Posts Tagged ‘puppy drum’


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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Celebrating the 100th Fishing Blog

Sunday, June 15th, 2014 by Mike Halperin

Editor's Pick - Congrats to your 100th post, Capt. Mike

Editor's Pick - Congrats on your 100th post, Capt. Mike!

As I pen my 100th article for this fishing blog, it remains a pleasure to share Virginia Beach as one of the premier angling destinations anywhere in the world. Whether your preference is surf, inlet, bay or ocean fishing, our angling options are consistently world-class. From spot and croaker to striped bass, blue marlin or tuna, our waters have it all. As summer approaches, now is a perfect time to plan that Virginia Beach vacation that will offer the enjoyment, fun and challenge of a wide variety of fishing opportunities.

Surf Zone: Puppy drum in the 18- to 26-inch slot class have been pleasing anglers in the surf near the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. Other crowd pleasers in that arena have been striped bass along with feisty bluefish, many of which have measured well over 30 inches.  The same big blues have been frequenting Rudee Inlet, apparently feasting on schools of bait fish.

Rudee Inlet: There is a good mix of fish available inside the inlet. Anglers soaking blood worms and squid are likely to encounter spot, croaker, sea trout, puppy drum, bluefish and flounder.  Many croaker have been good size of a pound or more.  Small flounder remain plentiful, with some anglers enjoying fair success in enticing keeper 16-inch flatfish.

Lynnhaven and Little Creek Inlets hold the same species, but with less likelihood of large bluefish. I just had my own brief encounter with a big bluefish in Rudee – following a line-sizzling run, the fish cut me off, happily allowing me to return to flounder fishing. For the largest flounder, try jigging white Gulp minnows or fish fresh cut strip baits.  

A Rudee Inlet flounder tags along with Lee Hughes, Sr. prior to release

A Rudee Inlet flounder tags along with Lee Hughes, Sr. prior to release

If a friendly smiling gentleman approaches and asks to “borrow” your fish, you will help the ecosystem by loaning your catch. Lee Hughes Sr. is a well-known fish tagger who has been tagging fish for years at Rudee Inlet. Lee has hundreds of tags to his credit.  He will measure your catch, record the data and then carefully release it.  The data is used to monitor growth and travel at recapture and provide information to support sustainable harvest. Best of all – it will feel great to see your fish set free. 

Chesapeake Bay: Cobia are here in force with many weighing up to 70 to 80 pounds. Try fishing the shoals, channel edges or the Bluefish Rock area. For an extra challenge, try sight fishing and tossing a bucktail lure in front of a cobia – and then hold on! Spadefish as well as sheepshead are in the bay around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel; however, neither species is on a strong bite yet. Similarly, bay flounder catches have not been as reliable as inside the inlets.  Sporadic flounder bites may be due to freshwater runoff following rain storms.  On a high note, several flounder of 7 lb. citation size have already been taken in bay waters.  Stripers remain available, although many anglers are concentrating on large cobia for now.  Croaker are the other strong bay presence.

Most red drum coming from bay shoal areas have been 46 inches or larger. This bite has remained consistent and is still one of the best opportunities for earning a release citation award from the free Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament program.  Schools of black drum are moving from the shoals to take up summer residence around the islands of the CBBT.

Offshore: In addition to large black sea bass, good size flounder are available at the Triangle Wrecks some thirty miles offshore. Also, Virginia’s offshore fishing is ready to heat up as reported by one of our best local charter captains.  His boat returned with a blue marlin release, a mahi mahi (dolphin), and a 25-lb. class yellowfin tuna.  That is the type of action local and visiting anglers can’t wait to get in on!

Drop Deep for Big Success: Deep drop enthusiasts are returning to the dock with black bellied rosefish, large seabass, grouper, and blueline and golden tilefish. On a recent 17-hour trip, one fisherman hooked and landed a 43-inch, 57 lb. golden tilefish.  That fish has already qualified for a citation award and is currently pending approval as a new state record fish.

Captain’s Tip: When planning a bay or inlet fishing trip, try to allow a few days following heavy rains for fresh tides to clear the waters. Also, incoming tides tend to provide cleaner water as we approach summer.

Tournament Trail

Military Tournament:

taclogoA free fishing tournament open to all active-duty military and dependents runs 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 visit www.tidewateranglersclub.org.

VBAC Banner

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, call 267.994.7423 or visit http://lynnhavenpier.blogspot.com/ or  https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier

VB tournament logo

Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament, June 25 – 28 Marina Shores, 2190 Marina Shores Drive, Virginia Beach, VA. Call (757)  496-7000 or visit http://www.vbtuna.com


Captain’s Note: 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 and croaker (inlets), cobia (Chesapeake Bay)

Tight lines and hard strikes to all!

Capt. Mike

front cover Mike

Editor’s Note:
Capt. Mike’s book – True Tales of the Tide: An Angler’s Lifelong Quest - includes 13 true saltwater action-adventure fishing stories mostly set in Virginia Beach. The book shares stories about local catches ranging from citation “spot” up to several state record fish. I’ve read this book myself and highly recommend it. Talk about getting the story from a local’s perspective…….it doesn’t get any better than this!


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Fishing Heats Up with the Weather

Sunday, June 1st, 2014 by Mike Halperin

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

Increasing flounder catches are creating angler excitement in Virginia Beach! Keeper flatfish over 16 inches are in all three area inlets with Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets yielding a number of fish up to 20 inches or more.  One happy angler boated a 7 ½ lb. citation flounder drift fishing in Long Creek inside Lynnhaven Inlet!  Flounder up to 5 pounds are hitting in the “ditch” near Fisherman’s Island.  Try squid, minnows and artificial baits on a falling tide.

Puppy drum, smaller versions of adult channel bass or red drum, are being caught inside Rudee Inlet. Oily cut bait, such as finger mullet, should quickly attract the attention of any cruising puppy drum. Puppy drum have a 3-fish limit in the 18- to 26-inch slot class. Small spot, croaker, and gray trout are also biting inside Rudee.

Red Drum by Duane Raver
Red Drum by Duane Raver

A school of large adult red drum surprised a group of ocean kayak fishermen  with some amazing action just south of Rudee Inlet. Hooking one of these bronze monsters is always a battle but especially in a kayak!   Schools of red drum have been feeding inside Chesapeake Bay along Latimer Shoals, between buoys 13 and 16, with several 30-pound class cobia feeding along with the reds.  Some reds measured up to 50 inches.  Sea mullet have been a nice bonus catch on the shoals for drum fishermen. 

Black drum by Duane Raver
Black drum by Duane Raver

Black drum, mostly in the 20 to 40 pound range with some larger drum mixed in, have been feeding heavily around buoy 13. Clams continue to be the “hot” bait with best catches taking place after sunset.  One boat amazingly hooked 70 black drum in one night!

Striper fishing has been best in the early morning along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Striped bass are also biting in the seaside surf and occasionally inside Rudee Inlet.   Striped bass season runs through June 15 with two fish allowed in the 18- to 28-inch slot.  One of those two fish may measure over 32 inches but must be reported.  Fish deep and try wire line or live bait around the two CBBT tunnels and the High Rise Bridge if seeking the largest bass.

Bluefish by Duane Raver
Bluefish by Duane Raver

Chasing the Blues? Come to Rudee Inlet and fish near the Virginia Aquarium. Bluefish of 12 to 14 pounds have been landed here by some very surprised anglers.

Black sea bass are a popular target for anglers who enjoy returning with a cooler full of mouth watering fillets. Sea bass season is open through September 18 when it closes for a month and reopens October 18. Fishermen may keep 15 sea bass of 12  ½ inches.   Additionally, grouper, tilefish, wreck fish, barrel fish and black bellied rosefish are now on the deep-drop menu for offshore anglers.  Many of these deep-drop fish are large enough that one or two can literally fill your cooler!

Captain’s Tip: Two fishing rods I just bought came without hook keepers. Solution:  Large barrel swivels were re-purposed with a rubber   band looped through a loop to attach them just above the rod handle for safe transport of ready-to-fish rigs. Securing a hook in a line guide support may weaken the guide prematurely.

Captain’s Log: All anglers should take advantage of the free Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament angler recognition program. Just bring a qualifying fish or release information to any area weigh station (most tackle shops).

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

*  Free Fishing Weekend: June 6, 7, and 8 are designated as Free Fishing Days in Virginia. Anyone yet to sample our world class fishing should take advantage of this opportunity.    No fishing license of any kind will be required for rod and reel fishing in saltwater or freshwater (with the exception of stocked trout streams).   Sample some world-class fishing in Virginia Beach and learn why people love to fish here year-round. For information:  http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/free-fishing-days/

*  Virginia Beach Anglers Club Summer Fishing Tournament: June 8, 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/ or https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier:

Captain’s Note: 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 (inlets and CBBT), red and black drum (Chesapeake Bay)

Tight lines and hard strikes to all!
Capt. Mike


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Fish Arriving!

Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Mike Halperin

Puppy drum caught on recent charter trip

Puppy drum caught on recent charter trip

Reports are confirmed that red drum, black drum, striped bass, puppy drum, croaker and flounder are all on scene and taking baits in Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets. Sunshine coupled with water temperatures climbing into the 60’s seem to be keys to getting inshore saltwater fishing started. Anglers seeking results will need to target certain specific areas as fish are being selective about where they feed in the early going.

Red and black drum have moved into shallow shoal water at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The “ditch” near Fisherman’s Island and the surf off Smith Island have both been hot for red drum and black drum.  Several reds, also known as channel bass, have been in the 50-inch range with black drum averaging between 28 and 32 pounds. Don’t forget to register your catch for a courtesy Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament citation award should your catch meet a qualifying release length or keeper weight.

Striped bass are feeding at sunrise and sunset along rocks of the 1st (southernmost) island  of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Anglers throwing lures such as Windcheaters and poppers are enjoying strong action from school-size stripers with an ever present chance of landing a much larger fish.   Bigger bass hooked have measured up to 40 inches!

Puppy drum have been cooperative inside both inlets with a 3-fish limit in the 18- to 26-inch slot a real possibility, particularly inside Rudee Inlet. Croaker remain small, averaging two to a pound.  Speckled trout, although currently in a closed season, are the other species biting inside the inlets with small bluefish and sea mullet rounding out the inshore offerings.

flounder

Nice flounder catch!

For more and larger flounder, Lynnhaven Inlet is the better bet. Some Lynnhaven flatfish have been in the 4 to 5 lb. range with 16-inch keeper fish also available.  Flounder inside Rudee are mostly undersized with some few keepers in the mix. Flounder will also be available at usual locations along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Virginia Beach offshore waters are beginning to come alive. Two of our best local charter captains took an “exploratory” captain’s trip and were rewarded with six mahi or dolphin and four beautiful yellowfin tuna.  The dolphin were gaffer size, but the tuna averaged around 40 pounds.  On the  same trip, an estimated 300 lb. bluefin tuna broke off right behind the boat.   Sounds like time to make charter reservations before they fill up!

Deep Drop Trips: Fish available here are golden and blueline tilefish, black bellied rose fish and grouper. In spite of the longer boat ride, this tends to be one of our most reliable fisheries.

Red drum by Duane Raver

Red drum by Duane Raver

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 for catch registration.

Free Fishing Weekend: June 6, 7, and 8 are designated as Free Fishing Days in Virginia. Anyone yet to sample our world class fishing should take advantage of the “Free Fishing Days” offered by Virginia.    No fishing license of any kind will be required for rod and reel fishing in saltwater or freshwater (with the exception of stocked trout streams).   Sample some outstanding fishing in Virginia Beach and learn why families and anglers love to fish here year-round. For information: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/free-fishing-days/

Virginia Beach Anglers Club Summer Fishing Tournament: June 8, July 13, August 10 and September 14 on Lynnhaven Pier. Open to all with awards for croaker, roundhead, bluefish and spot. For information: call 267.994.7423 or visit one of these sites:

http://lynnhavenpier.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LynnhavenFishingPier

or send an email to: vbanglersclub@yahoo.com


Captain’s Log: Lynnhaven Inlet beach at Crab Creek (western side of the inlet) is now closed. The beach is closed for the next 3 years (for safety reasons) while it is used as a staging area for constructing a new inlet bridge.    Boating anglers may continue to launch trailer boats and park trailers.

Captain’s Tip: When taking your fishing trip, be sure to stop by a Virginia Beach bait and tackle shop and ask for an up-to-date fishing report. As fishing conditions can change daily, this is an ideal way to fish armed with current information, including the “hot” lures and baits.

Upcoming: As of May 19, anglers may again fish for black sea bass.  A 15-fish limit with a minimum length of 12 ½ inches applies.

Best Bets: Red drum (shoals), croaker and puppy drum (surf and inlets) and flounder (inlets).

Tight lines and hard strikes to all!

Capt. Mike


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