With the White Marlin Open finishing up, billfish are on many
anglers' minds and the billfish are cooperating. White marlin are
around in very good numbers indicating that we may have one of
those epic Septembers. Good numbers of blue marlin, sailfish and
some spearfish are being caught. Swordfish have been available for
those targeting them and a few have been caught by those that are
not. A swordfish on the troll is always a pleasant surprise. There
are some yellowfin tuna around and some impressive bigeyes are
being caught in the canyons. Dolphin are plentiful but you do not
need to run out to the canyons to catch them. Some have been
caught right off of the beach and the inshore hills like the Hot
Dog, Fish Hook, and the Hambone have been good dolphin spots the
past couple of weeks. Dolphin fisherman trolling these spots are
also catching some king mackerel and the occasional big wahoo. The
larger king mackerel have been caught in close to the beach where
Spanish mackerel are thick.
Amberjack are a sure thing at the southern towers. Flounder
continue to be caught around the coastal wrecks where you will
also find spadefish, triggerfish, and some big sandtiger sharks.
Flounder are also being caught at the CBBT if you can get through
the gray trout and bluefish. Up in the bay, flounder catches are
The best action in the bay remains cobia which will close down
after Aug. 30. Sight fishing and running the buoys are producing
the most fish but chumming is still effective and is your best bet
on cloudy and windy days. The other really good fishery in the bay
is Spanish mackerel. They are throughout the bay in good numbers
and size. Bottom fisherman are seeing more spot show up giving us
hope of a good September run. Puppy drum are around in better
numbers than they have been the past couple of years.
Big red drum can still be found around the shoals, especially
at night, and pretty much anywhere during the day. Large schools
are being encountered by anglers sight-fishing for cobia or
trolling for Spanish mackerel. Big sheepshead are providing good
action at the CBBT.
Mike Gilman, from the Coast Guard Auxiliary, will be the
speaker at the August 16 meeting of the PSWSFA. His topic will be
boating safety. Meetings are free and you do not need to be a
member to attend.
The Don Forman Club Cobia Tournament began August 1 and will
run through the end of the cobia season, August 30. Contact
Captain Rick Wineman and get registered prior to fishing.
Aug 11, Capt. Larry Lusk ran out to the Fish Hook for a
half-day trip and loaded the fish box with gaffer dolphin.
Aug 6, Danny Forehand trolled the ocean for king and Spanish
mackerel. They caught Spanish mackerel and bluefish. They bridled
up a couple of the bluefish and trolled them a bit and caught a
Aug 6, JT Hale chummed for cobia and caught a nice one after a
long day under the hot sun.
Aug 6, we ran the Healthy Grin to the Norfolk Canyon. It was a
slow day for us. We caught a couple hammerhead sharks and Wes Blow
caught a nice sailfish that he jumped in the water with. There
were some white marlin caught around us and a few boats had blue
July 31, we ran out to the Norfolk Canyon. The ride out was
beautiful. When we got there, the wind picked up and rain moved
in. It stayed that way most of the day. It not matter, fishing was
great. We tried the live-baiting thing again. We caught chub
mackerel, bridled them up, and trolled them around. We ended up
catching 8 white marlin, jumped off about as many, and I do not
know how many encounters we had. We caught one that did not have a
bill. We collected fin clips for a genetics research project at
VIMS and recorded hook location to see if the circle hooks are
behaving the same as previous studies done with trolled ballyhoo.
We have only tried this a few times and have had success each
trip. A difference this trip is that we did not catch a single
shark. That was a nice change.
July 30, we trolled plugs along the beach for a king mackerel.
We caught a cobia. The guys started putting out spoons and that
was ridiculous. They never got out more than two. They were
constantly cranking in nice Spanish mackerel.
July 27, Wes Blow chummed for cobia catching 5 fish.
July 26, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, reported that cobia
fishing is as good as it gets. He said that they are averaging
double-digit numbers of fish daily and are catching numerous
citation-sized fish. They caught 12 today and 15 cobia the day
July 24, Wes Blow Chummed for cobia. He caught a 49-inch fish.
July 24, The PSWSFA Youth and Ladies Tournament finished with a
picnic and awards ceremony held at Dare Marina and Yacht Sales.
Diane Greasley had an impressive fight on her hands when a big red
drum hit her bottom rig. She managed to catch the oversized
croaker. She did not think it would pass muster at the weigh in so
she released it. The croaker she did weigh in, 13.6 ounces, was
large enough to win her 2nd place money in the Ladies Croaker
division. Allison Hale came in third place with a 7.04 ounce
croaker. Winning the Ladies Croaker competition was Wendy Elford
with a 14.08 ounce croaker. The Youth Croaker completion was won
by Wendy's son, Spencer Elford. He weighed in a 10.72 ounce
croaker. In second, was Gaston Shepard with a 9 ounce fish. Sidney
Hale came in third with 4.48 ounce croaker. The Elford Mother/Son
team struck again in the flounder competition winning both the
Ladies and Youth divisions. Wendy weighed in a 2.07 pound flounder
and Spencer weighed in a 1.67 pound flatfish.
July 22, I trolled the oceanfront for a king. I pulled the hook
on a nice king near the boat and I caught a cobia.
July 16, we fished for white marlin at the Norfolk Canyon and
had a good day. We caught chub mackerel, bridled them up, and slow
trolled the area. It is a technique we first tried last summer. In
our area, Captain Randy Butler on the Rebel is the master at doing
this. We fished near each other and kept in touch over the radio
most of the day. We ended up with a similar catch. Both boats had
tilefish and a tuna in the box and both were flying release flags
back at the dock. The only real difference was our shark catches.
They only caught a dozen big hammerheads. We were on a shark
catching roll. Mostly big hammerheads, having as many as 4 hooked
up at the same time with others with them. We caught one
non-hammerhead, I think a dusky, that already had a big circle
hook in it. It probably was a long-line hook. We released it with
another circle hook. Not ten minutes later, we were hooked up
again. It was the same shark, now with three circle hooks, each on
the left side of its jaw. I guess he is a left side chewer. We
ended up catching 5 white marlin, pulling the hooks on a couple of
others short of the leader and had a few more that we did not get
hooked up. We collected DNA samples for VIMS. The Rebel did a
little bit better. They released 20 white marlin and jumped off 17
others. They ended up with 4 times the flags we did. There is more
to this technique that we have figured out. Their tuna was also 4
times larger than the 50-pound yellowfin we caught. Their one tuna
was a 200-pound bigeye. So, pretty similar catches. Just take the
Healthy Grin catch, multiply by 4 and you have the Rebel catch
(other than the sharks).
July 10, Gabe Sava took his children out fishing. They caught
some flounder, a spadefish, and one of the two cobia they saw.
July 10, Wes Blow chummed for cobia. He caught 3.
July 10, we ran up in the bay and looked for cobia. We saw
plenty and caught one. Some were too small to cast at. I left
there and ran back down to Sandbridge as the cobia I had seen
there on Friday were some nice ones and I still wanted to find
those drum. We got a call from Charles' son saying that they had
schools of drum off of the 4th Island of the CBBT. We had run
right past them. We didn't want to make the run again. We did
catch another cobia and one of the guys put out a little spoon and
caught some Spanish mackerel. Never saw any drum but we did have a
couple of king mackerel air out (king mackerel stuff was back at
July 9, the Gloucester Boys and Girls Club's annual Flounder
Tournament had a lot of PSWSFA members in the winner's circle
including this year's champion, Brian Hogge. Brian's team weighed
in a 3-fish stringer of 13.49 pounds. Derrick Hall came in second
with 10.97 pounds. Cliff Rowe was third at 10.70 pounds. Fourth
was Steven Hodges with 10.52 pounds. Doug Merriman was fifth with
10.19 pounds. Mathew Thayer came in sixth with 10.09 pounds.
Seventh was Hagan Witt with 9.64 pounds. David Hildenbrandt was
eighth with 9.04 pounds. Ninth was Steve Pierce with 8.07 pounds.
Rounding out the top ten was Scott Davenport with 6.95 pounds. The
top youth was Thomas Hall with a 3.55 pound flounder. The top lady
was Jennifer Hall with a 3.68 pound flounder.
July 9, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, fished for cobia. He
said that it had been a great week and today was pretty average
with 9 cobia caught up to 50 inches long. He said they saw about
40 fish including a lot of small ones and one very large fish that
they did not catch.
July 9, the guys wanted to go offshore bottom fishing so off we
went. Made a drift and caught blueline tilefish and sea bass so
fast that I said we had better stop and count what we have in the
boat. We had 39 of our 42 tilefish limit. It was not even
breakfast time yet, we needed to leave there. We moved deeper and
caught 4 golden tilefish including the smallest I have seen. We
let that one go (probably should have kept it, I think there is
some study looking for baby golden tiles) and kept the other 3 to
finish out our tilefish limit. We moved again to deeper than we
normally catch bluelines but shallower than we usually catch
goldens to a spot where we have caught grouper. We started
catching hake and some nice sea bass. Deep for sea bass but that
was OK until we started catching bluelines again. Tried to move
out of them but caught more. Not wanting to catch any more of
those that we would have to toss back, we came in early (did not
have trolling stuff on board).
July 9, Charles Southall and Gabe Sava fished out of Oregon
Inlet with Greg Scott. They caught 5 dolphin, 3 king mackerel, 1
yellowfin tuna, and a sailfish.
July 2, we ran to the south towers. We got to the A Tower and
started catching amberjack. There were a number of smaller fish
though Charles Southall caught a 52-inch fish on the first drop of
a live croaker. We ran on down to the B Tower and stopped using
the live bait as the jacks were thick and aggressive. They
attacked any jig or top water type lure as soon as it hit the
water. We cranked on amberjacks until we were all worn out. We
then trolled for a bit near the tower, catching several dolphin
and a false albacore, Gabe Sava caught our largest jack at the B
Tower, 53.5 inches, but again the majority were smaller. We
encountered a school of red drum east of the B Tower. Not
expecting that, we had nothing ready to cast and they did not eat
any of our ballyhoo baits.
July 1 and 2, Wes Blow chummed for cobia catching one each day.
Ken Neill with fishing news.
Ken Neill with
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