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FISHING NEWS


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: webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/permits .

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:   www.facebook.com/MRCVirginia , 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 Shore.

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 at www.flounderbowl.com .

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 Triangle Wrecks.

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 there:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v...47337150059912

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 biting.               
www.facebook.com/video.php?v=864179683623580&l=243784847404677568 .

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:                   
www.facebook.com/video.php?v=863490727025809&l=1449708948391212935 

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!

Contact Ken Neill with fishing news.

E-mail Ken Neill with fishing news.

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