Cobia fishing continues to be good in the bay. Both chumming and sight-fishing are producing. The CBBT and along the Baltimore Channel have been productive for sight-fishing. The Inner Middle Grounds, York Spit, and near buoy 18 have been good areas to anchor up on a chum slick. Some nice catches of flounder are coming from the Cell/buoy 42 area and from the CBBT. Schools of large red drum are being encountered in the coastal ocean waters and at the mouth of the bay. Schools af jack crevalle are roaming these same areas. Spanish mackerel and a lot of little bluefish can be caught while trolling spoons in the lower bay and along the ocean front. Sheepshead and spadefish are available at the CBBT. The spadefish are plentiful but most are small. If you can get through the small fish, some larger fish are around. Sheepshead are being caught but you really have to work for them. Over on the Eastern Shore, a lot of tarpon are being seen and a few have been caught. The coastal shark population seems to be doing well. Various species seem to be here in abundance this year and some of the inshore charters have targeted them with good success. Amberjack are a sure bet at the southern towers. They are also a possibility closer to home at structures like the Chesapeake Light Tower, 4A Drydock, and the Gulf Hustler. The offshore waters in the vicinety of the Norfolk Canyon have been producing some nice catches of dolphin. There are a good number of billfish around, especially white marlin. Some wahoo are being caught. The big news is the yellowfin tuna that showed up this week. They are a nice class of tuna with some weighing in at over 70 pounds.
Our club’s Youth and Ladies Tournament picnic was cancelled due to the excessive heat. This picnic and the awards for the tournament will be combined with the Spot Tournament picnic in October. Any fish you weighed in during the week will count and the tounament director is allowing the youth and ladies to fish the week before the Spot picnic so that you will have a cooler week to catch croaker and flounder. The Don Forman Cobia Tournament begins on Aug. 1. Also, the Triple Threat (red drum, black drum and cobia) Tournament continues until the end of August. For more inforation on these PSWSFA tournaments, visit: www.pswsfa.com/tournaments.htm .
July 26, I went looking for cobia. We were on a bit of a mission. Dr. John Graves had never caught a cobia. He is from the west coast, and they don’t have them there. He’s a top fisheries scientist and has caught fish all over the world but never a cobia. Catching one has been on his to-do list so we set out to check this one off his list. I had called Jorj earlier and we were supposed to fish with him. I figured John had the best chance fishing with Jorj. Well, Jorj got chartered so it was back to my boat. Got a crew together and off we went to the bay. We just cruised around the bayside of the CBBT, from the 4th island to the high rise, not close to the bridge. We were about where they have those barges anchored up. We saw right many cobia, in ones and twos. Some we did not get cast on, others had hooks pull or fish that would not bite. We saw a school of red drum and made a cast with a bucktail. In the middle of the school was a little cobia. It was quicker than the drum. Mission accomplished. John caught his first cobia. He caught a larger one a bit later. We ended up catching 3 cobia. We saw several schools of red drum but never caught any. We did get another good cast on a school but they just went down and did not eat. Roger Burnley made a cast to what looked like a cruising cobia, it turned and ate the eel. I thought we had cobia number 4 but it turned out to be a shark. We saw a couple schools of big jack crevalle while cruising around. Brandon Bartlett cast to one of them and hooked up with his bucktail. Good fight on light casting gear. The jack was about 49 inches long and Brandon released it for a citation. It was a nice afternoon on the water. Our largest was 50 inches, caught by Bernie Sparrer.
July 26, Ric Burnley ran out to the CBBT after work. They saw two cobia and caught them both.
July 24, Brandon Bartlett had and inshore charter. They caught bluefish, spanish mackerel, shark, and sigh-casted to schools of large red drum. They caught a bunch up to an estimated 60 pounds.
July 23, Bernie Sparrer fished the buoy 42 area. He said that it was slow. They caught 3 keeper flounder.
July 23, Ric Burnley went tarpon fishing on the Eastern Shore. They saw plenty of fish rolling but never got a bite.
July 22, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, and Scott Elford went fishing with their son’s, Hayden and Spencer. The PSWSFA Youth and Ladies Flounder and Croaker Tournament was underway. They started out fishing for flounder near the Cell. They caught their limit of 16 flounder and then went looking for cobia. They hooked 6. They pulled the hook on one, broke another off and caught 4. The boys did all the cranking, each catching two cobia. Spencer Elford released a 50-inch fish to qualify for a release citation. Hayden Head’s largest cobia was 45 inches long.
July 18, was the “Dash For Cash” Cobia Tournament. Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, fished it. They started out chumming without any luck. When the sun got higher in the sky, they went sight-fishing. They caught 5 cobia and pulled the hook on a 6th. When they got to the weigh-in at Wallace’s, they were the last boat in. Jorj threw the largest two fish up on the dock. They were about the same size and he was trying to determine which one to enter into the tournament. The weigh-master said that they had just won 1st and 2nd places. Jorj said that he did not know that you could win more than one place and was informed that for this tournament, you could weigh a fish for each angler. Jorj said that he had another angler and another cobia in the box: sure enough, 3rd place. Jorj and crew won all of the money.
July 18, we ran the Healthy Grin down to the South Tower. We caught amberjack on topwater plugs, jigs, and live croaker. Most of the fish were in the 45 to 49 inch range. Three of the fish qualified for release citations.
July 17, Bernie Sparrer and Mike Hurst fished near buoy 42. There was a hot bite there the day before. It was not red hot for them but they still caught 7 keepers up to 23 inches.
July 15, Capt. Jorj Head ran out for cobia. They caught 2 of those they saw.
July 15, Brandon Bartlett went out to catch bait. They ran into some cobia while they were running around. Always keep a lookout. They caught 2.
July 14, Larry Lusk fished the South Tower. They had great action with amberjack using topwater plugs.
Jan. 13, Brent Meadors fished offshore. They caught 20 really nice gaffer dolphin including the new state leader.
July 13, Brandon Bartlett had a charter fish the 21 Mile Hill area. They caught 4 bluefin tuna up to 80 pounds.
July 12, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished for tuna at 21 Mile Hill. They did not catch any tuna but they did catch 7 really nice dolphin. They also caught some false albacore.
July 12, I fished for flounder with Steve Martin. We caught a 20-inch fish as soon as we put the baits out and then we were chased back to port by a storm.
July 11, Wes Blow took writer Ken Perotte out after cobia. They caught two nice fish near buoy 18. Ken caught his largest cobia to date and got some good photos for an article for Virginia Wildlife. They caught another cobia off of buoy 19.
July 11, Rick Wineman fished Bluefish Rock. They caught two cobia on live bluefish.
July 10, John Hunt fished the VBBT. They fished the 21 Mile Hill area and caught a 72.2 pound bluefin tuna. It was good enough for 9th place.
July 10, Mike Hurst fished the buoy 42 area. They caught 14 keeper flounder up to 9 pounds and lost a larger fish at the net.
July 8, Brandon Bartlett fished the Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament. They fished the Washington Canyon and do not catch any tuna. They had plenty of dolphin, several wahoo bites and the white marlin were a pest. Brandon caught two whites while trying to reel the baits away from them.
July 6, Steve Martin fished with Mike Hurst. They fished the buoy 42 area and caught a dozen keeper flounder up to 6 pounds.
July 6, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, fished for cobia. His charter caught cobia of 59, 54, and 40 pounds.
July 6, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished 21 Mile Hill. They did not catch any tuna but they did catch a bunch of false albacore. They also caught 2 very nice dolphin.
July 5, Capt. Jorj Head fished for cobia. His charter caught two cobia to 40 pounds.
July 5, Charles Southall received a call from Ric Burnley. The word was to get out to Nautilus Shoal where there were thousands of red drum schooled up. There were just their two boats working this amazing school of fish. Charles said that he has never seen anything like it. They caught fish up to 51 inches long. Everyone caught multiple citation-sized fish. They left the fish when all of the anglers were worn out and Charles had two broken rods.
July 4, Wes Blow chummed for cobia by himself. It was rather rough. He hooked three cobia. He caught the smallest one, 44 inches long. The other two were much larger. He lost both of them near the boat.
July 3, J. T. Hale fished for cobia. They were hooked up within minutes. It was the only fish of the day but it was a big one. Back at the dock it weighed in at 74 pounds.
July 3, I was able to go cobia fishing with Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004. We had a gorgeous day to sight fish for cobia. We stayed in the general area of the Hump between the Baltimore and York River Channels. It was good to see a lot of menhaden. We found the cobia around these the rest. Jorj collected a DNA sample from each fish for a study being done at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. All of the fish were caught on live eels.
July 3, Wes Blow and Keith Blackburn chummed for cobia. They were hooked up before they got all of the lines in the water. In short order, they had a 54-inch cobia in the net. That was their only cobia of the day. They then ran to the CBBT where they caught some small flounder.
June 29, Brandon Bartlett called and said that the bluefin bite has been pretty good on the inshore humps. He fished the Hot Dog and caught two bluefin tuna. They also caught king mackerel and false albacore.
June 28, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, went cobia fishing. Really, he has been catching cobia almost every day. I just have not been calling to get his reports. On this day, they caught 6 cobia around the Baltimore Channel, sight fishing.
June 27, Wes Blow chummed for cobia at York Spit. He had one bite and caught a 50-inch cobia.
June 26, the turn out for the Flounder Bowl was fantastic. A total of 97 boats entered this event held out of Dare Marina. Both the weather and the flounder cooperated for a fantastic day of flounder fishing. Flatfish were caught from buoy 42, the Cell, 36A, the Hump, Back River Reef, Cape Henry Wreck and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Anglers fishing the buoy 42/Cell area had a slow day. That area was where the winning fish were caught in the 2009 tournament. This year, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was the place to be. Almost all of the large flounder caught came from between the 4th island and the high-rise section. The one exception was a flatfish, over 8 pounds which Skid Joyner, caught at Back River Reef. Live bait, mostly spot, produced most of the large fish. This year’s Bay Champion is Brian Hogge and his “Hogchoker” team. Their 3-fish stringer weight was a very impressive, 26.03 pounds. They earned a check for $5,000. They won the championship cup and they also won the sponsors challenge trophy for their sponsor, Grafton Fishing Supply. Second place was won by the team captained by Donald Bowers. They weighed in 24.20 pounds of flounder. They received a check for $1,500. The third place team was the “Hell Bent” captained by Rudy Levasseur. They weighed 23.72 pounds. Their largest fish weighed 10.84 pounds and it won the Big Fish Calcutta. Their total winnings were $6,500. Fourth place was won by team “Choo Choo” captained by John Perry. They weighed in 21.39 pounds. They received a check for $500. The fifth place team was “Turkey Man”. This team, captained by Benji Lineberry, weighed 17.82 pounds of flounder. They won $250. Finishing out the top six was team “Salt Lick” captained by Mark McIlwean. They weighed a stringer of 17.16 pounds. They also received $250.The Youth winner was Fisher Dedmon who was fishing on the Bull Island Express sponsored by Bishop Fishing Supply. He won $100 and a prize donated by West Marine. The Lady winner was Hilary Polk fishing on a boat sponsored by TPMG Internal Medicine. She won $100 and a pair of sunglasses donated by Costa. This year’s “Lucky Dog” is Jason Wright of team “Summer Hunt’n” He received a check for $500. Total payout was $14,700 plus merchandise donated by the many wonderful sponsors. The businesses supporting this tournament make this event possible. The one prize that was raffled was a flounder artwork donated by Mountain Breeze Taxidermy. David Brabrand won that prize. All of the other donated merchandise was given out via door prize tickets included with team registration.
June 26, Rick Wineman fished 26 Mile Hill and the Norfolk Canyon. At the hill, they caught bluefin tuna, false albacore, and lost a couple of king mackerel. Their largest bluefin had a 42-inch fork length. Out at the canyon, they caught dolphin and then did some bottom fishing. They caught sea bass, blueline tilefish, and a 30-pound wreckfish.
June 26, I fished in the Flounder Bowl with Charles Southall. His Special Kate was sponsored by Southern Heating and Plumbing Supply. We had a pretty decent bite at the Cape Henry Wreck on fish up to 23 inches long.
June 26, Danny Forehand and Wes Blow fished in the Flounder Bowl. They caught some nice fish up near New Point and then at the high rise area of the CBBT. They were sponsored by the Pomoco Auto Group.
June 26, Milton Hudgins, sponsored by Sea Tow, fished in the Flounder Bowl. They caught about 9 keeper flounder around the 3rd and 4th islands of the CBBT.
June 22, Martin Freed and Ruta Vaskys fished 26 Mile Hill. They lost a nice bluefin tuna at boat side. They caught 7 false albacore.
June 21, I went fishing with Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004. Jorj launched his boat at Messick and we spent about a half a day looking for cobia between Bluefish Rock and 3rd Island of the CBBT. We saw 15 fish or so and caught a handful. Some just did not want to eat. Others, including a very large fish, we never got a cast on before it went down. I took notes and photographs. Brian Kreter, of Richmond, caught all of the fish including his first citation (release).