Striped bass regulations have been set. The coastal regulations
remain at 1 fish, 28 inches. The bay seasons stay the same with
the minimum increased from 18 to 20 inches. The Spring Trophy
Season now has a permit required. The minimum has been increased
to 36 inches; any fish kept must still be reported. The new permit
is only required to be able to keep a striped bass, 36 inches or
greater from the start of the Spring Trophy Season May 1 through
the Spring Bay Season that ends June 15. You do not need it for
any other striped bass fishing.
Like the Tilefish/Grouper Permit, the Spring Trophy Striped
Bass Permit is free. These free permits cannot be obtained from
all of the normal fishing license outlets. The free permits can be
obtained for VMRC Authorized Agents, where commercial fishing
licenses are sold. These locations are not conveniently located
for everyone. You can now get your Tilefish/Grouper Permit and the
Spring Trophy Striped Bass Permit online at:
Sea bass was set to open on May 19. It will now open on May 15.
Recreational Saltwater License fees will be decreased an
average of $5 each beginning April 1.
The VMRC has taken steps to enhance communication with the
angling public. You can find VMRC on Facebook:
, follow them on Twitter: @VaMRC and their mobile-friendly website
is a very useful tool for anglers. Visit www.mrc.virginia.gov/mobile
for instructions on how to place VMRC Mobile on the homepage of
your iOS or Android mobile device. A direct link to VMRC Mobile: https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/mobile/
When boats can get out of the Outer Banks some tuna are being
caught. It is not red hot but decent numbers of bluefin, yellowfin
and blackfin tuna are being caught. Out of Virginia, it is
tilefish offshore bottom fishing. Tautog are being caught on the
coastal wrecks. There have not been any recent reports of speckled
trout or puppy drum catches. Anglers trying for them report dead
fish floating around. Commercial fishermen are doing well on big
striped bass in the rivers but I have not heard of any catch and
release action by recreational anglers. Things should improve a
lot over the next few weeks as tautog turn on in the bay, the
first flounder catches will be made, croaker will arrive in the
bay and big drum will arrive in the seaside surf of the Eastern
The Hampton Boat Show will be at the Hampton Roads Convention
Center March 27-29. The PSWSFA will have a table at the boat show
and we need volunteers to help man it. Contact Nelson Ortiz if you
are willing to spend some time at the table to hand out
information on the club and flyers for the Flounder Bowl.
The Flounder Bowl will be held on June 27. Again, it will be
limited to 120 boats. This event is made possible through
tremendous business support. Participants are encouraged to
patronize these businesses that support recreational fishing.
Anglers and sponsors can register for this year’s Flounder Bowl
March 25, Wes Blow and Beth Synowiec wreck fished. They caught
and released some nice sea bass and caught some tautog up to 15
pounds 6 ounces.
March 9, Capt. Rick Wineman fished the Get Anet out of Oregon
Inlet. The Wicked Tuna boats were fishing around them and they saw
a few fish caught. The Get Anet did not get a bite.
March 9, Wes Blow tried for tautog and tilefish. He caught (and
released) big sea bass and a lot of dogfish.
March 1, when I got to the boat, Hunter Southall was using a
snow shovel. The rest of the guys were beating on the deck with 5
gallon buckets, trying to break up the ice. We left Rudee Inlet in
the direction of the Triangle Wrecks. It was too rough running in
that direction so we turned south to an inshore wreck. We got
anchored up, in the sleet, and proceeded to catch nothing until
the anchor broke free. We re-anchored and did more of the same. By
the third time the anchor came loose, the seas were settling down.
Since we were not catching anything where we were, we headed to a
wreck further offshore and re-found the rough seas. It was too
rough to try and anchor so we made a few drops while I tried to
hold the boat over the wreck with the engines. The guys did catch
and release some nice sea bass but no tautog. We gave up on that
and were going to head further out to catch some tilefish but the
rain picked up and the water-in-the-fuel alarm went off. Enough
was enough; we pointed the boat down sea, drained the water from
the filters and headed home.
Feb 22, it thawed out enough to allow us to shovel out the
remaining snow in the boat, break through the ice, and go fishing.
We ran out in thick fog, big swells and when we anchored on the
wreck, the current was ripping. We had to break out the heavy
sinkers but even 20 ounces was not enough to hold bottom. We did
not catch a single tautog. We did catch a few really nice sea bass
that we had to let go. Stan Simmerman caught a big striped bass on
a jig…also released.
Feb 8, it was too rough. We went fishing anyway. Tagged and
released 6 tautog, getting DNA samples from each. Then we decided
that we had had enough and went in for lunch.
Feb 7, Hunter Southall and myself went out for a short tog
trip. We only caught 7 tautog up to 19 inches long. We collected
DNA from each for VIMS.
Feb. 1, Capt. Rick Wineman ran to the
Triangle Wrecks where they caught 3 tautog to 23 inches long. They
ran through a lot of diving birds between the light tower and the
Feb. 1, we ran out for tautog before the Super Bowl. We caught 16
tog, up to 23 inches long, before running in early for the Super
Bowl parties. We also caught sea bass and a nice hake. We got DNA
samples from each tog and placed tags in those we did not keep. I
dropped my camera down...only once, after I saw what was down
Jan 25, Wes and I went over and did some boat
work. We also went and did some tog fishing close to the beach. We
ended up catching 19 togs up to 18.5 inches long. Kept a couple,
tagged and released the rest, got DNA samples from each. When we
dropped the camera down, we did not see much but the fish were
Jan 23, we went out after tautog. We had a slow bite, catching 5
tautog. We kept 4 between 18 and 20 inches long, tagged and
released the 5th. We got DNA samples from each. We also kept a
nice hake and we had to release some really nice sea bass. I did
drop a camera down to see what was going on down there:
Jan 20, Wes Blow fished for tautog on one of the ocean wrecks.
He said that the bite was great and they caught about 25 fish
keeping their 2-angler limit. The fish they kept included 4 that
weighed over 9 pounds with the largest weighing in at 16 pounds.
Jan 17, we went out in rather blustery conditions for tautog.
We stayed close to the beach because it was just too rough to run
anywhere else. We managed to catch 15 tautog up to 23.25 inches
long. That fish was tagged and released after a DNA sample was
taken. We tagged and released all but 3 fish and got DNA samples
from each for VIMS. The carcasses of the kept fish were donated to
VMRC. We caught one fish that had been tagged previously.
Jan 16, Jody Linthicum fished the Elizabeth River with Wally
Veal. They caught 15 speckled trout over 19 inches long. Their
catch included fish of 25 inches, 27.5 inches and Jody caught a
huge gator, 32 inches long! Hunter Southall was also on the river
catching trout. Hunter said that he caught a dozen or so specks
including one over 25 inches long. He also caught a nice puppy
drum. Hunter's specks averaged in the 20-23 inch range. Both Jody
and Hunter caught their fish casting jigs and those fish are still
there as they released their fish...even that 32-inch monster!
Ken Neill with fishing news.
Ken Neill with
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