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Fish News: New Tautog Regulations

Fish News
New Tautog Regulations

Virginia's new tautog regulations have been set. Starting on January 1, 2008, we have a 4 fish bag limit and a closed season from May 1-June 24.
Boats running offshore out of Virginia are finding yellowfin and albacore tuna. Good numbers of swordfish are also around. Closer to shore, bluefin tuna are available. They are being caught near the Triangle Wrecks, the Hot Dog, and the Fingers. Some have been caught out of North Carolina but the reports of large schools of fish are still to our north. Good numbers of yellowfin and wahoo are being caught out of Oregon Inlet. Some big bluefish, up to 25 pounds, are being caught off of our coast right now. The Triangle Wrecks has been the best spot for the larger bluefish. Sea bass are being caught off of these wrecks and big flounder are available on the bottom around these structures. Larger striped bass continue to trickle in. Some nice-sized fish, 40 inch range, are being caught at the CBBT and in the Plantation Light area. The larger fish are mostly falling to eels. Again, the large concentrations of big striped bass remain to our north, either up the coast or up the bay. Tautog fishing remains very good on structures in the bay. Speckled trout action remains very good in the Elizabeth River.
Nov. 25, we looked for bluefin tuna without any luck. We were at the Hot Dog. There were a couple of bluefin encounters by the fleet but not many. It sounds like the bulk of bluefin are still to our north, heading this way. We then headed offshore to the warmer water where some yellowfins were being caught. We trolled for a bit and ended up over a tilefish spot. We stopped and caught a limit of blueline tiles and a nice mess of sea bass. We went back to trolling and Bob Manus caught our one citation-sized fish of the day, a big albacore tuna weighing in at 41.5 pounds. We had a bigger tuna on for awhile but we lost it due to leader failure so we don't know what color it was. A couple of boats were out there doing the daytime drop thing for swordfish and at least one had one hooked up. The best of the tuna bite was at the 41300 in about 70 fathoms.
Nov. 24, Bob Manus fished near York Spit Light. They caught a limit of striped bass and a limit of tautog.
Nov. 24, Mac McCormick fished the James River Bridge in his kayak. He caught a bunch of school rockfish especially in the light line after dark.
Nov. 24, Brandon Honeycutt fished the Elizabeth River. He caught 14 nice speckled trout. The largest was 24.25 inches long.
Nov. 24, Phillip Neill caught a mess of tautog at the 4th island of the CBBT.
Nov. 20, Richard Bartlett fished the Triangle Wrecks area for bluefin tuna. He hooked up with three giants. One pulled the hook quickly. A really big one was lost at boat side. The third was not as lucky. That 80-inch fork length tuna was brought back to the dock.

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

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