Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
31 Jul 2015

Decent weather has offered some good opportunities to get out on the water lately. Both inshore and offshore offshore prospects are providing anglers some decent catches recently.

Inshore, cobia get the thumbs-up again this week. Good numbers of solid keepers are keeping most cobia hunters content, with many fish ranging in the 40 to 60-pound class. Pairs and small pods of fish are becoming more common in open water as well as on structure. Chummers continue to battle sharks and rays on the lower Bay shoals, with scattered catches of cobia for patient anglers. Big red drum are also roaming in many of these same locations, providing good action for casters, while a few interested anglers are still picking away at reds from the shoals lining the Eastern Shore via bottom fishing.

Flounder action is still steady in the Bay recently, but the hottest action is still happening on coastal and deeper structures. Both the Tower Reef area, and the Triangle wreck area are productive lately, with most flatfish stretching up to around 23-inches. In Bay waters, anglers drifting with strip baits and minnows are finding some nice fish at the Cell, the Hampton Bar, and the Thimble Shoal Channel. Plenty of keepers are taking bait, with several fish pushing near 8-pounds in the mix. Those dropping live bait and jigs on lower Bay structures are also finding nice fish along the CBBT near the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th islands, as well as the High Rise. Within Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets, flounder enthusiasts are finding fewer keepers, but those working for their catches are finding fish ranging to 21-inches.

Croaker are everywhere, with the bigger hardheads now moving into lower Bay waters. The biggest fish are coming from the deeper areas north of the 3rd island of the CBBT, the MMBT, Back River Reef, and the Cell, with many fish ranging to over a pound. Anglers fishing Oyster are still filling coolers from the back waters. Spot are hitting within Rudee, Lynnhaven, and Little Creek Inlets on bloodworms, along with scattered puppy drum, which are responding to jigs, grubs, and cut bait. Some roundhead are also still coming from off the concrete ships.

According to the folks at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, the Spanish mackerel fishing along the coastal Virginia Beach is still very good. In general, the fish are on the larger side, with many pushing to over 2-pounds in water ranging from 18 to 40 feet. Plenty of Taylor bluefish are also around. King mackerel made a low-key introduction along the coast of Virginia this summer, with a few hook-ups and landings so far this season. These elusive fish will continue to provide opportunities for action into the fall. A good number of sharks, especially black tips, are still sniffing out chum slicks in coastal and lower Bay waters, with some of these beasts pushing to over 6-feet.

Interest in spadefish is fading, but fish averaging to around 6-pounds are still available along the northern span of the CBBT, the four artificial islands, and many inshore structures. Itís been a great sheepshead year, as nice fish continue to strike at crab, clam, and fiddlers presented along the pilings and tubes of the CBBT. Big trigger fish are also active around these same areas, with catches pushing to over 4-pounds occurring near the 2nd island this week.

Tarpon continue to mystify anglers out of Oyster. Intel of actual catches is hard to come by since these anglers tend to stay quiet.

Amberjack are still circling many offshore wrecks, and they are available at the Southern Towers. Deep dropping is still decent off Virginia, with good catches of big blueline tilefish, black bellied rosefish, and seabass common lately.

The billfish action offshore continues to heat up. Although there are a few slower days mixed in, multiple white marlin releases, and scattered blue marlin and sailfish have been the norm recently. This trend should improve over the next weeks. Gaffer and bailer dolphin are plentiful around the Canyon lately, while a few wahoo and some nice big eye tuna catches are making things interesting.

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