Excellent Speckled Trout Fishing Along VA, NC Coast

Trout picture

Jimmy Robinson 6lb 5oz

Our fall speckled trout action continues to be outstanding. Trout are being caught throughout the lower Bay, in all three inlets and in the surf along the oceanfront. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle said there has been good action inside Long Creek the past two weeks ….. Franklin Driggs, David Cockerill, Casey Copeland, Cashin Prutsman, James Robinson, Matt Masciangelo, Bill Knapp, David Cohen, Doug Garnett and James Robertson all registered citations in the shop recently.

red drum picture

Frank Marble, Sandbridge

Anglers working similar locations are finding decent numbers of puppy drum. The large red drum have moved south to OBX waters. Frank Marble managed to snag a nice drum in the surf at Sandbridge as they departed.

Striped bass are being caught throughout the lower bay around bridges and piers with lights.

Sea bass, tautogs and flounder are available around all of the ocean wrecks. The sea bass season closes January 1st. Togs should be available inside the bay, on the Cape Henry wreck and at the CBBT islands.

Offshore trollers have enjoyed some nice, late, bluewater action. Excellent numbers of tuna and wahoo.

Tilefish are available at the Norfolk Canyon.


There has been a nice speckled trout run along the beach. Anglers are using artificials and the best action comes at dawn and dusk. Sea mullet and puppy drum are also being landed using bottom-rigs.

Sound-side anglers are catching limits of speckled trout along grass banks and in the deeper channels near the inlet. Bluefish are being caught near the inlet.

Striped bass are showing up in better numbers around areas with structure, such as bridge pilings and docks.

Sheepshead are being landed by anglers fishing baits along the Oregon Inlet Bridge pilings.

Offshore anglers are catching yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, dolphin and large wahoo. Both blue and white marlin are still hanging around.

To our south, off Atlantic Beach NC giant bluefins are feeding just off the beach. Below is a Facebook video  Sarah Gardner posted of a bluefin feeding behind a commercial boat .

I don't usually come unglued, but when I do it's caused by bluefin! This whopper was happily slurping trawler by-catch in calm water off Atlantic Beach.

Posted by Sarah Gardner on Monday, November 20, 2017



Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/11/23/excellent-speckled-trout-fishing-along-va-nc-coast/

Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament News

triple tail

Tripletail eligible for a state record in 2020

Dr. Ken Neill, III

The VSWSFT Committee met last night. No changes were made to minimum lengths or weights for 2020. The only change was the addition of tripletail to the program as a species eligible for a state record. The initial minimum qualifying weight will be 8 pounds.

Tripletail was not added to the citation program yet.

There was a brief discussion about making striped bass a release-only citation as current regulations require all striped bass over 36 inches to be released. As we are expecting the regulations for 2020 to include some ability to keep a limited number of trophy fish, the weight citation was left alone at 40 pounds for 2020.

Youth fishing initiatives were discussed. Claude Bain had done research on what the other states were doing and even on down to the fishing club level. The VSWFT has a Junior Angler Award and the Recreational Fishing Advisory Board funds numerous children’s fishing clinics with our fishing license fees. VSWFT Director, Lewis Gillingham and Chief of Fisheries, Pat Geer both had a number of ideas. I expect we will see more youth oriented programs coming from VMRC in the future.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/11/19/virginia-saltwater-fishing-tournament-news/

Big Wahoo, Lots of Specks, Look for Tautogs

trout picture

Speckled trout fishing has been super. Anglers are having success inside all the local inlets and on tidal rivers near the bay. Fishing on the Eastern Shore bay-side has been especially good. The trout season should be peeking.

There are plenty of school-sized striped bass available especially around bridges and docks with lights. Anglers are casting light tackle such as swim baits and bucktails.

Tautog catches at the CBBT should be on the rise. The bay water temperature is now in the low 60’s. Tautog action should continue as water temps drop into the upper 50’s. Ocean wrecks often hold larger fish. Crabs are always your best bait.

wahoo picture

Thanks to a couple of warm water eddies that spun off the gulfstream Virginia has enjoyed some outstanding late season bluewater action. Lots yellowfin tuna, some albacore tuna, dolphin and a few billfish. But the headliner has to be the large number of wahoo. Very large wahoo, with several fish topping the 100 pound mark. The State Record sets at 122 lbs 1 oz, caught in 2012 by Susan Nelson.

tuna picture

According to Dr Ken Neill the bite was around the 850 line. He said there was some 73 degree water in 40 fathoms holding wahoo and tuna. And some 76 degree water in 100 fathoms holding more tuna and wahoo. There was a finger of 67 degree water between the warm water areas.

Some have successfully targeted swordfish in the same areas.  Deep droppers are catching golden tile, rosefish and sea bass. The blueline tilefish season is closed right now.

Inshore wrecks are holding plenty of sea bass and some tautog and flounder.


Surf and pier anglers are catching a few large red drum, but mostly roundheads, croaker, spots, specks and pups.

Stripers are inside the inlet around bridges. There has been some good action near the bridges on the west side of Manteo.

Speckled trout catches in the sound near marshy grass shorelines and near oyster beds has been very good.

The offshore fleet has been targeting the same warm eddies as the Virginia boats. Boats are returning with tuna, dolphin, wahoo and with a few marlin release flags flying.


Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/11/09/big-wahoo-lots-of-specks-look-for-taugs/

VA State Record Albacore Tuna

Tuna picture

Wendy Brockenbrough

A 70-pound 11-ounce Albacore Tuna, sometimes referred to as “True” Albacore or Longfin Tuna, caught on September 22, 2019 by Wendy Brockenbrough of Virginia Beach, VA, has been certified as a Virginia State Record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

Brockenbrough caught the record tuna while deep dropping for swordfish at the Washington Canyon aboard the private boat Sea Trader skippered by Shey Mahoney. The record catch was made using a 50-pound class custom rod mated to a Shimano 80 reel loaded with 100-pound braided line and baited with a large strip of fresh dolphin belly. Seated in the fighting chair Ms. Brockenbrough was able work the fish to the boat in about 20 minutes. The fish was checked-in at Fisherman’s Wharf Marina, registering 70 pounds and 11 ounces on a recently certified digital scale. The tuna measured 52 inches in total length, had a 47-1/2-inch fork length and sported a 34-inch girth.

Brockenbrough’s catch erases Virginia’s initial and current state record of 68 pounds, set September 2, 1992, at the Norfolk Canyon by Irv Fenton, Jr. The IGFA All-Tackle World Record stands at 88 pounds, 2 ounces and was caught off the coast of Spain in November 1977.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/11/06/va-state-record-albacore-tuna/

It’s Speckled Trout Season In Virginia and North Carolina

picture of trout

Big ECU Pirate fan Michelle Cowling with a nice speck caught on the Eastern Shore

With cooler weather settling in anglers are targeting speckled trout and they haven’t been disappointed. Look for specks inside Lynnhaven, Little Creek and Rudee inlets. In creeks on the Eastern Shore. Around the Poquoson Flats. In the York, Nansemond and Elizabeth Rivers. Many fish are ranging 18 to 22-inches, with a few exceeding 24-inches. The Virginia state record is a sixteen pounder.

Large red drum are still available in the Bay. Surf casters at Sandbridge have had success as well. Anglers fishing the James River, Little Creek and Lynnhaven inlets are catching puppy drum.

Croaker, spot and taylor blues are biting in the inlets and around jetties.

Flounder and sheepshead are still hanging around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

School-sized striped bass can be found around any pier or bridge with lights. Small stripers are inside Lynnhaven and Rudee inlets. Remember we have new regulations this season, one slot fish measuring between 20 and 36 inches per person per day in the bay and one between 28 and 26 inches in coastal waters.

Anglers taking advantage of the last few days of fishing on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier before it closes for the season are catching spot, croaker and speckled trout.

Those fishing coastal wrecks are loading up with sea bass. Triggerfish some of the largest flounder of the season are being caught in the same area.

picture of tuna

Nice Big Eye, 286 pounds for Zack Hoffman and crew

Further offshore bluewater trolling has been outstanding. Good numbers of yellowfin tuna, a few big eye tuna, dolphin, large wahoo and nice swordfish.

Deep-dropping continues to produce good numbers of blueline tilefish and a few golden tiles.


The annual fall trout run is underway. Look for them in holes just outside the breakers at dawn. Puppy drum are in the same area.

Bottom fishing the surf is producing sea mullet and spot.

Fishing soundside has been excellent with speckled trout being the top target. Anglers are catching limits of good-sized fish to 22 inches. Look for them along grass banks and near oyster beds. The bridges on the west side of Manteo are holding trout and stripers.

In the ocean spanish mackerel are still hanging around and catches have improved with the return of cleaner water. King mackerel are scattered out to 20 miles.

Offshore anglers have been reporting scattered mahi around weed lines, large wahoo, blackfin and yellowfin tuna.


Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2019/10/26/its-speckled-trout-season-in-virginia-and-north-carolina/