By Ken Neill III
Striped bass regulations for next year are being discussed now. The striped bass harvest will be reduced in 2015. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is deciding how this will be done. There will be a public hearing 6 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission building (2600 Washington Ave./fourth floor in Newport News). Possible regulation changes will be presented and the public will be given the opportunity to state their opinions.
There will be a boating safety class Sept. 27 at Bass Pro Shops in Hampton. To register and for more information, visit dgif.virginia.gov.
A look at what is happening at some of our local fishing spots:
Chickahominy River: Capt. Art Conway out of Ed Allenâ€™s Boats and Baits reports that bass fishing is very good with bass to 8.25 pounds weighed in this week. Bowfin and pickerel action is good in the lake. There are some crappie and yellow perch being caught and bream fishing is good. In the tidal river below the dam, catfish and bass fishing is excellent.
Poquoson Flats: Puppy drum is the main catch. Speckled trout catches are picking up and there are some small striped bass being caught. Some of these striped bass will be large enough to keep when the season opens Oct. 4.
Buckroe Fishing Pier: Some croaker are being caught and there have been some nice catches of spot. The occasional flounder is being caught. Bluefish and gray trout can be found under the lights at night.
James River: Wilcox Bait and Tackle reports that spot are the best fishery. Some croaker and flounder continue to be caught. Puppy drum are active and there are some small striped bass for when the season opens. Catfish are becoming more of a target species as the croaker bite slows down.
Cell: Flounder are still being caught in the Cell/buoy 42 area. There are some nice croaker also being caught.
York Spit: Cobia remain a possibility this month and it is not unusual for someone to catch a big cobia here after the bite is thought to be over for the year. Red drum are a possibility and there are some nice sea mullet available.
Bluefish Rock: Flounder, spot and pigfish are among the catches of bottom anglers. There are some red drum and cobia may be caught here over the next couple of weeks.
Mobjack Bay: Puppy drum and speckled trout fishing is good. There are some striped being caught and released in anticipation of the season opening. Spot fishing is very good and some croaker and gray trout are being caught.
Back River Reef: Flounder continue to hang around the structures. Spot fishing is good. Tautog will be available when that fishery reopens. A few big sheepshead will be caught here over the next few weeks.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel: Rough and rainy weather has limited angler activity but big sheepshead are available. Flounder fishing is good. Red drum are being caught near the islands. Sight fishing for cobia has been good along the span and out to Cape Henry.
Eastern Shore: Big red drum are still being caught along the seaside of the Eastern Shore and from near 36A. The 36A area also is producing some flounder. Spot and some croaker are being caught inside the barrier islands, the buoy 262 area has been good and near the Concrete Ships. Speckled trout and puppy drum are being caught in the bayside creeks.
York River: Grafton Fishing Supply reports that spot fishing is excellent with fish that can almost be called yellow-bellies. There are some croaker being caught as well as some flounder though mostly too small to keep. Puppy drum and speckled trout action is good.
Offshore: Billfish action is very good. Good numbers of dolphin are being caught. Wahoo catches are becoming more common. There are some yellowfin and bigeye tuna being caught around the Norfolk Canyon but not in great numbers. A few large king mackerel are being caught close to the oceanfront.