While many have trailered their boats down to Hatteras to get
in on the cobia bite, the cobia have made a very good early
showing in Virginia. Anglers are catching cobia while targeting
drum and the boats that have tried targeting cobia have had good
success sight fishing when conditions have allowed. Now that we
know they are here, there will be a lot of anglers out after them
while the season is open. Cobia fishing will close in federal
waters on June 20. Virginia will decide what to do in state waters
at the May 24 VMRC meeting. This is one you may want to attend if
cobia fishing is important to you. Options are anywhere between
closing state waters June 20 to keeping the season open as is. In
between these are many combinations of boat limits, changes in
size limits, different closure dates and so on. You can send
comments in via email: email@example.com.
Another fish that has arrived is the sheepshead. Again,
starting out as a bycatch in the drum fishery, some big sheepshead
have been caught in the CBBT area. With the arrival of sheepshead,
it is likely that spadefish have arrived also though I have not
heard of any reports yet from the Chesapeake Light Tower.
Big red and black drum are being caught in good numbers along
the seaside of the Eastern Shore and around the shoals near the
mouth of the bay. The areas around buoys 10, 13 and 16 have been
good for black drum.
Schoolie striped bass are being caught at the crossing of the
James and around structures in the York River and in the Mobjack
Bay system. Some larger striped bass are available at the CBBT and
some continue to be caught from the Eastern Shore surf. Small
bluefish are available along the oceanfront and in the lower bay.
A very few Spanish mackerel have been caught. They will pick up
over the next few weeks. Speckled trout fishing is not great
anywhere but some are being caught inside the inlets, in the Back
and York Rivers, on Poquoson Flats, and in the Mobjack Bay area.
With sea bass now open, more are interested in heading offshore
to bottom fish. Those that have made it out have come back with
limits of sea bass and tilefish. Most of the pelagic action is by
boats running out of the Outer Banks where dolphin catches are
good, some yellowfin tuna and wahoo are being caught, and decent
numbers of billfish are being encountered. It is time for some
tuna action out of Virginia but so far, it has been mostly false
albacore and bluefish off of our coast.
May 16, Hunter Southall looked for cobia near the CBBT. He went
0 for 5 on the cobia he saw.
May 15, Wes Blow and JT Hale fished in windy conditions at the
mouth of the bay. They tagged and released 3 black drum before
getting out of the wind.
May 14, I fished with Charles and Hunter Southall in the
morning, before the wind blew up. We caught and released 3 red
drum and a black drum.
May 13, Stan Simmerman fished out of Hatteras. They caught a
dozen dolphin to 20 pounds.
May 13, Danny Forehand fished Fisherman's Island after work.
They caught a red drum.
May 13, I fished Fisherman's Island with Charles and Hunter
Southall. We ran out after work and fished the evening bite. We
and released 3 red drum and missed several others.
May 10, Charles and Hunter Southall and Steve Martin fished
Fisherman's Island. They caught 6 big red drum before calling it
May 9, Hunter Southall and Bobby Kostinas fished for red drum.
They caught 6 up to 51.5 inches long.
May 5, Hunter Southall and Wes Blow fished Fisherman's Island
for drum. They caught 3 big red drum.
April 29, Jody Linthicum fished out of Oregon Inlet. Overall,
fishing was slow but they caught 2 yellowfin, 6 dolphin and a mako.
April 25, Hunter Southall fished out of Oregon Inlet and the
action was slow. They did catch a wahoo and a yellowfin.
April 23, Hunter Southall fished the CBBT for tautog. They
caught a dozen or so before the approaching thunderstorms sent
them back to port.
April 18, Martin Freed fished inside the barrier islands of the
Eastern Shore for an hour. He caught 3 flounder then he went
clamming and loaded up a bucket.
April 16, Jody Linthicum fished his kayak inside of Rudee
Inlet. He had a nice catch of bluefish.
April 11, Bernie Sparrer fished out of Oregon Inlet for bluefin
tuna. They caught 3 mako sharks to 64 inches fork length. Boats
near them caught some yellowin tuna and dolphin. They did not hear
of any bluefin tuna.
Ken Neill with fishing news.
Ken Neill with
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