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Fished the NNAC Spanish lessons tournament and only managed one blue fish (Weighed in at Ingram Bay Marina at 1#-4oz.) got one 12" Spanish throw back at Smith point. Fished from Windmill, to Fleets to NN Reef, 62, Target Ship. Found some bait at the Target ship and picked up that one blue following Heritage (Yes, that was me) It was a great weekend for boat riding though. Calm seas all 3 days.

Why is fishing so bad up the bay this year? We're killing it at the BBT, but up the bay it's just burning gas. Here's a couple of pics of the target ship for giggles and here is the HUGE ray fight vid I got Saturday at the BBT while fishing a flounder tournament.


BTW, Ingram Bay Marinia is out of weight in slips!
 

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Wow, you sure covered plenty of water. The Heritage Charter normally always finds nice fish, but it was hard for everyone this weekend. I was lucky enough to pick up 3 Spanish within the same area you covered. They did not come easy. I know mine were not the largest entered in the NNAC tournament but I felt good just to submit entries.

Staple food Fish Marine biology Ray-finned fish Fin
 

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As you should! Anyone can get lucky when the fishing is great. Catching fish when it's hard is an accomplishment for sure. Good job. I think I'll go back to the BBT this weekend and try to take advantage of a few more flounder. Maybe catch up a few spades too. Never really tried for them before.
 

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I got out today to pre-fish the upcoming Dream Fields Mack Tourney ... sorry, but I didn't make it down last weekend for the NNAC tourney. I would never put a report like this out on the forum leading into a tournament, but what I experienced today was so incredibly sobering. We covered a tremendous amount of water today. Conditions were great. Plenty of bait balls .... bunker ... and possibly silversides (shiners), but very few fish caught ... even bluefish. It used to be that our biggest problem fishing for Macks was keeping the pesky bluefish off the lines .... if we failed to get on Macks, we could at least pick up a bunch of blues. I'm just picking on Macks and Blues today ... don't even get me started on grey trout, spot, flounder, and croaker.

Lets face it, the fishery has gone to pot. I also noticed very few boats out with us. All of the locations we fished today had previously held plenty of fish. The places we didn't fish, that I could also count on (e..g., Windmill Bar), are also not reporting anything like what we experienced in the past.

Here is hoping for a miracle for everyone competing in this weekend's tournament .... I hope you slay them, and bring us all some hope. At this point, the tournament is irrelevant to what is going on with the fishery. I'm also concerned for many of the teams that make the tournament a family affair and an outing with their friends. As competitive as a like to get over this, and not want to disclose honey holes, I'm more likely to in the event I see a boat out with Jr. Anglers on board. I'm having to set the expectations for all the folks we have coming down for this.

We have six Special Angler families and one Jr. Angler (Dad and son) coming down to fish with us this year. Based on what I saw today, I'm sending out emails to all of them to re-calibrate expectations from past years. We'll be bringing cards to be played on the boats ("go fish" is very popular) .... cause we are expecting a very slow day. If you think I'm bluffing here about this, just call me or email me. I've got another dad on one of our boats ready to deal a great five card stud poker game. If one of our boats in the Special Angler fleet catches some fish, that will be great, just a bonus to a great day cruising around the Bay. Still beats a good day at the office ... and the parents would rather see these kids out on the water then playing on their iPads at home.

The recurring theme I heard today from the professionals was the damage has been done by the gill netting. Wow, all to sell a few croaker for five cents a pound. If I were a realtor, a restaurant owner, a boutique owner, I would be knocking on my Congressmen's door to have them fix the fishery. When folks come down to fish this tournament, they bring a lot money that goes to all these other venues, not just what we spend on charters and the Dream Fields fundraiser. These people want to buy houses here. The ladies who don't fish with us, go into the boutiques and then they go out to lunch.

When I first came down to the Northern Neck, places like Windmill Point were hopping ... today, it is barely surviving, even after a major overhaul with beautiful slips. I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but we need to get this wake up message out to all the other folks in other aspects of this Northern Neck economy that are effected by this declining sports fishery. Just because someone doesn't fish, doesn't mean their livelihoods are not impacted. Here is a short list of where some of my money went this year because I continue to drag my family down here to enjoy a little fishing and life on the Bay: RedLaw Mechanical, Jim's River Market, lawn care services, several auto repairs, auto inspections, fuel (we try to do all our fill ups here), many trips to Tri-Star, Ace Hardware, Farm and Home Supply, legal services, fees to a realtor, several local insurance companies, the Local, and umm, I'm a little embarrassed to say, the Walmart (just to name a few). Just because I didn't name your business, doesn't mean we didn't spend money with you ... cause I only listed where I could remember spending money here ... my wife has a much bigger list. I'm no longer putting money into my own boats, cause I'm not sure the fishing is worth it any more ... I'd rather just go out on a paddleboard.

I'm not just complaining, but whole heartily voicing my agreement with what Bob Reed said we had to do at our last NNAC meeting, that is to organize, fund, and lobby for changes. Bob, you have my vote on this.

Joe posts . . .
 

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I went twice last week and while the Mackerel fishing was tough, (3 throwbacks and one big fat keeper) I caught a ton of blues and I found bait.

The Cobia has been on fire the last 2 years, the preceeding few years it was slow. The fishing comes/goes in cycles.

My guess is the Mac fishing will pick up in the next 2 weeks as the red tide moves out.
 

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Nice video of the rays!!! As always, good talking with you the other day. If the weather looks good I might try and make a run this weekend.
T-Bear
 

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My wife and I fished the NNAC Spanish Lessons Tournament both Saturday and Sunday. Net result was 1 spanish mackerel and 2 bluefish in the box, although one of the bluefish was the largest entry (by weight - 1lb 7 oz) for the species during the two day tournament. Fished hard trolling for spanish mackerel on Saturday, starting on the western channel edge just north of Great Wicomico Buoy 1, then heading across the channel to the eastern channel edge from Buoy 62 to the Northern Neck reef, returning to the western edge between Buoy 63A and Smith Point Light, pulling lines and heading to the SW Middle Grounds and then returning to Smith Point Light. No keeper mackerel but caught and released 8 undersized spanish mackerel, the first time I can remember boating a spanish under the legal limit of 14 inches. Also caught and released several small bluefish that were in and around the small spanish. Lots of area covered but not much to show for it.
 

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recreational fishing

I got out today to pre-fish the upcoming Dream Fields Mack Tourney ... sorry, but I didn't make it down last weekend for the NNAC tourney. I would never put a report like this out on the forum leading into a tournament, but what I experienced today was so incredibly sobering. We covered a tremendous amount of water today. Conditions were great. Plenty of bait balls .... bunker ... and possibly silversides (shiners), but very few fish caught ... even bluefish. It used to be that our biggest problem fishing for Macks was keeping the pesky bluefish off the lines .... if we failed to get on Macks, we could at least pick up a bunch of blues. I'm just picking on Macks and Blues today ... don't even get me started on grey trout, spot, flounder, and croaker.

Lets face it, the fishery has gone to pot. I also noticed very few boats out with us. All of the locations we fished today had previously held plenty of fish. The places we didn't fish, that I could also count on (e..g., Windmill Bar), are also not reporting anything like what we experienced in the past.

Here is hoping for a miracle for everyone competing in this weekend's tournament .... I hope you slay them, and bring us all some hope. At this point, the tournament is irrelevant to what is going on with the fishery. I'm also concerned for many of the teams that make the tournament a family affair and an outing with their friends. As competitive as a like to get over this, and not want to disclose honey holes, I'm more likely to in the event I see a boat out with Jr. Anglers on board. I'm having to set the expectations for all the folks we have coming down for this.

We have six Special Angler families and one Jr. Angler (Dad and son) coming down to fish with us this year. Based on what I saw today, I'm sending out emails to all of them to re-calibrate expectations from past years. We'll be bringing cards to be played on the boats ("go fish" is very popular) .... cause we are expecting a very slow day. If you think I'm bluffing here about this, just call me or email me. I've got another dad on one of our boats ready to deal a great five card stud poker game. If one of our boats in the Special Angler fleet catches some fish, that will be great, just a bonus to a great day cruising around the Bay. Still beats a good day at the office ... and the parents would rather see these kids out on the water then playing on their iPads at home.

The recurring theme I heard today from the professionals was the damage has been done by the gill netting. Wow, all to sell a few croaker for five cents a pound. If I were a realtor, a restaurant owner, a boutique owner, I would be knocking on my Congressmen's door to have them fix the fishery. When folks come down to fish this tournament, they bring a lot money that goes to all these other venues, not just what we spend on charters and the Dream Fields fundraiser. These people want to buy houses here. The ladies who don't fish with us, go into the boutiques and then they go out to lunch.

When I first came down to the Northern Neck, places like Windmill Point were hopping ... today, it is barely surviving, even after a major overhaul with beautiful slips. I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but we need to get this wake up message out to all the other folks in other aspects of this Northern Neck economy that are effected by this declining sports fishery. Just because someone doesn't fish, doesn't mean their livelihoods are not impacted. Here is a short list of where some of my money went this year because I continue to drag my family down here to enjoy a little fishing and life on the Bay: RedLaw Mechanical, Jim's River Market, lawn care services, several auto repairs, auto inspections, fuel (we try to do all our fill ups here), many trips to Tri-Star, Ace Hardware, Farm and Home Supply, legal services, fees to a realtor, several local insurance companies, the Local, and umm, I'm a little embarrassed to say, the Walmart (just to name a few). Just because I didn't name your business, doesn't mean we didn't spend money with you ... cause I only listed where I could remember spending money here ... my wife has a much bigger list. I'm no longer putting money into my own boats, cause I'm not sure the fishing is worth it any more ... I'd rather just go out on a paddleboard.

I'm not just complaining, but whole heartily voicing my agreement with what Bob Reed said we had to do at our last NNAC meeting, that is to organize, fund, and lobby for changes. Bob, you have my vote on this.

Joe posts . . .
Joe,
And every other recreational angler!
The VSSA will be coming to angler clubs within the next month to get your input and recruit clubs and anglers to join the VSSA association. Come to a club meeting and find out what the VSSA is doing and how you can help build a strong organization for us rec anglers and have a voice at VMRC and Richmond!
 

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Bob,

I should be there. What you said last time very much resonated with me ... and it is consistent with my NN experiences fishing it over the last 30 years.

Fortunately, I did set very reasonable expectations for our boats in the tournament, and we did much better than most, but overall, it was a very poor showing of any decent Macks for any boat ... and especially the lack of blues. It looks like both species are actually doing much better in the Potomac .... same goes for schoolie rockfish.

We used to have blues feeding with birds nearly every evening at the mouth of our creeks in the lower NN ... I haven't seen that this year ... nor for the past few years ... and others have said the same.

Joe posts . . .
 

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I dragged a four rid spread across the bay to the ES and back starting and picking up inside 2R Saturday afternoon. Had two hook-ups which both were small blues that hit a gold got-cha. Otherwise, nothing to show for it. Had the auto pilot on "zig-zag" most of the time and stopped to circle a minute sized school of peanut bunker with no success. On my way down river from BEST and mostly above the RT 3 bridge, I rode through a couple of miles of 'red water.'

Came back to bridge on NN end and fished a tandem gulp rig for flounder in 12-25 FOT from 6 till about 7:30 and only had an oyster toad to show for it. Stopped at fish structure just down from BEST. And hooked another toad.

Called it a day. An expensive ****ty day out on the water. Heard a few of the year-rounds having some success with spot in the river around the grain barges but that was it.

Ricochet
 

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Saturday I spent most of the day around 62/smith point without anything to show for, but trolling on the way back to Indian Creek (where my slip is) way inshore of RP in about 30 ft of water i hooked 10 nice size blues and 1 decent Spanish so I was better happy. I like bluefish a lot. Sunday was not as good of a day went back to 62 again and ended up with 3 nice spanish, 2 tiny ones and 4 I didn't get to the boat. Only fished til 12 as I have to travel back to NVA and Sunday traffic is tough.
 

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Spent a lot of time trolling between 62, NN Reef, 1GW and SPLH. Had a few Spanish lose themselves on the trek to the boat. Caught a shark on 00 Clark spoon (he's back safely in the water) and broke the line a couple of times. Can you give me your thoughts on best line. I trolled #1s and #2s but the line broke when the fish is bouncing across the water (maybe the planner got reset but the line broke so quick I did not feel it), strange to me. I'm chalking it up to bad spots in the line so I am going to replace. Didn't break with the shark which was bigger than any Spanish that got on the line.

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I have not had that issue. I have had bluefish bite the leader off. I use hi vis yellow 40 lb mono to the planer and 40 lb fluorocarbon as a 25 ft leader with a ball bearing swivel about have way. It seems to work OK for me. I fish most of the time by myself so the long leader can have its issues but with spanish I think its necessary. I use almost exclusively pink spoons.
 
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