Virginia Beach Fishing Pier – Opening Day

The VA Beach Fishing Pier will open for the 2014 season on April 11 at 8:00 AM. In the Spring operating hours are 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM seven days a week. Because the weather can turn nasty this time of year, a quick call to 428-2333 is a good idea if bad weather is expected.

It was a cold and wet Winter, so I am sure everyone is ready to enjoy some better weather and hopefully we will have good fishing and crabbing at the Virginia Beach Pier and plenty of sunshine for beach goers.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Pier Tackle Shop, Ocean Eddies restaurant and Pier Gifts. Let the fun begin!

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report

Well, the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier has closed for the 2013 season.  Many of the fish we catch are heading out to winter grounds offshore and to the South. We look forward to the 2014 fishing season and wish you all a good Winter. There are still fish to be caught in some locations, especially Stripers, in the colder waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, so with a little research you may extend the angling season.

Look for the pier to open next Spring, usually around Easter, in march or April.


Puppy Drum On VA Beach Fishing Pier

Puppy Drum On VA Beach Fishing Pier

As you can see by the expressions on Kevin and Juniors faces, there are some nice Puppy Drum being caught at the VA Beach Fishing Pier this week. These were both in the 18″ – 26″ slot for keeper drum, the larger one just over 25″. The last few days most of the Redfish, another name for Red Drum, have been picked up around the high tide in the morning and evening. We should see more moving through the surf as the water cools.

While the Puppy Drum are fun to catch and delicious, their numbers can’t compare to the Spot and Croaker, which are filling coolers due to the North winds and cooler weather. At various times during the day it isn’t unusual to catch Spot 2 or 3 at a time. The Croaker can sometimes reach 2 or 3 pounds in the Fall. It’s fun to watch the anglers faces when they are catching Spot and all of the sudden a big Croaker or Drum hits their line.

It’s hard predict exact times that they will bite, but give the pier admission booth a call at 428-2333 to see what’s happening every day.

Spot Fishing Is Picking Up At The VB Fishing Pier

The cold fronts we see this time of year are welcome by the local anglers. They lower the water temperature and get the fish schooling for their trip South. Fishing is picking up at the VA Beach Fishing Pier, especially the bottom fish like Spot, Croaker, and Whiting. This is when fishermen start to think about putting some fish in the freezer and some days they can fill their coolers with some tasty fish.

There are many ways to handle your catch, but please make sure you ice your fish and periodically drain the water from the container you are using. This will keep the fish fresh without them soaking up the water and making them mushy. Whole fish probably don’t get as soft from the water, but adding ice and draining the water is easy. For sure cleaned fish should be in water tight bags in the ice.

Watch the weather for cold fronts and call the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier at 428-2333 for the latest fishing reports.

Alright anglers, grab youPier Fishingr fishing gear! The first Fall cold fronts are arriving this weekend and the fishing on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier should pick up dramatically. We’ve seen some pretty good catches of Spot and Roundhead in the last few weeks, but as the weather cools and North winds begin to blow look for the fish in the rivers and bays to school up and head for the Atlantic coast.

While at the pier today I saw some schools of Finger Mullet, a small bait fish, in the surf. The larger fish, like Speckled Trout, Blues, Puppy Drum and Striped Bass follow these schools of Mullet and trap them in the rough water along the shore and even when the wind calms, if there are Mullet, the predators aren’t far away.

The dropping water temperature signal the fish that it’s time to head South, and the fishermen that it’s time to put away some fish in the freezer. Grab a jacket, the wind can be chilly on the water, have the Pier Tackle Shop put some new line on that favorite reel, and get ready for some fun and good eats!

imagesThere was a time when large Menhaden schools were a common sight from the VA Beach fishing pier and just about anywhere along the coast. The waters were filled with dark shadowy concentrations of these fish that are necessary to maintaining healthy populations of game fish, Dolphins and Whales and supplying other industries, such as fertilizer, fish oil supplements and pet food, with a sustainable resource.

Atlantic menhaden have been an important part of the economy and sport fishing industries for hundreds of years. These plankton feeders also help remove plant waste that can mess-up the quality of water that we use for so many activities. Different areas have their own regional names, such as mossbunker, bunker, and pogy, but the heavy fishing pressure of recent years has definitely affected the commercial and recreational sides of the fishing industry.

One of the most popular uses of Menhaden from the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier over the Summer months is hooking a fresh Menhaden to a float or pin rig , which allows the bait to swim (hopefully in a natural manner) away from the pier. This method is the best way to hookup with larger gamefish, like Cobia, King Mackeral, Red Drum and other large predators. Other fish, especially Spot and small Bluefish, can also be used.

pin rigWire and monofilament can both be used for these specialized rigs.  One or two extremely sharp hooks are generally inserted into the bait, plus sometimes a treble hook is used as a trailer. Water clarity plays a part because if the fish see something that doesn’t seem right they might swim away and hunt other prey. Many a pier angler has watched a big fish swim around their bait and end up not striking  or biting the bait in half without hitting a hook.

As you can see in the illustration on the left, this type of rigging involves two lines, one being used as an outrigger.

We need to manage the Menhaden fishery a lot closer in the coming years to help ensure a healthy population continues thrive in coastal waters.

Visit the VA Beach pier almost any day and see the abundant sea life we have in our area.

VA Beach Fishing Pier Report – July 23

VA Beach Pier FishingJuly has been a good fishing month on the Virginia Beach fishing pier this year. Bottom fishing for spot and roundhead has yielded some impressive catches, which is not always true in the Spring and early Summer months. The size of the roundheads has pleased a lot of the local anglers. Spot continue to increase in size too, and there should be some nice yellow-bellied fall runs.

Puppy drum, speckled trout and blues are always mixed in and with the large schools of menhaden that are located inshore, some bigger species like striped bass, cobia and even king mackerel can make a showing.

Some nice blue crabs are also available during the Summer, so now is a good time to enjoy picking and eating the delicious meat, plus putting some in the freezer for a winter treat.

As some of you may know, an extended hospital stay has kept me from updating as often as I had planned. Thanks for the support.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier – July 4th

I hope everyone is enjoying the fourth of July. Anglers have been catching a lot of fish on the Virginia Beach fishing pier this month. Good numbers of Spot have been caught and some big Roundhead or Kingfish continue to be pulled in almost every day.

A few keeper Trout and Puppy Drum are also being caught mixed in with the other bottom fish. Smaller blues and Spanish Mackerel haven’t been as plentiful yet this season, but there is still a lot of Summer left. Some small flounder have also taking bottom offerings, such as frozen minnows and cut bait. This is the time of year when the most diverse species can be hooked.

Fireworks for the 4th will be set off at 9:30 from a barge off the beach. Come on down and do a little fishing and crabbing, then watch the fireworks from the best seat at the oceanfront.

Spot Fish – A VA Beach Fishing Pier Favorite

If you were to take a random survey of fishermen who fish at the Virginia Beach fishing pier and asked them what fish they are trying to catch the Spot fish would be at the top of the list for most anglers. Though it is not the largest fish we catch, not even close, Spot are definitely one of the tastiest, and can be caught in large numbers, without endangering the species.

Spot are a small saltwater fish species fspotound in coastal and inland waters, that are salty or brackish, along the eastern coast of US, in the Gulf of Mexico, and into the Caribbean fishing grounds. They belong to the Croaker family of Drum, and their diets consist largely of organic materials, small crustaceans, and worms.

In the tidal waters of Virginia we use Bloodworms, which are imported from mainly Maine and Canada, cut in small pieces as the first choice for catching the most Spot. While other baits, such as Squid and Shrimp, will catch some fish, you will find most anglers targeting Spot, using pieces of bloodworms on  #4 hook  on a bottom rig. This is the preferred method on the pier, for sure. It isn’t unusual to catch these fish two, three or more at a time.

Spot of two or three years old will grow seven to eight inches in length and be ready to spawn. Spawning takes place offshore from fall to early spring. The new fish head for the shallower bay waters, then as they age, seek a saltier habitat. That is one of the reasons for the concentration of fish found at the VA Beach fishing pier in late August, September and even through October some years.

The Spot is also a great live and cut bait for many of the other fish seen along the oceanfront. Blues, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Red Drum and Striped Bass follow the big schools of Spot and can be a nice bonus for experienced and novice fishermen. A fish-finder rig with a 4/0 hook can be a deadly rig to use for larger fare.

Fishing for Spot At the VA Beach PierThe Summertime weather has been good for fishing inshore. Daily catches have included spot, which are showing up in good numbers, and some roundhead or whiting that are topping 1 pound in many cases. Bloodworms and Squid are used by most of the experienced anglers fishing on the pier, but trying some of the newer baits available, like Fishbites can be a productive choice as well when bottom fishing.

When the water is clear there have been some bluefish and Spanish mackerel caught on Gotcha plugs and silver spoons, but a consistently warmer water temperature would definitely help this type of lure fishing.

Look for more flounder and spadefish to be brought up and trout are always a possibility for those fishermen who place their baits near the pier pilings. You can lose some rigs, but the reward can be some delicious table fare.

Crabbing is another option that many families enjoy, so check out the crab nets and bait(chicken necks) in the Pier Tackle shop located on the Virginia Beach fishing pier.

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