Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
06 December 2013
As we brace for yet another weather event rolling through our weekend, anglers watch anxiously for openings to dart to the Eastern Shore side of the Bay. Luckily, the inshore scene is still providing an excellent alternative when the wind blows.
The big news flash is that the really big rockfish moved into the lower Bay this week. The influx of the big boys became evident with several catches topping 50-pounds this week. So now the chase is on! Anglers are flocking to local tackle shops to load up on eels and lures to target these popular game fish. Most of these slobs are coming from the Eastern Shore side of the Chesapeake Bay. Boats fishing from Plantation Light to the Bayside of Cape Charles while drifting with eels for bait are finding the best luck. This popular fishing technique is very effective, resulting in fewer but larger fish.
Anglers are also hooking big fish while dunking live eels at various depths from the 4th island to the high rise section of the Bay Bridge Tunnel. Rockfish of all sizes are still responding all over the lower Bay. School-sized fish are available to casters working the lower bridge pilings, while boats using live bait over the tubes and casting near the islands of the CBBT, are finding a nice class of fish ranging to around 20-pounds this week.
Speckled trout anglers continue to experience excellent fishing. Rudee Inlet, Lynnhaven River, and Little Creek Inlet are giving up good numbers of nice fish, with some fish topping 6-pounds coming from Rudee Inlet this week. The Elizabeth River is on fire with many catches of big specks reported lately, where some gators topping 9-pounds inhaled lures for anglers fishing the River lately. Remember to check the regulations, starting this week anglers can keep up to five fish, with one of the fish stretching to over 24-inches. Either way, limits of nice trout with many pushing to over five pounds are hitting the dock. But if speckled trout are not enough to draw you to protected waters, then maybe some hefty puppy drum in the same locations will change your mind. The puppy drum action is still on, with many fish taking the lures intended for trout. School sized stripers are also hitting in many of these same protected areas.
Tautog are biting all over the lower Bay and on most inshore and coastal wrecks. Any available structure along the CBBT is producing limits of quality fish when anglers can reach them. When the wind is blowing too hard for boating, anglers can hit the Seagull Fishing Pier or the Concrete Ships off Kiptopeke, for a chance at keeper fish. Folks are also catching tog off the Lesner Bridge and Great Neck Bridge in Lynnhaven by casting bait to the crossing and bridge pilings from land.
Wreck fishing is pretty good right now. Nice seabass pushing to around 3 and 4-pounds are hitting most any offering, while 4-pound triggerfish and respectable flounder averaging to five pounds are taking drifted baits around many offshore structures. Chopper bluefish are also a possibility around some of the deeper wrecks, with the Triangle Wrecks a favorite. Plenty of false albacore are also entertaining anglers in the same areas this week. These fish offer a great fight on light tackle.
The offshore scene is still an unknown off Virginia since few boats are making the run. Yellowfin tuna are a possibility, along with bluefin tuna. Although some smaller class bluefins were caught recently, anglers are watching with interest for any word on the giants, although some rumors of sightings are trickling in. The giants can pop up on most any inshore seamount right now, or even inshore and out to the Chesapeake Light Tower vicinity. Finding them is the hardest part, since they are often on the move. If targeting these big fish, be prepared. Check the regulations carefully and use the appropriate class of heavy gear and tackle. Overnight trips may result with decent swordfish action in deeper water in the Canyon.
Deep droppers are still finding nice blueline tilefish and seabass, but a variety of pesky dogfish and sharks are beginning to move into the same areas. David Cohn of Virginia Beach became our newest local World Record angler. Davidís 20.5-pound blueline tilefish was recently approved by the IGFA as the new All-Tackle World Record for the species.