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I wanted nothing more than to have a positive catching post here and beat the odds. As a rookie I was hoping to get out, work hard, find fish and unlock the lockjaw just like the pros and guides who have more practice. That didn't happen, haha.

Despite the reports of slow catching at the CBBT, being a rookie and hopeful that with hard work and patience we may have some fun catching with light tackle at the CBBT. We left Lynnhaven Inlet about 7am, circled the islands one at at time, first close to the rocks then another loop around each with a wider zig zag swath hoping to find a school somewhere around the outside of the islands themselvs. Zero, nothing Nada for schools of rock fish. We marked what I personally would consider a lot of bait, big bait balls, big mountainous clouds of bait mostly on the Va side and most of the very large schools of bait where in the channels especially on the incoming and more bait in the Chesapeake channel than the Thimble shoal channel. We marked one single good mark shallow heading out from Lynhaven and not another single mark the entire day. We didn't even fish.

We cruised around from 6mph to 9mph watching individual spread out diving gannets and great black backed gulls (the big seagulls) sitting on the water and anxiously waiting to find a school of fish who have moved in or started to feed under these birds. We drove around from 7am to 3pm. We checked all the spots where diving gannets where feeding and there was always bait in the area but no (rockfish) fish that we could find.

This was my first time to the CBBT and we had a great time, the weather was beautiful but it was a little disappointing as we didn't even fish. I knew the reports were poor but thought that hey, you don't know if you don't go. I also thought that there are always guys catching who don't post so we still wanted to try, learn the area and check it out.

We scoped out all the islands close to and out from the islands, we checked the channels not just between the tunnel but North and South about a mile or so each way, we checked the high rise area, we even scoped out the Nautilus Shoal area. It was an incoming tide the first part of the day so we thought maybe the the edges of the shoal or around the shoal could be a jackpot area for rockfish to prey on bait fish being sucked in from the shallows and beach areas along Smith Island Inlet Shoal. Nada there either.

The 2010 21' Parker was awesome. Could we have used a bigger boat? Yes, did we make it work, yes. We burned 1.6 gallons per hour so my fuel bill was about the cost of the tolls. $18 to cross the bay bridge, and $20 each way for the CBBT. We burned less than 20 gallons of fuel driving around for 8 hours. Yamaha 150 hp 4 stroke. (Awesome)

Sorry for my poor reports- I wish I had something better to post for not only myself but for you as well.

How do you fish the CBBT anyway? Are there other options other than basic trolling and LTJ? If the rockfish are not at the CBBT, are there other options of where to chase the seemingly elusive Striper? Offshore?

We have had good years eeling at Cape Charles but wanted to try a new way to fish.

Has anyone ever seen seals, yes, I said SEALS at the CBBT?

Check out the video. We spotted them on top of the tube where the tunnel goes into the channel around the third island, outgoing tide.

Have a safe and great holiday season. Happy new year to all. Thanks for reading my report.

Click here to see the You Tube video of the seals.


P.S.

Used Lowrance HDS 10' with structure scan... Even it couldn't locate the fish. Only saw a handful of other fisherman. Less than 10 all day...
 

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Sorry (from all of us) that there was no catching. Many of us ready to stop hunting and start rock fishing but one element missing. Very unusual and frightening really. The sea lions actually are common this time of year but still quite a spectacle. Not as exciting as a beehive though...
 

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You didn't toss any lures all day? You can't catch fish if you don't have baits in the water... Even trolling through some of the bait balls you might be able to pick up a couple. Side imaging is great but it doesn't find every fish in the bay.
 

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Better luck next time but slow it down to 2-3 MPH, you were going way too fast for trolling if I read it right----"We cruised around from 6mph to 9mph watching individual spread out". If I misread it - sorry bout that! Have a Merry Christmas!!
 
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