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FISHING NEWS


The drum bite remains excellent. The black drum bite may be slowing down a bit while the red drum bite is getting better. Fishing for both species is very good. More sheepshead have been caught by anglers targeting black drum and joining the bycatch this week are cobia. The cobia bite is red hot out of the Outer banks with fish to 100 pounds being caught. That is the place to be for cobia right now but some have already made it to the bay and have been caught by drum fishermen. The bay cobia fishery here should really get going over the next couple of weeks.

Some flounder are being caught at most of the normal flounder spots but only a few. The exception is the seaside inlets of the Eastern Shore where some nice limits of flatfish are being caught. There have been some flounder caught in the shallows by anglers targeting puppy drum and speckled trout. A few puppy drum are being caught and a very, very few speckled trout. What anglers are finding in the shallow flats and grass beds are good numbers of small striped bass.

Bottom fishermen are finding good numbers of croaker and sea mullet. A lot of the croaker are small but the average size seems to be improving. A few eating-sized spot are also being caught.

The offshore fishing is good to our south. Boats fishing out of Hatteras are catching dolphin and the blue marlin fishing is good. Two over 600 pounds were weighed in this past weekend at the Hatteras Village Tournament. Boats out of Oregon Inlet are catching good numbers of yellowfin tuna and some impressive bigeye tuna. There has not been much fishing for pelagics off of Virginia yet. It is time to start. There have been tuna caught to our north already. Most of the boats running out of Virginia are bottom fishing and are coming back with good catches of tilefish, sea bass, and some grouper. The coastal wrecks are still holding some cod along with sea bass.

May 17, John Hunt fished out of Oregon Inlet. They hooked up with 3 bigeye tuna and managed to land 1 of them. They also caught a couple of yellowfin tuna and a mako shark.

May 17, I went drum fishing with Wes Blow. We caught 13 red drum and 2 black drum. Wes tagged and released all of them.

May 16, Capt. Rick Wineman fished Fisherman's Island. They caught 8 red drum and 1 black drum.

May 16, Charles Southall fished out of Hatteras. They caught 7 dolphin.

May 16, Steve Martin fished out of Hatteras. They caught 5 dolphin to 25 pounds and 4 triggerfish to 22.5 inches.

May 15, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished a couple of wrecks out of Quinby. They caught 7 cod in the 4-5 pound range and kept 25 sea bass up to 5 pounds 5 ounces. They released numerous sea bass and a good number of tautog.

May 15, Steve Martin fished out of Hatteras. They caught 6 dolphin.

May 15, Charles Southall fished out of Hatteras. They caught 9 dolphin.

May 10, Capt. Brandon Bartlett fished for drum near Fisherman's Island. They started out catching 12 black drum. They then moved to try for a red drum. They had 15 crabs and caught a big red drum on each of them.

May 9, we went out in Charles Southall's boat and started catching drum as soon as we got anchored up. There were three of us with David Brabrand rounding out the crew. I started out tagging and releasing the fish but it got too hectic and we just released the fish as fast as we could. If you were not getting a bite, you had already lost your bait. Charles had forgotten his net (again) so we used a combination of lip gaffing and just reaching over the side and grabbing them until Wes Blow was kind enough to go to my house and bring us my net. We did not lose a single fish at boat side. I don't know how many we lost due to pulled hooks or how many we just plain missed. By the time we used our last clam, we had boated 20 black drum up 51 inches long. We had a number of multiple hook-ups with as many as 5 drum hooked at one time. We caught all 5 of those. We just had to leave two in the rod holders while we fought the other 3. Wes set up next to us. Fishing by himself, Wes caught 7 black drum up to 49 inches long. Some other of our fishing club board were out there. Capt. JT Hale caught 9 black drum on the other side of us. Capt. Rick Wineman was closer to the surf zone and caught 5 red drum and 5 black drum. Capt. Jorj Head joined him in there later and caught a couple of big red drum.

May 8, Stan Simmerman fished for drum on Nautilus Shoal. They caught a big black drum and could hear them drumming under the boat. Fog rolling in, chased them home before they could catch more.

May 8, Jody Linthicum fished the breakers at Fisherman's Island. They caught a big red drum.

May 6, the Tuna Tracker fished out of Hatteras. They caught 12 dolphin and a yellowfin tuna.

May 6, Gabe Sava took the afternoon off and took his dad out after cod. They caught sea bass and tautog that had to be released. They found what they were looking for on the next wreck they visited and caught 4 nice cod.

May 5, Capt. Rick Wineman fished for drum near Fisherman's Island. They caught 2 red drum and 1 black drum.

May 4, I went drum fishing with Charles and Hunter Southall. We caught a few sharks and Hunter caught a very thick, 53-inch red drum that was tagged and released.

May 4, Wes Blow and Keith Blackburn fished for cod. They caught 4 cod to about 4.5 pounds and 11 tautog which were tagged and released. They then moved into Fisherman's Island where Wes tagged and released a nice red drum.

May 4, Jody Linthicum fished for drum. They caught 2 black drum and 1 big red drum.

May 4, Richie and Dylan Moore fished for drum near Fisherman's Island. They caught 2 red drum and 1 black drum.

May 2, Capt. Rick Wineman fished for drum. They caught 2 black drum and 1 red drum.

April 29, Wes Blow went out after tautog for one more trip before the season closes. It was a heck of a trip. He had Beth Synowiec with him and they fished one of the ocean wrecks. They caught 10 citation-sized tautog, keeping their 6-fish limit. They released 4 big tog and lesser fish. Their 6-fish stringer weighed a total of 101.31 pounds! Their average fish weighed 16.9 pounds. The "small" fish weighed 16 pounds 1 ounce and their largest weighed 17 pounds 10 ounces. Wes has been on the big tog this year and is the current state leader with an 18 pound 13 ounce tautog. DNA samples were collected from each fish for VIMS. The released fish were tagged. The carcasses of the kept fish are being donated to the VMRC Sport Fish Collection Project.

April 29, Dave Agee and his wife fished out of San Juan. They caught 3 out of the 6 tarpon they hooked.

April 29, Steve Martin and Jerald Abraham fished for tautog in the bay. They had a slow day managing 3 tautog.

April 29, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished a wreck out of Quinby. They caught a small tautog and a nice sea bass that were both released. What they kept were 20 nice cod up to 26 inches long.

April 29, Charles Southall and I ran over to Fisherman's Island after work to try for drum. We did not catch any. Some big reds were caught by others earlier in the day.

April 25, Gabe Sava fished an inshore wreck in the afternoon and had a great catch. He caught a limit of tautog, a Pollack, and 15-20 cod.

April 25, Capt. Rick Wineman fished the CBBT where they caught their tautog limit. They then went to Fisherman's Island and tried for drum without success.

April 22, Wes Blow fished Fisherman's Island for red drum. He did not have any luck with that. On the way in, he stopped at Back River Reef and caught some tautog.

April 19, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished for tautog out of Quinby Inlet. They did not catch any. What they did catch were cod. They ended up with 13 cod up to 27 inches long.

April 19, we tried one wreck for tautog and caught some really nice sea bass that had to be released. We moved inshore and caught tautog and cod.

April 19, Gabe Sava fished an inshore wreck. He caught tautog, keeping his limit and releasing the rest. He also caught several cod.

April 18, David Brabrand and I fished an inshore wreck. We kept a limit of tautog and released others with tags. We got DNA samples from each fish. We were back in the inlet for

April 13, Wes Blow went back out after tog. He had Ken Westerfeld with him. Ken caught tog of 17 pounds 13 ounces and 11 pounds 10 ounces. Ken caught the pending world-record tautog earlier this year: 28 pounds 13 ounces.

April 13, Hunter fished the CBBT and the bite was hot. He was not sure how many tautog he caught but he got DNA samples from 20 of them and he did not get samples from each as he was too busy fishing. He kept his 3-fish limit and released the rest.

April 12, we fished an ocean wreck. We caught some big tautog with five weighing in the double-digits. I managed to catch one of those. Dr. Hamish Small, from VIMS, had never caught a citation-sized tog before. Now he has four. His largest fish weighed in at 15 pounds 8 ounces. JT Hale caught a cod. We caught some lesser tog and a few nice sea bass that were released. The tog we weighed in were: 11.5, 12.5, 13, 14.5, and 15.5 pounds. Fish were caught on clam and a variety of crabs. We got DNA samples from each tautog caught, we kept 6 tog (we each took home one fish for dinner)-those carcasses went to the VMRC Sportfish Collection Project, the rest were tagged and released.

April 12, Brandon Honeycutt fished the CBBT. They caught about 40 tautog. They kept their limit of nine and came home.

April 12, Capt. Rick Wineman fished some ocean wrecks yesterday for togs but all we could catch were large sea bass. They ran out to the southern wall of the Norfolk Canyon where they caught blueline tilefish to over 10 pounds and they caught a 27-inch flounder.

April 12, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished for tautog out of Wachapreague Inlet. They did not catch any tautog but they did catch seven cod between 22 and 25 inches long and a few smaller ones.

Contact Ken Neill with fishing news.

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