Posts Tagged ‘puppy drum’


Cool Winds & Hot Bites

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Mike Halperin

Some fine spot from Rudee Inlet

Some fine spot from Rudee Inlet

Recent cold fronts have brought weather changes needed to accelerate fall runs of  spot, speckled trout and striped bass. If that alone isn’t enough to make you wet a line – consider the flounder, bluefish, red drum and king mackerel that are all still here and feeding.

Striped bass season opened October 4th featuring ample numbers of school-sized bass. Favored locations include pilings and light lines along the 17-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with the areas around the 1st rock island of the CBBT  and between the 1st island and the beach tending to concentrate fish.  Also try the small boat channel and the Yancey Wreck.   Larger rockfish are typically found along the northern part of the CBBT from the 3rd island to the Eastern Shore.  Fishing live spot over the tunnel tubes tends to attract larger bass in the early season.  This is only the beginning as more and bigger bass will continue to enter the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to gorge on bait.

Captain’s Tip: Remember to net all striped bass. It’s the regulation and it is also the right way to handle stripers and protect the fishery. The bass you safely release today will thrill someone else in the future!  Anglers may keep up to two bass per day.  One of those two fish, however, may exceed 28 inches.

Red drum fishing continues red hot! Adult red drum are feeding at the 3rd and 4th islands of the CBBT and south along the beaches including Sandbridge, False Cape and beyond.  With multiple Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament release citations up to and exceeding 50 inches already on record, it is the best time to target a huge trophy fish from the surf.

Juvenile red drum, also known as puppy drum, are hitting cut and live bait inside Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. The pups give a strong accounting, particularly if hooked on light tackle.  While most Lynnhaven puppy drum average around 24 inches, some inshore catches have been larger than the 28-inch upper slot limit. Consider releasing drum to help maintain this special fishery!rudee_inlet

Croaker, bluefish, speckled trout, flounder, puppy drum, and spot are keeping inshore and inlet fishermen busy.  Spot are by far the hottest current bite. Spot, as heavy as 10 to 12 ounces, are providing non-stop action once a school appears.  Double-header hookups are frequent. Blues trolled up near the beach and around the 1st and 2nd islands of  the CBBT have averaged 3 lbs. although a few fishermen have landed bluefish up to 30 inches!

Flounder catches have been strong during clear water periods. Accordingly, knowledgeable flounder fishermen have waited several days after a blow to target  flatfish.  Flatfish up to 3 and 4 pounds have been biting in the Lynnhaven entrance channel with fish up to 22 inches coming from further inside the inlet.

A beautiful speckled trout!

A beautiful speckled trout!

Speckled trout are steadily increasing in number. While most Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlet fish are well below 14-inch keeper size, enough keepers and the occasional citation fish have been in the mix to maintain angling interest.  This run should only get better with each passing cold front.

Wayne Seymour's king mackerel

Wayne Seymour's king mackerel

King mackerel are making a modest comeback this season evidenced by the landing of several 30-lb. class fish caught while trolling in sight of the beach. Another great place to try for mackerel is around Chesapeake Light Tower.

Yellowfin tuna, white marlin, wahoo and scores of dolphin are making offshore trolling trips worth the run. One recent charter trip returned with 75 dolphin including fish up to 15 lbs.  Wahoo are an added blue water bonus with many fish in the 40-lb. class. 

Triggerfish are providing citations in the 4-lb. range at the Triangle Wrecks while large (out of season until October 18th) sea bass are also hitting offerings. Tautog and sheepshead are still available to anglers fishing structure and near shore wrecks with crab baits.  While some sheepshead have exceeded 7 lbs., tautog will steadily increase in size and number as waters cool.

Blueline tilefish are the top catch on deep drop trips to the Continental Shelf. Most  tilefish are in the 4 to 5-lb. range but have weighed as much as 18 lbs.  Barrelfish, black bellied rosefish and grouper round out the offerings on these long range trips.

Rachel Hibberd with dolphin galore!

Rachel Hibberd with dolphin galore!

Best Bites:

Inshore: Norfolk spot

Chesapeake Bay: Striped bass and red drum

Offshore: Dolphin

Offshore Wrecks: Blueline tilefish

Noteworthy Catches: Red drum release citations

Not sure who's more excited here..........big guy or little guy?!

Not sure who's more excited here..........big guy or little guy?

See you on the water.
Tight lines and hard strikes to all!
Capt. Mike


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September Spells Red Hot Fishing

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Mike Halperin
Fishing Blog # 106
September 15, 2014
September Spells Red Hot Fishing
Memorable angling awaits fishermen seeking white marlin, cobia, croaker, tilefish, flounder and spot along with numerous other soon-to-migrate species. Students are back in school now just as many species also “school up” prior to leaving Virginia Beach waters. Simply put, this is prime time to sample our waters. And oh, did anyone mention less angling pressure too? Normally idyllic fall weather and fall lodging rates combine to make September and October must fish months for Virginia Beach.
White marlin fishing continues to be world-class bar none! Boats choosing to troll are averaging four to six hookups per trip while those working live baits are attracting up to 20 billfish a trip! This fishery has traditionally stayed reel-screaming hot through September. Blue marlin, wahoo, dolphin and tuna make up the rest of the offshore mix.
Cobia are now feeding from Cape Charles across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and east to Cape Henry as well as along the oceanfront. Splendid catches are also coming from the line of CB buoys leading into the Bay. Many fish exceed 50 pounds.
Red drum are schooling off Cape Charles and will be heading south to offer great sport while migrating past the oceanfront and Sandbridge surf. Juvenile red drum, also known as “puppy drum,” are biting inside the inlets with Lynnhaven Inlet providing top action.
Spot remain a popular target species inside Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets. Most spot now run two to a pound, with some fish close to twelve ounces or more. It remains to be seen whether this will be a year where one-pound citation-size spot make an appearance.
Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are still actively feeding. Tide rips at Cape Henry and CBBT channel openings between the rock islands are good bets for both species. Troll small gold and silver Clark spoons (#00) to access this action. With all the bait in the water, there were even two great catches made right outside Rudee Inlet: a 35 lb. king mackerel and a 4 lb. Spanish mackerel! Both fish qualified for free Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament citations.
Flounder are another species on the inshore favorites list. Flatfish limits to 23 inches are coming from areas including the Small Boat Channel, the Yancey Wreck, the 3rd and 4th islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, ship channel edges, and the 8 and 12-mile markers of the CBBT. Moreover, the CBBT Highrise Bridge area normally becomes a flounder hot spot in October. Inlet flounder, while trending smaller, are also still biting. Fish with Gulp, live minnows and strip baits for best results.
Croaker are peaking now with plenty of fish exceeding 12 inches. Find a croaker school and action can be non-stop! Sheepshead, triggerfish and spadefish are still here with spadefish biting well around the 4th island of the CBBT. Fish tight to structure and don’t wait – all four species will soon be gone.
Grey trout promise fast action – if you can locate a school. Sonar scanning works well to reveal trout schools. Good starting points are the northern stretch of the CBBT, particularly around the 12-mile post and the Highrise Bridge.
Captain’s Tip: To increase chances for a citation spot (16 ounces), fish a Carolina rig with a small egg sinker coupled with a #4 hook and a generous piece of bloodworm. High-low bottom rigs are traditional, but this rig should attract larger spot for you.
Steer 113 degrees from Cape Henry, travel 30 miles east and you arrive at a fish magnet called the Powell wreck. As part of the “Triangle Wrecks,” which includes the World War II vessels Luckenback and Morgan, these ships are currently frequented by super-size flounder, spadefish, amberjack and jumbo black sea bass. As fall shifts to winter, the same wrecks will soon hold voracious bluefish along with tasty tautog and codfish. The Triangle Wrecks are just one of many offshore fishing locations drawing anglers to Virginia Beach waters. Enjoying this fishing smorgasbord is only a charter or head boat reservation away!
In the deep: Tilefish continue to be a top draw for offshore trips to the Continental Shelf. There is a real chance here for a saltwater fishing citation coupled with some great fishing. Other typical catches on these trips are large sea bass, barrelfish, black-bellied rosefish and grouper.
Other late season possible catches are amberjack at the South Tower southeast of Rudee Inlet along with feisty jack crevalle in inshore waters.
Noteworthy Catches: Among recent citations: a 181 lb. bigeye tuna (Norfolk Canyon), 52 lb. wahoo (Norfolk Canyon), 67 lb. cobia (CB Buoy line), 35 lb. king mackerel (outside Rudee Inlet), 30 lb. bull dolphin, 4 lb. Spanish mackerel (outside Rudee Inlet), and a 4 lb. 4 oz. triggerfish (CBBT)
Best Bets:
Offshore: White marlin
Inshore: Cobia, croaker, flounder
Inlets: Spot, croaker
Deep Drop: Blueline tilefish
See you on the water. Tight lines and hard strikes to all!
Capt. Mike
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Teresa,
Here are the links:
1- Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament
http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/vswft/index.shtm
2- Virginia Beach
http://www.vbfun.com/visitors/default.aspx
3- Virginia Marine Resources Commission
http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/
4 – Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
http://www.cbbt.com/fishing.html
5 – VMRC Fishing Regulations
http://www.mrc.state.va.us/regulations/swrecfishingrules.shtm
6 – Virginia Beach Anglers Club
http://virginiabeachanglersclub.org/
7- Tidewater Anglers Club
http://tidewateranglersclub.org/
8- Chesapeake Light Tower
http://vbsf.net/articles/virginias-chesapeake-light-tower/
9-Cape Henry
Teresa, I couldn’t get this link to work here, but I think it is o.k. in the text?
Categories:
Living the Life
Fishing
Tags:
Blueline tilefish
Grouper
Fishing citation
World class fishing
Striped bass
Tautog
Speckled Trout
Red Drum
Black Drum
Puppy Drum
Flounder
Golden tilefish
Blueline tilefish
Black bellied rosefish
Bluefish
Grey trout
Flounder
Dolphin
Marlin
Mahi mahi
Roundhead
Sea mullet
Tuna
Pictures: Please use Raver drawing of a croaker in conjunction with any pictures you like from the group I sent you for this blog. Thanks. Call me if you have any questions.
Take care,
Mike

24 white marlin...ONE DAY, ONE ANGLER!

24 white marlin...ONE DAY, ONE ANGLER!

Memorable angling awaits fishermen seeking white marlin, cobia, croaker, tilefish, flounder and spot along with numerous other soon-to-migrate species. Students are back in school now just as many species also “school up” prior to leaving Virginia Beach waters. Simply put, this is prime time to sample our waters. And oh, did anyone mention less angling pressure too? Normally idyllic fall weather and fall lodging rates combine to make September and October must fish months for Virginia Beach.

White marlin fishing continues to be world-class bar none! Boats choosing to troll are averaging four to six hookups per trip while those working live baits are attracting up to 20 billfish a trip! This fishery has traditionally stayed reel-screaming hot through September. Blue marlin, wahoo, dolphin and tuna make up the rest of the offshore mix.

Cobia are now feeding from Cape Charles across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and east to Cape Henry as well as along the oceanfront. Splendid catches are also coming from the line of CB buoys leading into the Bay. Many fish exceed 50 pounds.

A cobia on the dock

A cobia on the dock

Red drum are schooling off Cape Charles and will be heading south to offer great sport while migrating past the oceanfront and Sandbridge surf. Juvenile red drum, also known as “puppy drum,” are biting inside the inlets with Lynnhaven Inlet providing top action.

Spot remain a popular target species inside Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets. Most spot now run two to a pound, with some fish close to twelve ounces or more. It remains to be seen whether this will be a year where one-pound citation-size spot make an appearance.

Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are still actively feeding. Tide rips at Cape Henry and CBBT channel openings between the rock islands are good bets for both species. Troll small gold and silver Clark spoons (#00) to access this action. With all the bait in the water, there were even two great catches made right outside Rudee Inlet: a 35 lb. king mackerel and a 4 lb. Spanish mackerel! Both fish qualified for free Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament citations.

Flounder are another species on the inshore favorites list. Flatfish limits to 23 inches are coming from areas including the Small Boat Channel, the Yancey Wreck, the 3rd and 4th islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, ship channel edges, and the 8 and 12-mile markers of the CBBT. Moreover, the CBBT Highrise Bridge area normally becomes a flounder hot spot in October. Inlet flounder, while trending smaller, are also still biting. Fish with Gulp, live minnows and strip baits for best results.

Croaker by Duane Raver

Croaker by Duane Raver

Croaker are peaking now with plenty of fish exceeding 12 inches. Find a croaker school and action can be non-stop! Sheepshead, triggerfish and spadefish are still here with spadefish biting well around the 4th island of the CBBT. Fish tight to structure and don’t wait – all four species will soon be gone.

Grey trout promise fast action – if you can locate a school. Sonar scanning works well to reveal trout schools. Good starting points are the northern stretch of the CBBT, particularly around the 12-mile post and the Highrise Bridge.

Captain’s Tip: To increase chances for a citation spot (16 ounces), fish a Carolina rig with a small egg sinker coupled with a #4 hook and a generous piece of bloodworm. High-low bottom rigs are traditional, but this rig should attract larger spot for you.

Steer 113 degrees from Cape Henry, travel 30 miles east and you arrive at a fish magnet called the Powell wreck. As part of the “Triangle Wrecks,” which includes the World War II vessels Luckenback and Morgan, these ships are currently frequented by super-size flounder, spadefish, amberjack and jumbo black sea bass. As fall shifts to winter, the same wrecks will soon hold voracious bluefish along with tasty tautog and codfish. The Triangle Wrecks are just one of many offshore fishing locations drawing anglers to Virginia Beach waters. Enjoying this fishing smorgasbord is only a charter or head boat reservation away!

The Triangle Wrecks, a VB fish magnet

The Triangle Wrecks, a VB fish magnet

In the deep: Tilefish continue to be a top draw for offshore trips to the Continental Shelf. There is a real chance here for a saltwater fishing citation coupled with some great fishing. Other typical catches on these trips are large sea bass, barrelfish, black-bellied rosefish and grouper.

Other late season possible catches are amberjack at the South Tower southeast of Rudee Inlet along with feisty jack crevalle in inshore waters.

One fast fish - wahoo!

One fast fish - wahoo!

Noteworthy Catches

Among recent citations: a 181 lb. bigeye tuna (Norfolk Canyon), a 52  lb. wahoo (Norfolk Canyon), a 67 lb. cobia (CB Buoy line), a 35 lb. king mackerel (outside Rudee Inlet),a 30 lb. bull dolphin,a 4 lb. Spanish mackerel (outside Rudee Inlet), and a 4 lb. 4 oz. triggerfish (CBBT).

Best Bets

Offshore: White marlin

Inshore: Cobia, croaker, flounder

Inlets: Spot, croaker

Deep Drop: Blueline tilefish

See you on the water. Tight lines and hard strikes to all!
Capt. Mike


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Marlin Mania

Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Mike Halperin

Leader board on the final day of the VB Billfish Tournament
Leader board on the final day of the VB Billfish Tournament

A white marlin struts his stuff prior to release

A white marlin struts his stuff prior to release

With a field of 75 boats, including charter and private boats, anglers participating in the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament enjoyed an outstanding fishing event. In just three fishing days, 432 billfish were released, including 357 white marlin, 15 blue marlin and 61 sailfish.   Releases were complemented by catches of dolphin and wahoo.   As a conservation measure, blue marlin needed to weigh 500 pounds to be brought to the dock. The VBBT is part of the Virginia Beach Billfish Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving back to the community through youth and marine related charities. This year’s tournament raised significant money for Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, the DARE (anti-drug program), and Achievable Dream as well as other worthwhile charities while offering $424,000 in cash awards.

Similarly, the recent local Wine, Women and Fishing Tournament was a resounding success with its tournament and events raising more than $100,000 for breast cancer research at Eastern Virginia Medical School.  This one day ladies tournament featured strong results. Thirty nine total billfish with 2 blue marlin, 35 white marlin and 2 sailfish were released from 35 competing boats.  Congratulations to all who participated to raise money for charity.

These cobia created huge smiles
These cobia created huge smiles

Cobia continue to be the “hot inshore bite” with fishermen needing to choose between sight-casting, chumming and live-baiting to hunt their fish. Calm weather and sunny days are allowing sight-casters to toss lures to cobia averaging 40 to 50 pounds.  Even larger fish are available with many anglers choosing a live eel to entice big strikes.  Keeper cobia of 55 lbs. or 50-inch release fish qualify for free citation awards from the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

Captain’s Tip: Find a school of rays and you are likely to find cobia as these brown bruisers love to dine on food stirred up by rays as the rays scour the bottom.

Flounder offer plenty of action in Chesapeake Bay as well as inside Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. Boat anglers have returned with nice limits (4 flatfish of 16 inches) with some fish pushing close to 7-pound citation size.  While inlet flounder trend smaller (up to 23 inches), there is no wrong place to flounder fish if you are near structure. Bridge pilings, wrecks, channel edges, inlet rock revetment, and shoreline edges all hold flatfish.  A Gulp/jig combo continues to be a winning combination, with white and chartreuse baits getting results.

Norfolk Spot by Duane Raver
Norfolk Spot by Duane Raver

Inside Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets, puppy drum, flounder, croaker, bluefish, and spot are keeping fishermen busy. Attention is about to turn to Norfolk spot as this run is due to gear up in earnest. Half pound spot are already here with bigger fish hoped for as fall Nor’easters accelerate schooling and drive fish out of Chesapeake Bay. Lynnhaven Inlet is best for puppy drum while Rudee Inlet offers prime opportunity for inshore flounder.  Speckled trout fishing should improve daily in the Bay and the inlets. 

Spadefish, triggerfish and sheepshead are also drawing anglers to the 17-mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Crabs and clams attract these mollusk eaters– just be sure to get the bait as close to the structure as possible. 

Other fish offering Bay opportunities are red drum, bluefish, black drum, croaker and Spanish mackerel. Keep an eye out for schools of red drum near the mouth of the Bay.  Fishing has remained steady for both blue fish and Spanish mackerel with many mackerel weighing 2 to 3 pounds. Tide rips at Cape Henry are a good starting point for hunting Spanish mackerel.   Anglers trolling inshore continue to be treated to occasional catches of small dolphin and jack crevalle.

King mackerel are now hunting bait in the Sandbridge area. Try slow trolling live baits while enjoying the Virginia shoreline view.  You won’t get a lot of strikes, but  the ones you do will be “Air-Jaws” experiences coupled with sizzling reel-screaming strikes! Setting a light drag should help keep you in the game.

A great Spanish mackerel charter!
A great Spanish mackerel charter!

South of Rudee Inlet, amberjack remain available around the South Tower for anglers willing to make the run. Weather changes in the next few weeks could send the amberjack on their way.

In the deep: Tilefish continue to be a top draw for offshore trips to the Continental Shelf. There is a real chance here for a saltwater fishing citation coupled with some great fishing. Other typical catches on these trips are large seabass, barrelfish, black-bellied rosefish and grouper.

Noteworthy Catches: Among recent weight citations: a 26 lb. dolphin, 77 lb. wahoo, 66 lb. 4 oz. cobia, 33 lb. king mackerel, and a 7 lb. 8 oz. flounder.

Multiple marlin release flags say it all!
Multiple marlin release flags say it all!

Best Bets

Offshore: White marlin

Inshore: Cobia

Inlets: Flounder and spot

Deep Drop: Blueline tilefish

Captain’s Log: We are entering the transitional fall fishing period with many species now schooling and starting to move.  If usual haunts don’t produce, try a change of location or even target a different species.  Remember: “Don’t leave fish to find fish,” but certainly don’t remain in the same old spot with no bites!

Tournament Trail:

VBanglerclub

Virginia Beach Anglers Club Summer Fishing Tournament

September 14

Lynnhaven Fishing Pier

Open to all with awards for croaker, roundhead, bluefish and spot

For information:

Call 267.994.7423

or visit

http://lynnhavenpier.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier:

See you on the water. Tight lines and hard strikes to all!

Capt. Mike


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Summer Fishing Sizzles

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Mike Halperin

Bigeye tuna caught by visiting anglers Vincent & Gary Warzecka

Bigeye tuna caught by visiting anglers Vincent & Gary Warzecha

Summer flounder by Duane Raver

Summer flounder by Duane Raver

The largest flounder are feeding in the strongest current areas where Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament citation flatfish up to 10 pounds have not been unusual. Moreover, limits of four 16-inch flounder have been attainable on most bay fishing trips.  Fishermen using small live spot as bait near tunnel pilings, channel edges and wrecks are returning with catches of huge flounder.  Anglers working Little Creek, Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets from shore, kayaks and small craft have similarly enjoyed success with flounder using jigs and plastic swim baits, cut bait, squid and minnows.

Spot action has been anything but “spotty” with accommodating medium-sized fish hitting on blood worms and artificial Fishbites. Spot offer the perfect way to introduce children to the joy of saltwater fishing as these tasty and aggressive biters will definitely maintain a child’s attention. Croaker are also serving up plenty of action for anglers fishing around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  Croaker fishing has been best in the bay while spot are well established in all three area inlets.  

Small red drum up to 23 inches, also known as juvenile channel bass or “puppy drum”, continue to cooperate inside Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. Anyone seeking a “fair fight” with great action should use light tackle to fish for puppy drum. Try any oily cut bait or a Gulp-jig combination.

Sight casters continue hunting red drum and cobia. This is great sport as schools of red drum are now well established while patrolling the lower bay for food.   Cobia, on the other hand, are normally solitary cruisers.  Both species typically show interest in large bucktail jigs with swimming tails.

Spadefish, triggerfish and sheepshead are other species on the fishing “menu” during August and early fall. As in real estate, location is the key to success with these great eating fish.  Location here means structure such as bridge pilings or wrecks.

A great Spanish mackerel charter!

A great Spanish mackerel charter!

Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are still biting inside the bay and along Cape Henry and the oceanfront. For best catches, troll tide lines and areas of swift current.  Bluefish are also feeding inside Rudee Inlet and attacking baits intended for other species.  Surprisingly, a recent catch has been the unusual presence of some dolphin (mahi) around the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

This is prime time to hunt king mackerel. Anglers slow trolling live baits just beyond the surf line are hoping for dramatic air-borne strikes from king mackerel at this time of year.  These lightning fast torpedo-like fish provide thrilling strikes while testing any fisherman’s fighting skills to the limit.   King mackerel may also be caught from our two southernmost piers.

Speckled trout season is now open! This beautiful spotted fish enjoys almost a cult following in the local angling community.  And why not as “specks” are a challenge to catch, must be played on light drag due to soft mouths, and are delicious dinner fare.  Some small trout are already being landed inside area inlets with peak season yet to come in September and October.

Multiple marlin release flags say it all!

Multiple marlin release flags say it all!

Blue water action is dominated by white marlin and dolphin with tuna occasionally crashing the party. In addition to the whites, some anglers have hooked into blue marlin, spearfish, wahoo, sailfish, or bigeye tuna.  Yellowfin tuna, the most common tuna caught, have ranged up to 70 pounds with most yellowfin larger than 40 pounds.

When long-range head boats make the trip, fishing on the edge of the Continental Shelf has been phenomenal. Fishermen on these trips have hit the dock with splendid catches of large tilefish, sea bass, wreckfish, barrelfish, grouper and black bellied rosefish.  Anglers heading to the Southern Tower are still assured of a monumental tussle with amberjack with attitude. Bring live bait and be prepared to be worn out by these powerful sport fish.

Noteworthy: Among recent weight citations: 29 lb. 11 oz. dolphin, 68 lb. 12 oz. cobia, 9 lb. flounder and 10 lb. sheepshead.  Red drum up to 48 inches along with numerous white marlin releases have also been recorded.

Captain’s Tip: Cleaning fish in an indoor location? Place the fish inside a large paper shopping bag.  Then scale the fish completely inside the bag.  Most scale waste will be contained within the bag for easy disposal.

Captain’s Red Drum/Cobia Tip: Pick a calm day for sight-casting and fish from 10 to 2 at mid-day using the sun at your back for sight advantage. Should cobia spurn your offerings, try dropping live baits under bay buoys in tandem with an egg sinker.   This will get the bait down to the strike zone.

Yellowfin tuna & dolphin from Virginia waters

Yellowfin tuna & dolphin from Virginia waters

Best Bets:

Offshore – white marlin

Chesapeake Bay – cobia, flounder

Oceanfront Trolling – Spanish mackerel, bluefish

Deep Drop – blueline tilefish

Inlets – croaker, flounder

Tournament Trail

VBAC Banner

Virginia Beach Anglers Club Summer Fishing Tournament

September 14

Lynnhaven Pier

Open to all with awards for croaker, roundhead, bluefish and spot.

For information: 267.994.7423

http://lynnhavenpier.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier

See you on the water. Tight lines and hard strikes to all!
Capt. Mike


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The Beach Report – August 1, 2014

Friday, August 1st, 2014 by Mike Halperin

We are pleased to start August off on Shorelines with a fantastic post by our in-house angling expert and author, Capt. Mike Halperin. Enjoy!

Summer Species Shine!


Photo courtesy of George Poveromo
Photo courtesy of George Poveromo

Hordes of premier game fish visit Virginia Beach waters and attract some of the best fishermen on the planet who come here to challenge their skills and enjoy world-class fishing. One such returning angler is George Poveromo, host of  television network NBC Sports Network’s “World of Saltwater Fishing”.   George has already been to Virginia Beach to film television specials on flounder and striped bass.  While visiting the first week in August to get exciting action footage for an upcoming show, Poveromo will hunt cobia that can exceed 100 pounds!   As soon as the show date is released, we will post it on the blog.

Captain’s Tip: Blog readers wanting to learn more about battling cobia and other local game fish  are invited to read True Tales of the Tide: An Angler’s Lifelong Quest, a book by this blogger that fully explores all that Virginia Beach fishing offers.

White marlin struts his stuff prior to releaseBlue Water Action: Charter and private boats are enjoying the front end of the white marlin run as well as red hot dolphin fishing. Several boats have returned after scoring up to 5 marlin release citation awards from the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.  That fishery typically only improves  as September arrives!  Mahi mahi, also know as dolphin, have arguably been the most predictable offshore catch.   Dolphin of bailer to medium size comprise the bulk of most catches with the occasional large bull dolphin in the mix. Tuna have also been pouncing on trolled ballyhoo lures, but not as reliably as the dolphin. A bigeye tuna of 211 pounds is one of the larger tuna to date while yellowfin tuna are averaging 20 to 40 pounds.

Golden tilefish & yellowfin tuna from a Virginia Beach offshore adventure
Golden tilefish & yellowfin tuna from a Virginia Beach offshore adventure

On the Shelf: Deep drop anglers journeying to the edge of the Continental Shelf have enjoyed outstanding fishing for tilefish. Many citation tilefish in the 10 to 15 pound range have been landed including a recent 44 lb. 8 oz. monster golden tilefish. Squid bait has brought these brutes to the hook along with large sea bass, wreckfish, barrelfish, grouper and black bellied rosefish.  These trips always afford the chance of not only a citation catch but a possible world-record fish.  

Local angler Fletcher Rawls reveals what swims inside Rudee Inlet: flounder of 19", 21" & 22" along w/a 17" gray trout & 24" puppy drum
Local angler Fletcher Rawls reveals what swims inside Rudee Inlet: flounder of 19″, 21″ & 22″ along with a 17″ gray trout & 24″ puppy drum

Inlet Fishing: Folks soaking baits in Rudee, Lynnhaven and Little Creek Inlets can expect a mixed bag of small croaker, spot, gray trout, speckled trout, puppy drum, and flounder. Although still in season, the inlet puppy drum and flounder bites have slowed considerably. Spot and croaker numbers are on a steady increase while two-hook bottom rigs fished with bloodworms, Fishbites, or squid should produce steady action.

Pier, Surf and Inshore: Bluefish and Spanish mackerel continue to be the hot inshore pick. Spanish mackerel have been thick, good-sized and ready to attack a small trolled spoon.  Spot, croaker, bluefish, flounder and sea mullet round out the close-to-shore offerings with pompano now showing in the Sandbridge surf.  King mackerel are due to follow.

A typical catch of spanish mackerel
Typical catch of Spanish mackerel

Captain’s Tip: Bluefish and Spanish mackerel do not store well – they taste best when served fresh rather than frozen. This is due to their oily nature.

Anglers John Forbes, Ricky Powell & WA Lee with Lee's record catch in 2013

Anglers John Forbes, Ricky Powell & WA Lee with Lee's record catch (2013)

Chesapeake Bay Fishing: One word says it all – FLOUNDER! Flounder catches have been off the charts with many fishermen regularly returning with limit catches of four 16-inch flatfish.  Savvy anglers fishing live bait have upped the game to lure citation doormats of nearly 8 pounds!  Sheepshead as large as a 17 lb. 14 oz. citation are biting along pilings and tunnel tubes of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.   Triggerfish and spadefish offer additional quarry for fishermen.

Red drum and cobia are maintaining their summer feed in the bay. Red drum have been sighted in large cruising schools but are prone to scatter once sight-fished.  So make that first cast count!  Reds to 54 inches have been registered for citations.

Cobia are luring anglers who desire the thrill of a sight-fishing hunt. Most cobia are in the 30 to 50 lb. range, but larger fish may be effectively targeted by sight-casting.  Buoys “36 A” and “13” along with the inner middle ground shoals are great starting points for locating drum and cobia.   Rods and reels should be in top repair before taking on a hard fighting red drum or cobia.

Best Bets:

Offshore – dolphin

Inshore – flounder

New walkway from Fishing Center to the Boardwalk: Kudos to city work crews for progress on constructing a wide concrete walkway running from Rudee Inlet and the boardwalk to the fishing center.  The walkway meanders along the canal edge and will provide a pleasant walk for anglers seeking bait without moving their vehicle.  The project is rapidly moving to completion.

On the Tournament Trail


Virginia Beach Anglers Club Summer Fishing Tournament

August 10 and September 14 on Lynnhaven Pier. Open to all with awards for croaker, roundhead, bluefish and spot. For information: 267.994.7423 and

http://lynnhavenpier.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier:

See you on the water.
Tight lines and hard strikes to all!
Capt. Mike


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Summer Fishing – A Fish for Every Angler

Sunday, July 20th, 2014 by Mike Halperin

Courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Good riddance to Hurricane Arthur! Virginia Beach anglers may now return to what they love best – catching fish!  While the storm’s passing seems to have momentarily slowed down tuna fishing, post-storm bill fish action has proved worthwhile with returning boats registering several citation  awards with the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. One released white marlin measured 80 inches with most hookups taking place at Norfolk Canyon.  Dolphin (or mahi) remain available with many school-sized fish surpassed by the occasional “Who’s Your Daddy?” dolphin in the mix.

A nice catch of Spanish mackerel!

A nice catch of Spanish mackerel!

Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are leaving huge smiles on the faces of fishermen on both private and charter boats fishing inshore. This year is quickly turning into a top year class for numbers as well as size of Spanish mackerel.  A 6 ½ lb. citation mackerel recently caught off Rudee Inlet  highlights the success of our mackerel fishery.  Cape Henry is normally a reliable starting point for Spanish mackerel trolling, especially along tide lines.  King mackerel could also make an appearance anytime now.

Fishermen plying local saltwater inlets (Little Creek, Lynnhaven and Rudee) may expect mostly small to medium spot, croaker, sea mullet, speckled trout (release for now), puppy drum and bluefish. Flounder, while also in the surf and inlets, are trending larger this year with 16-inch keepers not unusual.  Even though the flounder and puppy drum bite has slowed somewhat, it should pick up once waters fully clear from recent storm runoff.

Chesapeake Bay, also recovering from Arthur, continues to offer cobia, sheepshead, spadefish, triggerfish, and flounder along with red and black drum. Cobia in the 30 to 40 lb. range are numerous. Trophy fish exceeding 50 lbs., however, remain a challenge.  For best cobia results, try cut menhaden at locations like buoys 16, 13 and the “Middle Grounds”.

Black drum by Duane Raver

Black drum by Duane Raver

Black drum, sheepshead, triggerfish and spadefish are holding around structure of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and certain offshore wrecks. In addition to a great fight, sheepshead weighing up to 11 pounds offer distinct “plate appeal” due to a diet of tasty mollusks.

Red drum still patrol bay shoals and will fall for crab baits. Big reds to 57 inches have been reported for citation awards.  Black drum are in schools around the four rock islands of the CBBT and can be coaxed to swallow bucktail lures.

Croaker by Duane Raver

Croaker by Duane Raver

A mix of gray trout, croaker, sea trout, bluefish, and flounder is waiting for boaters running to Kiptopeke on the northern side of the bay. Flounder are also well established in the “Ditch” running from Fisherman’s Island to Magothy Bay as well as the 4th island area of the CBBT.

Deep drop fishermen working the Continental Shelf should find a wide variety of fish including black seabass, black bellied rosefish, grouper, barrelfish, wreckfish and tilefish. The tilefish have averaged around 15 pounds while all of these species are excellent on the dinner plate.  Long-range comfortable head boats are ready to take you in comfort to this exciting fishing.

A typical Virginia Beach tilefish

A typical Virginia Beach tilefish

Captain’s Tip: When cobia fishing – keep a live eel rigged on a rod and ready to pitch in case a monster cobia shows up.

Captain’s Tip: First Impressions Matter.  Fluorocarbon (invisible) leader is money well spent as it will maximize bites.  This is particularly important for fish with keen eye sight such as mackerel or tuna.

Captain’s Log: Visiting trailer boaters should note that the free Owl’s Creek boat ramp near the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center affords easy access to Rudee Inlet fishing as well as a quick entry to the Atlantic and all the bounty it can offer.  Go to Owl’s Creek for information.

Best Bets:

Spanish mackerel, white marlin, cobia, flounder, and tilefish

Tournament Trail:

Virginia Beach Anglers Club Summer Fishing Tournament:

August 10 and September 14 on Lynnhaven Pier. Open to all with awards for croaker, roundhead, bluefish and spot. For information: 267.994.7423 and

http://lynnhavenpier.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier:

Hope to see you on the water. Tight lines and hard strikes to all!

Capt. Mike


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So Many Fish, So Many Choices!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by Mike Halperin

Capt. Mike Halperin is featured this week in The Beach Report – his timely post offers the very latest happenings in the Virginia Beach fishing scene. Happy Independence Day & Happy Fishing!!

Inlets and Beaches:  With so many species to choose from, Virginia Beach fishermen will need to select a target fish. Inshore anglers can pick from a nice mix of sea mullet, Norfolk spot, croaker, speckled trout (release only), puppy drum, bluefish and flounder.  Bloodworms, Fishbites and squid will all fire up the action.

Spanish mackerel & bluefish catch - typical day's work in VB!

Spanish mackerel & bluefish catch - typical day's work in VB!

Mack Attack: Looking for some July 4th aquatic fireworks? Try trolling for Spanish mackerel off Virginia Beach. These speedy, torpedo-shaped gamefish provide drag-screaming runs only to top that performance by handily gracing the dinner plate. Best spots for an encounter include the 30-foot Cape Henry ledge, tide lines, channels of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and the entrances to Little Creek and Rudee Inlets.  Mackerel will grow in size and number as summer continues.

Captain’s Tip: If catching bluefish rather than mackerel, simply increase trolling speed. Moreover, no leader is too long (30 to 40 feet is optimal)  with fluorocarbon leader maximizing catches.

Citation-size red drum are patrolling shoal waters along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel as well as the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. Night fishing has been hot, but these channel bass can be lured in the daytime as well.   In addition to chumming, try slow trolling a large silver spoon such as a Hopkins 550 over the shoals. A recent citation release measured 49 inches.

Local IGFA representative Dr. Julie Ball with her 74 lb. women's 20 lb. line class World Record cobia -

Dr. Julie Ball with her 74 lb. women's 20 lb. line class World Record cobia

Cobia are here in numbers off Hampton (Bluefish Rock area) and in the lower bay with more and bigger fish arriving daily. Many fish have been  in the 30 lb. range, however, some behemoths over 80 lbs. have been landed.  For a “reel” challenge, toss a bucktail/plastic swimming lure combination to a surface cruising cobia and hope your tackle is up to the task.   It will be tested!

Flounder are enjoying a banner year. Good numbers of flatfish are inside Little Creek, Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets.  Keeper fish of 16 inches have not been uncommon, with fish up to 23 inches being landed with increasing frequency. With citation flatfish up to 8 pounds already landed, it looks to be a great flounder season.  Flounder are also available around the four rock islands of the CBBT, along channel edges and at offshore wrecks.

va marine res commiss

Captain’s Tip: Best flounder baits include live minnows, strip baits, and Gulp Alive white swimming minnows. Landing a tagged flounder at Rudee Inlet prompted me to remind readers to check all “shorts” for tags before release.  Tagged fish should be reported at Virginia Marine Resource Commission or call 757.491.5160.   Anyone turning in tag data receives a reward choice of a pin, hat, T-shirt or tackle pack.   Do participate as the data is invaluable for managing the resource.

Spadefish by Duane Raver

Spadefish by Duane Raver

Structure Swimmers: Structure dwelling spadefish, triggerfish and sheepshead offer yet another exciting local fishery. Clam strips attract spadefish and triggerfish while crab is best for drawing sheepshead to the hook.   Work baits as close to structure such as bridge pilings and wrecks as you can.  A sheepshead of 11 pounds is already on record. Chesapeake Light Tower remains a premier spot for spadefish.  By live baiting, you may also experience the thrill of fighting a feisty amberjack at the wrecks. 

Deep Drop: Anglers bottom fishing the Continental Shelf can expect bites from blueline and golden tilefish, jumbo sea bass, grouper, wreckfish and black bellied rosefish. Most catches are made on large, comfortable long-range head boats leaving from Virginia Beach docks.

Vic Gaspeny (l) with Capt. Justin Wilson and the pending record 311 lb. bigeye tuna

Vic Gaspeny (l) with Capt. Justin Wilson w/ a 311 lb. bigeye tuna caught last year on a charter fishing expedition

Bluewater Trolling: Bigeye and yellowfin tuna along with dolphin, also known as “mahi”, dominate the trolling menu. Some bigeye have exceeded 100 pounds with the average yellowfin weighing 45 to 50 pounds.  Similarly, a 40 lb. dolphin is one of the larger mahi caught so far. Moreover, the opportunity to hook a marlin along with a chance for a handsome release citation plaque or certificate from the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament is ever-present during one of these deep water adventures.

As you can see, Virginia Beach offers numerous world class summer angling adventures. So if you’re already here or just planning your visit, there is plenty of reason to join us to wet a line to enjoy some fishing fun!

Captain’s Log: Lynnhaven Inlet beach on the western side of the inlet is closed. The beach is closed for 3 years while being used to stage construction of a new inlet bridge.    Boating anglers may continue to launch boats and park trailers.

Best Bets: Flounder, croaker and spot (inlets), cobia and flounder(Chesapeake Bay), yellowfin tuna (offshore)

Tournament Trail:

Military Tournament: A free fishing tournament open to all active-duty military and dependents is set for May 15 through July 20. Participants in this Tidewater Anglers Club sponsored tournament only need a Virginia saltwater fishing license.  Prizes include cash awards, youth trophies, and a one-year club membership for each winner.   For information: 757.499.1834 or: www.tidewateranglersclub.org

Virginia Beach Anglers Club Summer Fishing Tournament:

July 13, August 10 and September 14 on Lynnhaven Pier. Open to all with awards for croaker, roundhead, bluefish and spot. For information: 267.994.7423 and

http://lynnhavenpier.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier:

Hope to see you on the water.  Tight lines and hard strikes to all!

Capt. Mike


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