Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
12 September 2014
Anglers are finding it difficult to get out on the water due to windy conditions lately, but the variety is good when they can find a break. The fall favorites continue to ramp up, with spot, speckled trout, puppy drum, and king mackerel off to a good start. But, donít dismiss the summer faves just yet. Intercepting these fish as they prepare to depart the area can present very good opportunities for anglers.
Flounder continue to stage at the mouth of the Bay before leaving the area. Lower Bay waters could become dirty with recent rain, but working the areas near the third and fourth islands of the CBBT with live bait has been productive recently. Limits of keeper fish are coming for those using live mullet as offerings. Drifting the Thimble Shoal and Baltimore Channels are also good places to try. Some catches of flatties in the 22-inch range are available within Lynnhaven in about 20 feet of water on an outgoing tide. The offshore wreck flatfish action is a good alternative using strip baits bounced over structure. Expect some seabass as a by-catch, along with some trigger fish, but seabass are only available through the 21st of the month.
Cobia are on the move as they prepare to head south, which is igniting some outstanding top water action. Schools of fish are cruising along the surface near the mouth of the Bay and off the Virginia Beach coastlines as they exit the area. Several boats are hooking up to a dozen fish per day, with the best catches happening for those casting live bait and jigs. Plenty of nice fish are available, with several exceeding 50-pounds this week.
Big red drum continue to delight anglers as schools continue to swarm on lower Bay shoals and near the mouth of the Bay, where several reds were hooked near the 3rd and 4th islands recently. Surf casters are on alert, with the drum bite in the surf along Fishermanís Island on the rise. Look for big bulls to also show in the surf off Sandbridge and near the Little Island Fishing Pier soon.
Some Spanish mackerel are still falling for trolled spoons off Rudee Inlet and Cape Henry in about 20 feet of water. Predominant easterly winds have maintained mostly clear water close to shore, jump-starting the king mackerel bite off the Beach. Over the past weeks, kings up to around 35-pounds have taken both live bait and lures on the troll, but the recent rain could change things up.
Sheepshead are likely still around for another month, along busy trigger fish, with the best action happening over the tubes of the CBBT. Tautog are also lurking in these same areas. Tog will be back in business starting on the 20th of the September.
Improving speckled trout catches are drawing more attention from anglers. If you can sneak your offerings past the hungry puppy drum, good numbers of specks are biting in areas such as Hungarís Creek, the Poquoson Flats, and Mobjack Bay. Lynnhaven, Rudee, and Little Creek Inlets, along with the Elizabeth River are also giving up some fish, with some specks weighing in at over 4-pounds.
Some big spot are hitting in Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlet, and around the lower Bay. Fish pushing to ĺ-pound are also coming from around Little Creek. The lower Bay Rivers, the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, Ocean View, and along the Virginia Beach oceanfront are also holding nice spot lately. Local piers are reporting good action, especially after a stiff north or easterly blow, so this weekend could be good. Medium and large croaker are lurking in deeper areas along channels, inlets, the Bay Bridge Tunnel, the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and the Concrete Ships off Kiptopeke. Both spot and small to medium sized croaker are also responding inside Magothy Bay near buoy 262, and out of Oyster.
Amberjack are still active at the Southern Towers through October. Deep droppers are having good luck near the Canyon edges with limits of nice blueline tilefish and jumbo seabass. Blackbellied rosefish, grouper, and barrelfish are also adding to the deep water variety.
Offshore, billfish are still were the top of the list before the recent fronts. The bite varies from day to day, but white marlin along with scattered blue marlin, and good numbers of bailer and gaffer dolphin are the main event. A few tuna are around, but they are scattered.