CHESAPEAKE BAY/OUTER BANKS
Dr. Julie Ball reports larger striped bass are moving into the bay on their way to spawn. Fish weighing 40 to 50 pounds are cruising off the oceanfront and near the mouth of the bay. Jack Counsil (Norfolk) caught a 51-pounder. Large schools of rockfish pushing around 25 to 30 pounds are schooling under beehives of birds from Cape Henry to the Bay Bridge Tunnel, and school-sized fish are snapping along the pilings and tubes of the CBB-T. Catch-and-release anglers are catching 25-pounders as far north as Deltaville. Remember to release any rockfish caught within bay waters.
One angler hit the bend at Bay Bridge Tunnel and returned with two keeper flounders. The regulations this year offer no closed season, and allows a bag limit of four fish per person at a length of 17.5 inches.
The Elizabeth River is producing big speckled trout. The bite is slowing, and will be over by the end of the month as the fish move out. A few specks averaging 24 inches, along with feisty puppy drum pushing more than 30 inches, are available at the Hot Ditch. The Hot Ditch on Dominion Power property is a catch-and-release area.
Deepwater anglers are finding blueline tilefish. Remember to toss back the seabass since the season is closed. Dogfish continue to make fishing in deep water a challenge, but these pests will move out once the water warms up.
Dr. Ken Neill III of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association reports tautog catches in the bay are picking up, but most of the action is coming from the coastal wrecks. Some big tautog are biting at locations such as the Tower Reef and Triangle Wrecks.
Bluefin tuna, in a wide range of sizes, are being caught out of Hatteras and Oregon inlets. Some yellowfin and blackfin tuna are being caught, but it is the bluefin that is generating the most excitement.