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Weekly SportfishingRundown

By Dr. Julie Ball

IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach


1 May 2009

The inshore saltwater spring fishery is now in full gear. The final star of the show made its debut this week, the notorious red drum. Chris’s Bait and Tackle reports over a dozen bulls already released by surf anglers from the suds of Smith’s Island. This fishery is no where near what it will become, but with the recent north easterly wind and the upcoming full moon, a boost in the action is promising. Peeler crabs, blue crabs, and bunker fished on the Eastern Shore shoals and in the surf of the barrier islands will put you in the zone. These fish are fierce fighters, and can weigh in upwards of 50-pounds.

The red drum’s close cousin, the black drum, is also pushing its way into the usual haunts. These two species are usually caught in the same areas. A few blacks are coming from near buoy 13 and the seaside inlets along the Eastern Shore, while smaller fish are still coming from the surf. More large fish will begin taking bait soon, with the beginning of May always the best time for these gentle giants.

With the recent wind and muddy water, flounder pounders are struggling to find fish, with protected areas offering the best opportunity. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle reports that some keepers up to around 23-inches are coming from within Lynnhaven Inlet. The Oyster area and Ship Shoal Inlet on the Eastern Shore are providing limits of keepers, while drifters at buoy 36A were also hooking a few flatties before the recent cold front. According to The Virginia Beach Fishing Center, surf anglers and boaters trolling off the beach are pulling in good numbers of Taylor bluefish.

The bayside shallows and lower bay inlets are producing speckled trout; the best color this week is a smoke or green twister tail grub. Folks fishing the inshore waters in Oyster as well as the Eastern Shore seaside inlets are also finding fish on peeler crabs, live bait, and Mirrolures. Puppy drum, with some reported to over 30-inches, are available within Lynnhaven, Rudee, and Little Creek Inlets. Chartreuse Gulp Swimming Minnows and live gudgeons are the top baits this week for the pups.

Croaker are still hitting along the Virginia Beach ocean front, Ocean View, the HRBT, and the lower bay rivers and creeks. Some of these heardheads are pushing to over a pound. The folks at the Ocean View Fishing Pier report that a mix of small founder and sea mullet were rounding out catches of nice croaker, but the bite slowed with the passing front. Anglers are having the best luck with bloodworms and squid.

Tautog action was still going strong, but the skids on the tog fishery went into effect this week. As of May 1st, tautog season is closed until June. James Reid of Virginia Beach snuck in a nice 9-pound, 7-ounce citation tog from the 4th island before the closure.

Some nice sea bass are coming from both inshore and offshore locations, with squid, cut bait, and jigs, such as the Braid Slammer jig, working well. The Rudee Mariner, skippered by Captain Fred Feller out of The Fishing Center boated some keeper seabass, along with a surprise 24-pound monkfish while fishing near the Chesapeake Light Tower this week.

Grouper, wreckfish, and big blueline tilefish, are coming from deep waters off Virginia. The Rudee Angler out of Rudee Inlet loaded up on big tiles to over 19-pounds, seabass, and snowy grouper this past week during a deep dropping trip. For more information, go to www.drjball.com.

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Thanks for the report. I can't wait to get some nice red and black drum.

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I would love to see JULIE at the rail, or the wall, or on the planks, or with her feet in the sand. I think she needs to do a little more fishing IN the bay. I love the off shore and CBBT reports, but I don't have a boat and the friends I have like fishing MMBT , HRBT, and inside the bay. I have a BOX full of CITATIONS if anyone wants them. I just got to the point that I know and enjoyed the catch. I always EAT WHAT I TAKE HOME. sorry, just a rant.

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