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Weekly Sportfishing Rundown

By Dr. Julie Ball

IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach

Easter Report

10 April 2009

The spring flounder run is in full swing within the lower bay. Anglers are hitting the usual flatfish hot spots with good success. Although some days are better than others, in general, the fish are snapping. Anglers are weeding through a few shorts to find limits of keepers. And as long as the tide is moving, the dog fish are mostly keeping their distance. There is a smattering of citations ranging up to around seven pounds, with the best hauls still coming from the curve near the third island of the CBBT. Catches are also improving along the Baltimore Channel this week. Further inland, decent action is coming from around buoy 36A and Back River Reef. On the Eastern Shore, the backwaters and inlets are producing, with Wachapreague Inlet heating up. Most drifters are experiencing their best luck with bare hooks donned with strip bait, but minnows paired with squid will also work.

The tautog action is on fire, especially within Bay waters. Tog anglers are scoring big using fiddler crabs, clams, and blue crabs on lower bay structures and wrecks. The rocks and tubes of the artificial islands of the Bridge Tunnel are providing the best results lately, with most fish ranging to around 4-pounds. One boat reported a good day targeting tog along the CBBT this past weekend, catching over 30 fish, with two fish pushing to 11-pounds. The Concrete Ships, the Cape Henry wreck, the Big D wreck, and the Yancy wreck are also providing some good action. Deeper water wrecks are also a good bet, with fish to 15-pounds taking offered crab in water ranging to around 80-feet.

Speckled trout continue to hit in the Elizabeth River, but the fish are moving out of the Cove and Hot Ditch areas. Anglers targeting specks from Bainbridge Boulevard, to the I-64 High Rise Bridge are finding good results. Trolled lures are attracting the most strikes, with Mirrolures a top choice. Solomon Cheatham of Chesapeake hooked a trophy 8-pound, 3-ounce speck while working a Mirrolure near the Bainbridge Boulevard area this week. Anglers are still watching for the arrival of the speckled trout at the HRBT. Although slowing up lately, some fish are also still taking baits within Rudee Inlet.

Puppy drum continue to rein in the lower Bay shallows and inlets, with fish ranging up to 26-inches. Most any fresh bait or lure can provide excellent action, with the Elizabeth River, and both Rudee and Lynhaven Inlets giving up fish.

Small croaker are still providing some pullage in Willoughby, Ocean View, and the near Little Creek Jetties. The better hardhead hauls are still coming from the lower bay rivers.

The deep water off the Virginia coast is still the place to be if you are in the mood to crank up lots of blueline tilefish, grouper, and seabass from over 200 feet of water. Be aware that plenty of pesky dog fish are also ready to compete for your bait right now. Nice sized seabass are also beginning to move closer to shore. Chris Rode of Virginia Beach found a nice 6-pound seabass while presenting squid over an offshore wreck this week.

Offshore anglers are eyeing some warmer water moving close to the Cigar area. Although the weather does not appear to present a break anytime soon, boats will head out to investigate the area with hopes of tuna when they are able. For more information, go to Dr. Julie Ball's Website.

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