Local wreck and reef reports were off a bit this week, with a slow bite reported on tautog and very few cod landed by charters running out of Ocean City. But with temperatures on the rise, the action should be improving. Anglers targeting blackfish have had good luck on a mix of green crabs, white leg crabs and clams. The best choices for cod are butterfly jigs or fresh surf clams. Anglers fishing snags outside the 30-Fathom line aboard the 100-foot Brielle head boat Paramount enjoyed red-hot cod action over the past week. Chris Steinert and Mike Soden were at the top of Captain Francis Bogan’s cod report, with 25 fish in each of their coolers at the end of the day. Kerwin Singletary, Willie Williams, Don Destefano and Ben Frazier also had good days, with 20-plus fish on ice when they got back to the dock.
Striped bass are working their way up the coast, with reports of some short fish being caught in the Ocean City Inlet. There also have been a few unconfirmed reports of a few throwbacks being caught at night by anglers fishing the Indian River Inlet jetties. The best bet for keeper rockfish continues to be the inshore waters off Virginia Beach and the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, according to Julie Ball at Extreme Fishing. Ball also reported some early flounder fishing action at the mouth of the Chesapeake, with the best fishing coming from structure of the Bay Bridge Tunnel. Virginia’s 2011 flounder regulations allow four fish a day at 17.5 inches, with the season open year around.
Big game fishermen running out of Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Inlet had another good week on bluefin tuna, with most captains reporting multiple hook-ups on fish over 100 pounds. The warm waters off the Outer Banks also are providing chunkers and trollers with yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna and false albacore, while the deep droppers who manage to avoid hungry spine dog sharks scored on a mix of blueline tilefish, amber jacks, groupers and barrel fish. Topping the weekly surf fishing report from Red Drum Tackle was the news that the season’s first big drum were landed at the south end of Ocracoke Island over the weekend. Unfortunately, the reports from the shop also indicated schools of spiny dogs so thick that it has been tough to keep bait in the water long enough for the drum to find it.