Tautog catches have been very good for those targeting sheepshead at the CBBT. They have had to release those fish but that changed as of September 20 when the tautog season re-opens. While tautog opens up, sea bass closes for a month. The sea bass season is closed as of September 22. The other season changes include the closure of cobia…make sure to get your catch reports in….and the opening of the bay striped bass season on October 4.

There are a lot of small striped bass in the bay. Last fall, they were mostly too small to keep. This fall, there will be a lot 20-plus inch available. We are having very good spot run. Nice spot are being caught in all of the rivers and inlets. Speckled trout and puppy drum are on the flats and around anywhere there is grass. Any dock with a light on it is a good location to look for specks, pups, and striped bass. Big red drum are being caught at the CBBT.

Spanish mackerel continue to be caught along the oceanfront along with false albacore. The coastal wrecks are holding sea bass, triggerfish and flounder. Just remember the sea bass closure.

The offshore bite is mixed-bag. Billfish are being caught but it has not been the epic September bite we have become used to. Dolphin, wahoo and some tuna are being caught. It is a good time to try for swordfish. Bottom fishing is producing good catches of tilefish and some grouper.

Our next tournament will be the Grafton Fishing Supply Spot Tournament September 23 and 24. It will conclude with a club picnic at Dare Marina on September 24. Bring your spot to the picnic to be weighed-in (and eaten). The awards for July’s Youth and Ladies Tournament will also be presented at the picnic.

Sept 17, Wes Blow and JT Hale tried for sheepshead at the CBBT. They caught tautog. They then moved onto red drum and caught a big one.

Sept 17, Charles Southall took Douglas Jensen and I out to try and catch cobia to tag and release. Chumming in the Bluefish Rock area, we had a number of cobia come to the back of the boat but we only managed to tag and release one cobia.

Sept 16, Charles and Hunter Southall fished for sheepshead at the CBBT. They caught tautog and triggerfish.

Sept 14, Hunter Southall fished for sheepshead. He caught sheeps up to almost 13 pounds.

Sept 8, we went out with Dr. John Graves and his graduate student Douglas Jensen to tag cobia. We saw a few, caught one that was fitted with a satellite tag. We also caught some nice Spanish mackerel and false albacore. We fished just outside of Rudee Inlet.

Sept 4, I went out with Retired Virginia Marine Police Officer, Keith Nuttall. He did his share for science. We trolled for king mackerel while looking for cobia. No kings but we caught 3 nice cobia and a blacktip shark. All were released….the cobia with fancy new satellite tags.

Aug 27, Wes Blow chummed for cobia. He caught, tagged and released 12 cobia. He placed pop-up satellite tags in 3 of the fish.

Aug 27, I went out with Charles Southall in a stiff NE wind. We did not fish long. We were back in about 10 am. We were very busy the few hours we fished. We landing 9 cobia and missed/pulled off others. We also caught a few sharks and a big ray. One of the cobia ate 2 eels and hopelessly tangled the other lines. Cut everything and re-rigged it all. Charles kept one cobia that weighed over 58 pounds. We released the rest up to 52 inches long.

Aug 20, Johnny Boyd fished the Tower Reef catching a lot of flounder and triggerfish.

Aug 16, Wes Blow fished on the Captain Cheryl with Hunter Southall. They caught 3 white marlin.

Aug 13, Wes Blow chummed for cobia catching 3.

Aug 13, I ran out in the little boat with my son, Cameron and his girlfriend, Haley as she was visiting prior to returning for her final year at Georgia Tech. We fished the Poquoson Reef and caught small croaker and some nice spot.

Aug 11, we ran out with Dr. John Graves of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He brought along PhD student William Goldsmith. Our target was young-of-the-year bluefin tuna. Researchers have wanted them for various studies and we try to catch them some each year. Somehow, we have become the baby-bluefin catching experts for the research labs on the east coast (run offshore, troll for Spanish mackerel, and hope to get lucky). It is a big ocean out there for a boat of one to try and round these things up. There is even more interest in catching the babies this year now there is evidence of another Atlantic spawning area so chasing babies we went. We caught little blackfin tuna, frigate tuna, false albacore, various species of jacks, dolphin, and we did catch baby bluefin tuna. These bluefin tuna are actually headed to the University of Maryland for an otolith study. We also kept the blackfin tuna. They are headed to Harvard to be CT scanned for a study about tuna movement (Willie got his undergraduate degree from Harvard before coming to VIMS). The dolphin came home for dinner.

Aug 9, Wes Blow took graduate student Douglas Jensen out to tag cobia. They caught 7 cobia.

Aug 6, we ran out to the Norfolk Canyon to troll live chub “tinker” mackerel for marlin. We had to work at catching the tinkers. Better than the tinker bite was the squid bite. Our best squid catcher was Congressman Rob Wittman. He was loading up on those things every drop. Before becoming a Congressman, one of Rob’s previous professions was a charter boat mate out of the Outer Banks. In short order, he had beautifully rigged squid in the trolling spread along with the live mackerel. The squids looked great but every marlin, which we missed, and every hammerhead, which we could not miss, wanted the live mackerel. We did not catch a single marlin out of a few encounters. We did end up with a nice bycatch of sea bass and blueline tilefish while catching bait and the guys got fresh calamari.

Aug 4, Danny Forehand fished the Norfolk Canyon. They released 2 white marlin.

Aug 4, Rick Wineman ran offshore. They released 2 white marlin and caught a dolphin.

Aug 2, Barclay Shepard fished around the CBBT. They caught sheepshead, flounder, triggerfish, tautog, and cobia.

July 16, Wes Blow fished for cobia with Congressman Rob Wittman. They caught, tagged, collected DNA sample and released 4 cobia.

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