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FISHING NEWS


Some impressive bigeye tuna have been brought back to the dock over the past week. Fish are being caught at the Washington and Norfolk Canyons. There are more boats than tuna being caught but for the lucky boats that get bit, it is well worth the trip. Good dolphin catches are being made out in the deep by anglers fishing for marlin but some dolphin are being caught just a few miles off of the beach. Billfish action remains good with numerous grand slams caught over the past couple of weeks. A very few yellowfin tuna are being caught, some in as close as the Hot Dog and 26 Mile Hill.

Amberjack are at the southern towers. Amberjack and jack crevalle can be found over some of the coastal wrecks and they would be a possibility at the Chesapeake Light Tower. Along the oceanfront, a few king mackerel are being caught and there are good catches of Spanish mackerel and small bluefish. Shark fishing is good and cobia and large red drum are likely encounters.

Spadefish are being caught over some of the coastal wrecks and at the CBBT where big sheepshead are also being caught. Flounder fishing is pretty good at the CBBT and flatfish are being caught at areas like Hampton Bar, Back River Reef, Deadman's Hill and off of Cape Charles. The coastal wrecks are producing some of the best flounder catches with the Tower and Triangle Reef areas being very good.

Cobia fishing remains excellent throughout the lower bay. They are being caught by chumming on the various hills, sight fishing open water and by looking for them on the buoys and the pilings of the CBBT. Big red drum continue to be caught around the shoals and near the islands of the CBBT and just in open water by sight fishing. Tarpon are inside the barrier islands of the Eastern Shore and should be there through August.

The Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association's annual Youth and Ladies Tournament finished July 26. Here are the winners. Youth Flounder:1st - Spencer Elford 2.7lb, 2nd - Lexie Sava 2.4lb, 3rd - Caleb Sava 1.9lb. Youth Croaker: 1st - Caleb Sava .875lb, 2nd - Joel White .73lb, 3rd - Taylor Simmerman .687lb. Ladies Flounder: 1st - Ruth McCormick 2.75lb, 2nd - Amy Blow 2.25lb, 3rd - Cindy Martin 2.24lb.

Beth Synowiec will be the speaker at the August 18 PSWSFA meeting. She will be talking about catching big sheepshead at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. www.pswsfa.com/meetings.htm

July 29, NFL Hall of Fame running back John Riggins fished with Capt. Jorj Head (757) 262-9004. They saw a good number of cobia and managed to catch 5. "The Diesel" tagged and released fish, collected DNA samples, and earned a trophy-fish citation.

July 26, Wes Blow got in a short cobia trip and managed to catch 3.

July 25, we went to try live-baiting for white marlin. While catching chub mackerel, we caught an orange fish…another one. We have been through the blackbelly rosefish and Darwin's Slimehead (set All-Tackle World Records for both, since retired) and have a pending IGFA record for Spineycheek Scorpionfish. This was none of those. We caught plenty of chub mackerel to bridle up for bait and managed to not catch any white marlin. We had a couple hooked up but lost them and managed to not hook others. We did catch a blue marlin and 2 of 4 big hammerheads that ate our marlin baits. Jason Schratwieser, Conservation Director of the IGFA and Virginia Beach native came up with our fish's id: Deepbody Boarfish. The fish has been donated to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for their fish collection.

July 25, Charles Southall fished out of Hatteras. They caught some dolphin and a couple blackfin tuna.

July 23, Barclay Shepard fished out of Hatteras. They caught 10 blackfin tuna.

July 22, Wes Blow fished for cobia. They caught 4 to 49 inches long.

July 21, Hunter Southall fished the Norfolk Canyon. They caught a blue marlin and one of two white marlin that bit. They also caught some big sharks.

July 19, I trolled for a king and looked for cobia. I did not catch a king but I did catch 3 cobia.

July 19, Wes Blow and Congressman Rob Wittman chummed for cobia. They caught 15 and called it a day.

July 19, Capt. Rick Wineman fished from the Norfolk Canyon to the Washington Canyon. They caught some dolphin and a big shark. They lost the two tuna that they hooked.

July 18, Brent Meadors fished the Cigar area. They came upon a large group of feeding rays and dolphin. They caught dolphin until they filled up the fish box.

July 18, Danny Forehand fished for cobia. They caught a 50-inch fish and then came in to play golf.

July 18, Stan Simmerman fished the Chesapeake Light Tower area. They caught flounder and dolphin.

July 17, I went over to do a bit of work on the boat. Afterwards, I did a little trolling along the beach. I caught a really fat red drum and a ribbon fish.

July 16, Wes Blow fished for cobia catching 4.

July 13, Ruth and Mac McCormick were running to the CBBT for flounder. They decided that it was too rough and stopped on Bluefish Rock. They caught croaker, spot, bluefish, porgy, sharks and 5 nice flounder.

July 13, Danny Forehand went chumming for cobia. They caught 1 before they had to come in to play golf.

July 12, I went fishing with Charles Southall. Cobia fishing was very good. We caught and released 10 cobia up to 53 inches long. We tagged and collected DNA from 9 of them.

July 12, Wes Blow and Congressman Rob Wittman went cobia fishing. They caught and released 10 cobia, tagging them and collecting a DNA sample. One of their cobia already had a tag in it that turned out to have been tagged by Capt. Jorj Head last summer.

July 10, I drove over to Rudee after lunch, put two baits out right outside the inlet and immediately both rods went down. I landed 2 large jack crevalle. Those were my only bites. There were some cobia caught and a king caught near me.

July 8, Wes Blow chummed for cobia. He caught 4 but lost the largest cobia he has had hooked up over the past 2 years. (Wes has caught them over 100 pounds so he knows what a big one is).

July 8, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, fished for cobia in less than favorable sight-fishing conditions. They still managed to catch 4 cobia.

July 5, we went out to the Norfolk Canyon to try, new-to-us, live-baiting for marlin. We started out trying to catch tinker mackerel. We caught the heck out of the sea bass and blueline tilefish. We struggled with the mackerel. We managed to catch a few, bridled them up, and started trolling them. It was the first time we had used the trolling valves on the boat, those things work really well. It was not long before we had our first hook-up that dumped all of the line on the TLD 30 but really, it was down to the knot before any of us even noticed that something was going on. Some quick backing down allowed Charles Southall to keep the line from breaking. They saw the fish in the distance and said marlin but they were not sure what kind. When it got close to the boat, a very large and agitated hammerhead moved in and we were sure it was going to eat the marlin. When we finally got the "marlin" up enough to see it, it was another big hammerhead. While leadering that fish, the other shark grabbed a mackerel dangling from the long rigger. With a 2nd shark hooked up, we quickly cut the leader on the 1st. Then, the second shark broke off while a 3rd big hammerhead came in and at our last mackerel dangling off of the other rigger. That did not last long. Out of mackerel, we went back to catching sea bass and tilefish and a single mackerel. Back on the troll for 2 minutes and that one was taken by another shark also. So back to the bait catching. Some of the tilefish and sea bass were too small to keep. We "released" a few that floated. The water erupted with multiple hammerheads attacking the fish. We managed one more mackerel, it was getting late, so back on the troll with it and some silver perch I had left over as bait for the Flounder Bowl. A hammerhead came in on the mackerel and we cranked it away from it. Stan Simmerman had a shark rig ready and fed it out but the shark went and ate one of the little silver perch. I fought that fish and somehow the little circle hook and light leader held and I got that shark to the boat. So we ended up going 2 for 5 on hammerheads. We never had a chance at a billfish. We ended up with a nice catch of sea bass and blueline tilefish to 10.5 pounds.

July 5, Capt. Rick Wineman fished the Norfolk Canyon and found it very slow. They caught 7 dolphin and a blueline tilefish.

July 5, Wes Blow fished for cobia and sheepshead. He did not have any luck with the sheepshead but he did catch a cobia.

July 4, Independence Day was also flounder day for the over 300 anglers that entered the Flounder Bowl. The tournament was scheduled for June 26 but small-craft advisories caused the fishing day to be moved to July 4. The weigh-in party was held as scheduled, just without the weigh-in. Over 500 people attended to eat the seafood, drink the beverages, and listen to the music. The new and "better" fish day had periods of rain and winds as high as 25 knots early in the day. The weather did affect the turnout but still 81 of the best flounder fishing teams in the area participated in the event. When you have this many great flounder anglers competing, flounder are caught despite the conditions. The finish was as close as we have ever had. The winner is determined by the combined weight of their 3 heaviest flounder. The difference between the first and second place teams was eight one-hundreds of a pound. By this slim margin, we have our first back-to-back Flounder Bowl Champions.1st Place is the Look-N-Hook captained by Aubrey Williams, III. Their stringer weighed 14.80 pounds. In addition to winning the tournament, they also won the 3-Fish Calcutta and the Big-Fish Calcutta. Their big fish weighed in at 7.96 pounds. Their total winnings were $ 11,300. The 2nd Place team is the No Regrets captained by Steven Hodges. They were sponsored by Hopkins Gun & Tackle. They won the Sponsors Challenge Trophy with their 14.72-pound stringer. Steven Hodges won the award for the heaviest flounder weighed in by a member of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association. His big fish weighed 6.02 pounds. This brought their total winnings to $2,500. 3rd Place is the team sponsored by Oceans East captained by Joseph Harris. They weighed in 13.46 pounds and won $1,500. The 4th Place team was captained by Dereck Hall. They earned $1,000 with their 12.52 pound stringer. 5th Place is the Salt Treated captained by Zach Hoffman. They were sponsored by Sandman Hook & Tackle. They weighed in 11.76 pounds and won $500. 6th Place is the team captained by Greg Nevi. They won $250 weighing in 11.72 pounds. All of the teams not placing in the top 6 were entered into a "Lucky Dog" drawing for $500. The team had to be present to win. This year's Lucky Dog is really lucky as the first two teams drawn were not there. The third time was the charm and the Lucky Dog is the Good Times captained by Aron Goshorn. Special awards were given the top lady and the top youth anglers. The Top Youth Angler is Garrett Stanley who fished on the team captained by Scott Elford. Garrett weighed in a 3-pound flounder and won $100 and a pair of Costa sunglasses. The Top Lady Angler was Cindi Dedmond fishing on the Cindi D, captained by Randy Dedmond, sponsored by Bishop Fishing Supply. Cindi weighed a 4.06-pound flounder and won $100 and a pair of Costa Sunglasses. There was an optional Cobia Calcutta added this year. This was won by the McKay Elizabeth team captained by John Hanna, III with a 35.4 pound cobia. They won $900. The total payout for the tournament was $18,650.

July 3, Danny Forehand chummed for cobia and caught a couple.

July 3, I went out to catch bait for the Flounder Bowl but I got distracted. I caught 3 cobia and came in for the captains meeting.

June 30, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, started out fishing for flounder. They caught 15 and then went cobia fishing. They caught 5 cobia up to 70 pounds.

Contact Ken Neill with fishing news.

E-mail Ken Neill with fishing news.

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