Dr. Ken Neill, III
Anglers are thrilled that the flounder are here and biting, but gusty weather is making conditions less than favorable, and it’s keeping the water fairly dirty. Although flatfish anglers are finding some decent fish in protected areas, folks are working hard for their catches. Some flatties ranging from 17- to 21-inches have come from both the Eastern Shore seaside inlets and the Southside inlets.
Big bluefish are still keeping casters in Rudee Inlet content, with top water lures still the best enticement. Some scattered reports of speckled trout are also coming from protected waters this week, with both Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets reporting that most specks are small, but a recent citation trout caught in Rudee Inlet has speck hunters hopeful for an improving season. Puppy drum are also hitting in these same areas.
Croaker are now available in various areas in the Bay, especially near Willoughby, Ocean View, Little Creek and Buckroe, where pier anglers are using squid and bloodworms. The bigger hardheads are still coming from the lower Bay Rivers such as the James and York Rivers.
Drum enthusiasts are still anticipating the first catches of big red and black drum near the Eastern Shore, but for now anglers are mostly watching for weather openings.
When deep droppers can get out, the usual bottom dwellers are available. Tilefish, black-bellied rosefish, and grouper will hit while working the edges of the Norfolk Canyon in water ranging from 600 to 900 feet. Dogfish are still making this fishery difficult to access right now, but will begin to clear out soon.
Outer Banks Bait & Tackle in Corolla offers congratulations to Kevin from Virginia Beach with his 20″, 5 lb. Black drum caught on the northern beach. His group did well – adding a Sheepshead and a small Striper along with some other assorted fish (all released). Another angler in Corolla also had some big Blow toads, a Grey Trout and Sea Mullet and, of course, Skate. The piers are getting Mullet and Blow Toads.
The Little Bridge to Mateo anglers are still catching plenty of Stripers and some Trout.
It was breezy and a little rough on Tuesday, but the “Wild Card” ventured out of Wanchese and came back with 4 yellow fin tuna and 3 dolphin.
On Tuesday out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Norma reported that anglers brought in good numbers of yellow fin tuna, some black fin tuna, and mahi mahi – some were gaffers.
The in-Shore boats enjoyed good action on rockfish with some future cuisine released today. Anglers also had catches of speckled trout.
On Tuesday, Red Drum said there were at least 11 Big Drum caught and released that night. There was a citation Pompano caught today on ramp 49. Plenty of Sea Mullet on ramp 49. South of the Point plenty of Sea Mullet. Ramp 43 to 44 had Sea Mullet and a few Blue fish. There were two 40-plus Big Drum caught today on the Point.
On Wednesday, The Point had 40-inch plus Big Drum from this morning to 3:00 pm today. Sea Mullet and a few Black Drum were caught behind the motels. Avon had Sea Mullet and a few Blue Fish. The wind is still out of the South West thru Thursday, and this should keep the Drum still coming.
Hatteras Harbor noted that on Wednesday, a couple of inshore boats fished in the morning and anglers enjoyed abundant sunshine and a nice catch of Bluefish. Some Red Drum were caught too. Even with strong SW winds several boats went offshore. They report good catches of Blackfin Tuna and Dolphin.
A few boats were out on Tuesday and enjoyed excellent Dolphin catches along with a few Wahoo and Blackfin Tuna. Inshore Bluefish were in good supply with anglers catching all they wanted. Red Drum were seen but proved elusive.