Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report July 17 2017

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report July 17 2017

The Summer is flying by at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. While the Blue Crabs have been really plentiful this year, some nice fish are also being caught.

Spanish Mackerel have been providing anglers with some good action most days, they are delicious table fare as well. Most of the knowledgeable fishermen target Spanish at first light and late afternoon and evening, don’t let that stop you from casting lures at other times. I have seen them caught in the middle of the day and even in the lights on the water at night.

Gotcha Plugs, like those shown below, are good for many different species caught along the oceanfront.

GOTCHA LURES

Some days there are Bluefish and the occasional small Cobia or Striped Bass around the VA Beach Pier. Cut bait and lures can both work at times for these species.

Bottom fishing has produced a mixed bag, which is normal for this time of year. Some nice Roundhead are still being caught, along with Spot and Croaker with Bloodworms, Squid and Shrimp on double hook bottom rigs. These fish typically get bigger and swim in larger schools throughout the Summer months and well into the Fall.

While Spadefish have been less plentiful this Summer, some years see an increase in size and total catch as Fall approaches.

Summer Flounder not usually caught in large numbers on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, some undersized fish and a few that surpass the 17 inch minimum size limit are reeled in this time of year.

And then there is the huge number of Blue Crabs being taken this season. We get female crabs almost exclusively in the ocean water, but they have tasty backfin and body meat, even though their claws are smaller than the male crab.

Be sure to call us at (757)425-2333 for the latest info.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report July 3 2017

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report July 3 2017

The fishing and crabbing on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier continues to be pretty good. A mixture of bottom fish like Spot, Croaker, Roundhead and some small Puppy Drum are being caught.

Anglers casting lures, like Gotcha plugs and Squid Spoons have had some really good afternoon and evening runs of Spanish Mackeral , with some fishermen catching their 15 fish limits. The minimum size is currently 14 inches for Spanish.

Spanish Mackeral On the VA Beach Pier     24 inch Spanish Mackeral

Bluefish are also being caught on the lures, but are likely to hit cut bait on a bottom rig or Fire Ball rig too, more than the Spanish. Bluefish limits are set at 10 fish per angler, but can be any size.

We hope to see the Spadefish catch increase as the water gets about as warm as we see it at the oceanfront. The tackle shop carries the clams used by most fishermen who target Spadefish.

This has been one of the best Blue Crab seasons we’ve seen on the VA Beach Pier in recent years. Crabbers can keep a bushel a day per person.

In the Ocean waters we see female crabs almost exclusively, so many are going to have egg sponges on their bellies. The ones with dark brown sponges need to be returned to the water with their eggs.

The females with the lighter yellow and orange sponges can be kept because they have laid their eggs. I have included a quick guide below.

Sharks, Rays and Skates are also available in the Summer.

Check in the Pier Tackle Shop for answers to any questions you may have about fishing and crabbing and any gear you need.

Hopefully the 2017 season will continue to be good at the Virginia Beach Pier and other local waters.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Fishing Report June 19th 2017

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Fishing Report June 19th 2017

The fishing report for the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier has June showing a mixture of bottom fish, crabs and some fish taking artificial lures.

Spot and Roundhead have been taking Bloodworms,Squidand Fishbites (both bloodworm & clam flavor) everyday this month, but as always some days are better than others. Most fishermen have heard the “you should have been here yesterday” speech.

Some keeper Puppy Drum and Speckled Trout are always a nice possibility too.

 

Artificial lures like Gotcha plugs and silver spoons can catch Spanish Mackeral and Bluefish from the pier in the Summer. Targeting early or late in the day seem to be your best bet for these site-feeders, but don’t pass up the middle of the day if that is when you can put in some time casting. Not locking your mind to certain tides and times of day will increase your overall catch over time.

Some small Cobia have been seen and caught, but no keepers yet.

Cobia

Skates, Rays and Sharks populate the Virginia coast and are often caught from piers throughout the season

The VA Beach Fishing Pier has seen some Spadefish starting to be caught around the pilings, but there will probably be more action as the Summer progresses.

Again, crabbing has been great this season. Blue Crabs can be fun to catch for the whole family, plus if you have somewhere to cook them, they are delicious. Each person crabbing can keep a bushel a day, which is a lot of crabs.

If you don’t have your own fishing gear you can rent rods in the Pier Tackle Shop located on the pier. We don’t rent crabbing nets, but they are available for purchase, along with the proper baits.

As always, be sure to call 757-428-2333 for the latest fishing reports for the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report – June 1, 2017

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report – June 1, 2017

May turned out to be a productive month at the Va. Beach Fishing Pier. Some nice Bluefish, Speckled Trout and Small Stripers were available at different times throughout the month. A mixture of Spot and Roundhead have also been caught when bottom fishing with Bloodworms and Squid. While they are smaller in the Spring, as a rule, some decent fish have showed up.

The last few days some Spanish Mackerel have been caught with artificial baits, like Gotcha plugs and Squid Spoons, and we are looking forward to a good run this Summer.

Spanish Mackerel

The biggest news is probably the large amount of Blue Crabs being taken this year. While not everyone likes to crab, those who do are catching plenty. Lowering a crab net with a chicken neck tied inside is easy and fun for the whole family.

Blue Crab

Since the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is now Open 24/7 come anytime and enjoy the beach experience.

The Pier Tackle Shop is open 24 hrs for your fishing and crabbing needs. Ocean Eddie’s Restaurant and Pier Gift and Shell shops are also open on the pier.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier 24/7 Summer Hours

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier 24/7 Summer Hours

The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier 24/7 Summer Hours of operation begin Friday May 26 2017. The pier will open at 8:00 AM and for the rest of the Summer be open around the clock.

The fishing this Spring has been pretty good, with a variety of species being caught.

Spot fishing
Double Header Spots

Most days recently we have had bottom fish like Spot, Roundhead and Perch. Some very nice Speckled Trout in the 2-4 pound class have been pleasing anglers at varying times and tides. More smaller Specks and Grey Trout have also been caught.

Speckled Trout VA Beach Fishing Pier

Bluefish are no longer showing up in the vast schools that were seen in the 70s, 80s and 90s, but some fish up to about 13 lbs have been caught. Smaller Blues in the 2-4 lb class are more readily available and they tend to be around all Summer long.

Blue Crabs are plentiful this season. If you don’t have any crab nets be sure to stop in the Pier Tackle Shop for all your crabbing needs. They are also open 24 hrs starting May 26th.

blue crab

 

Hope to see you soon at the VA Beach Fishing Pier.

 

Catching Spot At The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier | VA Beach Fishing Pier

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.

Va Beach Fishing Pier Fall Hours | Va Beach Fishing Pier

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.

VA Beach Pier Striper

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Jeff's Puppy Drum Ulysses With A Puppy Drum 016 013

Chopper Bluefish

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier Report July 29 | VA Beach Fishing Pier

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.

Roundhead - Whiting

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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!