There are a lot of small (less than 18 inches long) rockfish around. They can be found in open water, under working birds, and at most of the area bridges. Medium-sized rockfish are being caught at the CBBT. Wire-lining has been productive at producing limits of keepers. True trophy fish are being caught by anglers fishing with eels on the Eastern Shore side of the bay with fish pushing the 60-pound mark being weighed in. As striped bass continue to catch most anglers attention, the tautog bite remains very good at the CBBT and over most of the wrecks and reefs inside the bay and on the near-shore coastal wrecks on out to the Tower Reef. Deeper water wrecks are holding good numbers of sea bass along with some triggerfish. Medium-sized bluefish are also being caught from the wrecks. Big bluefish and bluefin tuna could be encountered at any time out around the Triangle Wrecks and others structures about that far from the beach. Flounder are also still holding around these wrecks though the arrival of dogfish is making fishing for them more of a challenge. The Elizabeth River is producing some great catches of very large speckled trout. The speckled trout regulations have changed as of December 1 in an effort to protect this fishery. The daily bag limit is reduced to 5 fish and only one of those fish may be 24 inches or longer. Striped bass and puppy drum are also being caught in the Elizabeth River. When boats can get out, offshore bottom fishing for tilefish is good and boats running out of the Outer Banks are catching some yellowfin and blackfin tuna. Both the Virginia and North Carolina fleets are awaiting the arrival of bluefin tuna.
Dec. 1, Wes Blow ran to an offshore wreck. They caught 20 triggerfish including two that weighed for citations. They kept 30 nice sea bass to 4 pounds. They also caught hake and small bluefish.
Nov. 29, Hunter Southall and John Hunt fished the Elizabeth River. They caught 5 citation-sized speckled trout up to 27 inches long.
Nov. 25, Hunter Southall ran out to the HRBT in the evening. He caught a bunch of small rockfish casting to the light-line.
Nov. 22, we ran the Healthy Grin out to the Triangle Reef. We tried for big bluefish. We caught little bluefish. These were turned into flounder bait. Flounder fishing was excellent. We caught 17, keeping our 12-fish limit. We left them biting and headed back in early. We also caught a few nice sea bass but only a few. On the way in, we found whales, bait and birds near the Chesapeake Light Tower. We did not get a bite out of that. The menhaden boats were working the area also. It was a gorgeous day on the ocean.
Nov. 20, Wes Blow fished the Elizabeth River for speckled trout. About a week earlier, he had a 20-fish day including 5 citation-sized specks. That was last week. This time, he caught about 15 small speckled trout up to 15 inches long.
Nov. 17, Capt. Rick Wineman fished the Triangle Wrecks for big bluefish. They caught small bluefish. They fished for sea bass without a lot of success but they did catch a 4-pound triggerfish.
Nov. 17, we ran out to the Norfolk Canyon area. We hit a couple of wrecks and got a good catch of some really nice sea bass. We then moved out deeper and caught a few golden tilefish, some blueline tilefish, and a few hake. No sharks at all.
Nov. 10, Wes Blow and Hunter Southall fished the Elizabeth River. They caught 20 speckled trout including 5 citations up to 30 inches long.
Nov. 9, Danny Forehand fished the James River Rockfish Tournament. They placed 8th out of 38 boats. The tournament winning fish weighed 18.25 pounds.
Nov. 9, Capt. Brandon Bartlett fished the Triangle Wrecks. They caught about 20 flounder and some nice sea bass. They did not see any signs of big bluefish.
Nov. 4, Eric Williams fished the 2nd island of the CBBT. He found the tautog biting.
Nov. 2, Ric Burnley fished the Triangle Wrecks. They only caught a couple of small bluefish but…they also caught a limit of flounder to 7.5 pounds. They ran into breaking false albacore and caught some of those. They caught a few nice sea bass with the largest weighing 7 pounds. They saw a thresher shark but that was the one fish that they did not catch.
Nov. 2, Danny Forehand took out some scientists visiting from Germany. They fished some structures in the bay. They caught tautog, puppy drum, and a whole bunch of oyster toads.
Nov. 2, Wes Blow went out to the Triangle Wrecks to try for bluefish. He caught some sea bass and not too many of those.
Nov. 2, Cliff and Connie Rowe were casting topwater lures in Back River in the evening. Connie hooked up to what they thought was a nice puppy drum. Cliff started to get excited when he realized it was a big speckled trout, Connie was not sure what the fuss was about. When they got in, the tackle shop was already closed so they put the fish on ice and weighed it in the next morning: 11 pounds, 4 ounces, 31.5 inches long.
Oct. 30, Danny Forehand fished the JRB where they caught puppy drum and striped bass.
Oct. 27, Charles and Hunter Southall fished the Elizabeth River. They caught some nice speckled trout up to 6.5 pounds.
Oct. 27, we ran out to the Triangle Wrecks to see if there were big bluefish there yet. We caught two little bluefish. They were not the ones that we were looking for but they did provide us some strip baits for flounder. We caught 20 flounder. We did not get any really big flounder, “good eating size”. I lost the one doormat we had. Stan Simmerman caught the largest flounder that we did catch. We also caught some nice sea bass that we had to let go due to the closed season. Wes Blow did catch a nice puppy drum that was just small enough to keep. We caught a couple of ribbon fish. Chris Boyce caught one. I caught the second one. Right before I caught it, Wes had his hook bitten off of his flounder rig. My ribbon fish was made into more flounder bait. Inside its stomach, we found Wes’ hook with his bait still attached. Wes was able to re-tie his hook and get back to fishing!
Oct. 26, Capt. Rick Wineman fished the Norfolk Canyon area. They did nothing on the troll. They did some wreck hopping and bottom fishing on the way out and back. They caught some medium-sized bluefish, some nice sea bass (that they had to let got), a golden tilefish, a small flounder out in the deep, and 14 nice blueline tilefish.
Oct. 21, Doug Roper fished Back River. He caught a fat, 23.5 inch speckled trout that weighed in at 5 pounds.
Oct. 20, Hunter Southall fished Back River in the afternoon. They caught 8 speckled trout (kept 6) and a keeper flounder.
Oct. 19, Danny Forehand fished the JRB for a couple of hours. They caught a 27.5 inch rockfish and a 25 inch puppy drum.
Oct. 19, Hunter Southall went down to Hatteras to get in on the wahoo bite. Charles decided it was too rough to go out (Hunter disagrees). Hunter went surf fishing and caught 7 flounder.
Oct. 18, the guys fished out of Hatteras again. Charles, Gabe and Jeff caught 2 wahoo, a king mackerel and lost 3 other wahoo at the boat and had several other bite offs. Steve, Jerald and Stan caught a wahoo, a gaffer dolphin, and had 3 other bite offs and 2 pulled hooks.
Oct. 17, Gabe Sava, Jeff Dail, and Charles Southall fished the Special Kate out of Hatteras. They went 4 for 5 on some really nice wahoo. They also caught some dolphin.
Oct. 17, Jerald Abraham, Steve Martin, and Stan Simmerman fished out of Hatteras. They caught 24 fish of various species: wahoo, dolphin, king mackerel, sea bass, triggers, groupers plus a couple other fish they did not recognize.
Oct. 17, I fished off of my dock in Chisman Creek. Caught small speckled trout, bluefish, and a 13-inch gray trout.
Oct. 16, Wes Blow fished the CBBT. He caught 4 tautog to 17 inches, 2 sheepshead to 19.5 inches, and a 22-inch puppy drum.