Posts Tagged ‘puppy drum’
Sunday, December 1st, 2013 by Mike Halperin
Richard Clark with a recent catch of keeper speckled trout and puppy drum from inside Lynnhaven Inlet
The letter “S” denotes two fall favorites for Virginia Beach anglers: Striped bass and Speckled trout. These two species have been on the scene for several weeks, but to the delight of fishermen, they are growing more numerous and larger with each passing weather front.
School-sized stripers are now well established in areas adjacent to structure and fast current. Best bites normally occur on fast moving tides and close to bridge pilings. At night, when these swift predators hungrily feed on bait, hot action takes place in the shadow lines of lights on bridges and docks. Soft plastic-lead head combinations are most productive as well as flies fished by fly casters. Anglers using wire line trolling gear are able to present baits deep to larger rockfish that are often feeding just above the bottom in swift moving water. Some of these larger stripers have been close to 40 inches! Beach casters using heavy jigs at Lynnhaven Inlet have been able to land some nice medium-size stripers.
Schools of even bigger bass from the northern Bay and East Coast waters are due to arrive any day at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The tried and true freshwater technique of bait and bobber, bait being a live eel, works perfectly for the coming monsters, particularly at Plantation Light and the High Rise Bridge area of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
Know your bass regs: During Chesapeake Bay season, which closes December 31, fishermen may keep two fish per person per day. Those two fish must be between 18 and 28 inches. However, one of the fish may be longer than the upper slot limit of 28 inches should you catch a trophy fish.
The take away: If hunting trophy bass, keep only one fish per angler until the end of the day. You can always add a second small fish, but you can never be in possession of three fish.
Speckled trout is the other popular “S” fish this time of year. Specks have invaded the back waters of Little Creek, Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. While small boat fishermen have the best access, shore bound anglers have also caught their fair share. By culling through 9- to13- inch trout, patience has rewarded many casters with keeper trout over 14 inches. Some anglers have even had bragging size catches of trout enhanced by multiple puppy drum. We are now in the period when 5 lb. Virginia Saltwater Fishing Citation trout and even a few double-digit fish should begin to show up. MirrOlures and soft plastics are top baits with white, gray and chartreuse top colors.
Friday, November 15th, 2013 by Mike Halperin
This week in The Beach Report, Capt. Mike Halperin shares his fishing expertise from a local’s perspective.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we all have much to be thankful for, including family, friends and world-class fishing. We are very fortunate to enjoy some of the best saltwater fishing available anywhere, and it only seems to get better with each passing cold front!
Speckled trout by Duane Raver
Speckled trout and striped bass top the current “make my day” fish list. Trout fishing has improved steadily from 9- to 11-inch school-size fish to increasing numbers of 14-inch keeper fish. Moreover, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament citation specks of 5 pounds are always possible as numbers and sizes of these spotted fish improve in our backwaters. One group of Rudee Inlet anglers recently caught 60 specks, including three keeper fish, in under two hours! MirrOlures are attracting the largest trout while Gulp swimming minnows and shrimp have also proved productive. Chartreuse, white and gray have been hot colors.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 by Mike Halperin
Anglers are flocking to Virginia Beach to sample fall runs of white marlin, croaker, red drum, spot, flounder, tuna and striped bass. Of all the current species, red drum and croaker are commanding maximum attention. However, that’s not to say that spot, white marlin, tuna and flounder aren’t putting smiles on the faces of fishermen. And striped bass are about to join that mix.
Photo caption: Vic Gaspeny (on left) with Captain Justin Wilson and new pending 311 lb. state record bigeye tuna.
Croaker, puppy drum, bluefish, spot and sheepshead are providing the bulk of the action for inlet and beach anglers. Spot action has improved with many 7 to 10 inch fish coming from Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets. Hopefully larger “yellow bellies” will arrive soon. Sheepshead, many weighing 5 to 7 lbs., have been hitting inside Lynnhaven along the pilings of the Lesner and Great Neck Bridges. Best sheepshead bait: mole crabs or “sand fleas.” Puppy drum over 20 inches have also been rewarding fishermen using fresh shrimp. Fish for pups near bridge pilings in Lynnhaven and along the north side of the rock jetty in Rudee.
Monday, September 16th, 2013 by Mike Halperin
Passionate anglers are flocking to Virginia Beach to get in on the fall runs. Fishermen are aware of the many fish species our waters host this time of year.
How good does it get? Try hundreds of white marlin, big schools of red drum, pods of cobia, and all the Norfolk spot and croaker you can handle. By the way, that doesn’t include the runs of speckled trout and flounder that will come on the heels of the current bites! And did I mention king mackerel?
Two king mackerel, aerial displays included, were surprise catches for local father and son team Willard and Jeff Moger in early September during their cobia fishing charter.
Both mackerel fell for slow-trolled live baits, proceeded to run off several hundred yards of line, and when finally boated, weighed 27 and 30 pounds!
King Mackerel 25 lbs. caught by John R. Renard
Flounder may be poised to finish strong. Many quality doormat-size fish up to 6, 7, and 8 lbs. have been landed recently. Top locations are the High Rise Bridge and the 3rd and 4th rock islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Live spot and cut bait are accounting for the larger flatfish. Doormats are also holding on inshore wrecks. Flounder may also now be found in the inlets. With good weather and ample bait, flounder fishing could continue well into November.
Spot, croaker, sea trout, and bluefish are providing the bulk of the action for inlet and beach anglers. Catch one of these runs when it is peaking and expect non-stop action. Spot are getting bigger with some yellow-bellies already reported, and many croaker are measuring up to 15 inches. Taylor bluefish remain abundant as they and Spanish mackerel can be caught at Cape Henry and along the Oceanfront.
Sunday, September 1st, 2013 by Mike Halperin
- Blue Marlin release – estimated @ 300 lbs.
With fall approaching, late summer Virginia Beach fishing patterns are at their best.
Billfish will make their top showing in September with white marlin heading the list. Also joining this party, expect blue marlin, sailfish and spearfish.
Tuna and dolphin remain available with wahoo still in the mix for offshore trollers. Big eye tuna continue to extend a spectacular run, including a new potential IGFA record fish.
Flounder remain inshore favorites, with flatfish finally showing improvement following a slow start. Popular opinion attributes this to a huge improvement in water clarity. Bay and inlet anglers have had success in the 20- to 23-inch sizes with many boat anglers now finding (four fish) limits over 16 inches. The two northern islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel have been top size producers while cut and live bait, minnows and jigs all get results.
Thursday, August 15th, 2013 by Mike Halperin
Black drum by Duane Raver
Black drum are making a strong showing this season. Multiple release citations for fish caught on jigs or crab from islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel are on record with the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. Several released drum have been as large as 50 inches! While conservation-minded anglers release virtually all of these trophy fish, one weighed (and kept) fish tipped the scales at 80 lbs. 10 oz., giving perspective to the size of available drum. Best locations: the four CBBT rock islands and fishing pier (large drum) and inside Lynnhaven Inlet (smaller drum).
Gray Triggerfish by Duane Raver
Triggerfish are the other inshore fish luring anglers. Triggers are cooperating all along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. While monsters are hard to come by, there are ample numbers of 2 to 3 pound fish for the taking. Anglers may also try the CBBT pilings for spadefish and sheepshead.
Marlin release pennants
With white marlin normally the most desired billfish, sixteen recent blue marlin release citations are proof that offshore fishing is RED HOT! Billfish action has been at Norfolk and Washington Canyons, the Cigar and at the Triple Zeros. Dolphin and wahoo round out offshore catches along with big eye and yellowfin tuna.
Thursday, August 1st, 2013 by Mike Halperin
Randy Butler & his 222 lb. Bigeye Tuna
Fishermen are excited to be catching late arrivers including wahoo, white and blue marlin, and tuna that are now on the scene.
Wahoo are thrilling anglers at offshore sea mounts as well as at the Norfolk and Washington Canyons. Blue and white marlin are appearing in increasing numbers at the canyons. These waters also hold plenty of yellowfin tuna in the 30- to 45-pound class, school-size dolphin of 10 to 15 pounds and monster bigeye tuna.
The “Big” offshore news has been the outstanding run of bigeye tuna. Some of these behemoths of the blue have been as large as 200 pounds or more. Anglers seeking a “reel” challenge should get in on the action before it subsides. Make-up charters are available at Virginia Beach fishing centers for either individual fishermen or groups of fewer than six.
Bottom Bouncing the Shelf: Available species on the Continental Shelf are golden and blueline tilefish, grouper, sea bass, wreckfish, barrelfish and black bellied rosefish. Several recent catches have qualified for state citations.
Offshore wrecks are holding spadefish, trigger fish, and sheepshead with buoys and bridge pilings similarly productive. Trigger fish averaging around 3 pounds continue to bite at the rock islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel while spadefish are holding at Chesapeake Light Tower. Double-digit weights have not been uncommon for sheepshead with many spades weighing up to 5 pounds.