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By Dr. Julie Ball

IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach

Dr. Julie Ball's Website

IGFA - International Game Fish Association

2 April 2010


Although the recent cold weather took the spring procession back a step, the reemergence of the warmer weather will make it up just in time for the Easter weekend.

The hallmark of the spring fishing season made themselves known this week. The folks at the Ocean View Fishing Pier are reporting decent catches of croaker on bloodworms, while larger hardheads are coming from the new Buckroe Pier and from the James River near the James River Bridge and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. Squid and bloodworms are the top bait.

Flounder action is still sparse, but catches continue to improve. Once the water clears, the bite should really take off. The best flatfish catches are coming on the old stand-by, squid and gudgeons, near the bend at the third island of the CBBT, and from buoy 36A to the bayside and backwaters of Cape Charles. The seaside inlet flounder holes out of Oyster are also beginning to show some good early season results.

The tautog bite is still going strong. Plenty of these bottom fish are available on lower Bay and coastal structures. Boats are returning with keeper fish, with a few pushing over the 9-pound minimum size for a state citation. Nice fish ranging from 4-6 pounds are coming from the structure of the CBBT and the Concrete Ships this week, with fiddler crabs and blue crabs working well. Offshore and inshore wrecks are also producing good numbers of nice fish when boats can reach them.

Puppy drum are still hitting in the Elizabeth River, along with some speckled trout. Eddie Monroe of Virginia Beach hooked a nice 5-pound, 4-ounce speck while casting plastics near the Discharge area in Ditch this week. Many of the specks that winter in the Hot Ditch area are on the move, and the best place to catch them now is in the River areas as they head out.

The deep dropping interest off the Virginia coast is still going strong. When the weather allows, boats are loading up on good catches of blueline tilefish, golden tilefish, black bellied rosefish, and a variety of grouper.

Offshore trollers are impatiently watching the developing offshore scene off Carolina. Tuna, wahoo, and billfish are giving hope to the waiting Virginia fleet as the action creeps northward. For more information, go to Dr. Julie Ball's Website.

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