It is clear that striped bass populations have been in a downward trend since the epic fishing we had several years ago. Due to this, we expect to see much stricter striped bass regulations in 2015. Most welcome this but there is a question about it being done fairly. Planned reductions are being based on the 2013 season, a year in which Virginia took a 14% reduction while other states did not. A question being asked to the ASMFC is that why is not 2012 being used as the baseline so all states share equally in the catch reductions instead of piling on the Chesapeake Bay region, adding to the 14% reduction that was just taken here. The ASMFC will meet in Alexandria, VA on Aug. 5: www.asmfc.org .
The CBBT remains the flounder hotspot with limit catches being common and some true doormats being caught. The flounder bite is pretty good at all of the normal flounder spots but it is the CBBT where the best catches are being made. Good catches are still being made inside the seaside inlets, on Hampton Bar and inside the York River. Big sheepshead are also being caught at the CBBT along with triggerfish and spadefish.
Triggerfish, spadefish, flounder and some nice sea bass are being caught over some of the coastal wrecks. Hop around a bit until you find a wreck that is loaded. Trolling small spoons over and around these wrecks will produce catches of Spanish mackerel and small bluefish. Spanish mackerel can be found along the oceanfront and throughout the lower bay.
Cobia fishing remains excellent with both sight fishing and chumming being productive. While chumming, big red drum are not an uncommon by-catch. Sight casters are finding schools of big red drum and jack crevalle while searching for cobia near the mouth of the bay. Puppy drum remain active on Poquoson Flats and up in the shallows inside the rivers, inlets and in the Mobjack Bay area. Speckled trout have been a by-catch in this fishery. The speckled trout season reopens on August 1 but remember that the bag limits have changed to 5-fish with only one of which may be 24 inches or longer.
Offshore, the billfish bite is good and there are dolphin being caught. Yellowfin tuna are not a consistent catch but there are some tuna around. Overnight boats have caught a few swordfish and there is still the possibility of a bigeye tuna, especially at the Washington Canyon and points north. The best of the billfish bite has been around the Triple 0s area.
The PSWSFA Youth and Ladies Flounder and Croaker Tournament concluded this July 27. The winners: Youth Flounder: 1st – Hayden Head 5.9lb, 2nd – Spencer Elford 3.9lb, 3rd – Taylor Simmerman 3lb 2oz. Youth Croaker: 1st – Hayden Head 1lb 4oz, 2nd – Spencer Elford 1lb 2oz, 3rd – Madison Hunt 14oz (.875lb). Ladies Flounder: 1st – Amy Blow 4lb 4oz, 2nd – Ruth McCormick 2lb 2 oz. Ladies Croaker: 1st – Diana Greasley 1lb 7oz, 2nd – Ruth McCormick 1lb 4oz, 3rd – Wendy Elford 1lb.
July 27, Charles and Hunter Southall fished the flats catching puppy drum to 26.5 inches long.
July 26, The Tuna Tracker fished out of Hatteras. They caught some nice wahoo and dolphin. They also go a good view of a waterspout.
July 26, Ruta Vaskys and Martin Freed did some wreck fishing. They caught some nice triggerfish, about 20 flounder to 24 inches long, and some nice sea bass.
July 26, We ran to the Triple 0s where the fleet was catching billfish. We never got a shot and only managed to catch a couple dolphin.
July 26, Brian Hogge fished the Wallace’s Bait and Tackle Flounder Frenzy. He won it with a 22.15 pound, 3-fish stringer with the largest fish weighing 8.15 pounds.
July 26, Capt. Jorj Head was sight fishing for cobia when they came across a school of jack crevalle. A topwater plug resulted in a 47-inch fish.
July 25, Capt. JT Hale fished inshore out of Hatteras. They tried for puppy drum but found big ones. They caught 8 reds between 38 to 48 inches long.
July 25, Hunter Southall and Danny Forehand ran to the flats after work. They caught a a couple of puppy drum and a speckled trout.
July 23, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys went clamming out of Quinby. They then gave the flounder a try but all of the croaker made that difficult. They did manage to catch some flounder whenever they could keep the croaker off of their hooks.
July 23, Wes Blow caught a couple of cobia to 46 pounds and then went and caught a few flounder to 4.5 pounds.
July 22, Hunter Southall went looking for cobia and caught a single fish.
July 21, Hunter Southall fished the CBBT for flounder. They caught 25 flounder, keeping 14.
July 20, Stan Simmerman and I fished for cobia with Charles Southall. We went back to where I had caught 9 the day before. We caught 6 cobia to 47 inches long.
July 20, Wes Blow chummed for cobia. He caught 4 to 61.5 pounds.
July 20, Capt. Jorj Head chummed for cobia in the morning. They caught 6 cobia to about 40 pounds and a 50-inch red drum. When the clouds cleared, they went sight-fishing and caught 2 more cobia.
July 20, David Freeman and Hunter Southall ran out to the flats after work. They caught puppy drum until they ran out of bait. They kept a limit and released a bunch more.
July 19, I fished the morning outgoing tide. I caught 9 cobia (one as I was clearing lines). Largest was 50 pounds.
July 19, Capt. Rick Wineman chummed for cobia at York Spit. They caught 6 cobia to 48 inches long.
July 19, Mike Hurst chummed for cobia. They caught 4 cobia to 48 inches long.
July 13, Larry Lusk did a half-day trip to the Fingers. They caught some nice dolphin. They lost a really big bull at boat side.
July 13, we went inshore wreck fishing. We ended up catching ten different species including tautog, triggerfish, spadefish, flounder, cobia, and sea bass. Steve Martin even had a nice dolphin hooked up for a while on his flounder rig. Jeff Dail caught a cobia on a spadefish rig.
July 13, Wes and Amy Blow went flounder fishing for the PSWSFA Youth and Ladies flounder and croaker tournament. They had a good day on the flounder.
July 12, Brent Meadors fished the Norfolk Canyon. They caught a 67-pound yellowfin tuna and some dolphin.
July 12, I ran over to the Eastern Shore under the Super Moon to give the tarpon a try. I got to see tarpon but what I caught was a lot of sharks.
July 11-13, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004), said that the cobia fishing is good depending on the weather. They caught 13 in the past 2.5 days of fishing.
July 9, Wes Blow went chumming for cobia. They caught several up to 43 inches long. What they mostly caught were sharks.
July 6, we ran the “Healthy Grin” out to the Norfolk Canyon to catch some tuna. As was the case with our last tuna trip, we caught marlin. I did not hear of a single tuna being caught but there were plenty of marlin encounters. We saw 3 white marlin, hooking 2. The first pulled the hook after some impressive aerial acrobatics. We released the second at boatside. We also caught some small dolphin.
July 6, Brent Meadors fished offshore out of Rudee Inlet . In about 40 fathoms, they found a weed line holding some big dolphin. Chris Williams caught their largest. His fish weighed in at 45 pounds 8 ounces.
July 6, Wes Blow and Keith Blackburn chummed for cobia. They caught 20 cobia with the largest being 41 inches long. They also caught a big red drum and a whole bunch of sharks.
July 6, Rick Wineman fished the Norfolk Canyon. They missed some white marlin, caught a dolphin and broke off their one big fish of the day that they think was a mako.
July 2, Wes Blow chummed for cobia. He caught three cobia to 47 inches before the sharks ate all of his bait, sending him in early.