Speckled trout are the most consistent fish right now. They are biting on both the eastern and western sides of the bay and inside of the seaside inlets. There are a lot of small trout around, indicating a good spawn this year. There are also good numbers of “gators” being caught. Small bluefish seem to be everywhere from up in the creeks on out to the Norfolk Canyon. Some chopper blues should be arriving soon.
Tautog action is very good on most any structure in the bay and the bite is picking up as the water cools down. The CBBT has been the prime tautog location. There are still some big red drum being caught at the CBBT but that bite should already be over. Some fish just do not want to leave. Flounder are still available in the lower bay but fishing for them around some of the coastal wrecks may be more productive.
Striped bass activity is picking up and there are signs that we may have a better season than the past couple. The James River Bridge has been the best location so far. Fish are being caught up in most of the rivers. They are being caught by anglers fishing for speckled trout and they are being caught near most any structure with a light on it at night. Most of these fish are small but a few pushing 40 inches have been caught already. The CBBT bite will pick up over the next month.
Sea bass and triggerfish are holding on the ocean wrecks. Move around until you find the right one. Offshore bottom fishing is a good option right now as you can keep the sea bass by-catch and the spiny dogfish have not arrived yet. There has been some very good wahoo fishing southeast of the Cigar and there are some yellowfin tuna and blackfin tuna being caught. Anglers fishing out of Hatteras and Beaufort Inlets are enjoying some good wahoo fishing and a very good king mackerel bite.
Recreational anglers will see their saltwater fishing licenses increase by an average of five dollars. This is a result of statewide budget cuts of five percent this fiscal year and seven percent the next. This is on top of a number of other recent cuts to the Marine Resources Commission’s budget. Anglers are not happy with the increased fees but the other option was to cut some very popular programs. One of these is the Artificial Reef Program. The Commission approved $350,000 to enhance Virginia’s artificial reefs as the start of a re-energized reef program. In other regulatory news, the ASMFC decided to decrease the coastal catch of striped bass by at least 25% and the bay catch by at least 20.5%. These reductions apply to both the recreational and commercial sectors. New regulations to achieve these reductions will be in place January 1, 2015.
Oct 29, Larry Lusk did some kayak fishing with his sons at the Outer Banks. They caught a number of big red drum.
Oct 27, Stan Simmerman cast lures to the 3rd and 4th islands of the CBBT. He did not catch any rockfish but he did catch about 20 bluefish.
Oct 27, Wes Blow wreck hopped all the way out to the Norfolk Canyon. He caught a variety of bluefish, sea bass, triggerfish, and hake. He said the only big fish he caught were some very impressive conger eels.
Oct 25, Charles Southall fished his boat out of Hatteras and they caught a wahoo.
Oct 25, Steve Martin fished his boat out of Hatteras and he caught a 55.5 pound wahoo.
Oct 24, it was a rough day at Hatteras but Charles Southall managed some inshore trolling. They caught 2 king mackerel.
Oct 23, it was too rough for the guys down at Hatteras to get out so Gabe Sava went surf fishing. He caught a 45-inch red drum.
Oct 27, Jody Linthicum fished in Back River out of his kayak. He caught 7 speckled trout in the 18-21 inch range, 2 bluefish, and a striped bass.
Oct 21, Charles Southall fished his boat out of Hatteras. They caught 2 dolphin, 3 king mackerel, 4 amberjack, a false albacore, and a 41-pound wahoo.
Oct 20-21, Steve Martin fished his boat out of Hatteras. They caught 3 dolphin and a wahoo.
Oct 20, Charles Southall fished his boat out of Hatteras. They caught 2 blackfin tuna, 2 dolphin, 1 false albacore, 1 king mackerel, and 1 wahoo.
Oct 20, I fished off of my dock in Chisman Creek and caught small speckled trout and bluefish.
Oct 20, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished some wrecks out of Quinby. They caught a 7 pound 3 ounce sheepshead, a bunch of nice triggerfish, some flounder and small sea bass.
Oct 20, Dave Young fished the CBBT. They caught several gray trout in the 16 to 18 inch range, a couple 21-22 inch flounder, 7 bluefish and a couple of nice red drum to 42 inches long. They had a larger red on that they lost due to a straightened hook.
Oct 18, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished out of Quinby. They caught a couple of trout, a porgy, 28 pigfish and a dozen large spot to 12.5 inches long.
Oct 15, I have been catching fish around my dock light most every night and morning. This morning, the catch was speckled trout, gray trout, and bluefish. No striped bass catches yet.
Oct 10, Lee Williams fished out of Hatteras. They caught a wahoo and some dolphin. They lost a second wahoo. Their bites were in 30 fathoms and came on their planer rod.
Oct 10, we ran back out after wahoo in the Cigar area. We caught 3 blackfin tuna including our largest out of Virginia so far (about 20 pounds), 2 false albacore, and a barracuda that we thought was going to be our wahoo. We did not have any wahoo bites. A couple of other boats fishing south of the Triple 0s managed to catch a few ‘hoo up to 57 pounds.
Oct 9, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys did some clamming out of Quinby. They then did a little fishing and caught 20 pigfish, 10 big spot, some sea mullet and a couple black drum.
Oct 5, I ran down to the Cigar with Phillip Neill, Chris Wayman, and Stan Simmerman. We had about 15 wahoo bites and only managed to land 3. They were all nice fish with the smallest weighing in at 45 pounds, the largest at 85 pounds. We trolled a little spoon for a bit to see if there were any baby bluefin around for Dr. John Graves. There were baby blackfin. Phillip caught a big false albacore that managed to escape overboard from Stan’s hands before we could measure it so no release citation for Phillip. The rest of us each weighed in a citation-size wahoo. These were the first-ever citation wahoo for both Stan and Chris. At 85 pounds, Stan started out big.
Oct 5, Capt. Rick Wineman fished the Cigar area. They lost 4 wahoo and caught a big false albacore.
Oct 3, Danny Forehand and I went out and trolled for king mackerel for a bit. We did not get a king. We did pull something off that may have been one and there were a few big kings caught by other boats. We were trolling four rods when two went off. During the fight, we managed to get all four lines crossed up and under the boat. We did land and release Danny’s big jack crevalle. The fish I was fighting got in the wheel as we were landing Danny’s. My diver had just cleared a bunch of line from the wheels. We put some more line back for his next dive.
Sept 28, PSWSFA Spot Tournament was sponsored by Grafton Fishing Supply. First Place in the Youth Division was won by Caleb Sava with a .63 pound spot. Second Place was won by his big sister, Lexi Sava with a .60 pound spot. The overall tournament was won by Chris Nelson. Chris weighed in a .64 pound spot. Caleb Sava’s Youth Winner came in Second Place at .63 pounds. Third Place was won by Eddie Pratts with a .60 pound spot. He edged out Lexi’s fish with a time-of-weigh-in tie breaker.
Sept 28, I was supposed to be fishing for spot. I trolled plugs along the oceanfront and did not catch a single spot. The fish we pulled off last weekend bugged me all week so I went and gave the king mackerel another try. I had three bites. The first fish pulled…a continuation from our last trip. The next fish was a big red drum that I did catch. The third bite was a screamer and it was what I was after. The king mackerel weighed in at 36 pounds 8 ounces.