INSHORE REPORT – March 10, 2011

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers.

By Dr. Julie Ball fishing report contributor and IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach

With the rise in daytime temperatures recently, anglers are hopeful that this will warm the water enough to encourage the spring species to take up residence soon.

Great Catch On-board VBSF Sponsor the Waverunner! Pictured, the crew from Swiss Log Company and their limit of rockfish!

A rise in water temperatures and the approach of spring is still drawing the striped bass into local waters again. Most of the larger fish are moving into the Bay on their way to spawn. The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reports that some fish weighing in the 40 to 50-pound range are cruising off the Ocean Front and near the mouth of the Bay. Captain Mike Romeo put his crew aboard the Gannet on some nice fish off the Ocean front this week, with the largest going to Jack Counsil of Norfolk, with a hefty 51-pounder. Large schools of rockfish pushing around 25 to 30-pounds are schooling under beehives of birds from Cape Henry to the Bay Bridge Tunnel, while school sized fish are snapping along the pilings and tubes of the CBBT this week. Twenty-five pounders are also keeping catch and release anglers happy as far up the Bay as Deltaville. Remember to release any rockfish caught within Bay waters.

Optimistic flounder hunters are watching the temperatures closely, since the first wave of spring flounder usually debuts in the lower Bay in mid March. The good news is that they have arrived! The folks at Ocean’s East 2 report that one angler hit the bend at Bay Bridge Tunnel this week, and returned to the dock with two keepers out of seven fish. The regulations this year offers no closed season, and allows a bag limit of 4 fish per person, at a length of 17.5-inches.

Croaker may also be a possibility soon. Netters are pulling in croakers from their nets this week, so it is just a matter of time until someone reports a hook-and-line catch.

Boats were fighting over tog holes at the Triangles this week. And no wonder, since most anglers found decent hauls of fish ranging up to around 15-pounds. Crabs were the top bait for the successful boats. Anglers are also finding a steadily bite of fish ranging to over 8-pounds on several inshore wrecks and along the Bridge Tunnel proper.

The Elizabeth River is still the place to find the biggest speckled trout, but if you want in on the action, don’t delay. The bite is slowing up, and will be over by the end of the month as the fish move out. A few specks averaging to over 24-inches, along with feisty puppy drum pushing to over 30-inches are available to those who are able to access the Hot Ditch. Remember that the Hot Ditch on Dominion Power property is a catch and release area, and strictly enforced.


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Commercial Atlantic Golden Tilefish, Atlantic Vermilion Snapper Closing

Southeast Fishery Bulletin

National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Commercial Harvest of Vermilion Snapper,  Golden Tilefish closing to Vessels Fishing in the South Atlantic Federal Waters on March 10, 2011.

LINK: Commercial Atlantic Golden Tilefish Closing on March 9

LINK: Commercial Atlantic Vermilion Snapper Closing


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Northeastern North Carolina Report

Out of Oregon Inlet more attention has been paid to the Gulf Stream lately, and the fleet has been catching some hefty bluefin tuna as well as yellowfin tuna.

Some striped bass are still around north of the inlet. Stripers also are being caught near the mouth of the Roanoke River near N.C. 45, but it’ll probably be a month or so before they start showing up at Weldon.

The Hatteras surf has remained dead acept for a few sharks and skates.

The Hatteras fleet also has been catching bluefin tuna, though the wind kept the boats from heading out many days.

The Ocracoke surf remains slow, though this is usually the first of the Outer Banks islands to get warmer water and a spring bite.

Source: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Nags Head NC, Red Drum Tackle Buxton NC, Teach’s Lair Marina & Hatteras Harbor Marina, Hatteras NC, Tradewinds Bait & Tackle, Ocracoke NC


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INSHORE REPORT – March 3, 2011

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers.

By Dr. Julie Ball fishing report contributor and IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach

The smattering of temperate days is getting folks in the mood for Spring. In the meantime, now is a good time to reorganize, restock, and perform much needed maintenance on fishing equipment before the springtime fishing season arrives. Be sure to check your gear, update and replenish your tackle, and re-spool your reels. Local tackle shops can help you prepare for the new fishing season, and all the new products from the winter tackle shows are now on the shelves.

Jeanie Lee Charters Crew

There is good news for striped bass hunters. The warmer weather successfully tempted the fish to move in our direction. Boats are thrilled that they do not need to make a 30-mile run down the beach to Carolina waters to find fish this week. Although the reports are varied, folks are finding rockfish within reach in Virginia waters lately. Nice fish ranging to over 40-pounds were intercepted from Sandbridge to off the pound nets within Bay waters. Remember if you find fish within the Bay, you must practice catch and release. These fish are on the move, making their way to their spawning areas up to the rivers.

The Elizabeth River is still giving up some speckled trout, but if you want in on the action it’s time to make your move. These fish historically begin to push back out by the end of March when the croaker move in. Although the trout action is not red hot, some decent results are keeping anglers motivated. Nice fish pushing to over 10-pounds are coming from the Hot Ditch, the discharge area, and near the Cove. The best catches are coming from those casting lures, with Mirrolures the favorite. Some scattered schoolie stripers are also providing entertainment in the same areas.

The folks at Ocean’s East 2 report that one group of anglers who fished the Quinby area on the Eastern Shore this week claimed they caught a few keeper flounder. Hopefully this will kick off a good early flounder season, which usually jump starts about mid-March.


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OFFSHORE REPORT – March 3, 2011

By Dr. Julie Ball fishing report contributor and IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Hatteras Bluefin!

Deep water bottom dwellers are still luring anglers out to waters deeper than 300 feet when the wind allows. Boats venturing out are finding some blueline tilefish, nice grouper, and black bellied rosefish. Seabass will also take your bait, but be sure to throw them back for now while the season is closed.

Boats were able to sample the offshore tautog population this week, with some very good results. The boats who targeted wrecks ranging from 40 to 70-feet reported good hauls of nice fish, with several tog ranging between 10 and 16-pounds coming from near the Triangle wreck area. But you don’t have to go that far to find cooperative tautog. Folks are also catching keeper-sized fish inshore, along the Bay Bridge Tunnel, and Lower Bay wrecks this week. The top bait is blue crabs.

Many anglers are traveling down to Carolina to hop on charter boats for bluefin tuna. Many folks are savvy enough to manage success on their own boats instead of chartering. Either way, the bluefin bite has been good, with several fish pushing to well over 100-pounds.

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