|Lower Bay/Bridge Tunnel||Virginia Middle Bay||Virginia Beach||Virginia Piers||Grandview|
|Buckroe Beach||Harrison||Lynnhaven||Sandbridge||Outer Banks, NC|
Virginia Middle Bay -
Roger Wilkins from Jetts Hardware reported trollers and chummers easily caught their limit of slot stripers (18 to 28 inches) the past week with some of the best action in the vicinity of the Northern Neck Reef. Boats anchored and chumming also encountered a few bluefish weighing up to 10 pounds--plus several "cut-offs." Croaker remain abundant with good hauls reported at the N2 buoy and just south of buoy 62 in 40 feet of water. Schools of 12 to 20-inch trout are holding along the channel edges while keeper flounder were caught along the jetty.
Dan from Smith Point Marina said charter boats chumming for striped bass "caught their limits and then some" of 18 to 24-inch fish working the buoy 62 area and the mouth of the Potomac River. Just out from the marina, "the bottom must be covered with croaker," as baited hooks often have croaker attached by the time they reach bottom. Additionally, 18 to 22-inch flounder were caught near the jetty while good-sized trout were caught at Smith Point Light.
Jerry Thrash from Queen's Creek Reel and Downrigger Service said grey trout were biting "everywhere," but conceded that many of the best hauls of the bigger fish are made after dusk at the Cell. School-sized striped bass and good-sized croaker are also being taken at the Cell. Jerry indicated many of the bigger croaker are moving to deeper water with fish to over 3 pounds holding near the pilings of the Piankatank Bridge. For anglers seeking strictly stripers, Jerry suggested chumming at the Northern Neck Reef site.
Jack from Locklies Marina said weekend catches included decent numbers of keeper flounder to 5-1/2 pounds at the White Stone Bridge, fair numbers of hand-sized spot over oyster beds located above the bridge and big croaker "all over this part of the river."
Garretts Marina said "they're still catching plenty of croaker" with the better hauls coming from "just off the marina," down to Bowlers Rock.
Captain Jim Thompson from Windmill Point Marina said the waters between the Eastern Shore Range Light and the Cell were holding loads of 1-1/2 to 3-pound croaker plus some grey trout to 24 inches. Inside the Rappahannock, decent catches of croaker plus a scattering of pan trout were recorded at Butlers Hole but "the fish are just bigger out in the Bay," according to Thompson.
Virginia Beach -
The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported good hauls of large sea bass by the headboat fleet, as Keith Flowers decked a 5-pound, 2-ouncer and Vincent Russell, Jr, a 5-1/2 pounder. Both catches were made aboard the headboat BOBBI-LEE. The Center's spokesperson also indicated that one of the six-pack charter boats returned with some nice yellowfin tuna that were caught SE of the Cigar.
Paula Owens from Fisherman's Wharf Marina said several of the charter fleet have been running half-day trips to the CBBT for striped bass, trout and flounder, where limit catches of school-sized stripers are routine. Despite windy conditions last Sunday, one boat ran all the way to the point for tuna. They were rewarded with just one fish and a "long" boat ride back, into the building seas. Inside the inlet, more flounder are showing while some large grey trout still linger in the deeper holes.
Virginia Piers -
Grandview - Flounder plus a scattering of croaker and pan trout are biting during the day. Catches of both the trout and croaker increase once the sun sets. The season's first Spanish mackerel were decked last week. Catches of these flashy fish are sporadic during mid-day while a consistent bite usually develops near sunset.
Buckroe Beach - Spanish mackerel made their seasonal debut last week and they and flounder provide most of the daytime action. After dusk, pan trout, croaker, sea mullet and striped bass become active. An 18-pound and 41-inch red drum was the "big fish" catch of the week but anglers are counting on the arrival of even bigger cobia by the weekend.
Harrison - Daytime catches have been limited to a few small flounder. After dark the action improves around the pier lights, as decent hauls of sea mullet, croaker and keeper flounder were reported.
Lynnhaven - The past several mornings saw a decent bite of sea mullet but the action tapers off quickly once the sun is well up. In the late evenings, the sea mullet are once again active and pan trout move into the shadows cast by the pier lights.
Virginia Beach - Sea mullet have dominated the catches the past several days, although a 12-pound striped bass was landed on a rig meant for spot. Water temperature at the pier's pilings was 66 degrees on Tuesday.
Sandbridge - Spanish mackerel arrived last week. Other catches include taylor bluefish and pan trout.
Outer Banks, NC
Beach and pier anglers in the Nags Head area were treated to catches of Spanish mackerel, taylor blues and speckled trout whenever the surf was "clean" while sea mullet cooperated when the surf was roiled. Croaker have moved into the sound and were caught from the Nags Head-Manteo Causeway, along with some speckled trout, bluefish and school-sized stripers.
On Hatteras Island, Spanish mackerel and bluefish were caught during the day on Friday at Cape Point while red drum to 46 inches were caught and released after dark. Saturday produced a mixture of Spanish mackerel, flounder, bluefish, sea mullet and false albacore during the day with about two-dozen red drum caught and released after dusk. Sunday, daytime catches were limited by strong winds but an excellent drum bite developed that evening. On Monday, the surf calmed and good catches of Spanish mackerel up to 7 pounds and taylor blues were recorded. A visitor from Kentucky hooked and landed a 94-pound, 4-ounce cobia from Cape Point beach in the afternoon.
Offshore, the fleet sailing from the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center reported fair catches of yellowfin tuna and some gaffer dolphin on Friday. The day's catch was highlighted by a 183-pound bigeye tuna aboard the MARLIN FEVER IV. The fleet spent more time inshore on Saturday and located excellent numbers of school-size king mackerel. The crew on board the HAPHAZARD bagged a 130-pound bigeye while an 83-pound yellowfin on the TUNA FEVER was the day's heaviest yellowfin. On Sunday, king mackerel were again located in good numbers, as the fleet enjoyed its best day of the season for dolphin.
The yellowfin tuna bite was somewhat slow out of Hatteras Inlet on Friday, though decent numbers of gaffer dolphin plus some king mackerel and wahoo were boated. Inshore boats loaded-up on Spanish mackerel and taylor blues. Dolphin continued to dominate the action for the offshore fleet on Saturday, as only a scattering of yellowfin and wahoo were reported. On Sunday, the dolphin bite maintained as the tuna action improved. The crew on board the TEMPEST released a blue marlin while the group fishing aboard the RELIANCE released a white marlin. By day's end on Monday, good hauls of gaffer dolphin were on the docks and the RELEASE recorded a blue marlin release.
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.