By Dr. Ken Neill III,
Both red and black drum are being caught on the seaside of the Eastern Shore. Flounder action is picking up in the seaside inlets and more will begin to target them in the lower bay as what has been a very good tautog bite closed May 1. Some flounder have been caught up in the York and Back Rivers. Speckled trout are being caught in the normal speckled trout locations, but not hot and heavy yet. The best reports have come from inside of Rudee Inlet and in the York River. The croaker bite continues to pick up in the rivers in the western side of the bay. Small bluefish are in the bay with some nicer blues being caught inside Rudee Inlet and on Poquoson Flats. The sea bass season will finally reopen on May 15 to give us something to fish the ocean wrecks for. The trophy striped bass season opens May 1. This is not a fishery that generates much interest in Virginia as most of the “trophy” fish are not here but there can be some caught at the CBBT and on the Eastern Shore sometimes. Anglers looking for speckled trout are catching smaller striped bass. There will be more interest in these fish when the spring bay season opens on May 16.
Until Virginia decides what to do with its cobia fishery, cobia will remain the main fish story. Cobia fishing will close in federal waters on June 20. It remains to be seen if Virginia and North Carolina will follow suit with closures in state waters. This would be much more problematic for Virginia as the closure would occur just about the time the cobia season begins to heat up here. Virginia will decide at the May 24 VMRC meeting.
The first of the cobia has been caught out of Hatteras. The first Virginia cobia will be caught in about 3 weeks, likely by some angler targeting drum.
Offshore action has been mainly out of the Outer Banks where there have been good catches of yellowfin tuna, dolphin, and wahoo. There have been bluefin tuna caught in the canyons to our north. With tuna to the south and north, there should be something offshore of Virginia to catch but there hasn’t been any effort yet, largely due to a long run of windy weather. Tilefish will become a more attractive target after the sea bass season reopens as blueline tilefish and sea bass are often caught in the same area.
Surf Fishing Report: TW’s Tackle reports that north of the inlet there are bluefish and sea mullet. Also, the trout fishermen are having good luck with some nice keepers. Ryan Rhodes caught a 4.9-pound speck in the surf while using a jig with a chartreuse GULP on a double rig.
The wind is NE at 20 and the water temps is 61 degrees. It is a gloomy day and misty on Wednesday. The water is clear this morning and we all know that means bluefish and trout.
Sound Fishing Report: The Little Bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo causeway reported had a fair trout day and also released stripers.
Pier Fishing Report:
Avalon: Good trout Fishing and nice blues.
Nags Head: Sea mullet, trout and blues.
Jennette’s: Croaker, sand perch, burrfish and sea mullet.
Outer Banks: Sea mullet. A big bluefish bite yesterday.
On 5/2, it was been a mahi kinda’ day at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. Very good numbers coming in the docks today with all 12 boats laying out some nice table fare! There were several yellow-fins brought in on multiple boats as well. Congrats to James Casper for his sailfish release.
Our In-Shore boat had excellent fishing today, bringing in some nice bluefish in the 2+ pound range and some very nice speckled trout. Anglers also enjoyed hot catch and release action on specks and rockfish.
5/3 report: Another great day of mahi-mahi fishing! Anglers enjoyed heavy action early today, catching their fill quickly and able to enjoy a delicious early supper!
In-shore boats enjoyed very good speckled trout fishing today and catch and release of rockfish.
On 5/4, Oregon Inlet Fishing Center reported awesome fishing for mahi-mahi, with every boat returning with limits – including some nice gaffers. There was also a wahoo caught and a white marlin release.
On Monday, Red Drum reported plenty of bluefish caught on metal on the Point. South of the Point, it was citation sea mullet. Before 7:00 pm this evening Andrew reported 5 big drum caught and released. Sea mullet and blow toads are being caught in Avon. Pete Kulick weighed in 2 citation sea mullet. There was also a 3-lb. pompano caught south of the Point.
On Tuesday, The Point had 20-plus Big Drum. We still have lots of Sea Mullet south of the Point. Blow toads, Sea Mullet and Blue Fish are behind the Motels. Pete Kulick brought in a 2 lb. Sea Mullet and another one 1lb-13oz.
On Wednesday, there were lots of 2-4 pound Blue fish on the Point caught on metal and bait. South of the Point, there were lots of Sea Mullet. This morning, one big Drum. This evening so far I have only heard of one big Drum and plenty of Sharks. Behind the motels Sea Mullet, Blue Fish, and Blow Toads.
Hatteras Off Shore
Hatteras Harbor reported that the inshore fishing is getting better with catches of Red Drum, Sea Mullet, and Gray Trout.
Quite a few boats fished offshore Wednesday. Happy anglers returned with excellent catches of Dolphin -mostly gaffers along with a few bailers. Blackfin Tuna fishing was excellent again today! Lots of citations were recorded. The Wahoo bite was scattered.
On Tuesday, several boats fished in the morning. They were all back at the dock by 1PM due to weather. They did have some nice catches of Blackfin Tuna and Dolphin however.
On Monday, several boats fished on a windy, overcast day. They reported excellent Blackfin Tuna fishing with gaffer size Dolphin and some big tasty Grouper. Hatteras Fever released a White Marlin. Inshore, there was good fishing for Bluefish, Gray Trout and Puppy Drum.