Dec 31 2017

Happy New Year! Tight-lines In 2018!

Lance Shores and a nice 6 pound flounder!

Frigged winter weather has set in on the lower Chesapeake Bay, but that didn’t stop some very hearty anglers from closing out the bay striper season with a bang. A number of fish topping 40-pounds were weighted the finale week.

Now it’s time to turn our attention to ocean waters. The Virginia coastal season for striped bass opens January 1st and we can continue harvesting stripers until March 31st. The coastal waters start at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and extend seaward 3 miles.

The water temperature at Cape Henry was 47.8 F today, and a buoy located off Duck NC at 36.260 N 75.594 W reports 49.6 F. And dropping FAST!

Our offshore wrecks are holding sea bass and flounder. There are schools of bluefish around and this time of year where there’s bluefish there could be a bluefin tuna or two.

Captain Jake Hiles fished the triangle wreck December 29th. They found plenty of hungry sea bass. Some of the fish were in the 6-pound class. They also caught bluefish with one qualifying for a release citation at 36 inches. They spotted several square miles of stripers mixed with bluefish under birds east of Chesapeake light tower. Unfortunately any stripers (rockfish) beyond the 3 mile limit are illegal to keep. Capt Craig Irwin fished offshore structure December 22nd for flounder and sea bass using light tackle and jigs. They had consistent action all day and caught some nice fish up to 6.5 pounds. On December 29th Captain Skip Feller on a Rudee headboat put his anglers on sea bass as well!

On the Outer Banks of North Carolina most action is south of the Oregon Inlet Bridge. Anglers fishing the Avon and Buxton beaches have found some puppy drum and trout; Frisco anglers added some flounder, black drum to 7 pounds, and speckled trout to 22 inches. The dogfish have been biting at Ramp 44 and there were scattered reports of puppy drum and speckled trout just north of Cape Point.

Only one boat ran offshore from OI and they caught some black fin tuna. In Hatteras the commercial king mackerel fishing has been good trolling or using live baits.



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Dec 14 2017

Virginia Gone Rockfish Crazy

The jumbo rockfish have arrived on the lower Chesapeake Bay. With many of the areas top anglers fishing local tournaments last week a lot of BIG fish hit the scales. Many fish topped the 50-pound mark and some went over 60. Most of the larger fish are falling to live eels but Mojos, Umbrella’s and Manns Stretches are also producing. Many Captains are using planer boards in their spread to cover more water. The water temperature at Cape Charles this morning is 52.0 F and 44.1 at Kiptopeke.

At night the lights of the CBBT are attracting bait and when the tide is moving the rockfish are feeding on it. Dock lights on our rivers are also attacking bait and rockfish. Keepers are coming from the James, York and from the HRBT. The Wolf Trap area is holding lots of smaller class fish with some keepers mixed in.

Tautog fishing around the CBBT rocks and on the near shore wrecks remains very good. The trout fishing slowed last week with few reports coming in. The Ocean wrecks are holding seabass, tilefish and triggerfish.

Outer Banks surf fishing has produced mostly sea mullet lately on cut shrimp, sand fleas, and Fishbites. There are still some puppy drum up and down the beach. Most of the pups have hit cut mullet fished on the bottom. Bluefish, blowfish and flounder are also a possibly. Soundside the red drum and speckled trout bite has slowed as most fish are headed to the ocean. The water temp at the Duck Research Pier is 51.8 A few stripers have been landed on the west-side of Roanoke Island. Offshore most activity has turned commercial but when charters run anglers are landing some tuna, wahoo, and a few dolphin.


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Dec 06 2017

Virginia State Record Gray Triggerfish Certified

A 6-pound 12-ounce gray triggerfish, caught on November 1, 2017 by Dave Walden of Yorktown, VA has been certified as the initial Virginia State Record for the species by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. The record-setting gray triggerfish measured 18.5 inches (TL) and the fish sported a robust 17-inch girth.

Walden was bottom fishing off the Virginia Beach coast over the Chenango wreck site, which is located on the western edge of a seamount known as the Cigar, some 50 miles east of the coast. Walden was a member of a make-up charter trip for an “over-nighter” aboard the Underdog skippered by Captain Jake Hiles. The crew left the dock at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center at 2 AM and started trolling in vicinity of the Cigar around first light. After a few hours with no action the crew opted for bottom fishing for sea bass at the nearby Chenango site. Seabass provided steady action and a limit catch seemed in their future when Walden hooked a fish “that was clearly not a seabass” according to Captain Hiles. As the fish reached the surface mate Robert Mudgett grabbed the leader and unceremoniously slung the fish aboard. Walden was using a Shimano Tarmar rod mated with a Shimano Torium reel spooled with 30-pound Power Pro braided line. Attached to this rig was standard bottom rig, baited with strips of squid, with a 12-ounce lead sinker on the terminal end. The Chenango wreck site lies in surprisingly shallow water for such a distance from the coastline, at approximately 100 feet.

Gray triggerfish was added to the list of eligible species for state record consideration in 1996 with an initial qualifying weight of 6 pounds. In 1999, gray triggerfish was added to the Citation list of eligible species for both weight (4 pounds) and release (20 inches). Walden’s fish is the first gray triggerfish registered which met the 6-pound minimum established for initial state record recognition.


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Dec 03 2017

In Virginia December Rings In More Than Just The Holidays!


December In Virginia not only rings in the holidays, but the big rockfish season as well. Local tackle shops, marinas and boat ramps are buzzing as anglers get ready to hit the water in search of giant stripers. Theses big fish usually show first around Plantation Light and the area between the CBBT and Cape Charles. The larger fish usually fall to drifted live eels. Before the season is over, with each incoming and out going tide anglers will find fish all along the CBBT. A smaller class fish is usually encountered on the south side with the larger fish coming from the north end of the bridge.

Anglers trolling the oceanfront for ocean stripers, do not be surprised by a giant blue fin tuna encounter. They are in our waters right now! Theses giants are being hooked from Virginia Beach down to Morehead City NC.

With striper season wide-open tautog fishing has taken a back seat, but the bite continues to improve for anglers targeting them.

Speckled trout fishing has been outstanding inside Lynnhaven Inlet for several weeks. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle has weighed in specks up to 7+ pounds and registered citation fish measuring up to 27 inches. Most fish have been caught jigging or on Mirr-o-lures. As the weather continues to cool Mirr-o-lures retrieved very slowly will work best.

Fishing ocean structures has been excellent for sea bass, triggerfish, and chopper bluefish. The tilefish have been cooperating for those running offshore to deep drop.

On the Outer Banks of NC the Buxton area had an excellent red drum blitz last week. Lots of nice fish beached. Anglers fishing the Nags Head area found a few trout and bluefish. Avon anglers have been catching big sea mullet, bluefish, some trout and a few puppy drum. The Avon pier reported big drum catches.

The OBX offshore fleet is catching lots of meat fish, yellowfin, blackfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo.


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Nov 19 2017

Virginia’s Striper Season Picking Up

7 lb Speckled Trout caught inside Lynnhaven Inlet by Ed Cromwell


Virginia’s striper fishing is picking up. Keeper fish are coming from our rivers where anglers are jigging structure on the Elizabeth, James, Rappahannock, and York Rivers. Night fishing along the CBBT is heating up as well. Try drifting eels or trolling tandem rigs, Mann’s stretch 20′s, daisy chains or casting twister tails near bridge pilings. The striper fishing will continue to get better with each passing cold front. The water temperature at Cape Charles is 58.5 F.

Some nice tautogs are feeding around the islands of the CBBT. This will continue to improve as the water drops into the low 50’s. Fresh crabs are the bait of choice.

Lynnhaven Inlet has been the hot spot for speckled trout and puppy drum lately.

The ocean wrecks off Virginia Beach are holding flounder, seabass, triggerfish and chopper blues.

OBX surf anglers are finding speckled trout, bluefish, puppy drum, black drum, and spot action. Those targeting trout have landed lots of keeper-sized fish on cut shrimp. A mix of cut mullet and shrimp has worked well for all the other species.

In the sounds the speckled trout and red drum bite remains steady. Live shrimp under float rigs, as well as live finger mullet on Carolina rigs, have gotten the job done.


Frank Adams sent us this picture. A limit of stripers caught at Manns Harbor

The striper fishing has also picked up in the sound. Anglers have easily landed limits. Fishing the bridges on the west side of Manteo is your best chance. Speckled trout fishing in the sound has been excellent also.

The nearshore OBX bite remains steady; there are plenty of kings around. Bluefish and false albacore are schooled up close to the beach. Tossing metal jigs to busting fish has produced plenty of action.

Offshore, the tuna bite has improved, with plenty of yellowfin and blackfin being landed. A few dolphin, wahoo and sailfish have also been in the mix.


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