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INSHORE REPORT – December 31, 2010


Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers.

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

Fishing for the year 2010 was great, and now anglers are hopeful for more good things to come in 2011. As the New Year rings in, most anglers are in search of Virginia’s most popular cold weather game fish, striped bass. The dreadful weather kept most boats off the water over the Christmas Holidays, and with the Bay rockfish season closed on January 1st, anglers now have no choice but to search the chilly coastal waters for fish.

But the back-to-back cold fronts and the latest “Winter Blast” snow storm quickly pushed water temperatures to near 40-degrees or lower off Virginia’s coastlines. Anglers are now finding they must travel 20 to 30 miles southward to warmer Carolina waters to find the fish. Boats trolling in more southern waters are lucking into limits of rockfish averaging from 20 to 45-pounds. Pods of bait and beehives of birds are helping boats locate the schools, with most fish caught within 1.5-miles of the beach lately. No matter how tempting, remember to stay within the 3-mile demarcation for legal fish.

Although the Bay striped bass fishery is closed, catch and release is often a consideration for light tackle fun, but most are not finding much action within the Bay. Boats are finding some stray schoolies for catch and release while casting top water plugs and trolling Stretch lures south of the 1st island and near the small boat channel. A few school-sized rockfish are also available under working birds and near the CBBT and the HRBT.

Speckled trout are responding well for anglers willing to brave the cold and the snow in the Elizabeth River recently. Reports indicate good action, with some nice fish to show on both lures and live bait recently. The popular Hot Ditch areas as well as the Cove are producing fish. Chesapeake’s Michael Burns took a nice 7-pound, 6-ounce speck home after tempting the fish with a lure while fishing in the Hot Ditch this week. The folks at Oceans East 2 report that some anglers are also catching good numbers of nice puppy drum ranging to about 34-inches in the River this lately.

When boats can reach them, anglers are finding some decent catches of tautog on lower Bay structure and along the Bridge Tunnel proper. Green crabs and clams are working for bait. Tog fishing can also be good on offshore wrecks once anglers turn more interest to this fishery and the weather allows boats to access them.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/30/inshore-report-december-31-2010/

OFFSHORE REPORT – December 24, 2010


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

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Plenty of nice seabass are still biting at the Triangle Wrecks, and deeper water structures, but the season closes at the end of the month. A few boats making it to deeper water were rewarded with good numbers of blueline tilefish and grouper. Big seabass are also mixed in with this group. Bluefin tuna could still be around, but there are no reports of sightings or hook-ups, which is not promising.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/24/offshore-report-december-24-2010/

INSHORE REPORT – December 24, 2010


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

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers

Captain Todd, "Knot Wish'n" guide service, put his crew on fish this week!

Water temperatures continued to drop this week. Now temperatures are now hovering close to 42-degrees in both the lower Bay and coastal waters. With some days better than others, boats are still finding some rockfish, with a few ranging to over forty pounds.

This week, the rockfish activity definitely shifted to a more coastal water scene. Reports indicate that the favorite Bay haunts for targeting larger rockfish with eels, such as Plantation Light and the High Rise, have all but shut down this week. A few schoolies are still available, mostly to wire-liners working along the tubes and trolling under working birds within the Bay. But in January, these fish will become strictly catch and release in the Bay.

As for the Ocean striped bass fishery, boats are working to find the schools. But luckily, many opportunities are allowing boats to locate some nice limits of fish within legal waters this week. Large pods of bait are spread along the coast from Fisherman’s Island to Corolla Light, and so are the fish. Most boats are finding their best luck further south, where the water is slightly warmer. Bee hives of birds are offering calling cards for boats, often putting them on the schools. The old standard trolling set ups using Mojo style jigs, umbrella rigs, tandem rigs, and larger lipped swimming lures are working the best. White and chartreuse are still the best colors. A few chopper bluefish are also still mixed in with the ocean stripers. The trick is finding the fish within the 3-mile demarcation. Remember that targeting striped bass past 3-miles off the beach is illegal.

According to the folks at Oceans East 2, the speckled trout action in the Elizabeth River is still the main event inshore. Anglers are finding plenty of nice fish, spanning from 2 to 8-pounds lately. Casting jigs, live bait fishing, and trolling are all productive methods, even at night. One boat trolling the River used black and silver lipped swimming plugs and bronze-colored shads to entice their bites in 12 to 24 feet of water this week. The duo managed more than ten nice specks ranging from 24 to 28-inches, with one topping seven-pounds. A few surf anglers are also finding some action along the River, especially with live bait. Chong Chae of Virginia Beach landed a nice 6-pound, 12-ounce beauty on live bait while fishing from the shoreline this week. Nice puppy drum are also hitting in similar areas within the Elizabeth River.

Tautog are still available on lower Bay structures and along the Bay Bridge Tunnel proper. Good numbers of tog are also concentrated on inshore and offshore wrecks, when boats can venture out to reach them. One boat used frozen green crabs to fill a cooler with nice keeper fish ranging to six-pounds from the Bay Bridge Tunnel this week.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/24/inshore-report-december-24-2010/

OFFSHORE REPORT – December 17, 2010


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

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

When boats are able, anglers are venturing offshore. Folks targeting seabass are catching plenty of jumbo fish, with a few exceeding five pounds this week, but this fishery will shut down on the 31st of the month. This may also be your last opportunity to boat some nice wreck flounder. Big bluefish are still circling many of these same wrecks. Good numbers of tautog are also available on these wrecks, but you don’t have to go that far for decent tog action. Folks who can find bait are still finding some keeper tautog within Bay waters.

For those willing to venture a little further out, blueline tilefish and grouper can provide a change of pace. Although unpredictable, bluefin tuna in the 100-pound range are still a possibility.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/16/offshore-report-december-17-2010/

INSHORE REPORT – December 17, 2010


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

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers

As the Christmas Holidays rapidly approach, anglers are hoping for a rebound in the local rockfish scene. But right now speckled trout, tautog, and seabass are taking up the slack.

The recent wave of freezing weather pushed inshore water temperatures into the low forties this week. Since then, the inshore rock fish bite has basically shut down. During the brief break in the weather earlier this week, boats targeting stripers using traditional time-proven methods were getting results. Those wire lining the tubes of the Bay Bridge Tunnel found school-sized fish averaging to around 23-inches, and those trolling off Plantation Light using Mojo style jigs, scored with fish up to around 30-pounds. Folks worked hard for their fish in last weekend’s striped bass tournaments. First place honors of the Toby’s Dream Foundation Rockfish Tournament, and an all expense paid trip to Costa Rica, went to the Ocean Pearl out of Long Bay Pointe Marina, with a combined weight of 46.35-pounds for three fish. Captain Steve Wray took the tournament while trolling near buoy 38 with a Mojo ball jig, adorned with a 9-inch chartreuse shad.

Lately, more reports are coming from boats targeting ocean rockfish. Schools are reported as far south as Corolla, and as far out as 9-miles offshore, but remember to stay within the 3-mile demarcation for legal fish. The Fishing Center reports that fish ranging from 30 to over 40-pounds are coming from the warmer ocean water off the coast.

The speckled trout bite in the Elizabeth River is attracting more attention since the Bay striped bass action slowed. Good catches are coming from the Hot Ditch and Cove areas of the Elizabeth River. Some boats scored with several big fish to around nine pounds this week. Live bait is working, but the biggest fish are hitting Mirrolures and similar swimming lures in very deep water, even at night. The speck run in Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets seems to have slowed to a crawl, although some nice puppy drum came from Rudee Inlet earlier in the week.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/16/inshore-report-december-17-2010/