Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
15 Apr 2016

A lot could happen on the spring fishing sceneÖif the weather would just cooperate. Gusty winds, crazy fronts, and unseasonal drops in temperatures are making it a challenge for the spring season to come together.

Tautog are a good bet, especially within Bay waters. Inshore anglers are scoring with tog using fiddler crabs and clams on most lower Bay structures and wrecks. When boats can get out, the rocks and tubes of all four artificial islands and the pilings near the High Rise section of the Bay Bridge-Tunnel are providing the best results, but the Concrete Ships on the Eastern Shore can be more accessible in windy conditions. Most folks who are toughing out the weather are catching limits of fish ranging up to about 5-pounds, but some 8 and 9-pounders are also around. Deeper ocean wrecks are also holding nice tog, along with some nice seabass, which are still illegal to keep until mid-May. It tautog is on your list, you had better hurry since the season closes on May 1st.

Anglers are thrilled that the flounder are here and biting, but gusty weather is making flounder fishing conditions less than favorable, and keeping the water fairly dirty. Although flatfish anglers are finding some decent fish in protected areas, folks are working hard for their catches. Some flatties ranging from 17 to 21-inches have come from both the Eastern Shore seaside inlets and the Southside inlets lately.

Big bluefish are still keeping casters in Rudee Inlet content, with top water lures still the best enticement. Some scattered reports of speckled trout are also coming from protected waters this week, with both Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets reporting that most specks are small, but a recent citation trout caught in Rudee Inlet has speck hunters hopeful for an improving season. Puppy drum are also hitting in these same areas.

Croaker are now available in various areas in the Bay, especially near Willoughby, Ocean View, Little Creek and Buckroe, where pier anglers are using squid and bloodworms. The bigger hardheads are still coming from the lower Bay Rivers such as the James and York Rivers.

Drum enthusiasts are still anticipating the first catches of big red and black drum near the Eastern Shore, but for now anglers are mostly watching for weather openings.

When deep droppers can get out, the usual bottom dwellers are available. Tilefish, black-bellied rosefish, and grouper will hit while working the edges of the Norfolk Canyon in water ranging from 600 to 900 feet. Dogfish are still making this fishery difficult to access right now, but will begin to clear out soon.

The offshore action out of North Carolina is still good when the fleet can get out. Boats are still scoring with scattered yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna and mako sharks.

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