Fish News: Biting is Good This Summer

Fish News
Biting is Good This Summer
by Dr. Ken Neill, III

There are a lot of king mackerel in the same areas the bluefins are hanging out. Places like the Hot Dog, Fish Hook, and 26-Mile Hill. Big bluefish can be found at these areas also. Amberjacks are at the normal amberjack spots. The southern towers are your best bet but these fish can be found over any number of wrecks off of our coast. The fleet of boats at the Chesapeake Light Tower is happy. Spadefish action is very good. The lower bay is full of chum slicks as anglers target big cobia. The bite has been pretty good this summer. Large sheepshead are being caught off of the pilings of the CBBT. Spanish mackerel are available along the Virginia Beach oceanfront and throughout the lower bay. Flounder pounders continue to experience a good season. The speaker at our July 19 meeting will be Capt. Jim Jenrette of Cape Charles fame. We are going to do things a bit different for our July 12 board meeting. We are moving it to the Waterman's Hall at VIMS. The ASMFC is having public meeting there concerning possible management measures for the most important fish in the Chesapeake Bay, the menhaden. The meeting starts at 6 PM. All club members are encouraged to attend and to get there early so that you can get a seat.
July 4, I went to the Hot Dog with my family just to give them something to pull on. With me, I had my wife, Tricia, my son, Cameron, my daughter, Casey and my parents, Mickey and Charlotte Neill. They caught a nice mixture of fish: king mackerel, bluefish, and bluefin tuna. Just about the time I was getting warmed up, they decided that it had been fun and now it was time to go. So in we went, leaving the fish biting.
July 3, we fished for yellowfin tuna. My crew was Stephen Powell; John Schnautz and I had the pleasure of fishing with Capt. Richard Bartlett (757) 876-5376 and his son Brandon again. I used to fish with Richard all of the time before he became a full-time charter captain. He taught me most of what I know about offshore fishing and is still the best tuna catcher I know. Now, he is too busy to fish with us but this weekend his boat, Empty Wallet, was down for repairs. Richard showed up with all of his tuna stuff and off we went. We had a good day catching 15 yellowfin and a skipjack. Twelve-year-old Brandon has been rigging baits and doing most other mate work since he was 7. The only thing he has not done a lot of has been leadering and gaffing due to his size. We turned him loose on this trip and he did a great job. He did not lose a single fish at the boat. I did lose two fish however. I broke one off and I pulled the hook on another. They were a whole different class than the ones that we caught.
July 3, Brent Meadors fished the Hot Dog. They caught 15 bluefin tuna. The one they kept weighed a bit over 50 pounds. They also had a nice catch of king mackerel.

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