I. Introductions and Meeting Protocol – P. Geer
II. Presentation of Emergency Measures to be Considered at the September 24th Commission Meeting – A. Aspinwall
III. Questions regarding the Emergency Measures
IV. Public Comment on Emergency Measures – time restrictions enforced for each speaker
V. Poll on Measures
VI. Summary
VII. Adjournment

The meeting is going to concentrate on the emergency Striped Bass amendment the VMRC’s Commission will be considering at their September 24th meeting. (1 fish recreational bag limit, recreational max size limit of 36” TL, and commercial gill net maximum mesh size for the Bay and Coastal areas). We’re going to use a different format for this meeting to entertain more questions and listen to comments from both FMAC members and the general public.

You can also watch the meeting via live stream.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2019, 6:00-8:00 P.M

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/09/17/vmrc-finfish-management-advisory-committee-public-meeting-striped-bass/

Cobia, Spanish, Drum Still Available

Tom Mooney and Ann Mooney had a nice day catching cobia!

Hurricane Dorian has passed and local anglers are back at it! …. The cobia bite in the bay and along the oceanfront remains very good. Sight casting is most effective and live eels are the best bait. These fish should start exiting the bay and move south soon. But some should be available into October.

Cobia anglers are spotting schools of red drum. Dr Ken Neill did some trolling along the oceanfront September 7th. He saw lots of bait balls, plenty of cobia and a school of red drum. There were schools of spanish mackerel cutting bait. He managed to catch a couple of cobia and a nice king mackerel. He was using plugs.

Spanish Mackerel are still available throughout the lower bay and along the oceanfront.

Sheepshead catches around the CBBT were on the rise this week. Flounder reports were down.

Louis Glaser, Beth Synowiec nice trout!

The speckled trout bite is picking up. This weekend the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Virginia Beach Anglers Club and the Lynnhaven River Now organization are partnering on a tournament in the Lynnhaven and Lafayette Rivers, to highlight the importance of oyster restoration to healthy fisheries. There should be some trout hanging around the oyster bars. And Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle reports a lot of small puppy drum inside Lynnhaven.

Spot are being caught, but the big yellow belly run hasn’t occurred yet.

The Virginia Beach Fishing pier this week reported some spots, a few puppy drum , a few spanish and some blues.

Cool Change, Captain Craig Irwin …. nice catch

Bluewater anglers are releasing a good number of white and blue marlin. They are also finding hungry wahoo, mahi and tuna. Bottom bouncers are catching tilefish.


There has been some bluefish north of Buxton. Bluefish and trout have been plentiful at Oregon Inlet. Trout fishing has been good on all beaches.

Anglers fishing the Little Bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo causeway reported slow action.

Outer Banks Pier Fishing Report, Avalon: trout and bluefish. Nags Head: trout, drum, bluefish, black drum and pompano. Jennette’s: drum, croaker. Outer Banks: spanish, drum, bluefish and trout.

Boats fishing inshore report spanish, bluefish, some mahi and red drum. Trout fishing has been good inshore, with many catching limits.

Offshore captains are finding limits of mahi, yellowfin, blackfin, some wahoo and citation blue and white marlin. Bottom bouncers are catching plenty of tilefish.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/09/13/cobia-spanish-drum-still-available/

SLAM ROD & REEF Tournament

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Virginia Beach Anglers Club and Lynnhaven River Organization are partnering on a tournament to highlight the importance of oyster restoration to healthy fisheries.

Join in and fish on restored oyster reefs on the Lynnhaven and Lafayette Rivers.

Winning anglers in adult and youth divisions will be determined by number of species caught and their lengths.

Saturday, September 14
Fishing: 6:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

After Party and Awards: 3:00 p.m.
CBF’s Brock Environmental Center, 3663 Marlin Bay Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Entry Fee: $50/person includes entry, after party, food, and giveaways. Don’t fish? $10 will get you into the after party for food, beverages, and music by one of Virginia Beach’s favorites, the Tiki Bar Band

Chris Moore
Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
3663 Marlin Bay Dr.
Virginia Beach VA 23455
(757) 622-1964 Office
(757) 353-2687 Mobile

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/09/09/slam-rod-reef-tournament-this-weekend/

Striped Bass Public Comment Process – Live Stream

In May 2019, the Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board (Board) initiated the development of an addendum to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass to consider changes to coastwide commercial and recreational regulations to address overfishing. This Draft Addendum presents background on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) management of striped bass; the addendum process and timeline; and a statement of the problem. This document also provides management options for public consideration and comment.

The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding this document at any time during the public comment period. The final date comments will be accepted is October 7, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Comments may be submitted at state public hearings or by mail, email, or fax. If you have any questions or would like to submit comment, please use the contact information below. Organizations planning to release an action alert in response to this Draft Addendum should contact Max Appelman at 703.842.0740.

Mail: Max Appelman, FMP Coordinator
Email: comments@asmfc.org
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Subject: Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI)
1050 North Highland Street Suite 200A-N Phone: (703) 842-0740 Arlington, VA 22201 Fax: (703) 842-0741


Live stream the public hearing 6:30 PM …. 9/9/2019


Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/09/09/public-comment-process-and-proposed-timeline-live-stream/

Virginia’s new state record swordfish is now official!

A 466-pound swordfish, caught on August 16, 2019 by Tony Gower Jr. of Virginia Beach, VA, has been certified as the new Virginia State Record by the Director of Virginia’s Saltwater Fishing Tournament.  Gower’s catch surpassed the existing record of 446-pounds, caught in October 2012, by Joseph T. Harris, of Virginia Beach.

Gower made the record catch off Virginia Beach while drifting along the south edge of the Norfolk Canyon in 250 fathoms of water.  The party was fishing with Captain Randy Butler aboard the Rudee Inlet based charter boat Rebel, a 60-foot custom built Richie Howell.  The record setting swordfish hit a whole drifted tinker mackerel suspended at 20 fathoms.  Gower was using a custom 80-pound class rod, teamed with a Penn 70VIS reel spooled with a 200 yard top shot of 100-pound Berkley Pro Spec mono while the leader consisted of 250-pound mono with a 12/0 Eagle Claw hook on the business end.  The backing was 100-pound braid.

The party, which consisted of five members from upper level management of the local company Ocean Drywall, departed Rudee’s Inlet Marina at a causal 9 AM and preceded to the Norfolk Canyon area to deep-drop for tilefish and blackbelly rosefish.  With a good catch of tilefish and blackbelly rosefish in the box, and darkness approaching, the group readied to spend the night drifting for swordfish (their real mission).  A full moon was scheduled but because of overcast skies and scattered showers it was a pitch dark night.  The first strike of the night resulted in a dusky shark that was released after a spirited fight.  As wind and rain increased all lines, except one were reeled in to prevent tangles.  It was approximately 3:30 AM when the next strike came.  Gower, an experienced offshore angler who had fished with Captain Butler “a ton” over the past 20 years but never for swordfish, was elected to take the rod, as catching a swordfish was on his bucket list.  The fish jumped soon after the hook-up, close enough the splash for to be heard, but it was too dark to get an idea of the size of the fish.  The fish “changed depth and angles,” said mate Mike Romeo but “never took over 200 yards of line.” As the hours went by the crew suspected the fish was good-sized.  Not until the pre-dawn skies grew lighter did they realize mammoth size of the swordfish.  The last half hour the fish was pretty much dead weight and was a test of will between the angler’s concern of breaking the fish off and fighting the current pulling the fish.  The fish was finally pulled through the tuna door at 7 AM but took all hands to jockey it into the cockpit.

Inside Rudee Inlet at Rudee’s Inlet Marina the swordfish would weigh an incredible 466-pounds eclipsing the former state record by 20 pounds!  The fish measured 150.5 inches total length with a lower jaw fork length of 98.5 inches while sporting a girth of 54 inches.

For more information, contact Lewis S. Gillingham, Director, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 380 Fenwick Road, Fort Monroe, VA 23651, (757) 247.2013 or vswft@mrc.virginia.gov

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/08/29/virginias-new-state-record-swordfish-is-now-official/