Fish News: Virginia Offshore Fishing is Very Good

Fish News
Virginia Offshore Fishing is Very Good
by Dr. Ken Neill, III

The offshore action out of Virginia is very good right now if you are a meat fisherman. Good catches of tuna and dolphin are being made. Billfish action is still anemic but it is getting better every day. Small bluefin seem to be everywhere. The SE Lumps, Hotdog, Fingers, Fish Hook, 26 Mile Hill, and any other hump out there that you can put a name on, has small bluefin. Most of these are pups, some not making the 27 inch minimum but there are some 100 pounders out there also. Out past 20 fathoms, yellowfin become more common. This past week, the hot spot was around the 41100 line somewhere between 20 and 100 fathoms depending on the day. Good catches of gaffer dolphin are also being made offshore. Amberjacks are stacked up around the south towers. Take plenty of bait because they are running large and so are the bluefish that are also at the towers. The Chesapeake Light Tower also holds jacks but you can forget fishing for them there until the spadefish bite dies down which it is not showing any sign of doing in the near future. Spadefish can be found over most of the wrecks along the coast and in the bay and along the CBBT. Sheepshead are stacked up on the pilings of the CBBT. Cobia action is good throughout the lower bay but it is cobia fishing. You don't catch them every time out. Red drum are still biting on the shoals. Black drum can be found at the islands of the CBBT.
June 25, Brent Meadors fished the Hot Dog. They caught a couple of bluefin tuna to 34 inches. They also caught 8 king mackerel, an amberjack, and a bunch of chopper bluefish.
June 25, Frank Kearney fished Thimble Shoals. They kept 8 flounder up to 20 inches.
June 24-25, Bob Manus and his wife Jenny took Michel Bonner and his new bride, Shelly fishing as a wedding present. They spent the night up on 9-Foot Shoal. They caught 2 red drum up to 49.5 inches and a 43-inch cobia. The catch of the night though was a huge ray. Bob thinks it was a spotted eagle manta. He said the wing span was at least 8 feet. When it got light, they ran over to the Anglo African and caught triggerfish, tautog, sea bass, pig fish, and a lot of spadefish.
June 23, Nolan Agner took a charter to the SE Lumps. They caught 6 bluefin tuna 20 to 30 pounds each and a whole lot of bluefish.
June 22, John Schnautz went fishing on the Columbia River. They experienced great action on white sturgeon. John caught one fish that was an estimated 11 feet long and 700-800 pounds.

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