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Night Time Surf Fishing a Reality!

I am pleased to announce that night time surf fishing from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (BBNWR) will be a reality this fall during the annual Red Drum run down the coast of Virginia. This is the first time this type of activity at BBNWR has ever been available to all.

Today, I had a phone conversation with Walt Tegge, Visitor Services Manager at BBNWR, and Mr. Tegge confirmed that night time surf fishing will be allowed this fall during the month of October (with the exception of the annual hunt dates).

In the Fall of 2006, members of Virginia Coastal Access Now and a few other local surf fisherman were given the honor of testing the night time surf fishing program during the annual Red Drum run. Everything went well and earlier this year, the staff of BBNWR held a public meeting to find out the interest level with others members of the public. Input was gathered and discussed, and now the decision has been made to open this night time surf fishing.

While all of the small details have not been worked out, here are some details you should know now:

  • Night Time fishing will be allowed until midnight from October 1-31 with the exception of the annual hunt dates which are (October 6-10 and October 25-27).
  • Fishing will be permitted in designated area (will be marked; given at time of SUP purchase) and until midnight only.
  • Each fishermen will be required to purchase a Special Use Permit (SUP) which will be $35 (ages 16 and up).
  • Fishermen 16 or 17 years of age, must have a Parent present.
  • Must show a valid Virginia Saltwater Fishing License (or exemption) at time of SUP purchase.
  • SUP's can be obtained in person from 8am-3:30pm (Monday-Friday) at the BBNWR Office (Must be present to purchase; NO FAX).
  • SUP's will be available for purchase right after Labor Day (possibly sooner).
  • Entry Fee into the park is still required ($5 Daily; $20 for yearly pass or have a another valid Federal Park Pass).
  • Have to arrive by the time the gate closes for the day in order to gain entry (Time TBD).
  • Must follow Safety Regulations which will be given at time of SUP purchase.
  • Hang Tags will be issued to hang in your cars window and will be checked.
  • NO ALCOHOL!

Again Mr. Tegge said some more small details are being worked out, but this is a done deal! A formal Press Release from BBNWR will come in a few weeks.

VCAN would like to thank all members of the BBNWR and other members of the public who have worked on this enhanced public access for making it happen. VCAN will be very involved during the night time surf fishing with some volunteer duties and we also hope to work out some details with VMRC in hopes of tagging and gathering data on all these Red Drum for the study which is being conducted.

One other note: On Saturday, September 29th there will be a National Public Lands Day and a clean up will be held at BBNWR. After the clean up people will be permitted to purchase SUP's. VCAN is also working with BBNWR at this time to hold a class of Red Drum/Surf Fishing after the clean up. We could definitely use all the volunteers and help at BBNWR on this date. More details will come!

Thanks again to everyone and hope to see you on the sand at BBNWR this fall! Let's make go well and make this an annual event at BBNWR!

Steve

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Here is a few highlights from last year:

hgTe1NfRa_M

and we left them biting on several nights!

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well done, a big win!

Shame its cut off at 12:00 though, sure would be nice for a goober like me to be able to drive down 4+ hours and fish through the night...maybe next year!

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looks like i got a chance to get my first this fall!

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AWESOME!!!!!!!! Can't wait until I can give it a try for the first time this fall.

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Shame its cut off at 12:00 though, sure would be nice for a goober like me to be able to drive down 4+ hours and fish through the night...maybe next year!

I agree, last year we were off the beach by then anyway most nights. You can always go a few miles north in sandbridge and hit the beach there to fish all night!

Hopefully next year if things go well again, this will continue to grow in many ways. He did state the possibility of the hours being extended in the future.

Bottom line is the more we support it and have things go well, the more they will give us in the future.

Feel free to camp out at my pad if you need to. I know some guys rent a house in sandbridge rfor a week right up the road for a pretty good price!

Hope to see you there for a few days!

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Not this year unfortunately(:binkybaby:)but next year BB and SB will be in the fall rotation for a couple days.

I'm coming up with quite a yearly rotation!

Ocracoke Drum in April, AI Stripers in May, VBI's in June/July, AI Drum in Sept, VA Drum in Oct, AI Stripers in Nov.

Now if I could only get buy in from the wife...

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Great job, VCAN!

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Getting near time now in the next month so load your mess up for either LIP or the Refuge Beach :icon_tongue:

... and yes, ya better get ya a permit to fish the night surf bite or you'll be hatin' life :evil7:

beach `bucket

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