OVERVIEWThe Virginia Saltwater Review will not be published the week of October 10-14 due to the observance of Columbus Day.
A mixture of dolphin, yellowfin, bluefin and even bigeye tuna remain available out at the Washington Canyon. Chunkers working the Parking Lot are picking up some yellowfin tuna plus an occasional bluefin tuna. Black sea bass are becoming more active on the ocean wrecks as water temperatures start to decline. Taylor bluefish dominate the action along the Assateague Island Beach but some sea mullet, spot and puppy drum were also caught last week. Inside the inlet, flounder are available along the channel edges near the inlet while schools of snapper blues are actively chasing silversides.
Chris' Bait and Tackle reported the weather continued to play havoc with anglers but several impressive catches were made despite the less than ideal weather conditions. Citation-winning flounder were registered by Robert Hunt (9 pounds, 3 ounces; High Rise), Gary Stone (26-1/2-inch release; High Rise), Neil Lassard (8-1/4 pounds; 36A) and Ian Smith (7-1/4 pounds; Baltimore Channel). Flounder measuring up to 25 inches were decked at the Kiptopeke State Park Pier plus an assortment of spot, bluefish and trout. Red drum releases were recorded by Glen Anderson (50 inches; off Cape Charles), J.C. Short (48 inches; off Cape Charles) and Gary Stone (46 inches; off Fishermen's Island). Robert Savage Jr. released a 24-1/4-inch speckled trout at Hungars Creek, where Thomas Woodward boated a 6-pound, 9-ounce speckled trout. Bottom fishermen reported a scattering of croaker, spot, trout and flounder but "nothing in great numbers" out of the seaside port of Oyster. The shop did receive several encouraging reports on red drum from anglers working the Barrier Island beaches.
Captain Wil Laaksonen from Fish and Finn Charters reported mixed
catches of croaker, spot, porgy, blowfish and sea mullet. What
about the big fall run of spot? "Right now, we're actually
catching more croaker than spot," noted Captain Wil. Flounder
continue to be dependable targets with the best catches coming "around
the high tide change," along the edges of the shipping channels.
Anglers looking for striped bass do best up in the creeks, which are
still loaded with bait. "We won't see any big fish (striped bass)
until later this month or early November," explained Captain Wil.
Lower Bay/Bridge Tunnel -
The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported good catches of dolphin
plus some yellowfin tuna and false albacore on Saturday. One
charter wreckfished and returned with a cooler full of large black sea
bass plus several dolphin. On Sunday the BACKLASH and EMPTY
WALLET had good catches of dolphin, yellowfin tuna and some false
albacore. On Monday Thomas Evaldi and Peter Stine each released a
white marlin aboard the BACKLASH and the party returned with a nice
catch of dolphin, yellowfin tuna and false albacore. Steve Smith
weighed-in a 75-pound cobia on Monday. Inside the inlet,
fishermen caught flounder, speckled trout and spot.
Fisherman's Wharf Marina said trollers are catching some dolphin "when they can get offshore" but the winds were not very kind the past week. Closer to the beach, taylor bluefish are plentiful just outside the breakers along the Virginia Beach resort strip, where false albacore and Spanish mackerel are a possibility.
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 - Spot and snapper bluefish provided most of the action. Now that striper season is open, nighttime anglers can expect some keepers to show around the lights.
Virginia Beach - Big red drum from the end of the pier remain an outside possibility while spot and bluefish provide the most dependable action. Other catches include sea mullet and a few small grey and speckled trout.
Sandbridge - Over 40 big red drum were decked at the pier Friday and the spot bite was "on" all day and night. Saturday was nearly as good with an even bigger crowd of folks on the pier. The red drum bite slowed Sunday but three red drum release citations were registered and weight citations for a 2-1/2-pound pompano and a 2-pound mullet were written.
Beach fishermen in the Nags Head area were plagued with large
amounts of grass, mainly Sargasso, the past week. Conditions were
most severe on a east wind and incoming tide. Persistent anglers
did manage some spot and bluefish. Conditions at Avalon Pier were
fishable, though winds were steady northeast Friday and Saturday,
finally subsiding on Sunday. Friday saw a good run of nice spot
and small speckled trout-some of the spot were actually bigger than the
trout. Other catches included pompano and pan trout plus a
45-inch red drum was released at the end of the pier. Saturday
produced good action and a wide variety of fish, including bluefish,
speckled trout, spot, sea mullet, puppy drum and Spanish
mackerel. On Sunday, bluefish and speckled trout provided most of
the action. Anglers working the Manteo Causeway caught some
speckled trout around first light and spot and croaker during the day.
South of Oregon Inlet, beach fishermen at Cape Point on Buxton caught bluefish early Friday morning and mixed sizes of red drum in the afternoon and evening. Saturday and Sunday produced plenty of taylor bluefish plus a scattering of pompano and Spanish mackerel. Several large drum were beached each day.
The Oregon Inlet Fishing Center reported a good mixture of yellowfin, blackfin and bigeye tuna, dolphin and king mackerel on Saturday. In all, five bigeye tuna were landed, and the heaviest weighed 173 pounds. The striped bass season opened October 1 in the Albemarle Sound Management Area and half day boats recorded good catches of fish up to 15 pounds. Catches of king mackerel and dolphin improved Sunday plus boats returned with a scattering of blackfin and yellowfin tuna plus three bigeye tuna to 153 pounds. Inshore trips produced a mixture of king mackerel, false albacore and taylor bluefish.
Only two boats sailed from Hatteras Inlet on Friday due to breezy conditions but each had a decent mixed catch of king mackerel, blackfin tuna and wahoo. On Saturday, the fleet had good hauls of dolphin and wahoo plus some blackfin and yellowfin tuna. Gene Simpson of Dumfries released a sailfish aboard the HATTERAS FEVER. Sunday produced good numbers of wahoo plus some dolphin and king mackerel. Bruce Longerbeam of Midland boated a 52-pound wahoo aboard the NANCY K.
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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