OVERVIEWThe next issue of the Virginia Saltwater Review will be published the week of June 4-8.
Wachapreague Marina reported anglers are catching plenty of flounder but only a handful are keepers on most outings. Green and Drawing channels continues to be the most popular location but keeper-sized flounder are also showing on the nearby flats.
Captain Zed’s said the 18-1/2-inch minimum size limit has been tough on fishermen, “they’re catching a lot of flounder but not a lot of keepers.” The Foxy Lady was out recently and boated 30 flounder but could only keep six fish. The shop indicated Green and Drawing channels were always a prime flounder location but keeper flounder were also caught at Bullshead and the Hummocks recently. Good numbers of taylor bluefish have moved inside the inlet and provide good sport on light tackle. Anglers are also seeing an occasional speckled trout. Anglers working the shoals around the mouth of the inlet are catching some black drum on crab and clam. The shop had even better reports of large black drum from the Quinby area. The CANYON LADY fished an offshore wreck and boated a good catch of black sea bass last week.
Cape Charles -
Chris’ Bait and Tackle reported bottom fishermen enjoyed excellent action on large black drum on Saturday, as many anglers caught “six or more” on a tide. The shop registered well-over two-dozen release awards (46-inch minimum to qualify) and weighed drum as heavy as 75 pounds. Top locations were buoys 13 and 16 and sea clam was the premier bait. Raymond Dickerson and Byrd Holloway combined for a double-figure catch of trophy black drum at buoy 16. Anglers are also seeing increasing numbers of red drum and the Barrier Island surf was the weekend hot spot. The shop rated flounder fishing as “OK” but indicated many customers were frustrated by the 18-1/2-inch minimum size limit. Jim White boated the weekend’s lone citation flatfish, a 7-pounder, while drifting near buoy 18. Another angler was drifting near buoy 36A for flounder but landed a 32-pound striped bass instead. Pan trout remain available off the Concrete Ships. Anglers fishing from the Kiptopeke State Park Pier are also catching some pan trout after sundown, around the pier lights. Charles Donnell took a group of anglers out of Oyster for a day of wreckfishing. The party had a nice catch of large tautog and the heaviest weighed 15 pounds, 15 ounces.
Captain Wil Laaksonen from Fish and Finn Charters reported “nothing much has changed since last week. We still can’t seem to get any decent weather and nobody is fishing.” Good-sized croaker, taylor bluefish and school stripers are available in the creeks. “It’s time for the red and black drum to arrive, and I’m sure they’re here, but nobody has been fishing for them.”
Lower Bay/Bridge Tunnel -
The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported a private charter ran a “deep-drop” trip last weekend and returned with a big catch of large black sea bass and blueline tilefish pushing the 10-pound mark. The headboat fished several ocean wrecks and loaded up on black sea bass. Both Kevin Swisher (5-1/4 pounds) and Don Hanlon (5 pounds, 6 ounces) boated citation sea bass.
Paula Owen from Fisherman's Wharf Marina said action from the marina remained at a low ebb, as the offshore season has yet to begin. One captain did fish the CBBT for striped bass recently, and did well. Two other boats fished the shoals for red drum one night but Paula had yet to hear a report of their trip.
Virginia Piers -
James River – Croaker, catfish and the occasional bluefish and spot are providing decent action. The best croaker fishing is on the late evening tide. With the spring striper slot season now open, this pier offers one of the better opportunities on hooking an 18 to 28-inch striped bass.
Ocean View – Bottom fishermen have started hitting croaker consistently in the evenings. Hickory shad, taylor bluefish and school stripers are showing sporadically, after sundown, around the pier lights.
Lynnhaven – Bluefish put in a strong appearance Friday and some of the largest fish measured up to 30 inches. School stripers are holding around the light shadows created by the pier lights after sundown.
Virginia Beach – Casters scored taylor bluefish, some even taking 10-fish limits, as schools of feeding fish moved within casting range. Bottom fishermen had a slow pick, for everything except skate, catching a few spot, sea mullet and too small to keep flounder.
Sandbridge – Snapper bluefish are providing much of the excitement here. Bottom fishermen are catching some small to medium spot, a few sea mullet and plenty of skate.
Outer Banks, NC -
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