Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers.
By Dr. Julie Ball
VBSF.net 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.
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.