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thill

VA/NC striper fishing inconsistent, but AWESOME!

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Ran down to Virginia Beach with instructions to run the 20 miles south to the NC line, and look for the birds. Did just that, along with about 100 other boats. I've NEVER seen so much bait, literally miles and miles of it, but NO birds. Ran 30 miles south to no avail. The VHF was filled with voices of anguish.

 

I decided to run NORTH and found the motherload! As the reports promised, 50-100 big gannetts cannonballing into the water at a time! It looked like a war scene!

 

After 5 long hours, we had hit paydirt. Usiing 5", 7" and 12" Assassins, we had constant triple headers of fish between 28 & 43". (15-35#) After FOUR HOURS of this constant action, we were getting tired, and we decided that we had been beat up enough in the 35 degree winds of 20 mph, and 6-8' seas. That has to be the biggest water I have ever caught stripers in! We must have been nuts, but it was worth every minute! Kept our limit of six fish, 3 slot fish of 32-34" and 3 larger ones all around 38" and 24-25 lbs. All fish over 38" were released. As you can tell from the weights, these were some very heavy fish.

 

We estimated that we released somewhere between 60 and 80 fish. The average size was about 28" and 10-12 lbs. World class fishing!

 

Guys, I wish you could have been there! I enjoyed being an "idiot" for a day! It was GREAT!

 

Next day, same place, there were small gulls working the water, for as far as the eye could see. Casting the same stuff, POW-POW-POW! Stripers in the 18-28" range, MILLIONS of them! Where did the big fish go???

 

Ran for many miles, but they had vanished! It is incredible how a school of fish that is 3.5 miles long and wide can vanish in 12 hours!

 

Well how does this affect you?

 

Those smaller stripers were in as far as the breakers right in the middle of Virginia beach. They were feeding on 4-7" mullet.

 

No big deal, right?

 

Well, the only other boat to catch numbers of fish were south of Corolla light, NC at that giant water tower. Their fish were BLITZING the surf! Fish the same size as what we were catching the first day. 40-something miles south of Rudee and 20 miles into NC. Also we heard radio reports relayed from Oregon Inlet about the fishing being incredible right against the beach. Yesterday, a couple of kepers were caught on the beack in Virginia Beach.

 

It was a wonderful trip, and I wish I could do it again! Worth every penny, and every minute!

 

TH

 

PS - Pictures will be up soon.

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Here I sit with snow on the ground and you tell me that our girls are alive and well to the south. I feel the chest pains as I write this response wink.gif You really know how to hurt a guy Tony!

 

80 fish!!!!! In a single Day!!! In January!!!! Is there no mercy!!!

 

Seriously, great report Tony! Looks like you found the pattern quickly and profitted from your knowledge.

 

Now wheres my heart medicine? smile.gif

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I had just about conceded that everything was over for the season at Virginia Beach. I was at the jetty on the North side of Rudee Inlet at the start of the outgoing tide early Saturday morning and there was nothing happening. Now, with this news that they are still sporadically hitting the beach, I guess I better reconsider. Thanks for the "encouraging" information.

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Tony: Great report! Wish I could have been there with you. What size boat were you in, fighting those 6-8footers? Would have been an interesting test for my Queaz-Away wrist bands. Keep the reports coming, Sander

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Jim, I'm sorry, but someone has to do it!

 

Slipknot, It was C-COLD, but the fishing was hard to beat ANYWHERE!

 

Petey, there were a number of pods within casting range of the beach around 8:30 AM north of 20th Street all the way up to the Ramada. I spoke to two guys fishing the inlet when we came in around 2PM. One may have been you. Look at the pictures I'm about to post. Saturday was mostly a schoolie fish day.

 

Jon, there is a definite warming trend, and I hope it sticks around. There may be hope yet!

 

Sander, a 21' Grady 208. When you look at the pictures I'm about to post, you will notice us sitting down a lot, and also that it was so cold that we are not smiling much but more like grimacing. Sorry! The waves were spread pretty far apart, but if you weren't paying attention when a set came by, you would end up on your butt!

 

TH

 

 

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