PSWSFA members need to register for the Awards Banquet ASAP. The banquet will be held Friday, Feb. 27 and the caterer will need to know our meal selections prior to the event. Adult meals will be $15 while the children’s meal will be free. Look for details and menu selection in the Chum Line: www.pswsfa.com/chum.pdf
Persistently windy weather has really put a damper on fishing activity. When it is fishable, our options are limited. Tautog are biting on the coastal wrecks. Deep-dropping will produce good catches of blueline tilefish and other critters of the deep. All of the sea bass that you catch while targeting tautog and blueline tilefish must be thrown back overboard. Striped bass and bluefin tuna have been a complete no-show so far. There are still some speckled trout being caught in the Elizabeth River. When boats can get out of Hatteras, blackfin tuna jigging is good. Your best bet for some local fishing action may be to leave the salt and head up the James River for some big blue catfish.
The VSWFT Awards for 2014 were given out. Two of the species awards were caught on the Healthy Grin. Stan Simmerman caught the largest wahoo in Virginia in 2014. Dr. Hamish Small caught the largest gray triggerfish in the state. These make a total of 14 annual species awards won on the Healthy Grin.
Feb 8, it was too rough. We went fishing anyway. Tagged and released 6 tautog, getting DNA samples from each. Then we decided that we had had enough and went in for lunch.
Feb 7, Hunter Southall and myself went out for a short tog trip. We only caught 7 tautog up to 19 inches long. We collected DNA from each for VIMS.
Feb. 1, Capt. Rick Wineman ran to the Triangle Wrecks where they caught 3 tautog to 23 inches long. They ran through a lot of diving birds between the light tower and the Triangle Wrecks.
Feb. 1, we ran out for tautog before the Super Bowl. We caught 16 tog, up to 23 inches long, before running in early for the Super Bowl parties. We also caught sea bass and a nice hake. We got DNA samples from each tog and placed tags in those we did not keep. I dropped my camera down...only once, after I saw what was down there:
Jan 25, Wes and I went over and did some boat work. We also went and did some tog fishing close to the beach. We ended up catching 19 togs up to 18.5 inches long. Kept a couple, tagged and released the rest, got DNA samples from each. When we dropped the camera down, we did not see much but the fish were biting.
Jan 23, we went out after tautog. We had a slow bite, catching 5 tautog. We kept 4 between 18 and 20 inches long, tagged and released the 5th. We got DNA samples from each. We also kept a nice hake and we had to release some really nice sea bass. I did drop a camera down to see what was going on down there:
Jan 20, Wes Blow fished for tautog on one of the ocean wrecks. He said that the bite was great and they caught about 25 fish keeping their 2-angler limit. The fish they kept included 4 that weighed over 9 pounds with the largest weighing in at 16 pounds.
Jan 17, we went out in rather blustery conditions for tautog. We stayed close to the beach because it was just too rough to run anywhere else. We managed to catch 15 tautog up to 23.25 inches long. That fish was tagged and released after a DNA sample was taken. We tagged and released all but 3 fish and got DNA samples from each for VIMS. The carcasses of the kept fish were donated to VMRC. We caught one fish that had been tagged previously.
Jan 16, Jody Linthicum fished the Elizabeth River with Wally Veal. They caught 15 speckled trout over 19 inches long. Their catch included fish of 25 inches, 27.5 inches and Jody caught a huge gator, 32 inches long! Hunter Southall was also on the river catching trout. Hunter said that he caught a dozen or so specks including one over 25 inches long. He also caught a nice puppy drum. Hunter's specks averaged in the 20-23 inch range. Both Jody and Hunter caught their fish casting jigs and those fish are still there as they released their fish...even that 32-inch monster!
Jan 11, Wes Blow fished for tautog on one of the ocean wrecks. They kept a 3-man limit of tog, all over 20 inches long, with the largest at 9 pounds. They caught a total of 25 tautog and they also caught some sea bass that were released.
Jan 11, Capt Rick Wineman fished the Norfolk Canyon area. They caught 15 blueline tilefish, with 7 weighing over 10 pounds, and a golden tilefish. They caught a few large sea bass while jigging for bluefish. They caught several bluefish and hooked up with a mako shark on a jig that they eventually broke off.
Jan 2, we started late, to let the wind calm, and quit about 2 in the afternoon so I could make a family party. Despite the short day, we caught 19 tog to about 24 inches long at the Triangle Wrecks. We got fin clips from all of the fish, caught one with a tag, tagged and released others. The carcasses of the ones we kept were donated to VMRC. On the way out, we did see some bird activity and slicks about 6 miles east of the Chesapeake Light Tower.
Jan 2, Capt. Rick Wineman did some catch-and-release fishing inside of the bay. Drifting eels, they had 6 bites and caught 2 big rockfish, 47 and 49 inches long.
Jan 1, Wes and Amy Blow fished the Elizabeth River. The bite was slow but they did manage to catch a couple of nice speckled trout.