Virginia Fishing Report - Tilefish and Cobia Regulations in the News - April 29, 2016
First the fishing regulations news:
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has approved measures to establish management of blueline tilefish in Federal waters off the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. The Blueline Tilefish Amendment includes a suite of measures that will incorporate blueline tilefish as a managed species in the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan.
Recreational anglers feel like they have been backdoored with the new tilefish regulations. See what they are saying and give your input.
On the cobia front Capt. Ken reported that until Virginia decides what to do with its cobia fishery, cobia will remain the main fish story. Cobia fishing will close in federal waters on June 20. It remains to be seen if Virginia and North Carolina will follow suit with closures in state waters. This would be much more problematic for Virginia as the closure would occur just about the time the cobia season begins to heat up here. Virginia will decide at the May 24 VMRC meeting. This is one you may want to attend if cobia fishing is important to you.
In the meantime, there will be a meeting on May 9 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk, NC where the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will try to explain just how we have arrived at this situation with cobia. Also, beyond this year, work needs to be started on cobia management for 2017 and beyond. Stakeholders (us) will have the opportunity to ask questions and to provide comments. If you cannot attend this meeting in person, you can attend via webinar. For more information visit: http://safmc.net/CobiaQandAMeeting_05092016 .
Virginia Tidal Fishers are taking a poll on their opinion. Chime in with your thoughts.
The Fishing Reports
The first cobia have been caught out of Hatteras. The first Virginia cobia will be caught in about 3 weeks, likely by some angler targeting drum. Both red and black drum are being caught on the seaside of the Eastern Shore. Flounder action is picking up in the seaside inlets and more will begin to target them in the lower bay as the very good tautog bite is closed as of May 1. Some flounder have been caught up in the York and Back Rivers. Speckled trout are being caught in the normal speckled trout locations but not hot and heavy yet. The best reports have come from inside of Rudee Inlet and in the York River. The croaker bite continues to pick up in the rivers in the western side of the bay. Small bluefish are in the bay with some nicer blues being caught inside Rudee Inlet and on Poquoson Flats. The sea bass season will finally reopen on May 15 to give us something to fish the ocean wrecks for. The trophy striped bass season opens May 1. This is not a fishery that generates much interest in Virginia as most of the “trophy” fish are not here but there can be some caught at the CBBT and on the Eastern Shore sometimes. Smaller striped bass are being caught by anglers looking for speckled trout. There will be more interest in these fish when the spring bay season opens on May 16.
Pictured this week is Tidal Fisher BYRD's crew with a few nice Tog. Check out all the details.
Offshore action has been mainly out of the Outer Banks where there have been good catches of yellowfin tuna, dolphin, and wahoo. There have been bluefin tuna caught in the canyons to our north. With tuna to the south and north, there should be something offshore of Virginia to catch but there hasn’t been any effort yet, largely due to a long run of windy weather. Tilefish will become a more attractive target after the seabass season reopens as blueline tilefish and sea bass are often caught in the same area.