Virginia Beach fall fishing is “fintastic”

Monday, November 30th, 2009 by Mike Halperin

beach-fishingVirginia Beach fall fishing has been simply “fintastic.”  Following the spot run, puppy drum and speckled trout have been reliable crowd pleasers.   “Puppy drum,” or 18 to 24 inch legal size red drum, and speckled trout have been hitting inside Rudee, Lynnhaven, and Little Creek inlets and in the surf.   Successful trout anglers are using white or red jig heads with chartreuse swim tails or artificials with glitter, and several speckled trout citations of 5 pounds or more are being registered each day from Rudee Inlet.

After a record-breaking fall with white marlin, the charter boats eagerly await the arrival of giant bluefin tuna.  Boats heading out in the next few weeks could still encounter some yellowfin tuna as well.  Trigger fish have been cooperating at the wrecks.  Closer to shore, bluefish have arrived at some offshore wrecks and could make an appearance along the beaches from Rudee Inlet to the North Carolina state line.  Schools of false albacore are now here and ready to thoroughly test your light tackle skills.  Remember that Virginia’s ocean fishery for sea bass is closed by federal order.

Striped bass are drawing legions of anglers and boats to our local fishing mecca, the 17 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.   School-sized stripers are abundant with larger bass falling to wire line trollers along the submerged tunnel tubes.  One 45 pound bass has already been weighed in!  Bass are also hitting in the surf at Lynnhaven Inlet and the striper fishery will only improve as waters continue to cool.  Another tasty bay visitor this time of year is the tautog or blackfish and limit catches of tog have not been unusual.  Why not go green and save fuel by anchoring over structure and baiting with blue crabs and clams?  Finally, don’t forget about flounder.  Anglers should know that 262 flounder were recently tagged in the bay as part of a Virginia Institute of Marine Science migration study.  Retrieve and return one of their archival tags and receive a $200 reward.  So sneak away from the striper crowd in the next few weeks to find big hungry flounder on channel edges, around offshore wrecks, and at Chesapeake Light Tower.

Did you know? The Virginia state record speckled trout weighed 16 pounds and was caught in 1977 at Masons Beach.

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