We’ve been catching some Spot this week at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier this week. The run is starting a little late, but we hpe it will continue for a while.
The only downer is Hurricane Matthew may impact the area. Keep an eye on the weather and call 757-428-2333 for the latest info.
The Va Beach Fishing Pier Fall hours are shortened for the last few weeks of the season. Sunday thru Thursday we are open from 8 AM – 8 PM. Friday and Saturday hours are 8 AM – Midnight. Please call 757-428-2333 for any additional changes.
September was a disappointment in some respects. The wind and record rainfall made many days unfishable. Although some of the usual fall fish, like Spot, Bluefish, Speckled Trout and Spanish Mackeral, have been caught from the pier, the numbers were definitely down.
The water is still very warm, the upper 70s, for this time of year. As we have cooler nights in October, we are still in a position to have some nice runs of fish. Croaker, Puppy Drum, and Striper are always a good possibility, with Black Drum, Pompano and Summer Flounder as icing on the cake.
The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is usually open for a few more weeks if the weather and the fish cooperate, but call ahead for current hours.
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report July 29
The month of July Was unusually hot and muggy, at least to me, but the crabs and fish didn’t seem to mind. Crabbing was especially good and daily catches of Bluefish, Spanish Mackeral, Roundhead and Spot were also pleasing anglers.
Spadefish have been hanging around the pier pilings in good numbers and Clams continue to be the number one bait for catching them. They aren’t necessarily as big as the fish caught in deeper waters, but they are still delicious and the 4 fish limit per day gives everyone a chance to enjoy them.
The Bluefish and Spanish are still mostly being caught with Gotcha Plugs, with the Red & White and Red & Silver colors seeming to be the most popular choices.
Some Speckled and Grey Trout,Summer Flounder and Pompano have also made an appearance, which is a regular Summer occurrence.
Depending on the weather, August can be a little slower during the heat of the day and better at night, but other variables, such as water temperature and wind direction can also have an effect. Be sure to call 757-428-2333 for the latest info.
VA Beach Fishing Pier Report July 1st
This is the VA Beach Fishing Report for July 1st.
June turned out to be a productive month for both fishermen and crabbers. Some nice Roundhead were caught and the Spanish Mackeral made a showing just about everyday. There were some days where the Northeast wind was too strong to really fish effectively.
Bluefish were also picked up by anglers throwing Gotcha plugs for the Spanish.The lures come in a wide variety of colors, so sometimes you might have a greater catch casting one with a Red head and White body, while other times the fish seem to prefer Silver, Yellow and Pink combinations, so be flexible with your choices.
Bottom fishing we use more Bloodworms cut up than the other baits, but Squid, Shrimp, Frozen Minnows and Mullet all catch fish.
Right now and through the Summer we experience a Spadefish bite where the best bait is Clam. Spadefish resemble aquarium Angelfish, with broad vertical black stripes along their sides. They are nice table fare, but be sure to only keep 4 fish a day (any size) in line with the Virginia State Saltwater regulations.
Simple basket-style crab nets with chicken bait tied in them is very effective for catching Blue Crabs off the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. You can keep a bushel a day using this method.
All of the above tackle and bait is available in the Pier Tackle Shop located on the pier, so bring the family for some fun.
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.
* 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.
“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
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:
Be sure to call the Virginia Beach Pier at 757-428-2333 for the latest fishing report!
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.
A couple of Stripers in the 36 inch range were caught in the past week. Sometimes we get a few this time of year.
Check back at vabeachfishingpier.com for updated fishing reports or call 757-48-2333 for more information.
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)*
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
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.