OVERVIEWThe Virginia Marine Resources Commission has established new regulatory management measures for the Chesapeake Bay area fall 2005 recreational striped bass fishery. The fall recreational season will begin October 4, 2005 and extend through December 31, 2005. The recreational possession limit will continue as two striped bass per person. The minimum size limit remains as 18 inches. Anglers will be allowed to possess two striped bass 18 inches to 28 inches total length or one striped bass 18 inches to 28 inches total length and one striped bass 34 inches or greater in total length. The major change in the 2005 fishery concerns this "protected" slot limit, whereby it shall be unlawful for any person to possess any striped bass between 28 inches and 34 inches in total length.
Cape Charles -
Chris' Bait and Tackle reported strong winds took a toll on fishermen over the weekend, although there was a good red drum bite Friday night at 9-Foot Shoals. Flounder fishermen managed only of handful of keeper-sized flatfish and croaker were not in a cooperative mood. Over on the seaside, bottom fishermen out of Oyster described croaker as "nearly nonexistent," but did manage a few speckled trout. Several small cobia were caught over the weekend but nothing large enough to warrant weighing in. Bottom fishermen at the Kiptopeke Park Pier did catch some spot and anglers chasing speckled trout managed a few keepers in the bayside creeks.
Captain Wil Laaksonen from Fish and Finn Charters reported good
bottom fishing, "when I can get out," as strong winds prevailed most of
the weekend. "I've been fishing almost straight out (of Onancock
Harbor)," and catches include good numbers of medium spot and croaker
plus bluefish up to 21 inches and flounder measuring as long as 24
inches. Other catches include sea mullet, blowfish, pigfish,
porgy and cow-nosed ray. The creeks are holding loads of bait and
school rock, according to Captain Wil, but speckled trout remain scarce.
Lower Bay/Bridge Tunnel -
The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported offshore action was
excellent just prior to the weekend. On Friday, parties returned
with catches of up to a dozen tuna (longfin and yellowfin mixed) plus a
limit of dolphin. Unfortunately the fleet was idled through the
following Tuesday due to weather. Also before the weekend, cobia
weighing up to 60 pounds were caught south of the Rudee Inlet near
Paula Owen from Fisherman's Wharf Marina said the fleet remained tied to the dock over the weekend but just prior to the blow dolphin were very abundant around the Norfolk Canyon. Inshore, cobia staged an impressive showing off Sandbridge while big red drum were caught from the surf. Since the weekend, a boat out Wednesday returned with a good catch of yellowfin tuna and dolphin plus released a white marlin.
Virginia Piers -
Harrison - The pier is presently closed but is in the process
being rebuilt. Significant progress has been made this summer and
the latest plans call for a portion of the pier to open sometime in
Lynnhaven - The main attraction was the steady run of spot and the northeast winds over the weekend only fueled the run.
Virginia Beach - Hand-sized spot made a strong showing over the weekend and several big red drum were caught out at the end of the pier. Other catches included a few bluefish and speckled trout.
Sandbridge - Several large red drum were decked during the week but that was only a taste of what the weekend would bring. On Saturday, the best estimate put the number of large red drum (longest went 53 inches) at 45 for the day. The spot were also running with a vengeance. On Sunday, over a dozen citation red drum were registered and the spot run continued. Six citation drum were recorded Monday morning and the bite died before 10 AM but turned on just after sundown.
Beach fishermen in the Nags Head area enjoyed decent catches of spot
and sea mullet plus some speckled trout and sea mullet over the
weekend. Folks fishing from the banks around Oregon Inlet caught
a mixture of snapper blues and flounder. Folks at the Avalon Pier
enjoyed an all day (and night) run of spot Friday and also landed a few
puppy drum and speckled trout. Saturday saw more wind and more
spot. A 44-inch red drum was decked out at the end of the
pier. Other catches included small pompano, Spanish mackerel and
bluefish. The winds shifted to the south Sunday and the fishing
South of Oregon Inlet at Cape Point on Buxton, beach fishermen caught a mixture of bluefish, Spanish mackerel and small pompano on Friday. A tarpon was hooked but threw the hook. Saturday saw scattered bluefish and Spanish mackerel while Sunday produced a handful of bluefish and some croaker plus "tons of grass." Bluefish provided good action on Monday and a few Spanish mackerel were mixed in with the snappers.
The Oregon Inlet Fishing Center reported good catches of yellowfin tuna plus some dolphin and billfish on Friday. A pair of bigeye tuna, 142 and 187 pounds, were also landed. The headboat had mixed catches of pigfish, sea mullet and croaker. Dolphin dominated the catches on Saturday but most boats also returned with some yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin tuna bite improved on Sunday and the POINT RUNNER landed a pair of bigeye tuna with the largest weighing 157 pounds. Monday saw mixed sizes of dolphin, decent numbers of yellowfin tuna and several bigeye tuna up to 184 pounds.
The fleet sailing from Hatteras Inlet enjoyed good catches of wahoo plus some dolphin and blackfin tuna on Friday. Steve Newman of Fairfax boated a 42-pound wahoo aboard the CITATION. Saturday saw good catches of king mackerel and blackfin tuna plus a scattering of dolphin and wahoo. Sunday was judged too rough to fish and the fleet remained in port.
If you have additional information or would like further details contact Lewis Gillingham at (757) 247-2243.
Please credit the Virginia Marine Resources Commission's THE SALTWATER REVIEW as the source of the fishing information. Project is funded by NOAA and VMRC.
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