HUTCH FISHING REPORT WEEK OF JULY 7, 2008
Cherrystone Family Camping Resort will update this fishing report weekly through mid-October, later if conditions warrant. It is compiled by Bob Hutchinson, seasonal camper site #143. Hutch is the retired outdoors editor for hunting and fishing for The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot. Find out the latest on fishing at Cherrystone.
Diversity remains the operable word for anglers fishing out of Cherrystone Family Camping Resort. This week's catches in waters of the lower Chesapeake Bay have included gray trout (weakfish), flounder (fluke), cobia, bluefish, sheepshead, spot, croaker and kingfish.
In fact, young Justin Baranek of Hampton, NJ, earned a citation award from the free Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament when he caught and released a 13.75-inch kingfish from the head boat Miss Jennifer.
The kingfish is a creature of many names. It is also known as sea mullet, sand mullet, roundhead and whiting. And it makes excellent table fare, the meat white, flaky and succulent.
As usual, croaker make up the biggest catch for anglers sailing from the camping resort, according to Capt. Ray Cardone, skipper of the Miss Jennifer. "But we're also getting a few keeper trout and flounder," he said.
The hottest Chesapeake Bay croaker action remains north of Cherrystone. The good thing about that is the fish should soon be migrating south into this area, especially if history holds.
Croaker also are being taken in good numbers out of the Seaside (oceanside) village of Oyster, 4.5 miles east of Cherrystone Family Camping Resort. There the better hauls are being made on falling tides.
Flounder are available along both sides (Bayside and Seaside) of the lower Eastern Shore. But anglers are finding it tough to fill the state's new limits of five fish measuring at least 19 inches.
And remember, the Virginia season will be completely closed July 23-28.
Anyway, Bayside waters have produced some bragging-size flatfish in the past few days. Randy Diamond of nearby Machipongo, VA, earned a citation award with a 7-pound, 7-ounce catch, while Howard Garringer of Easton, PA, scored at 7-3. Both fish were registered at Chris Bait & Tackle.
While cobia have been scarce, Robert Fortner of King George, VA, decked a citation-winning 68-pounder. And waters of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel producted an award-winning 12-1 sheepshead for Mike Ragland of Quinton, VA.
While a few tarpon (yep, those of Florida fame) have been spotted in the Seaside back country, no reports yet of landings or even hook-ups. This fishery peaks during the hottest days of July and August.
Finally, although blue crabs are not as abundant as one might like in the shallow waters around Cherrystone Family Camping Resort, most experienced crabbers are getting enough for occasional crab feasts.
And the good news in this area is that the crabs are big and full of the indescribably sweet meat.