OVERVIEWVirginia's Trophy Striped Bass season opened May 1 and runs through June 15. This special season carries a 32-inch minimum size limit coupled with a one-fish bag limit. From May 1 through May 15, anglers may possess one-fish, 32 inches or greater. From May 16 through June 15, anglers are allowed to possess two striped bass within the 18 and 28-inch slot, but one fish of the two-fish allowed during the May 16 through June 15 slot season may be 32 inches or greater. Most important, anglers must report their Trophy catch (all 32-inch or greater fish caught and kept between 1 May and 15 June) on forms available at all Citation Weigh Stations, many other tackle shops and marinas and our homepage web site (http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/forms/sbtrophy.shtm).
Donna at Captain Bob’s reported flounder, bluefish and even a few sea mullet were biting just before the storm hit. The heaviest flounder the past week was a 5-pound, 9-ouncer pulled-in by Chris Dietch in Queen’s Sound. The 24-1/2-inch flatfish was fooled by frozen silversides. Donna also had reports of the season’s first croaker were caught from Tom’s Cove Campground Pier. Surf fishermen working the Assateague Island beach are seeing respectable numbers of mixed sized bluefish. A few of the larger bluefish have topped 30 inches. Take plenty of bait because skate are very active in the same waters.
Captain Wil Laaksonen from Fish and Finn Charters reported croaker have arrived off Onancock but the biggest fish are being caught in shallow water inside the feeder creeks. The normally skinny for this time of year croaker are “already fat,” according to Captain Wil. School stripers are likewise active inside the creeks but few, if any, of these fish would meet the current 32-inch minimum size limit. Red drum have arrived in local waters and area commercial gill net fishermen are already catching large black drum.
Lower Bay/Bridge Tunnel -
The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported the headboat fleet had good catches of large black sea bass on their last deep-drop outing but that was over a week ago and before the storm. Inshore ocean wrecks are starting to produce a mixture of tautog and black sea bass and schools of 8 to 12-pound chopper bluefish are moving through the area. Inside the inlet, taylor bluefish have been plentiful for the past two weeks and anglers are also catching some flounder, speckled trout and grey trout.
Paula Owen from Fisherman's Wharf Marina some of the charter boats are planning to fish for striped bass and flounder around the mouth of the bay but the charter is in a lull at present. “We did have several charter boats run deep-drop trips for tilefish two weeks ago.” Tuna should be arriving within reach of the Rudee fleet in the next few weeks but large bluefish are on the seamounts off Virginia Beach at present.
Virginia Piers -
James River – Croaker are providing most of the action but bottom fishermen are also catching some catfish and taylor bluefish plus few spot and school stripers (striped bass must measure at least 32 inches from May 1 through May 15 to be kept).
Ocean View – Bottom fishermen are catching mixed sizes of croaker and taylor bluefish. A few puppy drum and speckled trout have been caught close to the pier house and from the nearby shoreline.
Lynnhaven – The pier has just recently opened and weather has been poor most of the open days. Some sea mullet, croaker and taylor have been caught.
Virginia Beach – Taylor bluefish provided the bulk of the recent action. On Saturday, the bluefish bite was on “all day,” and most anglers easily limited-out, if they cared to.
Sandbridge – Anglers are enjoying good numbers of taylor bluefish plus a scattering of puppy drum, sea mullet and blowfish. Several speckled trout were beached from the surf nearby.
Outer Banks, NC -
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