Virginia Beach’s Summer Season Off And Running

Nice Drum on Aquaman Charters

Cobia action remains strong along the oceanfront and inside the bay. Spanish mackerel are available to trollers from Sandbridge to Cape Henry and red drum are still feeding on the shoals at the mouth of the bay.  Sheepshead are around the pilings of the CBBT.

The spadefish bite turned on this week. Look for spades around buoys, the pylons of the CBBT and at the Chesapeake Light tower. They tend to draw a crowd; divers, snorkelers and anglers, so pack some patience.

Anglers are picking up a few flounder and speckled trout inside Lynnhaven, Little Creek and Rudee Inlets. Specks are also being caught in the Elizabeth River. Anglers have been catch and releasing small stripers inside Rudee Inlet.

Aquaman Charters enjoyed an excellent week of fishing. Capt Dave and mate Luke caught red drum, cobia and lots a spadefish.

Anglers fishing off the Virginia Beach Pier have caught some nice spanish mackerel, small croaker, spot and sea mullet.

Virginia’s offshore, summer-time, bluewater action is kicking in. Over the past two weeks a few big eye and yellow fin tuna along with gaffer-sized dolphin have been caught. Deep dropping action remains good. Captain David Wright on the High Hopes had a couple of good offshore trips last week. They mixed it up; caught some nice gaffer dolphin trolling and then a limit of nice blueline tilefish bottom bouncing.

Nice dolphin catch on the Healthy Grin

Ken Neill fished the Norfolk Canyon this week and action was continuous, they boated 30 gaffer-sized dolphin. They also released a mako shark. They had a white marlin come up behind the boat, but they had just gotten covered up by dolphin and were unable to get bait to him. They filled the fish box and returned home early.

The Rudee Angler will be running 17 hour deep dropping trips on June 13th, 20th & 27th targeting blueline tilefish, golden tilefish, snowy grouper, black belly rose fish.


Surf anglers report pompano and sea mullet in Avon and some bluefish near ramp 55. Surf fishing north of Oregon inlet has been slow, mostly small sea mullet, and croakers.

The OBX pier report sounds like this, Avalon: mullet, spot and bluefish. Nags Head: spot, sea mullet, spanish, croaker and flounder. Jennette’s: sea mullet, croaker and bluefish. Outer Banks: spot and sea mullet. The Little Bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo causeway reported trout, some keepers, flounder and black drum.

Inshore trollers are catching limits of spanish, plenty bluefish and some kings. Inshore bottom bouncers are catching sea mullet, flounder, bluefish and trout.

Offshore the fleet is catching lots of gaffer dolphin. There are also some yellowfin tuna, wahoo, marlin and citation bigeye tuna around.

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Virginia Fishing Picking Up

Spanish along the oceanfront! Knot Wish’n Charters

Angling along the mid-Atlantic coast is peaking! ….  Lots of cobias are being sighted along the oceanfront and in the lower bay. It looks like regulations put in place a couple of years ago are paying off for recreational anglers. Our cobia capture season opens June 1st with a minimum size limit of 40 inches, a 1 fish per person limit with a 3 fish per vessel maximum. Of the 3 fish only 1 can be over 50 inches. Each captain or vessel operator must have a Recreational Cobia Permit  from the Marine Resources Commission. You can visit an  Authorized Agent to obtain a permit …. Cobia will hit just about anything you throw in front of them, live eels, spot, menhaden, mullet, large spoons, white buck tails, plastic eels, swimming plugs or cut bait. They love hanging around buoys and other structure, such as the islands and pylons of the CBBT.

Nice Red Drum On The Flatline, Aquaman Charters

Our red drum bite continues along the oceanfront and in the lower bay. This time of year a hot spot for 25 to 50 pound feeding red drum is Latimer Shoal, at the mouth of the bay . Trolling spoons or bucktails over and around the shallows or by anchoring nearby and fishing fresh cut spot, menhaden or blue crabs are the best methods.

We have enjoyed an outstanding black drum seasons. Continue looking for them along the shallow channel ledge running from Fisherman’s Island to Cape Charles. Good spots are Kiptopeake, the Cabbage Patch and the Concrete Ships.

Spanish mackerel and taylor bluefish are feeding along the Virginia Beach oceanfront from Capy Henry to Sandbridge. Try trolling small spoons like the 0S Drone or Clark behind a small plainer.

Sheepshead numbers are increasing and fish will be available through September. The best baits are fiddler crabs, sand fleas or clams. The average size sheepshead is 3 to 8 pounds.  Some larger ones were caught this week.  Spadefish are here as well …. and hungry.

The flounder and croaker bite is slow, hopefully it will pick up soon. In the case of flounder It may be time to revisit the commercial regulations? They seem to be over fished?

This week Virginia Beach Pier anglers were catching a few citation sized spanish … some bluefish and roundhead.

Nice Offshore Catch On the High Hopes!

To our south offshore anglers are enjoying one of the best big eye tuna bites in recent memory. This could be a great year for the Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament. It’s just around the corner, June 19th – 22nd.  Along with big tuna, boats running south have been finding large gaffer dolphin, and billfish numbers are on the rise.

Sea Bass fisherman are reporting limits of Jumbo’s in short order! Another regulatory success story. Further offshore at the canyons deep-droppers are finding plenty of tilefish and a few snowy grouper along with other bottom dwellers. The Rudee Angler is advertising 17-hour offshore deep dropping trips on Thursdays, June 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th.


Surf anglers in Hatteras are catching large citation pompano and sea mullet. There has been a good spanish bite near ramps 44 and 45. North of Oregon inlet anglers are catching small trout, spot, sea mullet and bluefish.

The OBX pier report goes like this; Avalon: spanish, bluefish, trout, flounder and mullet. Nags Head: bluefish, mullet, trout, flounder, spanish and red drum. Jennette’s: blues, spanish, puffers, flounder and sea mullet. Outer Banks: sea mullet, spot, trout and bluefish. The Little Bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo causeway reported spot, black drum and trout.

Inshore boats are catching lots of spanish and bluefish with some king mackerel, false albacore and cobia available.

Offshore Boats are catching a lot of larger gaffer dolphin, some yellow fin tuna and lots of citation big eye tuna that are hitting the scales between 100 and 200 pounds.

If you plan to get in on the action … you need to book a sponsor ASAP! The good dates go fast!  

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Cobia Season Opens June 1st!

Luke Mooney and a nice Red Drum!

Red and black drum numbers are very good, look for them throughout the lower bay. Anglers have had a lot of success with reds on the shoals near Smith Island. Black drum are also feeding near the eastern shore … both sea-side and bay-side. Another good location to look for them is near the islands of the CBBT.

Large schools of cobia have been cruising the surface along the oceanfront and in the lower bay. Anglers have been sight casting to them. Don’t forget our cobia season dosn’t open until June 1st. It’s a catch and release fishery until then, you can’t harvest them before June 1st. Also, each captain or vessel operator must have a Recreational Cobia Permit from the Marine Resources Commission. You can visit an Authorized Agent to obtain a permit. If you plan to charter a boat for a cobia trip … you better book ASAP!

The spanish mackerel season is off to a great start. Look for them along the Virginia Beach oceanfront from Capy Henry to Sandbridge.  Some nice fish have been caught off the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. Croaker and sea mullet are also being caught by pier anglers.

Sheepsheads and spadefish have arrived. Their numbers will increase in the coming weeks. Sheepshead are feeding along the CBBT and spadefish are showing up at the Chesapeake Light Tower, on buoys and at the CBBT. They will become more aggressive feeders as water continues warming.

Trout, flounder and puppy drum are scattered in our local inlets and tidal rivers.

Outta Line, nice Dolphin, plus a White Marlin and Mako release!

Boats running to the canyon for deep dropping are finding plenty of bluefish, tilefish and grouper. Closer to shore, sea bass fishing has also been very good. Some tuna and dolphin are showing up southeast of Rudee Inlet.


Surf fishing on the northern beaches has been good for sea mullet, trout and bluefish. Anglers fishing Hatteras Island are catching some nice pompano, bluefish, sea mullet and scattered trout.

Soundside anglers are catching trout on the Little Bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo causeway. A few have been keepers.

The OBX pier fishing rundown goes like this, Avalon: bluefish, spanish, puffers and trout. Nags Head: sea mullet, bluefish, spanish and trout. Jennette’s: blues, a few spanish. Outer Banks: blues and sea mullet.

Boats fishing inshore are finding lots of spanish, bluefish cobia and red drum. Those fishing inside the inlet are finding trout … and sheepshead under bridges.

The offshore fleet has been catching limits of large gaffer dolphin. Yellow fin tuna, big-eye tuna, blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish are in the mix. Sharks are making it difficult to land the tuna.

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Fishing Picking Up, Cobia Arriving Virginia

The Hatteras Village Offshore Open is underway!

The black sea bass season reopened May 15th and runs through 31st. The bite has been very good; with several boats catching limits of jumbos. The Triangle Reef is a popular spot. Sea bass will bite squid, crab, fresh cut fish, clam strips, shrimp or diamond jigs.

The spring black drum bite has been excellent. The best action is coming from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where fish are being caught seaside and bayside. Some have topped 70 pounds, but the 20 to 25 ponders are best for the table. Whole clam, peeler crab, whelk, peeler crab/clam sandwich, buck tails and lead head jigs are all good baits.

Red drum are in their usual spots and now cobia have joined them. This week a couple of boats caught both. Cobia will hit just about anything you put in front of them. Live eels, spot, menhaden, mullet, large spoons, white buck tails, plastic eels, swimming plugs or cut bait. Look for them around buoys and other structure, like the islands and pylons of the CBBT.

Sheepshead are feeding on crustacean clinging to the CBBT pylons. They can be caught by fishing fiddler crabs, mole crabs or clam tight against the structure. Some large fish in the 12-pound range have been caught.

Flounder fishing inside Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets is picking up, some nice keepers have been caught. After a good start to the Eastern Shore flounder season things have slowed a bit. Most fish are in the 15 to 18 inch range; larger fish are rear. The best flounder baits are buck tails dressed with a Gulp or a minnow/squid sandwiches fished on a Sea Striker Fluke Killer.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are being caught along the oceanfront. They will hit very small spoons like the 0S Drone or Clark pulled behind a small plainer.

Virginia Beach Pier anglers are catching nice spanish, blues, roundhead and keeper trout.


Surf anglers are catching, bluefish, spanish mackerel, roundhead. Down in Avon and Hatteras some pompano. A couple of citation drum were beached near ramp 45.

Those fishing from the little bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo causeway are catching lots of small trout, but few keepers.

The OBX pier rundown sounds like this. Avalon: blues, spanish, mullet and speckled trout. Nags Head: spanish, trout, blues and flounder. Jennette’s: bluefish and triggers.  Outer Banks: bluefish and spanish.

Inshore Boats are catching trout and sheepshead inside Oregon Inlet and spanish and bluefish near shore.

The offshore fleet is catching lots of mahi, some wahoo, blackfin tuna and a few blue marlin. The Hatteras Village Offshore Open is underway and several large blue marlins have been weighed. Pirates Cove has weighed some blues as well.

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ASMFC Cobia News Release


Arlington, VA – The Commission’s South Atlantic State/Federal Fisheries Management Board approved Draft Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia (Atlantic cobia) for public comment. Atlantic coastal states from Virginia through South Carolina have scheduled their hearings to gather public input on Draft Amendment 1. The details of those hearings follow.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
June 12, 2019; 6:00 PM
380 Fenwick Rd, Building 96
Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA
Contact: Pat Geer at 757.247.2200

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
June 13, 2019; 7:00 PM
Dare County Commissioners Office
954 Marshall Collins Drive, Room 168 Manteo, NC
Contact: Chris Batsavage at 252.808.8009

*Webinar Hearing
June 18, 2019; 6:00 PM
Webinar Registration:

For audio, dial 1.888.585.9008 and enter the Conference Room Number: 275-479-282 Contact: Dr. Michael Schmidtke at 703.842.0740 *The webinar hearing is intended to primarily accommodate stakeholders in states where an in-person hearing is not being held. Stakeholders in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are encouraged to provide comments at the in-person hearings in their respective states, rather than the webinar hearing.

Draft Amendment 1 was initiated in anticipation of removal of Atlantic cobia from the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils’ Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic resources (CMP FMP) through Regulatory Amendment 31. Final approval for CMP FMP Regulatory Amendment 31 was approved earlier this year. Therefore, there is no longer a federal management plan for Atlantic cobia, and the Commission is the sole management body for this stock. This necessitates changes to several portions of the current interstate FMP that are dependent on the CMP FMP and also provide the opportunity for the Board to construct a long-term strategy for managing in the absence of a federal FMP.

Draft Amendment 1 presents options for addressing 13 issues within the FMP, including additions to the management goals and objectives, establishment of processes to define biological reference points and specify harvest, changes to commercial monitoring of landings, clarification of the process for evaluating recreational harvests against state harvest targets, potential changes to commercial fishery management measures, establishment of de minimis criteria for the commercial fishery, and recommended management measures for federal waters. For some of these issues, multiple options are presented, while for others, only one option is presented. Public input is requested for all issues included in Draft Amendment 1.

Draft Amendment 1 is available at PDF Link or via the Commission’s website, under Public Input. Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on Draft Amendment 1  either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. Public comment will be accepted until 5 PM (EST) on July 15, 2019 and should be sent to Dr. Michael Schmidtke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at (Subject line: Cobia Amd 1).

If your organization is planning to release an action alert related to the Draft Amendment 1, please contact Dr. Michael Schmidtke at prior to its release. The Board will meet at the commission’s 2019 Summer Meeting in Aug.

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