Fish News: Tuna in the Outer Banks

Fish News
Tuna in the Outer Banks
by Dr. Ken Neill, III

The waters are warming up nicely and so is the fishing. The tuna bite has been very good out of the Outer Banks. Closer to home, sea bass remain available on the offshore wrecks. Inshore, tautog have been receiving most of the attention in the bay and on the coastal wrecks. Tautog action will remain good through May but a couple of new species are now available to capture angler's attention. Both flounder and croaker have been added to the list of fish that are being caught by area anglers. Think shallow. These waters warm up first.
April 4, I went freshwater fishing for the second day in a row. I stayed totally away from boats and trailers. Dr. Julie Ball took me to some ditch in Virginia Beach where she had caught some big white perch. It looked more like a creek to me but she insists that it is a ditch. Well, I almost stepped on a snake and I almost fell in the creek (ditch) and I did not catch a fish. Julie caught a nice perch and a bullhead catfish. I think I am ready to get back in a boat.
April 3, I ran up the James to try for big blue catfish. We took two boats. I had Dr. Julie Ball and Stephen Powell in my boat. Charles Southall had his son, Hunter and Jorj Head in his. We caught two catfish in my boat. Neither was large. They did not catch a thing in Charles' boat. They did watch a big cat being caught by a boat near them. Up to this point, things were going well. We put the boats on their trailers and headed out to go get some dinner and bask in the glory of our victory over Charles' boat. Riding up 295, a lady pulls up besides me and points to my trailer. I look back and smoke is coming from the left wheel and the wheel looks like it is about to fall off--not a good thing at 65 miles per hour. We pull off the road and proceed a long wait for a flat bed to come and get my boat and trailer. Charles said that we could have the catfish, at least his trailer still had two wheels. It was not all a loss. Jorj and Hunter found a dead buck on the side of the road to play with. Somehow that deer scull found its way into the back of my truck for a ride back to York County.
Mar. 31, Charles Southall and Jeff Dail went after jumbo sea bass with Bob Manus. The fish were not thick but they did manage a mess of nice fish. Bob registered the one citation of the trip.
Mar. 31, Capt. Richard Bartlett took a charter after jumbo sea bass. Fishing was slow and the tried a number of wrecks. They managed to catch 50 nice fish. To charter Richard, call (757) 876-5376.

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