Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
25 November 2016

As the water temperatures continue to cool, some windows of opportunity are allowing boats to venture further from shore, where anglers are finding some decent catches lately.

Wreck fishing is improving off the Virginia coast, with good hauls of jumbo seabass ranging to over 4-pounds reported lately. A few triggerfish are also available on these offshore structures, along with several big bluefish pushing to over 16-pounds, especially around the Triangle Wreck area. Tautog action is still good on lower Bay structures and coastal wrecks, with offerings of crabs presented along the pilings and the tubes of the CBBT rewarding anglers with fish averaging to over 6-pounds this week. Flounder reports from Bay waters are hard to come by, but some nice flatfish are still coming from both coastal and offshore structures, where some flatfish are pushing up to 6.5-pounds.

Speckled trout are active in most of the shallows along the southern section of the lower Bay. Rudee, Lynnhaven and Little Creek Inlets are giving up some respectable trout with many fish stretching to around 22-inches. Puppy drum and school-sized rockfish are also available in these same areas.

As the winter-time fishery starts to evolve, anglers are hopeful the larger rockfish will show soon. But last season, local anglers were disappointed when the schools of bigger fish stalled further up the bay, several miles short of their more accessible haunts off Plantation Light and along the Eastern Shore. Anglers are hopeful for a return to the patterns of years past for these larger fish, which is thought to be a result of bait deficits and water temperature influences. Most of these fish are caught while drifting or slow-trolling using live eels, and can weigh in excess of 30 to 50-pounds. In the meantime, some school-sized fish are responding for casters working the pilings of lower Bay structures.

When boats get out to deeper water, the deep dropping action is good. Plenty of nice blueline tilefish are being caught along the Canyon edges pushing to around 10-pounds, with big grouper also a possibility. Big seabass are also a welcome by-catch, with chopper bluefish also showing lately.

Offshore trollers are finding some good catches of yellowfin, black fin, and bigeye tuna near the Triple Zeros this week. A few swordfish were also caught, with boats having good luck with targeting these “gladiators of the deep” during day trips lately. Most of the swords are smaller, ranging around 80 to 100-pounds.

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