Striped bass regulations are going to change. Decisions will be made this week whether to reduce the striped bass harvest by 25 percent. That there will be a reduction is almost a certainty, but what is up in the air is just how this reduction will be done.
For now, regulations in the bay remain at two striped bass per person, each 18 to 28 inches long, with one fish allowed to be greater than 28 inches.
As we are used to, the coastal regulations are two striped bass of at least 28 inches long.
These regulations will remain in effect through the rest of this year, then the bay will be closed on Jan. 1. The coastal rules will be new, so make sure you know what they are when you are fishing for rockfish this winter.
A look at what is happening at some of our local fishing spots:
Little Creek Reservoir: Bass are actively feeding on the surface. Fish to around 4 pounds were caught this week. Some crappie are being caught but it has been slow. That bite should pick up as the water continues to cool. Bluegill and yellow perch are providing some good action. Some catfish are being caught. The next open bass tournament will be held on November 1.
Beaverdam Reservoir: The recent Big Bash Open Bass Tournament was won by the father and son team of Rudy and Daniel Michaud. Their 5-fish stringer weighed in at 10 pounds 6 ounces. In addition to the bass bite, crappie and yellow perch are being caught.
Chickahominy River: Ed Allen’s Bait and Boats reports that bass fishing is good on fish to nearly 6 pounds. Crappie fishing is heating up with anglers catching as many as 50 slabs in an outing. Bluegill and yellow perch are being caught. Both pickerel and bowfin are very active.
Poquoson Flats: Speckled trout fishing is good on the flats and on around into Back River. There are a lot of small fish around but there are also some trophy fish being caught. A few puppy drum are still around. There are plenty of bluefish and some striped bass attacking baits meant for speckled trout.
Buckroe Fishing Pier: Angler activity was slow this week. Those that did fish on the pier caught some spot, flounder, bluefish and some gray trout. Striped bass catches should become more common as the water cools. The pier will remain open through December 30 and then it will be closed until April 1.
James River: Wilcox Bait and Tackle reports that striped bass fishing is good, especially at the James River Bridge. Anglers targeting striped bass at night are also encountering some puppy drum, gray trout, speckled trout and plenty of bluefish.
Mobjack Bay: Speckled trout fishing is very good. Large numbers of small trout are around along with some large fish. Striped bass, bluefish, and a few puppy drum are mixed in with the catches of speckled trout.
Back River Reef: Tautog fishing is good. There is still the possibility of catching a sheepshead or a drum while fishing the structure and there are still some flounder hanging around.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel: Tautog are biting. There is still the possibility of a late sheepshead and there are some triggerfish hanging on the structure. Big red drum continue to be caught around the islands. Bluefish, striped bass, flounder and some gray trout are all being caught.
York River: Grafton Fishing Supply says that the speckled trout bite is excellent. There are large numbers of small fish available and good numbers of big fish are being caught. Some of the best catches of larger specks are coming on top-water lures. Striped bass catches are picking up. There still some spot in the river and a few puppy drum are being encountered.
Eastern Shore: Chris’ Bait and Tackle reports that speckled trout are being caught on the seaside and in the bayside creeks. Flounder are available on the bayside in the 36A area and near the Concrete Ships. Spot are being caught on the seaside and at Kiptopeke.
Offshore: Wahoo fishing is good when the weather allows boats to get offshore. Some dolphin, yellowfin tuna and blackfin tuna are being caught along with some king mackerel. Offshore bottom fishing will produce good catches of tilefish and sea bass along the 50 fathom curve. The ocean wrecks are holding sea bass and triggerfish.