Richmond, Virginia, USA’s Fred Murray, landed a blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) on Feb. 10 while fishing the nearby James River. Using cut bait on 2 kg (4 lb) class line and following a five minute fight the fish was weighed in at 24.04 kg (53 lb 0 oz). The current IGFA line class record is 47 lb 9 oz (21.57 kg) pulled December 2000 from the same river.
Now, state officials are mulling changes to creel and size limits for flounder this summer after complaints from local fishermen, like Hawkins, claim a recently proposed rule is too restrictive.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service this week said it had all but settled on a five-month season, from April to September, and an 18.5-inch minimum size for any flounder landed on a recreational boat. The rule would apply statewide — ending the practice of different regulations in the Chesapeake Bay and on the Atlantic Coast — and was designed to ensure about 75,000 fish were caught.
Hearing this, Ocean City fishermen — many of whom voiced support for a 19-inch size limit and a seven-month season ending in November at a crowded public hearing — made their displeasure known.
Richie Keatley of Norfolk was approved today as the newest World Record holder from Virginia. The 51lb, 5oz striped bass he boated on the fly at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on December 17th, 2010 topped the existing 43lbs, 12oz record previously held by another Virginia resident, Harry Huelsbeck.
Richie was fly fishing in his 22-foot boat at the Bay Bridge Tunnel using a hand-tied 3/0 Clouser blue-tinted fly. After a nerve racking battle and three netting attempts, once again Virginia fishing history was made! Congratulations Richie!!
The catch-and-release area extends from the Brewerton Channel at the Patapsco River to the Virginia line, including Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound. The Department of Natural Resources hopes the restrictions will reduce the stress on pre-spawn female fish, and will evaluate the situation before the 2011 season. Until then:
Each trolling boat may have no more than six lines out, regardless of the number of anglers on board. Anglers trolling must use barbless hooks. Trailing hooks, also called stingers, are illegal. When using natural bait (as opposed to artificial lures), anglers must use non-offset circle hooks or J hooks with a gap of less than a half-inch.
For years, it was thought that menhaden also helped by filtering out a lot of algae that otherwise would foul the bay.
But the study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science suggests menhaden have little net effect on the bay’s overall water quality.
Dr. Ken Neill III reports some anglers have managed to find rockfish for catch-and-release action. The mouth of the York River has been most productive. A pod of whales was there last weekend. Gill-netters are having good luck with large rockfish inside the bay. Flounder have arrived inside the bay. So far, all of the catches have been made with commercial gear. The first rod-and-reel catches will be made soon as the water warms. Puppy drum and speckled trout are being caught inside the Elizabeth River. Puppy drum are also being caught at Rudee Inlet. Tautog are being caught on coastal wrecks, and fish are becoming more active in the bay. This fishery will heat up the next few weeks.
The Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce invites anglers to the fourth annual Black Drum World Championship Fishing Tournament to be held May 14-15. The tournament again will be based at Bay Creek Marina in Cape Charles, Va
Register online at www.esvachamber.org/events/fishing.asp, by mail or at the Chamber of Commerce building in Melfa. Early bird registration, which must be received by April 30, will save a team $50, putting the cost at $200 per boat for as many as six anglers. Each angler beyond that to as many as eight anglers is $50 per angler. From May 1 until May 14, registration costs $250 per boat for as many as six anglers. No registrations will be accepted after 5 p.m. on May 14.
Team Eleanor Brown was the first-place winner in the 2009 Black Drum World Championship Fishing Tournament