Fish News: Ocean Season is Now Open
Ocean Season is Now Open
The fall striper regulations have been set. These regulations apply to the bay. The ocean regulations are the same as last year, two fish per person with a minimum of 28 inches. The ocean season is open now. The bay season will open on October 4. The regulations will be two fish per person. There will be a no-take slot limit between 28 and 34 inches. One of your two fish may be over 34 inches. From December 10 through December 31 you will be allowed only one fish per person. That fish may be either under or over the no-take slot limit.
The question is, what is not biting right now? The answer would be, "not much". Yellowfin tuna have not turned on yet but that bite will be picking up soon. Right now, the billfish bite remains very good. Dolphin fishing is excellent. A lot of wahoo are being caught. Fishermen spending the night out in the deep are encountering decent numbers of swordfish. Even though the tuna bite is not red hot yet, some big yellowfins are being caught along with longfins and some bigeyes. It is a good time to head offshore. Close to shore, cobia are still being caught as they group up for their trip south. Jacks, mackerel, and false albacore are holding around the Chesapeake Light Tower. Spadefish are still being caught on some of the ocean wrecks though don't expect to see any at the tower until next year. The run of big red drum continues at Sandbridge. Flounder are being caught along the Baltimore Channel and around some of the wrecks in the bay and in the ocean. Sea bass are biting at the Triangle Wrecks. Spot seem to be biting everywhere. The James River is red hot.
Sept. 24, after we got the kids off to school, Tricia and I went out to the Chesapeake Light Tower. While I was playing offshore, she was loading the bait barrel with croaker. We fed the croaker to some hungry jack crevalle. After catching all of those we wanted, we headed in for a late lunch. On the way, we came across a school of cobia. We had forgotten our eels. We had given away the rest of our croaker to another boat at the tower. We threw jigs at them and they would follow them. No bites but they did hang around the boat until we gave up on them.
Sept. 23, report from Darren Foster: I co-captained a trip with Jim Brincefield on the Jill Carrie (www.captjim.com ). We left Lynnhaven on a glassy slick sea that only got better the further out we got. First stop of the day was the Triangle. We spent the morning bopuncing from one wreck to another out there. Some had nice sea bass on them, some had nothing, and one wreck was loaded with flounder. I've flounder fished on the ocean wrecks a lot but I have never seen a flounder bite where you were catching them on hi/lo sea bass rigs. I even had a couple of doubles on them. Most were 19-20 inches with a few 22-23 inches. The wind really kicked up midmorning so we stayed on the Triangles all day bouncing from one wreck to another. We probably hit them 2 or 3 times each. I ended up with a limit of sea bass and 10 keeper flounder, 5 of which went to Jim and his mate. We fished until about 9 PM before heading in. After the sun went down there were very few sea bass or flounder caught, but we really worked over the conger eels. At one point we had 6 on the deck with a party of 10 fishing.
Sept. 22 and 23, Dr. Bob Allen and Jack Lawson fished the M&M Bridge Tunnel. They loaded up with spot both days.
Dr. Ken Neill, III writes a weekly column for The Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association (www.pswsfa.com).