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Angler of the Year

 

FISHING NEWS


Local angler and scientist, Dr. John Graves, has been selected to be inducted into IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame at their fall meeting. The IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame recognizes extraordinary achievements in recreational fishing around the world by anglers, captains, scientists, conservationists, writers, or fishing industry leaders. Dr. Graves was selected due to his tremendous contributions to fisheries science, education, and conservation. He is also a tireless participant in fisheries management at the federal and international levels.

Anglers chasing after rumors of bluefin tuna found acres of big rockfish about 15-25 miles off of Virginia's coast this week. They did not find any bluefin tuna. Boats fishing out of Oregon Inlet did. In addition to big bluefin tuna, boats out of Oregon Inlet caught some yellowfin tuna. Further south, boats out of Hatteras are jigging up good catches of blackfin tuna when they can get past the false albacore, amberjack, and sharks.

Fishermen looking for rockfish in the open coastal waters, inside 3 nautical miles, have not had any luck so far. Anglers targeting tautog are having better luck with tog up to 19 pounds weighed in this week. The mild winter has created a bit of a challenge for tog fisherman in that even the inshore wrecks are still holding a lot of sea bass. This makes it a challenge to get your baits past them to the tautog. Sea bass by-catch would normally be a good thing but with that season closed, any sea bass must be released. Tautog are being caught on all of the coastal wrecks with the Triangle Wrecks producing the largest tog this week.

Blueline tilefish are available along the 50 fathom curve. Again, you will have to release any sea bass that you catch and there are the dogfish to put up with. Golden tilefish and grouper would be possibilities in deeper water.

The PSWSFA Annual Awards Banquet will be held on February 26. Check the latest Chum Line for details.

Jan 31, we went back out after tautog. We got into some big tog. The three largest weighed in at 14, 15, and 19 pounds. We also caught a really big sea bass that, with regret, we tagged and released. Dr. Hamish Small was with us collecting DNA samples from each tautog. He also managed to catch the largest of the day (and of the year…so far).

Jan 31, Capt. Larry Lusk thought that he had found the bluefin tuna when he saw breaking fish north of the Chesapeake Light Tower. When he got to them, he found acres of big rockfish feeding on the surface.

Jan 30, we fished the Triangle Wrecks for tautog. We caught 20 fish up to 10 pounds. Johnny Boyd caught our largest tog. We caught 6 tautog that had been previously tagged. The rockfish were out there. We had gannets diving around us and had big rockfish chasing our sinkers to the surface. There was a charter boat out there catching them pretty good…legally. They had scientists onboard conducting a tagging study.

Jan 28, Wes Blow fished the Triangle Wrecks for tautog. He weighed in a couple of 10-pound tog and he lost a much larger fish.

Jan 20, Wes Blow ran out during a brief weather window and caught a couple of tog.

Jan 15, we went to a "new to us" wreck. After finding the wreck, we caught some nice tautog. We weighed in 3 citation-sized fish to 12.5 pounds. We caught and released some pretty sea bass to 22 inches long and we caught a couple of triggerfish that did not know it is the middle of January. While we were fishing, we listened to a couple other Virginia Beach boats offshore of us. They had a good catch of yellowfin tuna.

Jan 15, Capt. Rick Wineman bottom fished in the Norfolk Canyon area. They caught blueline tilefish, medium-sized bluefish, a snowy grouper, and a wreckfish. They only caught a couple dogfish.

Jan 15, Steve Martin looked for rockfish in the lower bay for catch-and-release action. He did not find any fish and very few bait marks.

Jan 3, we went back out after tautog. It was rough but the bite was good. We caught 45 or so tautog before the anchor broke loose about 2 PM. We decided to head on in rather than trying to re-anchor. We caught 9 fish that already had been tagged. Each of those was re-released with its tag no matter how large they had grown. We registered 5 citations with the largest two fish weighing in at 17 and 16.5 pounds. The next largest was 12 pounds.

Jan 1, we ran out to the Triangle Wrecks. We were joined by US Congressman Rob Wittman. It was a bit rough out there but we got a nice catch of tautog up to 11 pounds.

Dec 29, Capt. Rick Wineman gave the rockfish another go. The caught 9 striped bass.

Dec 29, Hunter Southall ran out after rockfish and caught one.

Dec 20-23, Capt. Jorj Head fished for rockfish near the Range Tower. They hooked 12 and caught 7 large fish. The largest weighed 45 pounds.

Dec 22, Capt. Rick Wineman fished for rockfish at the Cut Channel. They caught 8 fish up to 48 inches long.

Dec 20, it was rough but we went wreck fishing anyway. We managed a nice catch of sea bass and caught a bunch of triggerfish. We weighed in five for citations up to 5 pounds 8 ounces. We caught a lot of bluefish, a number of jacks of various species, a tautog, a flounder, a big porgy and other stuff. The other stuff included conger eels and the Sandtiger sharks visited us again.

Dec 16, Charles and Hunter Southall fished the Cut Channel. They caught three big rockfish. They let one go and kept their 2 big-fish limit that weighed in at 53 and 44 pounds.

Dec 16, Phillip Neill fished the Cut Channel area and caught a 48-inch fish.

Dec 13, Wes Blow and Chris Boyce fished some ocean wrecks. They caught sea bass, triggerfish and a big sandtiger. Three of their triggerfish weighed for citations.

Dec 12, we ran to the Norfolk Canyon to try for some unusually late-season tuna. Before the day was done, we were all fishing in short-sleeves. Fishing was good. We caught a few dolphin for the first December dolphin we have caught out of Virginia. We caught 5 yellowfin tuna out of about 8 bites. Late in the afternoon, we had a very impressive explosion on the flat-line bait closest to the boat. The bigeye tuna came half out of the water. After a long fight, the hook pulled but now we had to fish longer. It was not too long after that when we had two big explosions on the short riggers. One came tight and we managed to hold on to that one.

Dec 12, Gabe Sava trolled in the James River and they caught a big rockfish that weighed in at over 55 pounds.

Dec 12, the Elfords fished up the bay and caught 3 big rockfish.

Dec 11, Hunter Southall ran over to Plantation and put out some eels. On his first drift, he boated a 41 pound 1 ounce rockfish and came home.

Dec 10, Capt. Rick Wineman fished the Norfolk Canyon for tuna. They caught 2 yellowfin.

Contact Ken Neill with fishing news.

E-mail Ken Neill with fishing news.

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