

Stan Simmerman and Dr Ken Neill fished for speckled trout this week. The bite was slow. they manage a couple nice specks and few small ones. Stan caught a flounder. The pufferfish bite was pretty good.

Another option is to target speckled trout and puppy drum in the inlets and rivers. These fish are abundant and can be caught on fresh shrimp, soft crabs or fresh cut baits like spot or mullet.

You can also find some nice fish on coastal offshore wrecks, like the Triangle. There, you can catch sea bass, flounder, and a few trigger fish.

For those who want to venture further offshore, canyon fishing has been focused on Swordfish lately. These fish are the ultimate prize for many anglers and can weigh hundreds of pounds. A nice wahoo bite developed over the weekend. Tuna catches have been very good to our south, out of Oregon Inlet.


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ASMFC Releases Update to Striped Bass Rebuilding Plan for Public Comment


Atlantic Coast’s Multi-State Striper Board Approves Addendum That Seeks to Curb Decline of America’s Top Game Fish.

(Beaufort, NC) – At its annual meeting this week, the Striped Bass Management Board (Board) of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) approved for public comment Addendum II of the fishery management plan designed to control fishing mortality and begin to reverse the decline in the coastwide striper population. The addendum is an update to Amendment 7, the current version of the fishery management plan that features a suite of goals and objectives as well as a goal to control fishing mortality and set measures which will rebuild the striper population by 2029.

Addendum II includes Bay and coastal options for recreational fisheries, and a quota reduction for the commercial fisheries by as much as 14.5 percent. Previously considered measures like maximum sizes for commercial fisheries are no longer under consideration. Season closures may be a topic of conversation through the public process and in future ASMFC actions but will not be mandated through the Addendum process. ASMFC member states may ultimately include actions which are more conservative than future coastwide actions.

CCA will post online its “Anglers Guide” to help anglers and the general public understand the potential 2024 management changes contained in Addendum II as well as offer specific talking points for anglers to consider when making a public comment.

The Atlantic striper population is considered overfished and faces myriad challenges: Five straight years of failed spawning success in Chesapeake Bay, the primary nursery for stripers; impacts from the expanding range of blue catfish, an invasive species known to eat juvenile stripers, and; poor water quality and habitat degradation. Clean water and quality habitat are vital to healthy and abundant striper and forage stocks.

David Sikorski, CCA Maryland Executive Director and member of the Maryland delegation to the ASMFC: 

“Moving this addendum forward is an important step to curb fishing mortality, but as released, it still falls short of providing actions which are able to control fishing mortality across the board and as soon as possible.  The recreational fishery options in the addendum can be implemented to make meaningful cuts in 2024, while commercial options to lower quotas instead of harvest may not be implemented until the 2025 season. This delay is a choice of member states, which would not agree to include options in the document which are guaranteed to reduce commercial harvests.

Given the sobering news of failed recruitment for five straight years in Chesapeake Bay, I look forward to working with my fellow managers and stakeholders to enact reductions that are guided by science, and not continue giving out special favors and special rules. This means commercial harvest reductions, equal limits for all recreational fishing and summer closures when catch-and-release mortality impacts the survival of released fish must be enacted across the Atlantic’s most important striped bass nursery, the Chesapeake Bay.”

Capt. Chris D. Dollar, CCA Conservation Consultant Chesapeake Region: 

“From tackle shop owners and marinas to weekend anglers, the recreational community has more than done our part to help stem the slide of the striper population in the past decade.

There’s no time to waste – managers must reduce the harvest from every sector of the striper fishery, including the commercial fishery. That also means taking a hard look at the Virginia winter gillnet fishery, which targets mature stripers as they prepare to head to their upriver spawning grounds.”

Contact: David Sikorski | [email protected] | (443) 621-9186

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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report

Dave Barnhart with a nice King!

Fall is a great time to enjoy fishing. The Bay water temperature has decreased to 68.0 degrees, which makes the fish more active.

The rockfish season opened in Bay and its tributaries on October 4th and will last until December 31st. You can find them near bridges, old piers and docks. Fishing under lights at night is an excellent option. The slot limit for the Bay and all Virginia tributaries is 20-31 inches and the bag limit is 1 fish per person.

Another fish you can target is red drum, they are still present in the bay and in the Sandbridge surf, where you can use cut bait or crabs to attract them.

Speckled Trout are also available in local inlets and rivers. They love live shrimp, which are exiting the marshes and Bay tributaries now. You can also use topwater baits or popping corks with fresh soft crab or other fresh cut baits to catch them.

Spot are moving in large schools along Bay and oceanfront beaches. They will bite on bloodworms, squid or shrimp. They are delicious fried or made into fish cakes.

The best place to catch flounder is in the lower part of the bay and the ocean. Spot are excellent bait for large flounder.

Sheepshead are still biting in the area of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT).

Some nice King Mackerel were caught off Virginia Beach last week. They require good tackle … and live baits are best. They are very strong and fast and will smoke your drag! They can weigh up to 50 pounds and offer a great challenge.

Captain David Wright, Keith Newman and crew getting it done on the High Hopes!

Offshore you can catch Tilefish, Dolphin, Tuna and Swordfish. Captain David Wright on the High Hopes had a fantastic day October 11th, pictured above.

If you fish the Triangle wreck, look for plenty of sea bass and a few trigger fish.



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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report


October is here, and with it comes a change in the fishing scene. Some of the summer fish start to leave, the waterways become less crowded, and the fish become more active. It’s a wonderful time of the year to be on the water, weather permitting.

Flounder fishing in the Bay is winding down, but Captain Craig Paige still managed to land a couple of citation-sized flounders on a recent trip out of Lynnhaven Inlet (pictured above).

The large red drum are still around, but not as abundant in the Bay. They should be feeding in the surf along Sandbridge and the wildlife refuge, especially when the surf is rough.


Speckled trout anglers are finding some nice fish. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle reports speckled trout and puppy drum biting inside Lynnhaven Inlet. They can also be found in shallow water in all of our local rivers and inlets. Dr Ken Neill and Stan Simmerman have been catching them on the Peninsula side, near Yorktown.

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

Virginia had a great Cobia season, which ended on September 15th. They are now migrating out of the Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay fall Rockfish season opens October 4 and runs through December 31. Minimum size limit is: 20 inches. Maximum size limit is: 31 inches. Possession limit is 1 per person.

Those who go offshore are catching sea bass, tilefish, swordfish, blue and white marlin, wahoo, dolphin and tuna.

Our next report will be posted on October 15th. We will be reporting every two weeks until March 2024. Then we will resume our weekly reports.

We would like to thank our 2023 sponsors for their support. If you like their site, please give them a call and your business.




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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report

spanish mackerel

Knot Wish’n Charters

If you’re looking for some fishing action, you’ve got plenty of options.

Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel are biting, and you can catch them pretty easily.

drum fish

High Hopes Charters

Red Drum are leaving the Bay and heading to the ocean, so you might want to catch them while you can. The CBBT is a hot spot for them right now. Sandbridge is the place to be if you want some surf action.

Cobia are also on the move and they’re hanging out near the CBBT too. They’re big and strong, so be ready for a fight.

Sheepshead are another option; they love Blue Crab or fiddlers. You can find them at the CBBT as well. They have some serious teeth, so watch out.

Flounder are biting on some lower bay structures, and the bridge tunnel is a good spot too. They’re fat and tasty now, and they like large live baits.

Spot are plentiful in the tributaries and inlets, and they’re easy to catch. They make great bait for bigger fish too.


Dr Ken Neill

Trout are mostly in the shallower areas of the tributaries, where there’s grass flats. They love shrimp, so if you can get some, use them as bait. They’re delicious and fun to catch.


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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report

spanish mackerel

Hurricane Lee is on the radar of many anglers, but it seems that it will not affect the local fishing conditions much, except for some big swells.

The lower bay and the oceanfront are good spots to troll for Spanish Mackerel, and maybe some King Mackerel and Albacore as well.

red drum

Nice Red Dum Caught Onboard Paige II Charters

Red drum are leaving the Bay and heading to the ocean, where they can be seen in large schools on the surface. Surf fishing for them should be good in the coming weeks.

Cobia are also starting to move out of the Bay, and they can be caught along the oceanfront until September 15th, when the season closes.

The CBBT structures and the local reefs are holding sheepshead and even some trigger fish, which are fun to catch on light tackle.

Flounder fishing is getting better, especially for those who use live Spot as bait. Some of the biggest flounder of the year are caught in September. Spot fishing is also picking up, with some nice yellow belly spot showing up.


Dr. Ken Neill

Speckled trout and puppy drum are active in the creeks and inlets of the Bay, and they can be caught on a variety of lures and baits.

Offshore wrecks are producing a mixed bag of black sea bass, triggerfish, spadefish, amberjacks, and flounder. All of these fish are good to eat and put up a good fight.

The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is offering some decent fishing for spot, pompano, drum, small croaker and few roundhead. These fish are easy to catch and good for beginners.

white marlin

AquaMan Charters!

Offshore bluewater crews are having a blast with billfish action. White Marlin numbers are increasing, and Blue Marlin are also being caught. Dolphin, Tuna and Wahoo and Tilefish are also in the mix, making for some exciting trips.


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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report

The weather and fishing report for this week is very promising, with a variety of species biting well in different locations. Here are the highlights:

Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel are abundant in the bay and along the oceanfront, providing anglers with fast and furious action. These fish are aggressive and can be caught on spoons, plugs, jigs, or live bait.

September should provide some good King Mackerel action. Kings can’t resist live baits slow trolled on Mackerel rigs.

Larger Red Drum are showing up near bay structures, such as the CBBT and artificial reefs. These powerful fish can be caught on cut bait, live eels, or crabs. Some anglers are also sight-casting to them with bucktails or soft plastics.

Cobia are still around, and some of them are very large. They can be found near the same bay structures as the Red Drum, or cruising along the surface. Live bait, such as croaker or spot, is the best way to entice them, but they will also hit artificial lures or flies.

Slot sized Redfish and Trout are biting well in the rivers and estuaries, especially around grass beds, oyster bars, or docks. These fish can be caught on a variety of baits and lures, such as shrimp, minnows, gulp, or topwater plugs.

Hard structures reefs and bridges are holding Sheepshead, Flounder, Tautog, Spot, Croaker, and Sea Mullet. These fish can be caught on bottom rigs with small hooks and pieces of crab, clam, or shrimp. Some anglers are also using jig heads with gulp or minnows for Flounder.

Spot and Croaker are plentiful in the surf and inside inlets. These fish are great for family fun and can be caught on bloodworms, squid, or shrimp. The large yellowbelly spot runs usually occur in September, so be ready for some heavy action.

Offshore Bluewater fishing is excellent right now. Boats are coming back with Yellowfin and Big Eye Tuna, Mahi and lots of billfish flags flying. Most of the billfish have been Sailfish or Blue Marlin. Trolling with ballyhoo, spreader bars, or daisy chains is the most common method to catch these fish.

As you can see, there is something for everyone in the fishing scene this week. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy some of the best fishing of the year.


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Virginia Beach Saltwater Fishing Report

spanish mackerel

The weather is not very favorable for fishing in Virginia Beach this week, as a cold front is lingering in North Carolina and bringing some instability to the area. Mid-week there is also a chance of strong winds, as Tropical Storm Idalia approaches.

However, there are still some fish to be caught if you are willing to brave the elements. VBSF charter boat sponsors are catching some decent size Spanish Mackerel. They can be found both in the ocean and in the Bay.

Cobia are on the move as they start leaving the bay, but there are still plenty around.

The artificial reefs are holding a variety of fish, such as Puppy Drum, Sheepshead, Flounder, Tautog, Sea Bass, Sea Mullet, Spot, and Croaker.

Red Drum are biting well in the late evening and night hours around the CBBT.


Dr. Ken Neill tagging trout.



Paige II Charters

Speckled Trout are also active in the rivers and inlets, along with Puppy Drum, Spot, and Croaker.

Flounder catches have been good. Captain Craig Paige has been enjoying great flounder fishing!


AquaMan Charter action!

Offshore Bluewater fishing has been outstanding! Lots of sailfish being caught this year!

The Virginia Beach Marlin Tournament was held last week out of Rudee Inlet, the tournament’s total purse was $845,750. Team Just Right, led by Capt. Robbie Brown, made a remarkable comeback on the final day of the event to claim the 20th Annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament title. The team released a blue marlin and a sailfish on the first day and added nine more sailfish releases on Saturday, earning 900 points in total and the tournament trophy. Just Right also received awards for the multiple daily and tournament jackpots, Top Crew and the F. Wayne McLeskey Memorial Trophy as the top boat. The team took home $463,850 for their achievements. Capt. Daniel Caison and his crew on All In, were the runners-up with 890 points. Wall Hanger, owned and captained by Brian Allen, secured the third-place spot overall, after releasing eight billfish and accumulating 820 points. Gratitude, captained by Mike Resch, finished fourth after scoring nine billfish in the two days of fishing. Sniper, captained by Chris Raiford, ranked fifth overall with eight releases and 560 points.

In the Gamefish Divisions, Outlier won the top tuna prize when Robert Rodelsperger landed a 68.40-pound yellowfin. Larry Lusk caught the largest wahoo at 53.10 pounds on Don’t Panic. Dan Birley, on Iron Leader, hooked the heaviest dolphin of the week, weighing in at 30.9 pounds. All three gamefish-take-all awards were worth $12,500.


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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report

Paige II Charters

The saltwater fishing scene in Virginia is heating up as summer draws to a close. Anglers are finding a variety of species to target, both inshore and offshore. Here are some of the highlights from the latest reports.

Flounder fishing has been excellent, with many fish exceeding the minimum size limit of 16.5 inches. The best areas to look for flounder are the coastal wrecks, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT), and the lower bay shoals. Live bait, such as spot, croaker, or minnows, is the preferred choice for flounder.

Knot Wish’n Charters

Spanish mackerel are providing fast and furious action along the oceanfront and up the bay. These feisty fish can be caught by trolling small spoons or casting metal jigs. Look for schools of breaking fish or diving birds to locate them. Spanish mackerel are great fun on light tackle and good eating too.

Puppy drum, also known as redfish, are showing up in good numbers in the rivers that feed into the bay. These fish can be caught on a variety of baits and lures, such as cut mullet, shrimp, crab, soft plastics, or topwater plugs. Puppy drum under 27 inches, are prized for their fight and flavor.

Spot, croaker, flounder, and trout are also available in the rivers and creeks. These fish can be caught on bottom rigs with bloodworms, squid, or shrimp. They are popular with anglers of all ages and skill levels, as they are easy to catch and good for the table.

Bluefish are another species that can be found in the bay and along the oceanfront. These fish are aggressive and will hit almost anything that moves. They have sharp teeth and will often cut through monofilament line, so use a wire leader or a heavy fluorocarbon leader to prevent losing your lure or bait. Bluefish are best eaten fresh or smoked.

Sheepshead are a challenging but rewarding fish to catch. They have strong jaws and teeth that can crush shells and barnacles. They like to hang around structure, such as pilings, rocks, or wrecks, where they feed on crustaceans and mollusks. The best way to catch them is to use a small hook with a piece of crab or clam as bait. Sheepshead can weigh up to 20 pounds or more and are considered a delicacy by many anglers.

Spadefish are another species that can be found around structure in the bay. They look like small angelfish and have black and white stripes. They feed on small jellyfish and other planktonic organisms. The best way to catch them is to use a small hook with a piece of clam or squid as bait. Spadefish can put up a good fight on light tackle and are fun to catch.

Dr. Neill, Black Drum

Red drum and black drum are two more possibilities for saltwater anglers in Virginia. These fish can grow very large and require heavy tackle and patience to land. Red drum can be caught by surf fishing with cut bait or by sight casting with artificial lures. Black drum can be caught by bottom fishing with clam or crab baits near structure or channel edges. Both species are regulated by size and bag limits, so check the regulations before you go fishing.

Cobia are one of the most sought-after fish in Virginia waters. These fish can weigh over 100 pounds and are known for their power and stamina. Anglers are chumming for cobia near buoys, channel markers, or other landmarks where cobia tend to congregate. Live eels, croakers, or menhaden are the best baits for cobia, but they will also hit large jigs or plugs.

Tarpon are a rare but exciting catch in Virginia waters. These fish can jump several feet out of the water when hooked and are a thrill to fight. Tarpon can be found in the lower bay or near the mouth of the bay during late summer and early fall. They can be caught by drifting live bait, such as mullet or menhaden, or by casting large lures or flies.

Lisa Pate and crew of the Sea Trader, Wine Women Fishing Tournament🎗️. Released 2 Sailfish

This is peak Bluewater season along the mid-Atlantic. Crews are finding hungry marlin, dolphin, wahoo and tuna. The 21st Annual Wine, Women & Fishing Ladies-Only Charity Billfish Tournament kicked off the tournament scene at Rudee Inlet Saturday and Sunday. Next up is the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament, a premier event that showcases the best of Virginia’s offshore fishing. The tournament runs from August 23rd to 26th.

Congratulations Team Sweet Spot!

The 2023 Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament in Manteo, NC took place August 14th to 18th. It showcased the skills and sportsmanship of some of the best anglers in the world. The tournament featured 88 boats competing for a total purse of over $1.2 million. The fishing action was intense, with a total of 408 billfish released, including 371 sailfish, 2 white marlin, and 35 blue marlins. The leaderboard changed frequently, as teams battled for the top spots in various categories. The overall champion of the tournament was Sweet Spot, captained by Chris Kubik. The runner-up was Slow Your Roll, captained by Jeremy Edwards. Third place went to SEA TOY, captained by Bull Tolson. The fourth place was a tie between Goombay and Viking 80C, both with 1300 points. Goombay, captained by Jay Watson and Viking 80C, captained by Ryan Higgins. The rest of the top ten teams were Bullwinkle (1150 points), Double G and Right Hook (1100 points each), Fin Planner (1050 points) and Blue Bill (1000 points). The tournament also awarded prizes for the heaviest tuna and wahoo, which went to Reel Development (71-pound tuna) and Sea Wolf (58-pound wahoo), respectively.  The tournament organizers thanked all the participants, sponsors, volunteers and staff for making the event a success. They also congratulated all the winners and praised their efforts in conservation and catch-and-release fishing. The tournament raised funds for various local charities, including the Dare County Boat Builders Foundation, which provides scholarships for students pursuing careers in marine-related fields.

Book your Virginia Beach fishing trip!

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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report


Great flounder fishing with Craig Paige on the Paige II

Saltwater fishing in Virginia is in full swing this month. Anglers can target a variety of species in different locations and depths. Here are some highlights.

Flounder fishing is one of the best options right now. The flatfish are feeding aggressively and can be caught on live bait such as spot, croaker, mullet or minnows. The larger flounder are usually found near structure, such as wrecks, reefs, oyster beds or channel edges.

red drum

Dr Ken Neill

Red Drum are another popular species that are active in the bay. They can be caught on cut bait, live bait or artificial lures. Some of the best spots to find them are around the islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the Eastern Shore barrier islands, the mouth of the Rappahannock River and the lower James River.


Cobia are still around, but they may start to migrate south soon. September is typically the last month to catch them in the bay. They can be sight-fished, chummed or trolled for. Live eels, bunker or croaker are the preferred baits for cobia.

spanish mackerel

High Hopes Charters and a boat load of mackerel!

Spanish mackerel are abundant and easy to catch. They can be trolled for with small spoons or plugs, or cast to with metal jigs or flashy lures. They are often found near the surface, chasing schools of baitfish. They can be caught along the oceanfront, in the lower bay and in some of the rivers.

Sheepshead are challenging to catch. They have strong teeth and a keen sense of smell. They feed on crustaceans and mollusks that cling to hard surfaces, such as pilings, rocks or concrete. The best baits for sheepshead are fiddler crabs and blue crabs. They can be found around the bridges and reef structures in the bay.

Trout are another option for anglers who prefer shallow water fishing. They can be caught in the rivers and estuaries that flow into the bay. They feed on shrimp, crabs, and small fish. The best lures for trout are soft plastics, jigs, spoons or topwater plugs.

Sea Bass fishing is excellent on the ocean reefs, wrecks and at the offshore windmills. They can be caught on bottom rigs with squid, cut bait or clam strips. They are also attracted to jigs, bucktails or diamond rigs. Sea Bass are fun to catch and good to eat.

Offshore Bluewater fishing is at its peak in August. Anglers can expect to encounter tuna, wahoo, mahi and billfish in the deep waters of the Atlantic. They can be caught on trolling rigs with ballyhoo, squid or artificial lures. They can also be chummed up with chunk bait or live bait.

Deep droppers have a chance to catch some nice tilefish in the deep waters off Virginia. They can be caught on heavy rigs with squid, cut bait or fish strips. They are usually found near the bottom, along ledges, canyons or seamounts.


The soundside offers excellent opportunities for trout anglers, as well as sheepshead, spot, whiting, black drum and bluefish.

Surf fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the reopening of Cape Point, where a variety of species such as sharks, drum, spanish and bluefish are biting.

The surf also produces steady catches of spot, sea mullet, pompano and bluefish and spanish.

The piers are a hotspot for king mackerel, cobia, spanish, blues, sheepshead and even some triggerfish. During the day, bottom fishing can yield sea mullet, spot, croaker and a few trout.

The nearshore boats report consistent catches of amberjacks, kings, spanish mackerel, and ribbonfish.

Offshore fishing is fantastic, with some boats releasing more than 10 billfish in a day, as well as catching good numbers of dolphin and wahoo and some tuna.

Book your Virginia Beach fishing trip!


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2023 White Marlin Open Winners

The 2023 White Marlin Open was a thrilling event that showcased some of the best anglers and boats in the world. The tournament, held in Ocean City, Maryland, from August 7 to 11, attracted over 400 boats and offered a record-breaking purse of $10 million. Here are some of the highlights from the five-day fishing extravaganza.

The biggest catch of the tournament was a 640.5-pound blue marlin, landed by John Ols of Laytonsville, Md., on the second day. Ols, fishing on the Floor Reel out of Ocean City, fought the massive fish for over two hours before bringing it to the scales. His catch earned him a whopping $6,200,000, the largest payout in the history of the White Marlin Open.

The tuna division was also very competitive, with several fish weighing over 200 pounds. The winner was Brian Stewart of Shady Side, Md., who hooked a 265-pound tuna on the first day. Stewart, fishing on the Reel Tight out of Ocean City, took home $1M for his impressive catch.

The wahoo division saw some fast and furious action, with several fish in the 50-pound range. The winner was John Harris of Boyertown, Pa., who caught a 57-pound wahoo on the fourth day. Harris, fishing on the Shooting Star out of Indian River, won $2,000 for his speedy catch.

The dolphin division was also very exciting, with many colorful and acrobatic fish brought to the scales. The winner was Andrew Spangenberger of New Freedom, Pa., who caught a 50.5-pound dolphin on the third day. Spangenberger, fishing on the Roncito out of Ocean City, won $25,000 for his beautiful catch.

The most coveted prize of the tournament, however, remained elusive. No white marlin or swordfish were caught at the 2023 White Marlin Open, despite many attempts and close calls. The white marlin jackpot of $3.6 million rolled over to the next year, making the 2024 White Marlin Open even more enticing.

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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report

This is prime billfish season, marlin, sailfish, and swordfish. The offshore boats are having a blast. Tuna, dolphin and wahoo are also available.

The 50th White Marlin Open in Ocean City MD kicks off today. A number of Virgnia boats and crews will be participating. It’s the world’s largest and richest billfish tournament, with over $10 million in prize money up for grabs. The event runs from August 7 to 11 and attracts anglers from all over the world who compete for the coveted white marlin trophy.  The weigh-ins are open to the public and are a spectacle to behold, as huge fish are hoisted and measured on the scales.

spanish mackerel

Nice spanish mackerel, Knot Wish’n Charters


If you’re looking for something closer to home, you have plenty of options. Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish and sharks are keeping the inshore charters busy. These fish are fun to catch on light tackle, and they put up a good fight.


Paige II Charters catching nice flounder now! Congratulations


One of the favorite fish to target this time of the year is flounder. Our flounder season is officially on now, and we’re seeing some nice ones coming in. Limits of quality fish are available. You can catch flounder in the bay or the ocean, but most prefer the bay. Look for them near drop-offs, channels and grass beds. Small live spot, croaker or mullet are your best bait, but they will also hit artificial baits like gulp or bucktails.


High Hopes Charters picked up a nice Cobia for their group!


Another fish that’s keeping anglers busy are cobia. Cobia catches are being reported throughout the lower bay. These fish are amazing to catch and eat. They can weigh over 100 pounds, and they fight like crazy. Live eels, live spot or croaker are your best bait for cobia too, but they will hit artificial baits when spotted on the surface. You can use sight-fishing techniques to locate them, or you can chum with ground menhaden.

red drum

Benjamin Proffitt and crew were all over the big reds!!!


Red drum are another fish that you can sight-fish for in the lower bay. Red drum are available and should continue to be the rest of the summer. You can catch them on cut bait, live bait or artificial lures.

Sheepshead are near structure in the bay. Sheepshead are being caught on structure using fiddler crabs or fresh shrimp. They’re very tasty, but they’re also very tricky to hook. You have to be quick and set the hook as soon as you feel a bite.

speckled trout

Dr Ken Neill has been enjoying some good trout action.


Speckled trout catches have been good recently, especially in the early morning or evening hours. You can find them in shallow water near grass beds or oyster bars. You can catch them on live shrimp, minnows or mullet, or on artificial lures like topwater plugs, soft plastics or jigs.

There are also some good-sized spots being caught in Chesapeake Bay tributaries now. Spot fishing peaks in August and September, and it’s a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. Spot are small but scrappy fish that bite on bloodworms, squid or shrimp. You can catch them from piers, bridges or boats using bottom rigs with small hooks.

Virginia Beach Pier anglers are reporting roundhead and spot. Roundhead are also known as whiting or kingfish, and they’re very good eating fish. You can catch them on bloodworms, squid or shrimp too. Spanish mackerel, blues and small sharks are always a possibility at the pier as well. Spanish mackerel and blues hit fast-moving lures like spoons or gotcha plugs.

Book your Virginia Beach fishing trip!

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