OFFSHORE REPORT – November 26, 2010

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

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Wreck fishing is good right now. Nice seabass are hitting most anything, while respectable flounder are taking drifted baits.

Captain Steve Wray put his crew onboard the Ocean Pearl on a limit of nice seabass while fishing near the Triangle wrecks this week.

Chopper bluefish are also still prowling around most local wrecks.

Bluefin tuna have been sighted frequenting the same areas holding bluefish for a few weeks, but the first catches of school sized bluefin were reported this week. Although evading most, some boats lucked into a few tuna ranging between 70 and 80-pounds, hitting ballyhoo on trolled blue and white Islanders. If targeting these big fish, be prepared with the appropriate class of heavy gear and tackle.

Deep droppers are finding good numbers of big blueline tilefish, some golden tilefish, lots of blackbellied rosefish, and nice seabass. Swordfish are still a possibility for overnight trips.

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INSHORE REPORT – November 26, 2010

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

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers

The recent break in the weather gave boats the opportunity to get out and test the waters, with some very good reports as a result. The top news is that anglers were able to verify that the bigger rockfish moved into the lower Bay, with catches to over 40-pounds reported this week. So now the chase is on! Anglers are beginning to hook nice fish while dunking live eels at various depths from the 4th island to the high rise section of the Bay Bridge Tunnel, especially at dusk and at night. A few nice fish are also coming from drifting eels along the channel edges and shoals off the Eastern Shore. Drifting with eels is an effective technique resulting in fewer, but a larger class of fish. Expect the really big rockfish pushing over 50-pounds to debut soon.

Anglers are also still scoring with striped bass of all sizes all over the lower Bay. School-sized fish are available to casters working bridge pilings, while boats using live bait and wire lining over the tubes of the Bay Bridge Tunnel, are finding a nicer class of fish. The folks at Ocean’s East 2 report that anglers are also cleaning up with 24 to 28-inch rockfish while casting poppers at the islands of the CBBT at daybreak lately. Folks trolling with Stretch swimming lures are finding some decent fish near the 2nd and 3rd islands. Skinny water anglers are still finding 22 to 26-inch fish within the local inlets on both lures and cut bait. Folks casting from the shore near the Lesner Bridge are finding some fish ranging to near 30-inches this week.  Schools of fish in open water can provide good action for both casters and trollers, especially under beehives of birds. Some larger fish pushing over 40-inches are now coming from some of these schools.

Speckled trout anglers continue to experience excellent fishing. Rudee Inlet, Lynnhaven River, and Little Creek Inlet are still showing an upswing in the frequency of bigger fish, with anglers reporting scattered specks up to 5-pounds mixed in with the smaller fish.  The Elizabeth River is still providing catches of the bigger specks, where several citation sized fish, mostly ranging to around 24-inches, were hooked this week on Mirrolures, Bass Assassins, and Storm lures. The fish seem to be holding in the deeper water within the River, with no action reported from the Cove or Hot Ditch areas as of yet.
Decent sized puppy drum are also providing some good action within Rudee Inlet this week, with some anglers reporting catches of fish to 30-inches on cut bait. Many fish are also taking the lures intended for trout within the inlets and the Elizabeth River.
Tautog are biting all over the lower Bay and on some coastal wrecks. Any available structure along the CBBT is producing limits of quality fish, with a few topping 10-pounds this week. Green crabs are working well, with clams a good back up.

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INSHORE REPORT – November 19, 2010

By Dr. Julie Ball 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.

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OFFSHORE REPORT – November 12,2010

By Captain Don Malkowski fishing report contributor and founder of the Get Reel Lure Co.

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Update November 12, 2010

Although no official word of any boated fish, bluefin tuna are a possibility from the Light Tower out to the inshore lumps. Deep droppers are still finding good numbers of decent blueline tilefish, golden tilefish, and rosefish in depths of 300 feet of water or more.

On the offshore blue water scene, Virginia waters are a disappointment. Swordfish are a possibility, but those who tried for them lately struck out. The best trolling action is further south off Carolina, where most boats are loading up with blackfin tuna and yellowfin tuna.

November 5, 2010

AHHH Fall! The leaves are changing color and littering our yards. Temperatures are barely hitting the mid 60’s. Fire pits are full ablaze and Snuggie sales are climbing. One sign of Fall was missing, until recently…the Fall Yellowfin bite.

Over the last couple of days, the boats fishing out of Pirate’s Cove Marina and the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center have been returning with limits of Yellowfin tuna ranging from 30 to 50 pounds, with a few larger 60-65 pounders mixed in. Many have been encountering multiple hook-ups with nearly every bait in the spread being hit simultaneously. One boat fought 7 Yellowfin and a White marlin at the same time.

Mixed in with the Yellowfin are their smaller cousins, the Blackfin. Teams are filling the voids in the fish boxes between the 50 pound Yellowfin with good numbers of these footballs. For those that haven’t tried it, Blackfin loins make some of the best sushi!

Big Wahoo made a special appearance on Thursday. Six Wahoo hit the docks at the OI Fishing Center ranging in weights from 33 pounds to 60. ‘Obsession’ out of Pirate’s Cove landed a meat slam that included three Wahoo between 30 and 40 pounds, several Mahi, Yellowfin, and a near dozen Blackfin.

The Hatteras fleet has been in the mix of fish as well…that’s when they can get out. Weather has made the inlet impassable at times. When they can, crews are finding Yellowfin, Blackfin, Wahoo and good King Mackerel fishing.

Back here in the Old Dominion, some have ventured out hoping to find the migrating Tuna. ‘Seadation II’ worked the Norfolk Canyon and found themselves in a school of 10-near 20 pound Mahi. James O and Ryan H had their hands full as they would get covered up with 7 fish at a time. No tuna were around, but a box full of Mahi this late in the season is more than welcome.

The Triangle Wrecks are still holding big Bluefish, some nearing 17 pounds. As temps drop, these fish will move into the Hot Dog and SE Lumps. Be watching for those Bluefin tuna when you’re out on those grounds. Deep-droppers can still hit some good numbers of Blueline Tiles, Grouper, and Sea Bass.

Weather can be a real pain this time of year. It’s going to be difficult to get those slick calm days we dream about in the Summer, so we have to pick our days. Remember, the best fishing trip is the one you can come home and talk about, so be safe! Get out there and… Catch ‘em Up!

Make Everyday a Blue Marlin Day!

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INSHORE REPORT – November 12, 2010

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

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers

Almost non-stop windy weather is still hindering fishing efforts in open water, with only a few boats sneaking out between breaks. But as the water temperatures continue to drop, many cool water species are heating up, and will be ready and waiting when boats can reach them.

Striped bass are becoming more active with the cooler water temperatures. When anglers can get out, the reports are mixed, with some faring better than others. But in general, the fish are there and biting. The average size of the rock fish is growing. Although most fish are stretching to around 28-inches, a few fish between 38 and 42-inches are also around. According to our neighbors to the North, the bigger fish are on their way. School-sized fish are available to casters working the pilings of the lower Bay structures, while boats wire-lining at the 1st and 4th islands of the CBBT are finding the bigger fish and the most consistent action. Surf casters are also getting in on some good catches from the shoreline near the Lesner Bridge in Lynnhaven Inlet, where 2-ounce jig heads with bubblegum colored Zoom Super Fluke grubs are a favorite. One lucky shore angler landed a nice 40-inch rock while casting under the Great Neck Bridge in Long Creek this week.

The ongoing speckled trout run is keeping skinny water anglers happy. The lower Bay shallows, as well as the surf lines, are over run with mostly undersized specks. Most of the larger fish are coming from the Elizabeth River, but Lynnhaven, Rudee, and Little Creek Inlets are also giving up scattered respectable fish lately. There are many ways to fish for these backwater beauties, and most all methods are producing lately. The folks at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center report that Gulp grubs and Mirrolures are working well on the Rudee specks right now. Puppy drum are still active in these same areas, with fish measuring to over 27-inches hitting artificial lures and live mullet. Sporadic spot action and an occasional croaker are also available within Rudee Inlet right now, but not likely for long.

In the Bay, tautog continue to please. Anglers are finding limits of nice keeper fish from lower Bay wrecks and bridge structures using blue crabs, green crabs or clams. Anglers fishing from the Seagull Fishing Pier dominated the Bay tog scene on windy days with limits of nice fish to over 6-pounds this week. Triggerfish and scattered sheepshead are also available on these structures. Tautog are also becoming more active on offshore structures.

Flounder reports from Bay waters are hard to come by lately, but the action is mostly hit and miss due to the churned water. If the water ever has a chance to clear, drifters could enjoy good catches along the channel edges as the flatfish stage at the mouth of the Bay. The inlets are providing some scattered flatfish action, but most fish are too small to keep. Flounder are also gathering on offshore wrecks when anglers can reach them. Fresh strip baits and jigging with buck tails will entice the best strikes. Big seabass are also available on many of these wrecks. Huge chopper bluefish pushing to over 20-pounds are circling these same structures, especially at the Triangle Wreck area. Bluefish are easy to catch and offer a great battle. Both trolling and jigging are working well lately for these toothy fish.

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