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/

OFFSHORE REPORT – December 9, 2010

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

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Anglers testing offshore structures are enticing limits of keeper fish on both clams and green crabs.  A decent class of black seabass, ranging mostly in the 3 and 4-pound range are also available on these same offshore wrecks, as well as deeper water structures. Big chopper bluefish are still prowling many of these wrecks, and will gladly take most any fresh bait, including your hooked seabass on the way up to the boat. You may even see some bluefin tuna rolling in the same areas, which will sporadically take a trolled ballyhoo. Be sure to check the bluefin regulations before you go. Deep droppers are still finding good numbers of decent blueline tilefish and nice seabass in depths of 300 feet of water or more near the Norfolk Canyon.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/09/offshore-report-december-9-2010/

INSHORE REPORT – December 9, 2010

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

Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Waters Out To The Towers

Once again, the weather is getting in the way of fishing. Between the wind, the frigid temperatures, and the snow, many anglers are opting to stay home. But before Mother Nature showed her fury this week, the fishing was great. Water temperatures dropped nearly ten degrees this week, which is making some anglers nervous. But striped bass are active in cold water, so once boats can get out the fish will be waiting.

The last reports overflowed with plenty of rockfish in the 40-pound range coming mostly from the Eastern Shore side of the Bay. Some of these stripers are measuring to over 50-inches and weighing close to 50-pounds! Chris’ Bait and Tackle reports they weighed six fish over 40-pounds in one day earlier this week, and release citations over 44-inches were common. Many of the big fish are coming from dangling live eels along the light lines and pilings at the High Rise section of the Bay Bridge Tunnel at night, although some folks are also finding good luck during the day. The best bites are occurring on a moving tide, no matter which direction. Although not as productive as in past seasons yet, a few really nice fish are also coming from drifting eels along channel edges off Plantation Light, Kiptopeke State Park, and Fisherman’s Island. School sized rockfish are also available to anglers casting along the pilings and artificial islands of the all the lower Bay bridges. The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reports that trolling in open water is becoming more productive, with boats scoring with big rock fish to over 40-pounds near the mouth of the Bay, off Cape Henry, and off the Virginia Beach Ocean Front, mostly under flocks of working birds. Before the winds hit, surf casters were catching stripers to 30-inches from the shoreline near the Lesner Bridge, where 2-ounce jig heads adorned with bubblegum colored “Zoom Super Fluke grubs” and white bucktails work well.

Speckled trout action slowed in the Inlets this week, but folks putting in their time are finding a few fish, with most on the small size. A few larger fish averaging from four to seven pounds are coming from the Elizabeth River, with trolled live bait and shads the most effective method recently. A few puppy drum are also still coming from within Rudee Inlet, but the action slowed considerably this week.

Flounder are available on both inshore and offshore wrecks right now, with some flatfish pushing to over 6-pounds reported recently from the Triangle wreck area. The reefs and wrecks near the Chesapeake Light Tower are also productive, with nice keeper fish coming from this vicinity on strip baits earlier this week.

The Bay tautog action is an unknown right now, but once boats can get back out the bite should return. Anglers testing offshore structures are enticing limits of keeper fish on both clams and green crabs.

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/09/inshore-report-december-9-2010/

OFFSHORE REPORT – December 2, 2010

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

East Of The Towers Out To The Canyons

Deep droppers are still finding good numbers of nice blueline tilefish, with big seabass mixed in along the 50-fathom curve off Virginia. But other than bluefin tuna, there is not much happening on the offshore scene. Schooling bluefin are eluding many boats as they watch them roll and break on the surface, then disappear. But a few boats have hooked fish ranging up to 100-pounds lately. These tuna can show up anywhere from the Chesapeake Light Tower to the edge of the Norfolk Canyon. The Triangles, the Fingers, the Fishhook, and the Hotdog are the favorite places to try. Swordfish are also a possibility, but there are no reports of any fish boated recently

Permanent link to this article: https://vbsf.net/2010/12/02/offshore-report-december-2-2010/