Weekly Sportfishing Rundown
18 Aug 2017
Only a few more weeks remain until school starts again, and the crowds abruptly thin out. And as we cruise towards the close of the summer season, good opportunities remain for local anglers.
Offshore, it is what bluewater anglers have been waiting for: the first run of billfish of the season. Late to come about, the marlin are making up for lost time as several boats proudly display riggers overflowing with release flags just in time for the beginning of the local billfish tournament circuit. White marlin are showing in the biggest numbers, along with some blue marlin and scattered sailfish. Live-baiters are taking the lead in the quantity of releases, but conventional trolling is also effective. Dolphin and some yellowfin tuna are also a possibility, along with bigeye tuna and big wahoo.
The cobia bite has been good this season. And as the summer winds down, more fish are gliding along the surface in the Bay and along the ocean front, making easy targets for sight casters. Fish can also be found circling navigational buoys, with some big fish available. Chummers sitting on shoals in the lower Bay are still having some success. Big red drum are also a welcome by-catch for cobia hunters as reds also roam about much of the lower Bay and ocean shorelines.
Flounder anglers are finding enough keepers to hold their interest. Anglers using live-bait and jigs are finding luck in the southern portion of the Bay, where flatfish are hitting mostly along the CBBT structure. Local inlets are giving up some keeper fish, with several fish ranging up to 21-inches caught recently in both Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. Some decent flatfish can also be found on inshore and offshore wrecks, along with nice keeper-sized seabass.
Along the Virginia Beach ocean front, trollers continue to score with big Spanish mackerel, and a by-catch of bluefish. Small gold and silver spoons trolled quickly are the best lures for these fish. Smoker king mackerel are also a possibility along the coastlines. Plenty of toothy sharks in Virginiaís coastal waters will also continue to provide some interesting catches.
Sheepshead anglers continue to find good catches on the bridge pilings of the CBBT as well as over the tubes of the artificial islands. Spadefish are also still lingering in these same areas and near the Tower Reef, but not for long. Trigger fish are everywhere near structure in lower Bay waters, with a few fish pushing to four-pounds caught near the 3rd and 4th islands recently.
Some puppy drum are hitting within skinny water locations in the area, with the better action happening in Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets. These juvenile reds will hit a variety of baits, with fresh cut mullet and Gulp mullets the top choices lately.
Northerly winds can jump-start the spot run this time of year. Spot are available in the usual hot spots on the southern end of the Bay, inlets, and along the Beach ocean front. Local piers are reporting good spot action on a moving tide, along with a smattering of decent croaker. This panfish action will pick up over the next few weeks.
Tarpon are still available in the back waters of Oyster, where reports are hard to come by. Big amberjack are still lurking among the legs of the Southern Towers as well as on several offshore wrecks. Deep dropping is good off Virginia, with nice blueline and golden tilefish available to keep anglers happy.