Recreational Crabbing Regulations 2016 | VA Beach Fishing Pier

Recreational Crabbing Regulations 2016

We are having a banner season on Blue Crabs at the VA Beach Fishing Pier this year. It is a very simple process and can be enjoyable for the whole family.

A crab net or pot is lowered to the bottom of the water with a piece of bait tied in the net to attract the crabs. You tie the extra string to the railing of the pier and check it periodically. This might be the hardest part of the process, but you usually don’t have to wait long before you can pul lit up with some feisty Blue Crabs in the net.

If you plan to keep any crabs, be sure to have a bucket or cooler boig enough to store the crabs on ice. It is extremely important to keep them cool, but you should periodically drain the water and replace the melted ice to keep them fresh for cooking.

Female blue crab without eggsFemale Blue Crabrecreational crab net

 

Size/Catch Restrictions

*  Minimum size limits:  5 inches for male hard crabs (jimmies) and immature female hard crabs, 3 ¼ inches for peeler crabs caught from March 17 through July 15 and 3 ½ inches from July 16 until November 30 in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; 3 ¼ inches for peeler crabs caught on the seaside of the Eastern Shore; and 3 1/2 inches for softshell crabs measured from tip to tip of the longest spikes.  No size limits exist for adult female hard crabs (sooks) [Code 28.2-708, Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-55].

*  Dark sponge (brown through black coloration) crabs must be returned to the water alive and not altered or destroyed in any manner during the period of March 17 thru June 30; however, a tolerance of 10 dark sponge crabs per bushel is allowed [4 VAC 20-370-20].

The Pier Tackle Shop on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier can supply you with everything you need and is open 24/7.

Definitions:

“Jimmy” means a male hard crab with a narrow apron on the abdomen.

“Sook” means a mature female hard crab with a semicircular apron.

“She-crab” means an immature female hard crab with a triangular apron.

“Sponge crab” means an adult female hard crab which has extruded her eggs on the abdomen or abdominal flap.  The egg mass or “Sponge” may contain about 2 million eggs.

“Peeler crab” means any crab with a soft shell fully developed under the hard shell.  A white, pink, or red line on the outer section of the “backfin” is an indicator.

“Backfin” means the last leg of the crab, flattened to aid in swimming.  Also known as the swimmer or paddle fin.

“Buster” means a crab that has begun to back out of its old shell.

“Softshell crab” means a crab which has recently emerged from its old shell.  The new shell is soft and tender.

“Papershell” means a softshell crab whose shell has begun to harden.  The shell stiffens and becomes tougher – usually within 12 hours after shedding the old shell.

“Doubler” means a male crab carrying a female crab prior to or after mating.  Usually the females are peelers or softshells.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Fishing Report | VA Beach Fishing Pier

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Fishing Report

We have been catching a nice variety of fish this week at the VA Beach Fishing Pier. Roundhead are being caught on a regular basis, with Spot and small Speckled Trout coming up, as well, at times.

Bluefish are still showing up everyday for anglers who enjoy tossing artificial baits, like Gotcha plugs, to catch fish site feeding. A few Spanish Mackeral have been taken too and we should see more since the water temperature has hit the low 70’s. As the Summer gets hotter, sometimes patterns develop, such as morning or evening producing the best catches, so call 757-428-2333 for the latest information.

Some small Cobia have been hitting, with most being under the 37 inch limit. Also being landed are Striped Bass, but again the smaller than 28 inch fish have had to be released back into the ocean.

Crabbing for Blue Crabs has really been good with many anglers filling their coolers with nice females, called Sook or Sally, which are loaded with succulent body meat.

If you are new to fishing or crabbing, stop by the Pier Tackle Shop, located on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, and they will be happy to help you get set up with the proper gear.

Here are some pictures of recent fish caught from the pier:

VA Beach Pier Striper

Cobia

Be sure to call the Virginia Beach Pier at 757-428-2333 for the latest fishing report!

 

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Now 24/7 | VA Beach Fishing Pier

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Now 24/7

The Summer season has officially started, so the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is now 24/7.

We have been catching some nice Roundhead, also known as Whiting, and the Bluefish catch has been good for the month of May.

The water temperature is steadily going up, so everything should continue to improve.

Blue crabs have started to arrive along the oceanfront and we should have another good season for crabbing.

blue crab

A couple of Stripers in the 36 inch range were caught in the past week. Sometimes we get a few this time of year.

Striped Bass - VA Beach Fishing Pier

Check back at vabeachfishingpier.com for updated fishing reports or call 757-48-2333 for more information.

Shark Regulations 2016 | VA Beach Fishing Pier

We get a lot of questions about Shark Possession limits at the VA Beach Fishing Pier, so here are the Shark regulations 2016:

SHARKS (All species except smooth and spiny dog sharks)*

Shark

NMFS Shark Identification

Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 54 inches fork length **

Possession Limit: 1 per vessel ***

A non-boat assisted shore angler is entitled to a vessel possession limit

Season Closed May 15 – July 15

(Includes Blacktip, Bull, Great Hammerhead, Lemon, Nurse, Scalloped Hammerhead, Smooth Hammerhead, Spinner, and Tiger Shark)

Federal waters, beyond the Three Mile Limit governed by different regulations set by the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council.

*Recreationally Prohibited Species – It is illegal to take, catch or possess any shark from the “Recreationally Prohibited Species” list, as defined in Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq., including but not limited to the following species commonly encountered in Virginia: Atlantic Angel, Dusky, Sand Tiger, Sandbar, White, and Bigeye Thresher Sharks. No size or possession limits apply to Dog Sharks.

**All sharks (All species except Spiny Dog Sharks) must be landed with head and fins attached; hammerhead sharks must be 78 inches fork length (FL) or greater, no minimum size applies to Atlantic Sharpnose, Bonnethead, Blacknose, and Finetooth Sharks.

***Possession limit for Atlantic Sharpnose and Bonnethead Sharks is 1 per person.

Sharks may only be taken by handline or rod and reel; Spearing and bowfishing illegal.

Capture Citation: RELEASE ONLY

Release Citation: 72 IN.

VA Beach Fishing Pier Report – May 14 2016 | Virginia Beach Fishing Pier

VA Beach Fishing Pier Report – May 14 2016

Wind and rain have been a big factor at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier in 2016. The last couple of weeks have produced some good Bluefish catches, mainly on Gotcha plugs, and because the water temperature has remained below normal the Clearnose Skates and some Blowfish are still being caught.

While Spot and Croaker have been somewhat scarce for this time of year, some Roundhead have started to show up. We hope the weather will normalize and the bottom fishing will begin in earnest.

This week also had some Blue crabs coming over the railing and the season on crabs is predicted to be very good this year.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Season 2016

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Season 2016

It’s time to start the new season at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. We will be opening on March 25, 2016. The Spring operating hours are 8AM-8PM, weather permitting. Call (757) 428-2333 for more information.

Some years Easter weekend can be very cooperative as far as the weather is concerned, but we don’t know what the fish are thinking until we have some anglers testing the waters.

So, get your gear sorted and come join us on the VA Beach Pier. If you don’t have your own fishing tackle, the Pier Tackle Shop has rental rods and bait available.

The Gift Shop is open, but Ocean Eddie’s Restaurant usually opens around May 1st.

For more information, call the pier at <strong>(757) 428-2333</strong>.

Here is a video to get you motivated:

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Update

The season at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is coming to a close. There have been a lot of Speckled Trout being caught most days this month. While some bottom fish are still being caught, the plan is to close for the season on Sunday Oct. 18.

Along with the Specs, some Spot, Roundhead, Bluefish and Croaker have been caught as they leave the bay for winter locations. There have even been some nice Blue Crabs pulled up.

Have a good Winter!

 

October Fishing At The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier

October Fishing At The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier

As many local anglers that fish on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier in October, we wait for cold fronts to lower the water temperature in the area. This usually causes the fish to school up and begin to leave the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, the weather created so much wind and rain in late September and early October that the ocean waters were to rough to fish.

There were some nice Red Drum released before the big blow, some as large as 52 inches. Round Head, Spot, Croaker and Speckled trout were also available to fishermen bouncing baits along the bottom.

The first week of October at the VA Beach Pier has seen an increase in Spot, but the big runs we have come to expect in the Fall haven’t materialized yet. Some decent Spot and Round Head have been caught by anglers this week, plus some small trout, Pompano and Bluefish.

The hours of operation are currently 8AM-8PM, weather permitting. Please call (757)428-2333