Nice Sea Bass on the Rudee Angler
Virginia’s sea bass fishery is open until the end of the month, it’s a special one-month fishery. A special no-cost permit is required by the boat captain, reporting is mandatory, and you must tell VMRC when you are fishing so they have the opportunity to have a biologist meet you when you return.
Regulation: “It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to take, catch, or possess any black sea bass, from February 1 through February 28, without first having obtained a Recreational Black Sea Bass Permit from the Marine Resources Commission. It shall be unlawful for any black sea bass permittee to fail to contact the Marine Resources Commission Operation Station at (800) 541-4646 before returning to shore at the end of the fishing trip during the February black sea bass season. The permittee shall provide the Operations Station with his name, VMRC ID number, the point of landing, a description of the vessel, and an estimated return to shore time. Permits can be obtained online here or at an MRC Licensing Agent. Reporting can be done online through the Saltwater Journal or using forms provided by the VMRC.”
All this is an effort to collect data on this wintertime fishery that was closed for several years.
Limits of Big Black Sea Bass being caught!
VBSF sponsor the Rudee Angler (Head boat) enjoyed a successful sea bass trip last week. Fishing was excellent, with everyone catching a limit of sea bass. A few bluefish were caught as well. Weather permitting trips are scheduled on February 16th, 22nd, 23rd, and the 29th. These trips can sellout, so if you want to get in on the action call ASAP.
Dr Ken Neill and crew on the Healthy Grin did some wreck fishing February 9th. It was a beautiful calm day with an easy run in and out. They caught a 6-person limit of sea bass. They also caught a lot of bluefish, one weighed in at 18 pounds. They caught a couple of tautog to 12 pounds and a monkfish.
Anglers are finding tautogs on bay and ocean structure and tile fish at the canyons.
Captain Jake Hiles, 90 inch Bluefin, Pretty Work!
Giant bluefin tuna are showing up south of Virginia Beach, down to Morehead City NC. There have been some nice size yellowfin and blackfin tuna caught off the OBX.
OBX, NC surf anglers are catching nice size sharks. Anglers fishing nearby artificial reefs are finding hungry tautogs waiting. On the sound side there continues to be some speckled trout and stripers available.
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Program, in partnership with the Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Committee, sank the first of three tugboats off the coast of Pea Island recently.
The towing vessel American is the first addition to AR-165, a new reef site, about 7 miles south of the Oregon Inlet sea buoy off Dare County. This tug is part a project to place three vessels and 7,000 tons of concrete pipe on the reef that was organized by the Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Committee. Funded by a Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant and a large donation by TW’s Bait and Tackle of Nags Head, the project will be ongoing through early spring.
The American is an 88-foot tugboat built in 1951 by the Chesapeake Marine Railway Company of Baltimore for the Consolidated Gas and Electric Company of Baltimore. Originally named G&E #3, the tug has since gone through several owners and name changes and was retired from service in 2012.
The tug was cleaned of environmental pollutants in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations prior to reefing. Its placement leaves a navigational clearance of approximately 30 feet.
The division plans to sink remaining tugboats, America (104 feet) and Valley Forge (110 feet) later this winter. Concrete pipe deployments will occur in early spring.
GPS coordinates for AR-165 are: 35° 41.672’ N, 75° 26.313’ W.
NEXT REPORT: February 29th