OVERVIEWVirginia's Trophy Striped Bass season opened May 1 and will closed through June 15. This special season carried a 32-inch minimum size limit coupled with a one-fish bag limit. From May 1 through May 16, anglers could possess one-fish, 32 inches or greater. From May 16 through June 15, anglers were 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 could 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 online here. (Click here for the online report form)..
The weather played havoc with the flounder fishermen over the
weekend, as winds made it difficult to get a decent drift. Some
keeper-sized flatfish were caught at Four Mouths and Queens Sound,
despite the poor conditions. Recreational crabbers are reporting
good catches of nice jimmy crabs. Over on the Assateague Island
surf, persistent anglers are catching a few striped bass to 36 inches
but most settle for a mixture of surf perch and sea mullet plus the
occasional bluefish. Weather permitting, the inshore wrecks are
producing a mixture of black sea bass and tautog.
Captain Wil Laaksonen from Fish and Finn Charters reported weather has been windy and “nobody’s been getting out much,” but when they do, croaker are available in good numbers and size. Bottom fishermen are also starting to see some spot plus a mixture of flounder, sea mullet, snapper bluefish and pan trout. Best action has been in 40 to 45 feet of water.
The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported good catches of yellowfin
tuna in the 20 to 30-pound range and gaffer dolphin in the vicinity of
the Norfolk Canyon. Inshore trollers were catching a mixture of
chopper bluefish, king mackerel and false albacore.
Paula Owen from Fisherman's Wharf Marina told of good action on the inshore hills, such as the Fish Hook, where king mackerel and chopper bluefish provided almost non-stop action. Farther offshore, trollers were catching fair numbers of yellowfin tuna and the occasional keeper-sized bluefin tuna. Paula also heard of bigeye tuna caught above the Norfolk Canyon.
Virginia Piers -
James River – Croaker continue to dominate the catches with the best hauls coming after sundown.
Ocean View – Decent catches of croaker in the evening and after dark. Small flounder (most under the 16-1/2-inch minimum size limit) and snapper bluefish are caught during the day. Pan trout are a possibility after sunset around the pier lights.
Lynnhaven – Crabs plus a few croaker and spot are biting during the daylight hours. The action improves around sunset with sea mullet, snapper bluefish and plenty of skate.
Virginia Beach – Bottom fishermen caught a few keeper-sized flounder, medium spot and croaker while casters working the end of the pier had some Spanish mackerel and bluefish.
Sandbridge – The new pier lights have been installed and the pier is now open until 11 PM. Spanish mackerel to nearly 4 pounds, spadefish and at least one keeper striped bass were decked Saturday—plus plenty of skate after sundown. Sunday and Monday saw good runs of snapper bluefish and Spanish mackerel at the end of the pier and decent numbers of spot and sea mullet closer to the beach.
Outer Banks, NC -
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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