Fish News: Good fishing

Fish News
Good fishing

If you like catching billfish, now is the time to get out there. Get your marlin baits ready or call your favorite charter captain. The billfish bite is hot from North Carolina on up to New Jersey. Locally, the bite has been good from the 41200 on down to the 40900 anywhere from 50 on out to 500 fathoms. Plenty of dolphins are out there also. The tuna bite is slow but there are some around. Inshore, flounder are the fish receiving the most attention. The best catches have been made by anglers fishing tight to structure. Cobias are plentiful.
There are some bluefin tuna out there with archival tags in them that the researchers would like to have back. These fish have a green streamer tag near their dorsal fin and a light stalk sticking out of their belly. If you catch one of these fish, it is worth $500. They want the entire fish. These fish do not count against your daily limit of bluefin tuna and you can keep them even if they are below the current minimum size limit. If you catch one of these fish, contact Jon Lucy at the VIMS: 804-684-7166,
The next PSWSFA fishing trip has been booked. We will be live baiting big king mackerel on the Miss Hatteras Nov. 26. The first 20 anglers paid up will be our crew. Cost will be $170 per angler. Get with me to book your spot.
Aug. 7, Dennis Lane went cobia fishing with his wife and daughter. They caught plenty of croaker and had one big fish bite. Dennis caught the fish of the day, a 52-inch red drum. This big fish is large enough to be our new club record.
Aug 7, we made another of our "trips for science". Our target was white marlin. Dr. John Graves has been implanting fish with rather pricey pop-up tags to look at catch and release mortality. He first compared circle hooks to j-hooks. Now he is getting out tags on fish caught on different styles of circle hooks. Our mission was to capture fish using Mustad Demon Circle #39952BL in size 7/0. The only time I had used circles for billfish was last fall in Venezuela fishing with John Graves and Guy Harvey. Down there we were using a non-offset circle and we had mates rigging the baits for us. These hooks have an offset and I had to figure out how to rig them myself. A little research and a little practice, now I am an expert. We started on the 40950, 500 fathoms to get in early on that hot marlin bite. Of course that is where they were yesterday. We ended up finding them up on the 41050 about 70 fathoms. We managed to hang on to a couple of white marlin, which are now wearing some expensive jewelry. We missed 2 others and we had a blue marlin hooked up for a bit before the hook pulled.
Aug 6, We went out looking for marlin. We ended up in the tail end of a hot marlin bite about the 40930, 500 fathoms. Boats were backing down all around us. We went 0 for 4 on white marlin bites. My anglers kept bringing back ballyhoo heads. We did catch a couple of nice dolphin.

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