Monday, March 18, 2013

Dr. Julie says fishing can be pretty good considering the weather

Dr. Julie Ball reports that flounder hunters are watching closely as the first wave of spring flounder often debuts in mid-March. The regulations this year support no closed season, and allows a bag limit of four fish per person, at a length of 16-inches.

"Schools of big striped bass are heading to the rivers up the Chesapeake Bay to complete their spawning cycles," she said. "Intercepting these fish on the move can make for some good catch and release action in the Bay, but the frequent rough conditions will likely thwart most efforts. A few anglers are also finding some good schoolie action along the James River Bridge. One angler reports that he is having very good luck with light-colored, deep-diving lures fished near the pilings on a moving tide."

Dr. Julie also said that crabs should be easier to find starting now, so once boats can get out, tautogs will be on the list. Don’t forget that the present regulations allow you to keep only three fish per person at 16-inches or longer. "These tight rules are encouraging many folks to wait out the kick-off of the Bay season, which should be soon. Offshore and near-shore reports are not encouraging lately, with few fish to show mostly due to less than optimal fishing conditions. This should improve as the weather allows more access," she said.

"Puppy drum are still providing some decent action in the Elizabeth River and Rudee Inlet, but the speckled trout continue to pose a challenge. In the Elizabeth River, anglers continue to work hard for their bounties, with most fish ranging up to around 21-inches." For more information, go to www.drjball.com.

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