Weekly Sportfishing Rundown - Father's Day Report
14 June 2013
Anglers are dodging thunderstorms and gusty storm fronts this week, but when boats can get out on the water, the fishing scene is showing promise.
Cobia are peaking the most interest, since they are the newest game in town. Fish are around, with some boats faring better than others. Chummers working the shoal areas on the Western side of the Bay have caught a few cobia to around 70-pounds lately. Sight casters are spotting more fish this week, with the majority in the 30 to 50-pound range, with both live and artificial baits enticing strikes.
The flounder scene is still lagging for this time of year. The best catches continue to come from the shallower protected inlets, with Rudee Inlet boasting catches of flatties ranging from 18 to 21-inches this week. A few anglers putting in their time are finding some hit and miss action while working jigs and live bait around the pilings and tubes of the CBBT. Expect this action to improve once the water has a chance to clear up, and stay that way.
The red drum interest is now overshadowed by other species, but the action is still very good on the Nine-foot shoal and along Fisherman’s Island. More fish are ranging in the lower 40-inch range lately, but some whoppers exceeding 48-inches are in the mix. The large school of bull reds is still cruising the surface off the Virginia Beach ocean front, but they are meandering from 2 to 10-miles out, making them harder to intercept recently. The black drum have left the shoals, and are now committed to the artificial islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
A few spadefish are biting at the Chesapeake Light Tower this week, but be prepared to compete with the skin divers. Spades ranging up to around 5-pounds are also coming from the 3rd and 4th islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on clams. Sheepshead are starting to become active, with a few nice fish taking offerings along the bridge’s structure and lower Bay wrecks. Trigger fish are also starting to show in numbers around the islands of the CBBT. Rumors of sparse Spanish mackerel catches are trickling in, but the action should really take off over the coming weeks.
Good reports of speckled trout and puppy drum are still coming from within Rudee Inlet, Lynnhaven Inlet, and Mobjack Bay. The puppy drum are particularly abundant in many of these areas, with Little Creek Inlet providing the best action on quality pups, with many exceeding 30-inches. Chopper blue fish are also still responding to live bait around the jetties lining Little Creek Inlet.
Pier anglers are cleaning up with nice sized spot this week, along with some medium-sized croaker, small grey trout and big sea mullet. Nice sea mullet are also responding well around the concrete ships and near the mouth of Mogothy Bay off the Eastern Shore. Encouraging reports of good catches of respectable grey trout are also coming from near the High Rise section of the CBBT lately. Some of these trout are pushing to over 5-pounds, but remember you can only keep one fish per person.
Nice seabass are available on offshore wrecks and structures, but some boats are experiencing slim pickings lately. Deep droppers working the Canyon edges are also finding some seabass mixed in with decent numbers of blueline tilefish, grouper, and barrelfish. A few golden tilefish and black bellied rosefish are coming from deeper water. Those willing to make the run can find amberjack beginning to school around offshore wrecks and the South Tower.
Offshore action is finally closing in on Virginia waters. Although the larger tuna are further south, local boats making the longer run are loading up with big yellowfin tuna pushing to around 70-pounds, along with an occasional big eye tuna. Smaller yellowfins in the 30-pound class were encountered near the Norfolk Canyon this week, mostly in about 50-fathoms of water. Scattered billfish are also around, complementing catches of decent mahi.