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Fish News: Fishing is Ridiculously Good

Fish News
Fishing is Ridiculously Good
by Dr. Ken Neill, III

It is official. Spring is here. The ocean striped bass season remains open until the end of the month. Some anglers are still out there after them with limited success. The majority of the fish moved into the bay, heading to spawn. Flounder are on a lot of peoples' minds right now. The season is open. The water is still rather cold but it is warming up pretty fast. We will probably hear of some flounder action over the next week or two. Tautog action has heated up a bunch, particularly in the bay where the water is warmer than on the ocean wrecks. The deep-water wrecks still hold plenty of jumbo sea bass. I have heard my first report of Boston mackerel. Captain Jim Brincefield found them just outside the Chesapeake Light Tower on his way back from one of his sea bass trips. They were not set up for them but managed to catch them anyway jigging bucktails. The tuna bite is very good out of the Outer Banks.
Mar. 22, Captain Richard Bartlett took a charter out after jumbo sea bass. They left the inlet at 6:30AM and were done fishing before noon. Fishing was ridiculous. They had a limit of big sea bass and a load of tilefish. To charter Richard call: (757) 876-5376.
Mar. 21, Captain Richard Bartlett ran a sea bass charter. Again, fishing was very good and they limited out on big sea bass in short order.
Mar. 20, Captain Richard Bartlett ran a sea bass charter with at least one club member on board, Don Forman. They loaded up on big fish including multiple citations.
Mar. 20, I tried to head out after sea bass with Stevie Powell, Captain Steve Wray, Dr. Julie Ball, and Sharon Sheely. It was rougher than the day before. After beating our brains out for about a while, I called "uncle" because I could not get the women to do it for me. We ended up inshore on the Westmorland where we caught 19 tautog. None were big.
Mar. 19, I went fishing with Dr. Julie Ball, her husband, Robin Ball, her mother, Sharon Sheely, and Captain Steve Wray. We started out at the Triangle Wrecks fishing for tautog. We caught a cunner and a couple of dog sharks. We were not very patient and the ocean was calm so we ran on out to the 44 fathom wreck and found the sea bass very cooperative. In short order, we caught a limit of nice sea bass. Robin Ball caught our largest fish, which weighed in at 5 pounds 13 ounces. He also registered a release citation. Sharon Sheely registered a release citation and caught a couple of nice four fish stringers at a time. Julie registered a release citation and caught our one tilefish.
Mar. 19, Darren Foster ran out after sea bass. They tried a couple of places before they hit pay dirt. They kept 115 jumbo sea bass. They weighed one in at 5 lbs. 4 ounces and registered a release citation.

Notable Catches: March 19:
Robin Ball from Virginia Beach: Sea Bass at 5 pounds 13 ounces and 22.5 inch release: 44 fathom; Dr. Julie Ball from Virginia Beach: Sea Bass: 22.25 inches: 44 Fathom Wreck; Sahron Sheely from Alabama: Sea Bass: 22 inches: 44 Fathom Wreck.

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

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