Fish News: After the Wind

Fish News
After the Wind

We got some nice weather giving us a chance to get out there to see what was biting after all of that wind. The offshore fleet found a lot of grass and a lot of fish. It is a good time to fish offshore out of Virginia. Yellowfin tuna, albacore, and wahoo are here in numbers. Dolphin are extremely plentiful. They are almost pests at times. Decent numbers of billfish are around and even a few bigeyes. Inshore, there has been a very good cobia catch by anglers intercepting fish getting ready to head south. Numbers of flounder were down but size was not. Some big flatfish are hanging around the structure of the CBBT. The CBBT is also the location of some very impressive croaker.
Sept. 20, Steve Grimes did a half-day trip with Capt. Craig Paige and what a half day it was. They fished off Sandbridge catching 8 cobia from 44 to 53 inches. Out of cobia bait, they ran back to Lynnhaven and caught croaker to 3 lbs. They were back in for lunch.
Sept. 19, John Hunt ran offshore intending to hunt for tuna. They changed their minds when the saw the massive weed mats and dolphin jumping. They bailed dolphin until they got tired of them. They ended up with a boat load and royal mess in the cockpit.
Sept. 19, Don Lancaster, Don Forman, and Lee Martin fished the CBBT catching bluefish and striped bass. They moved to the Anglo-African where they caught flounder, triggerfish, sheepshead, and a whole bunch of oyster toads.
Sept. 18, Danny Taylor, Don Forman, and Jimmy Chisman fished the 3rd and 4th islands of the CBBT. Casting to the rocks, they caught all the bluefish and stripers they wanted.
Sept. 18, Stephen Powell, Charles Southall and I did an overnighter in the area of the Norfolk Canyon--trolled during the daytime, swordfished and chunked at night. We had action the whole time. We had a number of wahoo bite offs, pulled off a big eye after about an hour fight, pulled off a swordfish and I don't know how many tunas we lost. We did not lose everything though. We started out trolling a weed line on the Fingers. Charles caught a 40-pound wahoo. It had another hoo with it but it did not eat. Stevie caught a barracuda. We caught a number of false albacore including a 32-inch release citation for Stephen. One of the alberts was having its tail chewed up by another wahoo. We picked up a yellowfin and some dolphin. We then ran out to 44-fathom wreck where we found some decent sea bass. We started trolling again catching more dolphin and several yellowfin up to 50 pounds. Then we hooked up to a big tuna that I'm pretty certain was a bigeye and spent the rest of our day light fighting it until the hooked pulled. We could look at it but never got it anywhere close to gaff range. It wanted to live straight down under the starboard corner. Impressive strike and fight. We then set up for swordfish at the mouth of the Norfolk Canyon. I was putting out the first bait and had the line jerked out of my hand. Fishing for 1 minute and I was hooked up. I was expecting a tuna but when it came up, it was a swordfish. We kept this one--swordfish for dinner this week. For the rest of the night, we caught dolphin and hooked up with another sword but that one pulled off after a short fight. At first light, we started trolling again. We picked up a couple of longfin tuna in the 40-pound range. Albacore for dinner this week also. We then started bailing dolphin off of a weed line. Dolphin are everywhere. We kept about 30; we could have filled the boat with them. Running out of bait, ice, and places to put fish, we came on in.

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