Fish News: New Flounder Regulations

Fish News
New Flounder Regulations

There are a couple of shows coming up to put on your calendar. The Tidewater Boat Show will be held at the Hampton Convention Center March 2-4. There will be a CCA Sportfishing Show this year. It was in doubt. It will be held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center April 20-22. Details for this event are still being worked out.
The new flounder regulations are close to being done. Next on the list will be tautog. Expect tougher regulations on them soon. The ASMFC has mandated an approximate 29% reduction in tautog catches. Stay tuned to see how this one plays out. Other possible changes will concern offshore bottom fishermen. The VMRC is considering regulations for tilefish and grouper. These fish are closely regulated from North Carolina on south while we have been unregulated. The increase in popularity of blueline tilefish off of Virginia and the fact that we have caught several world-record class snowy grouper on the Healthy Grin has gotten the fishery managers attention, both on the federal and state levels.
(BOLD)Dues(END BOLD): It is that time of year to pay your club dues for the next year. Membership will remain at $30 for 2007. Get your dues into Nelson Ortiz.
Feb. 3, we had wanted to head offshore bottom fishing but it was blowing a bit more than we liked so we stayed inshore. Wanting to do something other than catch rockfish, Bob Manus and I went flounder fishing. We fished the Cape Henry area. We caught a couple of fish near the Cape Henry Wreck and we caught a couple more near the CBJ. All were nice fish in the 21-22 inch range. We had planned to do some rockfishing after flounder fishing but that proved unnecessary. Rockfish were everywhere and they like flounder baits just fine and they were fun to catch on the flounder gear. We kept a limit of rockfish and released a bunch more. We had a number of other flounder bites but only boated the four. We could hear a number of club members on the radio. Brent Meadors, Nolan Agner (www.fishaquaman.com), and Darren Foster were all along the Virginia Beach oceanfront catching rockfish. Flounder in February, what a winter we are having!
Feb. 3, Barclay Shepard fished out of Rudee Inlet. They caught 20 rockfish up to 43 inches long.
Feb. 2, I ate lunch at the River Walk Cafe. Tricia and I were entertained by watching a guy standing on the rocks catching striped bass one after the other casting a Bass Assassin. The fish were in the 20-inch range.

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