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Vol 49 | Num 4 | May 22, 2024

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Virginia Report

Article by Capt. Matt Abell

Wicked Eastern Shore easterly’s have swept across our bountiful paradise, pushing up tides and adding environmental obstacles that would dampen the hopes of even the saltiest of shore men. However, tides turn, seas calm and fish have to eat. So get out there and make wonderful whitecap memories with your friends and family.

The Chesapeake has offered some sheltered shallow shorelines which has supported some superb spec, spot-tail, and striper action. And yes, I did say striper , as the long awaited Maryland and Virginia rock season has finally commenced. Both states are supporting a 19-24 inch slot limit and one fish per person Chesapeake regulations. Most of those who seek saltwater sport have done so with chunks of crab, both presented on fish finder and top and bottom rigs, as well as under a popping cork. Some of the red action has consisted of not only trophy reds that we had come to expect, but also a few slot puppies to invite home for a delicious dinner. In addition to skinny water scrappers, some black drum have taken up residence on the knolls and shoals of the lower Chesapeake. Anglers dropping chunks of crab and clam have tested their rigging on these head shaking heavyweights in depths of water to 25 feet. If you are lucky enough to connect with one of these Chesapeake treasures, keep in mind the 1 fish per person creel limit.

The barrier islands have been equally as fruitful even during these C- conditions. Flounder fishing has been good on the tides where the turbidity has allowed some visibility. Silversides and minnows coupled with squid strips and or Gulp have provided opportunities to use your landing net as well as your frying pan. Due to the cloudy water brightly colored teasers like chartreuse, pink and orange have conjured up bites from the hungry hunters of the salty seaside. While searching the coastal bays for fillets of flatfish, a few anglers have been the recipient of a true springtime surprise. Chopper blues have bent rods and breached the surface. Some of these fork tailed torpedoes measured up to the low 30 inch mark, which could only have been dwarfed by the size of the smile of the lucky guy on the order end of the line.

The sands have been anything other than serene as big surf made most of the week unfishable. However, during the first part of the week our very own Mean Dean PHD beached what only could be considered the trip of a lifetime as he and his buddy beached over 30 rock and blacks on peeler chunks soaked on modified fish finder and hi-lo rigs. Just remember, the coastal rock regs are 1 fish from 28-31”

Even if the wind is howling and the rain is falling, grab some bait, find a leeward bank and revel in this wonderful place we call home! §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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