Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
22 July 2016
As summer temperatures heat up, the fishing scene continues to evolve.
Some overcast conditions are creating a challenge for cobia sight casters this week, but when conditions allow, most are reporting solid catches. Although most fish are still averaging in the 30 to 40-pound range, scattered bigger fish weighing over 50-pounds are also hitting the docks. Chummers are still finding fish, with a few bruisers pushing to over 60-pounds in the mix this week. Red drum are also still providing top water action as they school around the mouth of the Bay, especially near the Baltimore Channel.
The flounder action in the Bay is still productive, with some respectable flatfish to show. Good action is still coming from nearshore and inshore wrecks, where anglers are cleaning up with limits of nice fish averaging from 22 to 24-inches lately. Some keeper seabass will also take offerings on these same wrecks. For the Bay flounder hotspots, jigging and live bait are most effective right now, with both techniques working around all four islands of the Bay Bridge Tunnel, with the average flattie averaging around 20 to 22-inches. Anglers drifting with strip baits and minnows are also lucking into good numbers of fish near the 1st island, the Hampton Bar, the Thimble Shoal Channel. Both Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets are also giving up a few keepers lately.
Sheepshead action is still very good, with fish ranging between 10 and 14-pounds taking fiddler crabs presented along the Bridge Tunnel complex. Plenty of triggerfish are also available in these same areas. Spadefish continue to school on nearshore wrecks and most of the span of the CBBT, with a few surprise fish pushing to 7-pounds.
Spanish mackerel continue to hit very well off the Virginia Beach ocean front. Some Spanish are big, pushing to over 2-pounds. Taylor bluefish are also mixed in with the Spanish. King mackerel are available in the same areas, with a few scattered rumors of catches.
Croaker are hitting in the usual hot spots throughout the Bay, with good hauls also coming from the backwaters of Oyster and area 262 in Magothy Bay, where the hardheads are ranging to around a pound. Spot are also biting along the oceanfront, the southern shores of the lower Bay, as well as near the Bay Bridge Tunnel. A few keepers sized spot are also hitting within Lynnhaven Inlet. Puppy drum are responding in most lower Bay shallows, along with some speckled trout.
The word on the tarpon scene on the Eastern Shore is that it is good. Plenty of sliver kings are being sighted, with some hook-ups, jump-offs, and released fish reported recently.
Amberjack are biting at the Southern Towers, with fish pushing to over 50-inches ready to bust your tackle. Deep droppers are still pulling in good numbers of tilefish, rosefish, wreckfish, and grouper along with a smattering of seabass near the Canyon edges.
Offshore, billfish encounters are still on the rise. White marlin, with scattered blue marlin are honoring boats with several flags flying this week. Yellowfin tuna are still around, with some fish pushing to around 60-pounds hitting the docks lately, along with some huge bigeye tuna. Big gaffer mahi are coming on strong, with some massive fish weighing in at over 40-pounds boated this week. Wahoo are a possibility, and swordfish have been caught on overnight trips this week.