Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers.
By Dr. Julie Ball
VBSF.net fishing report contributor and IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach
As usual, the winter weather is running the show. But for folks who are braving the elements, speckled trout and school sized striped bass are still hitting in the popular spots along the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake. Although the action is on and off, nice specks are most active near the hot ditch and cove areas. Some of these fish are super-sized, with a few specks tipping the scales to over 10-pounds this week. The trout are mostly hitting lures, with the proven Mirrolure working very well. Live baiters are struggling, while trollers are engaging a few strikes and hook ups. James Salmon of Suffolk weighed in a nice 9-pound beauty he tricked while casting a lure in the Elizabeth River this week. School sized striped bass are also plentiful all over the River, offering a good fight on light tackle.
Boats are still traveling to over 40-miles south to find fish. And finding fish, they are. Most boats are returning from Carolina waters with limits of nice rockfish ranging to around 25 to 35-pounds, with a few pigs over 40-pounds scattered in. The hot spot has been off Kitty Hawk lately. Just look for beehives of birds, schools of bait, and other trolling boats, and you should do fine. Chartreuse and white are the popular colors for swimming lures, Mojos, and tandem rigs this week. Take along your Carolina fishing license, and mind the three-mile demarcation.
Tautog are a good choice for those looking for variety and a challenge. These wreck dwellers are hitting on many offshore structures, with the Triangle wrecks a favorite area. Blue crabs work well, but they are very difficult to find right now. Some anglers are using alternative baits such as frozen crabs, clams, and mussels. Fish topping the 10-pound mark are coming from several offshore wrecks and hangs, but most folks are finding smallish fish.