Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Report

Club Report

Striped bass fishing was very good this week. Most of the action has been occurring between Oregon Inlet and the Duck research pier. North Carolina allowed their trawlers in on the action this week for their annual carnage. This resulted in thousands of stripers floating on the surface. The trawlers are allowed a daily limit, this year it is 50 fish. They scoop up schools of rockfish, pick out the largest fish (most valuable), and dump the rest overboard. It is an extremely wasteful method for the commercial harvest of striped bass.

Speckled trout are receiving a lot of attention around the Hot Ditch. The catches were down this week but some big specks continue to be caught.

Tautog are available on the ocean wrecks like those at the Triangle Reef. With the closure of sea bass, not many are heading offshore for bottom fishing.

Those that make the run are finding tilefish and grouper along with plenty of dogfish. There are some tuna being caught out of Hatteras: pick your color. Blackfin, bluefin and yellowfin tuna are all possible. The bite just has not been real consistant.

Flounder Bowl 2011: It will be flounder time again before you know it!

This year’s Flounder Bowl is scheduled for June 25.  (

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OFFSHORE REPORT – January 21, 2011

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

Rudee Party Boat Action - Grouper

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Folks are beginning to show more interest in tautog, but bait is tough to get right now. Fish are available on both inshore and offshore wrecks, with a few big ones in the mix. A recent trip to the Triangle wreck area gave up a limit of fish ranging to about 4-pounds. Nice seabass are also on these same structures, but you can’t keep them right now.

Those who venture out to deep drop along the 50-fathom curve can expect to find some blueline tilefish and a few dog fish. Other species such as grouper, blackbellied rosefish, and wreckfish are also providing some action in deeper water along the Canyon walls.

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INSHORE REPORT – January 21, 2011

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers.

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

The guys from Foster Electric O/B the Waverunner

The good striped bass bite off the Carolina coast continues to satisfy Virginia anglers. We have been spoiled here in Virginia in past years with very good striper fishing right off our beaches into February. But the past couple of years have delivered harsh winter weather, pushing water temperatures below 40-degrees early in the season. These plummeting temperatures encourage the rockfish to travel south in search of warmer water. Once they settle in, the fish generally stay off the North Carolina coast for the remainder of the winter, although they often opt to head for deeper water. This year, many schools are content within the legal 3-mile demarcation, allowing anglers to access the fish.

And these fish are no joke; recently two rockfish weighing over 60-pounds challenged the current North Carolina State Record of 62-pounds after holding for five years. The first contender was 63-pounds, and second fish caught later that week weighed in at 64-pounds. Now there are rumors of yet more state record contenders possibly hitting the scales.

Virginia anglers are determined, running up to 40 to 60-miles south to get in on the action. Boats are reporting steady hook-ups, with nice fish ranging mostly from 20 to 35-pounds from Corolla, to Kitty Hawk, and on down to Oregon Inlet. Umbrella rigs, parachute rigs, Mojo lures, and swimming and diving lures such as the Stretch 30’s are enticing strikes. Although this is not an easy run, the fish are within reach for boats willing to spend the time and burn the fuel to get there. But if you decide to go, make sure you purchase a North Carolina fishing license ( And unless you don’t mind a hefty fine, stay within the 3-mile limit marking the Exclusive Economic Zone, or the EEZ. You could catch the next state record rockfish!

Raymond Layton

Speckled trout action in the Elizabeth River slowed up some, but it is still good. The first ICW Speckled Trout Shoot-Out sponsored by the Norfolk Anglers Club and Top Rack Marina was a success. Most of the specks caught in the tournament were tagged and released. Top place honors went to Team “Jig-Er-Low”, with crew members Raymond Layton and Joe Scellato presenting an 11.96-pound 3-fish stringer, earning them an award of $1,500. The duo also took the $1,400 Calcutta for weighing in the largest trout at 6.11-pounds.

Live bait is working for the specks, but most anglers are scoring by casting lures using a very slow retrieve. The best performing lures are those adorned with black, orange, or gold. One boat reported releasing 14 speckled trout ranging to around 24-inches using Mirrolures and plastics near the Hot Ditch recently. Plenty of school-sized rockfish to around 8-pounds are also hitting the same lures in the River.

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VBSF News Flash

Dr. Bob Allen

Sport Fishing Magazine will be presenting “Making A Difference” awards to individuals who have gone out of their way to make a positive difference in saltwater recreational fishing. Five individuals will be selected to receive these awards in 2011. Some will be chosen by a panel of judges and others through voting by the sport fishing public. Local angler Dr. Bob Allen is among those that have been nominated to be considered for these awards.

Dr. Allen has long been a vocal representative for Virginia’s recreational anglers. He is always at the Virginia Marine Resource Commission championing the causes of recreational fishermen. His efforts finally got recreational anglers equal representation at this commission long dominated by commercial interest. He is well known to Virginia’s General Assembly and is often consulted when legislation concerning the marine environment is being considered. To help Virginia’s anglers to have a stronger political voice, Dr. Allen organized the Virginia Council of Angling Clubs which most of Virginia’s angling clubs have joined. This group keeps anglers better informed about legislation and fishery management issues and helps anglers respond in a strong manner.

To see all of the nominees, visit:

The last of this season’s rockfish tournaments has concluded. Daddy’s Dream won the Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout with a 3-fish stringer of 111.7 pounds,

Though the tournaments are over the fishing is not. Boats are running into rockfish from just south of Rudee Inlet all the way down to Oregon Inlet. It just depends on the day how far south you need to be to find the fish. Most action is occurring in North Carolina waters so make sure that you have both Virginia and North Carolina fishing licenses. Fish larger than the current North Carolina record have been caught recently with the latest being a 64-pound rockfish caught on the “Poacher”.

Speckled trout action remains very good in the Elizabeth River. There will be a speckled trout tournament in the Elizabeth this weekend: .

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OFFSHORE REPORT – January 13, 2011

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

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Tautog are becoming more intriguing to anglers lately, but the bite in the Bay has slowed. Moving to deeper water is the key, with the mid-range and deep water wrecks now a better choice.

Some nice catches of tog are responding on structures from near the Chesapeake Light Tower, and on out to the Triangle Wrecks. Running to the more southern wrecks can also provide better results.

Plenty of Jumbo seabass are also available on these same wrecks, but the season is now closed. Chopper bluefish are also circling many offshore wrecks.

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