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Fish News: Jack Travelstead

Fish News
Jack Travelstead - guest speaker at Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association meeting

The next meeting of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association will be on Sept. 21. It should be a good meeting. Our guest speaker will be Jack Travelstead. Mr. Travelstead is head of fisheries at the Virginia Marine Resource Commission and he also is one of Virginia's representatives to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
The world-class billfish action just continues along. Capt. Harvey Shiflet came in flying 42 white marlin flags this past week. He found the fish out past the 1000 fathom curve. Since then, some very good billfish action has been occurring in around 50 fathoms for some much shorter runs. The best bite has been from the Norfolk Canyon on down to the Triple 0s. Blue marlin, sailfish, and spearfish are also being caught with a good number of grand slams being caught.
Sept. 11-12, we went out on one of our science trips. Our target was young of the year bluefin tuna. These critters were born in the Gulf of Mexico during the oil spill. Seems like they survived just fine. We were scheduled to take some scientists back after them next week but we found plenty and caught all they wanted this weekend. I guess we will have to go back after billfish next week instead. While catching the bluefin, we caught a lot of blackfin, false albacore, skipjack, and bullet tuna. We only caught 2 dolphin. We had a couple of wahoo on but did not boat either. After we had caught all of the bluefin, we just stayed out there. We heard the boats catching billfish around 50 fathoms. The day before, a boat had released 45 whites out past the 1000 fathom curve. We ran over fish to get out there to find a small fleet of boats picking some fish to finish their day. One had a Allison tuna. Some boats had double digit bills but the bite was not what it was the day before. We spent the night with about 5 other boats. All of those little tuna critters we had caught (other than the bluefin) make some good baits. We did not see any swords but some large blue sharks showed up. We hooked up with six of those during the night. The largest was about 10-feet long. At first light, we got on the troll and went 2 for about 10 on billfish. We caught a white and a roundscale spearfish. That is the 4th of these we have caught this summer. They definately fight a lot harder than whites. All 4 have whacked the boat when we got them in close. This one broke the tip of its bill on the boat. The weather turned nasty and driving up top was getting cold and wet so we left the fish and made the 100 nm ride back to Virginia Beach.
Sept. 11, Capt. Kevin Pankoke fished for marlin at about the 41300 line. They caught a half-dozen whites and a blue marlin.
Sept. 11, Brent Meadors went fishing for wahoo but the marlin would not let him catch any. They ended up catching 2 out of a bunch of whites and had a blue marlin come in also. They also caught some nice dolphin.
Sept. 8, Rick Wineman fished the Triple 0s area. They went 2 for 4 on white marlin.

Dr. Ken Neill, III writes a weekly column for The Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association (

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