Fish News: Citation Program Changes

Fish News
Citation Program Changes

We had a meeting of the VSWFT Committee and there were some changes made in the citation program. There was a push to raise flounder citations to 8 pounds due to the large number of big flounder this year. I told them that my club would hang me up by my toes if I supported that. We keep 7 pounds for one more year. We punted on spot. I think we would have lowered it back down to a pound but we have had a major late rush of citation-sized fish. It looks like we will go over 100 even at 1 pound 2 ounces. We don't know how much over. It should be well under 1000 since it started so late and the weather has been so bad, but we will see. We are meeting again on Nov. 30 and will look at spot then. We added true albacore to the program at 40 pounds, no release citation. We lowered the citation for Spanish to 4 pounds. We got rid of releases for sea bass, dolphin, wahoo, king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. The sheepshead minimum was raised to 10 pounds and 24 inches. Gaffing of fish for release citations was addressed. Other than lip gaffing, it will be prohibited and a statement will be added that fish must be released in good condition. At the Nov. 30 meeting, we will also discuss the inclusion of watermen in the citation program. Right now, commercial hook-and-line license holders are not eligible. There have been requests to ban all commercial license holders from the program. If you have any opinions on this, let the committee members know.
Nov 1, John Hunt took his boat down to Hatteras. They fished around the 200 line in 100 fathoms. They had plenty of bites. They boated 8 yellowfin to 45 pounds and a couple of wahoo. Brad Crawford made the catch of the day when he boated a 72-pound wahoo.
Oct. 30, Mac McCormick, Dennis Lane, and Walter Scott fished the CBBT. They found birds over working bluefish. They caught a bunch and kept some for flounder bait. They managed to catch a 18-inch flounder. They then went over to the pilings near the 3rd island and caught a limit of rockfish in the 20-26 inch range.
Oct. 30, Gary Donaldson and Steve Martin fish Back River in their kayaks. They caught a couple dozen stripers, keeping their limit.
Oct. 27, Gary Donaldson and Mac McCormick paddled over to the James River Bridge in their kayaks. They caught a bunch of striped bass and bluefish.

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