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Jul 06 2017

2017 Recreational Rules for Summer Flounder and Scup Approved by NOAA Fisheries

Published by under Fishing News

NOAA Fisheries RegulationsNOAA Fisheries has approved the final 2017 minimum fish size, possession limits, and fishing season regulations for the summer flounder (fluke) and scup (porgies) recreational fisheries. States have already put their rules in place for the season.

We are continuing “conservation equivalency” for the summer flounder fishery. Conservation equivalency means that we have waived the federal recreational bag limit, minimum fish size, and fishing season, and vessel owners are subject only to regulations in their state. Please contact your state for information on summer flounder rules. We are aware that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has found that New Jersey is out of compliance with Addendum XXVIII to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Interstate Fishery Management Plan. The Commission has requested the Secretary review the non-compliance determination. If the Secretary finds New Jersey out of compliance, a moratorium on summer flounder fishing in New Jersey state waters will be implemented within 6 months. This determination is occurring through a separate process and we will have a final decision on this issue in early July.

We are also maintaining the year-round open season for recreational scup. The minimum fish size is still 9 inches, and the per trip possession limit is still 50 scup per person. Please keep in mind that, if these federal minimum size, possession limit, and/or season differ from the regulations for the state in which you will be landing, you must follow the more restrictive rules.

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Nov 20 2016

Virginia Beach Fishing Report – Updated November 19, 2016

Virginia Beach Fishing Report - November  20, 2016

JT with a moster Tilefish

The latest Virginia Beach Chesapeake Bay fishing report. It is that striped bass time of year. Resident striped bass have been around in good numbers. Most any structure with a light on it has been holding striped bass and speckled trout. Most bass are too small to keep but, keepers are being caught everywhere. The largest fish have been coming from the York and James Rivers where rockfish to 38 inches have been caught. More medium-sized fish are showing up throughout the bay and the CBBT tunnel is holding some fish. This fishery will continue to improve as the water continues to cool and the large fish migrate down from their summer haunts.

Other than striped bass, speckled trout and puppy drum have been keeping anglers entertained. There have been a lot of small fish around but as the season has progressed, more have reached keeper-size. They are being caught on the flats, up in the creeks, rivers, and inlets and form the fishing piers.

Tautog action is excellent at the CBBT and over other bay structures. Sheepshead should be gone but a few big sheepshead continue to be caught. This latest cold snap may be what finally moves them out but right now, they are still a possibility.

The coastal wrecks are holding sea bass, triggerfish, flounder, bluefish and some big sandtigers. Offshore bottom fishing is very good for tilefish. The sea bass season is open through the end of December so the sea bass by-catch is a bonus and the dogfish have not shown up yet.

There has not been much tuna action out of Virginia though there is some water east of the Cigar that should be holding some fish. Boats sailing out of Oregon Inlet are catching yellowfin tuna and wahoo. Boats leaving out of Hatteras are catching king mackerel, wahoo and blackfin tuna. Bluefin tuna should be showing up off of our coast soon.

Captain Max King will be the speaker at the November 15 PSWSFA meeting. He will be talking about catching jumbo striped bass. Meetings are free and you do not need to be a member to attend:

The club’s Irv Fenton Memorial Rockfish Tournament, sponsored by Wilcox Bait & Tackle, begins on December 1 and will run through the entire month of December.

Tune in next week to get the latest Virginia Beach fishing report. Until then, Tight lines!

Thanks to Dr. Ken Neill, III for the picture and reporting.

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Nov 19 2016

Sheepshead Fishermen needed for Fish Tagging Study

Sheepshead Fish Tagging StudyHelp is needed with a genetic population study of sheepshead. The study is being conducted out of the University of South Alabama. They need anglers willing to collect fin clips when they return to the Chesapeake Bay next summer.

If you fish for sheepshead and are willing to help, contact Pearce Cooper at and he will get you a sampling kit.

Thank you for your sheepshead fishing 🙂



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Jul 16 2016

Protect yourself from Crepey Skin when Fishing

Published by under Fishing Tips

Protect yourself from Crepey Skin When FishingAs a a long time fisherman who has spent a lot of time chasing fish in the sun, my advice is protect yourself from crepey skin.  Not only is crepey skin not good looking, once you get it you’ll have it forever. I learned all about it in my recent annual visit to the dermatologist.

My first alarm to sun damage was a few years ago when a sun spot on my face turned into something the dermatologist determined, after a biopsy, could turn bad in the future. He determined we should remove it. It was not something I was excited about given the location, but better to have it removed then get skin cancer down the road. He was able to freeze it off after two sessions. Easy enough, but it was the trigger that really brought my attention to taking care of my skin.

The next thing I learned about related to skin care was crepey skin. I had never heard that term and the dermatologist showed me some pictures and gave me a quick lesson on what it was, and how it happens. He also said that if I did not start protecting my neck that I was going to get crepey skin on my neck. When I asked him how to fix crepey skin on the neck he gave me a short answer,”It’s hard.” He then went into all the options to fix crepey skin, which frankly sounded more the condition does not really have a fix to get your skin back to normal. He countered, that while it might never look like it did when I was eighteen that if I took measures now that if I did decide to fix it the results would be pretty good and close to 80% of what it was. I can live with that.

Long and shot of all this is: If you want to protect yourself from crepey skin when fishing or doing any activity in in the sun, wear sunscreen! It’s the one thing that is proved by scientists that can truly help avoid crepey skin on your neck, legs or anywhere else. Some other tips that can help protect you from getting crepey skin through the years of fishing.
Cover up and tight lines.

Get a long sleeve fishing t-shirt to cover yourself up from the sun.



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May 13 2016

Big Red Drum being caught in Virginia Beach Area

Dr. Ken Neill sent over a fishing report with a few short not and picture of big red drum that about sums up all the action.

Red Drum Fishing Virginia Beach Redfish Tagging Fishing Report 2016 - Fishing T-Shirt




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May 10 2016

Check out NOAA Fisheries Regional Saltwater Recreational Fishing Implementation Plans

Published by under Fishing News

NOAA Fisheries NewsNOAA Fisheries  announced the availability of the regional saltwater recreational fishing implementation plans for 2016-2017, which include the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) plan.
The plans are available at here .  Please take a moment to read through your region’s plan and let NOAA know what you think.

Each plan outlines a set of shared priorities tied to concrete actions NOAA will take over the next two years. These plans focus attention where it will have the greatest impact – where you live and fish.

These plans were developed by each of NOAA’s regions with input from local leaders in the angling community, the Atlantic HMS Advisory Panel, states and regional fishery management councils. These are living documents which will continue to be shaped by ongoing conversations and through current regulatory and science processes.

NOAA said they welcome the opportunity to talk with you about these plans and how best to implement the actions they contain. Your regional recreational coordinators are knowledgeable and can serve as a local point of contact, or feel free to contact Russell Dunn, National Policy Advisor on Recreational Fisheries directly at (727) 551-5740.

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Jun 05 2014

Why we are Seeing Striped Bass Numbers Decline – It’s not the reasons a lot of people think says Capt. John McMuray.

Striped Bass Fishing Fly Fishing Chesapeake BayCapt. John McMurray recently wrote an article explaining that a lot of people blame commercial fishing for the recent decline in striped bass along the eastern seaboard and Chesapeake bay. Capt. John suggests in the article that the real culprit is actually recreational anglers who account for for much more of the striped bass mortality. It’s an age old debate and while technically Capt. John is correct that rec anglers kill more stripers, I ask is it even worth wasting any time debating?Isn’t that whole discussion really about “allocation”.

Shouldn’t the real focus be on the “total number of stripers killed by both recs and commercials” if we are going to try and save the east coast striped bass population?

And even more important I might suggest is that it is not the recs or the commercials that are responsible, it’s the fisheries managers. Recs and commercials (at least the ones who follow the rules on both sides) follow rules that are made by Fisheries Managers.

If anyone really wants to get something done, I would not waste another word talking or writing about what the recs do or what the commercial guys do or how it is split, that’s allocation. If that is important to you then roll with it, but if you are worried about the overall population, spend the time focused on the total number of striped bass killed and talking about the Fisheries Managers who make the rules. Get the Fisheries Managers to change the rules that recs and commercial anglers follow. Anything short of that is not going to get anything done and is just good water cooler conversation to shoot the sh*t .

Read Capt. John’s article and you decide if my take is right or wrong.

note: Capt. John and I are friends and I respect all his opinions; we’ve had some good debates and in general agree on most things. However, in this case I believe we need to all get focused on the right subject to actually get something done.

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Dec 29 2013

Rose River Farm Yurts – A Weekend Vacation for the Whole Family

Published by under Fishing Travel Journal

rose_river_farm_gazebo_2 I’ve fished at Rose River Farms several times now and it consistently produces large trout in a relaxing atmosphere. Even in the dead of winter, the fish are plentiful and hungry and I always return home with a renewed confidence about my ability to catch big fish. It’s amazing to think how close it is to the hustle bustle of Northern Virginia.

This winter, my family and I decided to stay at the Rose River Farm yurts. I had driven by these unique structures many times on my way to fish the farm, and I always wondered what they were like inside. So, we reserved two nights at the Hill Top yurt the weekend before Christmas.

Fortunately for us, there was a break in the wet, cold wintery days. We arrived Friday evening and the temperature was in the 60s. The directions to the yurts were straightforward. Even though I was worried we’d miss the sign in the darkness, it was easy to find. We pulled up to the Hill Top yurt and mused at the panorama of stars above us and deep blue mountains across the valley.

As we entered the yurt, we found the setup to be exceptional — clean rooms, beddings and bathrooms, and a fully stocked kitchen. The family room had a large comfy leather sofa and a satellite-rigged flat panel TV. As expected, everything was decked out with a tasteful fishing theme, and there was an abundance of natural light thanks to the sky light at the pinnacle of the circular ceiling and the large windows projecting the beautiful mountain view. My wife really appreciated the cleanliness and attention to detail.

After settling in, we set out to start a fire. Everything was just where you’d expect it — matches, pre-cut wood, a fire poker and cement-lined fire pit. This was the nicest setup I’d ever seen on a fishing trip. Soon enough, the whole family was roasting marshmallows, watching flaming embers, and dodging smoke as the fire became the central entertainment for the evening.

The next morning, I woke early and set out to tie some flies for the trip to the farm. The fly tying bench in the yurt had a top-of-the-line vice (way better than mine), so I was able to knock out 4 Wolly Buggers and 6 San Juan Worms before the family woke up. I taught my 9 year-old son how to tie 2 San Juan Worms.

The great thing about Rose River Farm is that it’s right in the middle of some of the best hikes and trout fishing spots in the Shenandoah. We decided to hike White Oak Canyon since we hadn’t been there since the 90s. So, we drove less than 15 minutes along beautiful country roads to the trailhead.

The weather was spring-like as we hiked along the lower trail to the falls. Along the way, we stopped several times to enjoy the cascading waterway and the deep, clear pools. My son discovered how much he loved the outdoors. There was something to be found, made, or climbed around every bend. He made a sling-shot out of a branch, stacked rocks, and climbed up and slid down boulders. By the end of the hike, he was asking when we could go again.


We picked up lunch off route 29 (10 miles or so from the yurts), then headed back to the farm for an afternoon of fly fishing. The first hole we fished, my son caught his first rainbow trout. I was so excited I nearly fell into the river. We fished several other spots upstream and lost one fish right as I reached for the net. After a few hours of fishing, we relaxed in the gazebo and watched others fish, then played football and tetherball in the field nearby.

We couldn’t have picked a better time and place for a weekend vacation with the family. While many families may pass on the thought of going on a trip to a fishing cabin, the yurts at Rose River Farms are a family-friendly luxury. There are many nearby outdoor activities that don’t require a fishing rod. The peacefulness and the idyllic setting is a much needed reprieve for everyone.

Rose River Farm is running a special on its cabins for the months of January and February– rent one night and your next night is free. All booking is done at their website

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