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Fish News
Tide Chart
August 17, 2017

Fish News
Submitted by Dr. Ken Neill

Offshore, anglers are targeting billfish with major tournaments happening each week. Mostly white marlin are being caught but good numbers of blue marlin and some sailfish are also being caught. Non-tournament anglers slow-trolling live bait have scored the best catches of white marlin so far. Dolphin can be encountered and some decent catches are being made on the inshore hills. There are some yellowfin tuna around and the occasional bigeye tuna is being caught. Wahoo are also available but right now, it is mostly billfish. More anglers are experimenting with daytime dropping for swordfish. They are having success and some impressive swords are being brought back to the docks. Offshore bottom fishing is producing good catches of golden and blueline tilefish.

The coastal wrecks are holding flounder, sea bass, triggerfish and some big sandtiger sharks. Spadefish can be found over most of the wrecks. Triggerfish, spadefish and flounder catches are also good at the CBBT where big sheepshead can also be found. It has been an excellent summer for Spanish mackerel. They are being caught along the oceanfront and throughout the lower bay.

Cobia catches remain excellent. Both chumming and sight-fishing are producing fish. Anglers in the lower bay and along the oceanfront are mostly sight-fishing. Those trying to chum are dealing with seems to be a record number of sharks. The mid-bay chummers are not having the shark problem. Anglers looking for cobia are also running into big red drum occasionally.

Puppy drum and speckled trout are available in all of the normal grassy area. This fishery will pick up as we move into fall. Another historical fall fishery is the spot. Good numbers of spot have been around this summer which means we should have a good spot September.

The PSWSFA Youth and Ladies Croaker and Flounder Tournament is over. The awards for this tournament will be given out (along with the awards for the Spot Tournament) at a club picnic at Dare Marina on September 24. But do not wait to turn in your weigh forms, do that now. The Don Forman Cobia Tournament has begun and will continue through the end of August. Be sure to register with Rick Wineman prior to fishing.

The PSWSFA Cobia Bowl raised $11,000 to help support cobia research at VIMS.

At the August 15 PSWSFA meeting, we will have Stan Simmerman talking to us about swordfish, mainly because he is infatuated with the things. Meetings are free and you do not need to be a member to attend: .
FI 17Aug17

Bluefin Tuna
Submitted by Dr. Ken Neill

FI2 17Aug17Saturday, August 12 - We ran out with Dr. John Graves of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science yesterday. He brought along PhD student William Goldsmith. Willie took the attached photos. After I checked that he would send them to me to share, I stayed up top driving instead of coming down with my camera.

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.


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