Virginia Beach Saltwater Fishing Report

Nice Spadefish caught onboard Aquaman Charters

By Dr. Ken Neill, III | Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association Member

Cobia have arrived in the bay in force. Fishing has been good for both chummers and sight fishermen. While cobia are getting most of the inshore buzz, red drum fishing remains excellent on the shoals at the mouth of the bay. Schools of big red drum are also being encountered by angler sight-fishing for cobia and by anglers trolling the oceanfront for Spanish mackerel.

Spanish mackerel are being caught along the oceanfront and have begun to move on into the bay. Some nice catches of spadefish have been made at the Chesapeake Light Tower and over some of the coastal wrecks. More are showing on structures inside the bay. “Nice” means by today’s standards, not the 9 and 10 pound spadefish we used to catch.

Some really nice sheepshead (by any standard) are being caught at the CBBT. Flounder are showing some promise this year. Fishing for them has not been great the past few years other than around the ocean wrecks. Catches were good on the seaside this spring and more are being caught in the bay so hopefully we will have a better summer.

Medium and small croaker seem to be plentiful in the rivers where some nice early spot are being caught. Speckled trout seem to have survived the winter freeze and decent numbers of puppy drum have been around.

Offshore action has gotten off to a late start. Tuna fishing has been good out of Oregon Inlet all spring but it took until June for the yellowfin to move closer to us. They are here now in range of Virginia Boats. Nice  bigeye tuna are mixed with the yellofins. Offshore action should swiftly heat up now.

Spencer Elford has won pretty much every youth angling award that Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association offers. Now as a teenager, his winning ways continue. He and two of his friends: Joel White and Dylan Copeland fished the first annual Cobia East Coast Championship. With no adults to get in their way, the three boys landed a 79.7 pound cobia which easily won first place in the tournament. They walked away with $5,000 and they also won the youth angler award.

Another popular tournament for PSWSFA members is the Gloucester Boys and Girls Flounder Tournament. The tournament will be on July 14 with a captains meeting on July 13. New for this year will be a special PSWSFA Member Division. The largest flounder caught by a club member will earn you $300 in addition to any other prizes you may win.

Soon after that is the Monarch Cobia Classic, July 19-21. For more information about the Monarch Cobia Classic and to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit

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ODU Alumni Association to host second annual Monarch Cobia Classic

The (ODU) Old Dominion University Alumni Association will host its second annual Monarch Cobia Classic in partnership with the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association July 19-21, 2018 at The Marina at Marina Shores in Virginia Beach. The goal of the  partnership is to create the largest cobia tournament on the east coast. The proceeds from the tournament will benefit the ODU Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

The competition will consist of two days of fishing, with lines in at 6:00 a.m. each day. Anglers will compete for cash prizes, reels, rods, outdoor equipment and more. Before July 2, the entry fee per boat for the Monarch Cobia Classic is $400 for two days of fishing or $250 for a single day. After July 2, fees will increase to $500 per boat for two days and $300 for a single day.

The tournament will conclude with a Dock Party on Saturday, July 21, with live music and special guests including the Redskins Cheerleaders and Darcizzle Offshore, an avid angler and social media fishing sensation. Guests who are not registered for the tournament have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the
Dock Party for $50. Tickets must be purchased in advance at

“The Monarch Cobia Classic is a unique opportunity for the ODU Alumni Association to raise funds for student scholarships and to create a fun-filled event that will be enjoyed by alumni, friends of ODU and the Hampton Roads community,” said Dawn Provost, ’92, ’98 MBA, president of the ODU Alumni Association.

Corporate sponsorships are also available. For more information about the tournament, media interviews or corporate sponsorships, call 757-683-3097 or visit

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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Report | Cobia | Red Drum

Nice Drum On Key Dreams Charter!

By TH Spangler | Connie Barbour

The hot weather is here and the summer fishing pattern is setting up in Virginia waters.

The cobia season is open and anglers are catching. Both chumming and sight casting are working! Anglers sight-fishing for cobia are also seeing large schools of red drum. Even prior to the season opening numerous trophy cobia release citations were registered. Remember all anglers, captains and guides fishing for cobia must obtain a Recreational Cobia Permit from VMRC and report all harvest and cobia fishing activity.

Don’t forget the Old Dominion University Alumni Association annual Monarch Cobia Classic coming up in July!

Spanish mackerel and taylor blues have arrived along the oceanfront. Anglers trolling for bluefish and spanish are also encountering the large red drum and cobia.

Eastern Shore flounder catches remain strong inside the seaside inlets.

The coastal wrecks are holding good numbers of sea bass and there should be some triggerfish. Spadefish can be found over the wrecks and flounder can be found around them. Spadefish are being caught at the Chesapeake Light Tower. A nice class of sheepshead have shown up in their usual holding spots. Small bluefish and striped bass are still holding around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel islands.

Offshore anglers making a long run south out of Virginia or fishing from Oregon Inlet have been experiencing one of the best tuna seasons in years. The big eye tuna numbers have been off the charts and so have the size of the yellowfins. Many, many of the hooked tuna have been lost to the sharks. A couple of boats fished their way back to Rudee Inlet this week and reported good tuna fishing all the way. The good tuna conditions are moving closer to the Virginia charter fleet. Offshore bottom fishing remains strong for tilefish and sea bass.

Water Temps

Ches Bay Bridge: 77.0 F
Cape Henry: 76.0 F
Kiptopeke: 78.6 F
Duck NC Pier: 77.9 F
Oregon Inlet Sound side: 79.1 F
OI offshore Buoy @ 60 feet: 76.7 F
Hatteras Surf: 79.7 F
Diamond Shoals Tower: 80.3 F

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Virginia Beach Memorial Day Fishing Report

By TH Spangler | Connie Barbour

As Memorial Day rapidly approaches the spring saltwater fishery continues to improve almost everywhere.

Sheepshead are hanging around the CBBT pilings and other structure in the lower bay.

Red and black drum are plentiful on bay shoals near the eastern shore.

Cobia have enter our waters but our season is closed for a few more days, it opens June 1st. There are massive numbers to our south off of Nags Head, headed our way!

Striped bass and bluefish remain around the CBBT islands.

Spadefish should be available at the Chesapeake Light Tower.

There have been some nice size bluefish caught inside Lynnhaven inlet. Some puppy drum and sizable flounder are showing inside both Lynnhaven and Rudee inlets. The flounder should be available around coastal wrecks and along the CBBT anytime.

Flounder catches remain very good in the seaside inlets on the eastern shore. Some large striped bass are being caught in the surf on the eastern shore.

Tuna fishing is red hot to our south. A few Virginia boats have been making the run. Some very large yellowfins and lots of bigeye tuna are awaiting crews. Some of the yellowfins have topped the 90-pound mark. Dolphin and an occasional blue marlin round out catches. A little closer to home tilefish and grouper are being caught by deep-droppers.

Sea bass season is open and catches are good on the ocean wrecks. In seabass news, Dr Ken Neill reports that the sea bass regulations have been set again. As previously planned, we will not have a fall closure this year. This came in doubt when some northern states protested the sea bass plan, but that now has been resolved. Sea bass will remain open for the rest of the year with a 15-fish bag limit and a 12.5-inch minimum  size.

Water Temps

Ches Bay Bridge: 71.0 F
Cape Henry: 71.0 F
Kiptopeke: 71.6 F
Duck NC Pier: 72.9 F
Oregon Inlet Sound side: 76.1 F
OI offshore Buoy @ 60 feet: 69.7 F
Hatteras Surf: 75.7 F
Diamond Shoals Tower: 74.3 F

Our next report will be Jun 4th.

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Cobia Are Here!

Virginia beach Bluefish

Nice size Bluefish in Long Creek caught by Bob Caudle 11lb 12oz

By TH Spangler | Connie Barbour

The first cobias of the season have entered Virgina waters. Anglers targeting drum have caught-and-releases a few. Looks like there will be plenty around when the Virginia season opens June 1. Our cobia season should peak around the same time as the Monarch Cobia Classic, scheduled for July 19-21.

Now that the tautog season has closed some are targeting sea bass. The sea bass season opened May 15th.

Sheepshead are holding around CBBT structure as are striped bass. The spring striped bass season is open; and anglers can keep two slot fish between 20 to 28 inches long. Bluefish are mixed in with the stripers.

Flounder fishing is picking up. Flounder catches remain good inside of seaside inlets on Virginia’s eastern shore.

Plenty of red and black drum are still on the shoals on the northern side of the bay.

North Carolina surf anglers fishing Cape Point continue to catch red drum. Pompano, big chopper bluefish and sea mullet have been available as well.

Offshore Virginia boats are either making a long run south to get in on some outstanding tuna fishing off Carolina or they are deep dropping closer to home for tilefish and grouper. The Rudee Angler and Aquaman Charters have been doing very well with the tile and grouper.

Offshore boats out of Hatteras and Oregon Inlets have added great dolphin catches to their already great tuna catches. Plenty of mahi, plus yellow fin, blackfin and big eye tunas. A 690 lb Blue Marlin was just caught and there are some wahoo around. The Hatteras Offshore Invitational Marlin tournament was held this week, congratulation to the winners. Sea Toy – 1st Place Calypso – 2nd Place Goombay – 3rd Place.

Water Temps

Ches Bay Bridge: 68.0 F
Cape Henry: 68.0 F
Kiptopeke: 69.6 F
Duck NC Pier: 66.9 F
Oregon Inlet Sound side: 76.1 F
OI offshore Buoy @ 60 feet: 63.7 F
Hatteras Surf: 75.7 F
Diamond Shoals Tower: 74.3 F

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