Ring in a New Year with Rockfish!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 by Mike Halperin

George Poveromo from Saltwater Sportsman Magazine and ESPN loves to fish in Virginia Beach to film striped bass fishing for his cable television show.

Saltwater Sportsman Magazine’s George Poveromo & his catch off the waters of Virginia Beach.





NOW is the time to striper fish in Virginia Beach.  Virginia Beach is known as the “Striped Bass Capital of the World” for several reasons:  George Poveromo from Saltwater Sportsman Magazine and ESPN loves to fish in Virginia Beach to film striped bass fishing for his cable television show.  Remarkably, the recently set and current Virginia record striped bass stands at a huge 74 pounds and was just caught in the past year by Corey Wolfe. 

Corey Wolfe & his record catch

Corey Wolfe & his record catch


As if that were not enough, the director of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, Lewis Gillingham, is convinced the next world record striped bass will likely be caught in Virginia Beach waters and could occur any day!  Oh, to be that lucky angler!

Super-size my stripers: With water temperatures now in the 40’s, savvy striper seekers will fish deep in the water column to score jumbo bass.   They will also be trolling to cover plenty of ground and locate fish using either braided line or traditional wire line.    

Whatever your pleasure, set a light drag as 40, 50, and even 60 pound stripers have already arrived!   Waters off Cape Henry and around Plantation Light have been holding some HUGEbass. Some stripers have already invaded Lynnhaven Inlet where they can be caught right from shore.  Night fishing is often best.

Typical bass terminal gear will include at least one heavy leadhead Mojo.   Most fishermen choose to offer a large plastic shad behind a Mojo’s single hook.  Other winning offerings include spoons, bucktails, and deep-diving plugs.  

Live bait (such as eels or menhaden) normally gets top results, but can only be presented to a small target area.   

If fishing for monster stripers is a new experience, consider a charter fishing trip with a highly  experienced captain.  Absorb his excellent local knowledge to help hone your “A” game.  You’ll be glad you did as you fish in comfort on a big, comfortable boat.   



Bluefish by Duane Raver

Bluefish by Duane Raver



Occasionally, large bluefish have been mixed in with certain schools of bass while most schools are averaging between 30 and 40 pounds. 





With any luck, bluefin tuna should make an appearance any day now.   Last year, these powerful tuna were so close inshore that they were “stripping reels” of striper fishermen!  What a great problem to have.

Bluefin Tuna by Duane Raver

Bluefin Tuna by Duane Raver


Tautog by Duane Raver









Anglers who can tear themselves away from the bass are still finding success with tautog on much lower bay structure.  The tog weigh up to 11 pounds and can be caught by using crabs as bait.


Offshore party boats are faring well with both blueline tilefish and grouper.  This journey to the Continental Shelf is a special trip offering unique fun while promising to fill the freezer with tasty fillets.

Captain’s Log:  (1) Good News for Anglers! The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to reduce the Atlantic menhaden harvest by 20 percent. This small, oily fish is a major staple of the food chain for many local game fish such as striped bass.  Additionally, menhaden also help purify our waters by filtering phytoplankton and algae.   Barring any reversal of this catch reduction by Virginia legislators, this step promises to help preserve and grow the schools of sport fish we currently enjoy.

 (2) Sea Bass Season Resumes!  Anglers may again fish for and possess sea bass from January 1 up to March 1, 2013.  Local head boats will offer trips to accommodate fishermen for this favorite fishery.

 (3) Ocean Striper Season Open:  As of January 1st, striped bass may no longer be caught inside Chesapeake Bay.  Stripers must now be caught in the Atlantic Ocean in the zone from Cape Henry up to the three (3) mile ocean limit.

 Captain’s Tip: Remember to obtain the appropriate federal permits if you intend to catch and keep any bluefin tuna this season.   Permit information is available at National Marine Fisheries.      


citation graphicCommendable Citation Catches:

 Striped Bassof 60, 61, and 65 lbs. (live eels-Buoy 18 off Concrete Ships), 51 lbs. (umbrella rig-Cape Henry), 45 lbs. (two fish) (Mojos-Plantation Light), 50-inch release (Mojo-Concrete Ships).

Bluefish of 19 lbs. 8 oz. (squid-Norfolk Canyon)

Speckled Troutof 6 lbs. 4 oz., (local water-MirrOlure) 30-, 31-, and 32-inch releases (local waters-MirrOlure)



Wishing you tight lines and hard strikes!

See you on the water,

 Capt. Mike





Bookmark and Share