By Dr. Julie Ball
VBSF.net fishing report contributor and IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach
Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers
With the recent fishable weather, boats are heading to the ocean waters in search of rockfish. But when Virginia’s inshore water temperatures dropped below 40-degrees, boats began working harder for their catches, with most running south.
Stephen Furlough & New NC State Record
Boats are still running 30-miles or more to the south looking for anything indicating rockfish activity. And this week, most boats are lucking into good catches within legal waters. The best reports are coming anywhere from Corolla to Oregon Inlet. Trolled swimming lures, spoons, plugs, tandem rigs, and mojo rigs are working well for fish mostly in the 20 to 30-pound range lately. A few Carolina fish are pushing to over 50-pounds, with one fish weighing in at 63-pounds this week. This huge striped bass was boated off of Oregon Inlet by 12-year old Stephen Furlough of Roper, NC aboard the Rigged Up. The fish may qualify as a new North Carolina state record. The inshore bite picked up just in time for the popular Mid Atlantic Rockfish Shootout tournament out of Rudee Inlet this week. But if you plan to fish in Carolina waters, make sure you have a valid North Carolina fishing license.
Good speckled trout action continues to draw anglers to the Elizabeth River where fish pushing to over 8-pounds are responding this week. According to the folks at Ocean’s East 2, keeper fish are coming from near the Hot Ditch to Deep Creek, with most specks ranging from 18 to 21-inches. Captain David Hester of Fishy Business Charters feels that the action from trolling and live bait has slowed up recently, with most fish sitting at less than 20-inches. The bigger fish are coming from casting lures in deeper water, with a very slow retrieve. Shawn Stack of Suffolk scored with a nice 25-inch speckled trout while offering cut bait near the Hot Ditch this week. Scattered by-catches of respectable puppy drum are also rounding out Hot Ditch bounties. But if you decide to join the hunt for specks in the Elizabeth River, be prepared to sit bow to bow with plenty of your closest boating buddies looking for the same fix.