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
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
May 15, Charles Southall fished out of Hatteras. They caught 9
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ken Neill with fishing news.
Ken Neill with
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