By Dr. Julie Ball
VBSF.net fishing report contributor and IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach
Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers
Although an upcoming break in the weather shows promise, the primary driving force on the fishing scene lately has been the relentless weather. Therefore many are resorting to inshore fishing itineraries, and with the ongoing speckled trout run, not many are complaining.
The speckled trout are still very active in most of the shallows of the southern section of the lower Bay, as well as the surf lines. Surf anglers are pulling keeper fish from the wash near the Sandbridge pier using grubs and cut bait. Most of the larger fish are still coming from the Elizabeth River. Rudee, Little Creek, and Lynnhaven Inlets are also giving up some respectable fish lately. In the Inlets, anglers continue to report dozens of smallish fish, with scattered keepers ranging up to around 22-inches, with Mirrolures still working well. The Elizabeth River trout experts convey that those searching out the bait are finding fish ranging between 3 and 8-pounds by casting swimming lures and jerk baits, as well as trolling along ledges. Scattered puppy drum are also still active in these same areas, with Gulp swimming mullets working well.
Everyone is watching the striper scene. Although the really big fish are still to the North, anglers are enjoying some decent sized fish mixed in with the schoolies. The school-sized fish are available most everywhere in lower Bay waters, with the outgoing tide providing the best luck. Plenty of school sized fish are hitting at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Monitor Merrimack Memorial Bridge Tunnel. Casters working the pilings near the 3rd and 4th island tubes at the CBBT, especially at first light, are hooking dozens of fish to around 28-inches on Wind Cheaters and Storm Lures. Boats wire-lining and live baiting over the tubes are finding a slightly larger class of fish ranging to around 34-inches. Shore casters are also hooking some nice rockfish ranging to 30-inches under the Lesner Bridge. The first reports of striped bass caught off Cape Charles debuted this week, when boats hooked few fish up to around 38-pounds while drifting with eels.
The Bay water tautog action continues to sizzle. Anglers are enticing limits of keeper fish from lower bay wrecks and bridge structure with blue crabs, green crabs, and clams. Many fish are ranging from around 4 to 7-pounds. Tautog on the offshore wrecks are also becoming more active.
Boats are waiting for waters to readjust before placing too much emphasis on flounder fishing in Bay waters, so the reports are dismal. But good hauls of flatfish are coming from offshore structures, with the Triangle Wrecks area a top producer this week. Nice seabass are also responding on these same offshore structures, with a few pushing to over 5-pounds recently. Chopper bluefish are also still available near these offshore structures. Bluefin tuna could also make a showing, but no confirmed sightings or hookups have materialized as of yet.