Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
19 August 2016
As summer comes to a close, anglers are enjoying a few breaks from the stifling heat. And as we transition into fall, the more fall-like weather patterns will also encourage changes in the local fishing scene.
Cobia fishing has been good this season, and this week has been more of the same. But cobia hunters are also relishing an upswing in the number of larger fish, with several studs weighing in from 60 to 87-pounds. Fish are forming into pods and gliding along the surface in the lower Bay and along the ocean front, as well as loitering around navigational buoys. Chummers are still luring cobia to the shoal areas in the lower Bay, with some decent fish to show lately. Your time line to get a big cobia is limited, since the season closes at the end of the month. Big schools of red drum are also providing very good opportunities for sight casters in these same areas.
Spanish mackerel action is still over the top, with big fish available, and plenty of them. Several citation-sized fish have already been caught this year, and the action continues to sizzle. Boats are finding good luck while trolling with small spoons around the tubes of the CBBT in Bay waters, and along tide rips off Sandbridge and Cape Henry. A few stray mahi are also surprising trollers a few miles off the beach, especially when easterly winds prevail. King mackerel action has had a decent introduction this year, with a few kings pushing to around 40-pounds already boated off the Virginia coastline. And with all of the bait available off the beach right now, the king action could continue to improve. And for those anglers looking for something different, some big sharks are hitting in these same areas.
Flounder action is still good on some days and waning on other days, but for those putting in the time, nice flatfish are responding from many areas in the lower Bay. Most structures can produce fish for anglers working with live bait or jigs and Gulp baits. Most flatties are averaging to around 21-inches, with a few trophies also around. Decent flatfish are also available on most inshore and offshore wrecks for the next few months, along with trigger fish and nice black seabass.
Sheepshead anglers continue to find good catches of nice fish on the bridge pilings of the CBBT as well as over all four tubes. Respectable spadefish are also still available along the CBBT and near the Tower Reef and several nearshore structures, but not for long.
Nice spot are filtering into the usual hot spots in southern sections of the Bay, inlets, and along the ocean front. Local piers are reporting good action on a moving tide, along with a smattering of decent croaker. Puppy drum and scattered speckled trout are available in several lower Bay inlets.
Tarpon are considered the coveted prize of the Eastern Shore. A few more anglers joined the select few recently, adding a silver king release from the back waters of Oyster to their accolades.
Big amberjack are still lurking at the Southern Towers as well as on several offshore wrecks, and jack crevelle are a possibility at the Chesapeake Light Tower. Deep dropping is good in the deeper water off Virginia. Nice blueline tilefish, blackbellied rosefish, and a good number of barrelfish, along with jumbo seabass continue to keep anglers happy.
For offshore anglers, billfish action is on the rise. A good number of white marlin, along with some blue marlin, sailfish and spearfish are making a solid introduction for marlin enthusiasts, with a few grand slams already reported. Some nice yellowfin tuna and big eye tuna are also a possibility. Plenty of big dolphin are still around, along with some wahoo.