Health and Status of Sport Fishing
>>Lack of rain has prompted officials of the Appalachian Power Co. to decrease downstream releases from Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes in an effort to raise the declining water level in Smith Mountain Lake. The decreased releases don’t always sit well with downstream interests, who say they also need water. This will be the subject of a public hearing tonight, 6 p.m. at Gretna High School.
>>State fish officials say all those dire predictions about the damage the snakehead fish would do may have been overstated. The fish is an Asian import found in the Potomac River. A Virginian-Pilot article quotes a biologist who says the fish appears to have found its own niche and is not harming bass and other native species. Reports that the snakehead could “walk” on land were false. Even so, fishermen are instructed to kill the snakeheads they catch.
>>Capt. Ferrell McLain, a Chesapeake Bay charter boat operator, said the Bay is enjoying the best run of Spanish mackerel in years. However, few people are renting charters to go after them. “Spanish mackerel to 24 inches have been caught around the Northern Neck Reef and Buoy 62 area,” McLain said. The preferred method is to troll for them with small spoons. Bluefish in the 3-5 pound ranges also are being caught. The area west of Tangier Island a good place to try for blues.
>>Angler Dr. Julie Ball of Virginia Beach used a fly rod to catch four spadefish she believes would qualify for world record status. She is a representative of the International Game Fish Association, the keeper of records. Ball was using flies tied for spadefish by Crab Creek Outfitters. I’m “not sure what they are supposed to look like, but the spades were very interested,” she said. She kept her two largest fish for certification purposes.
>>More than 271,000 pines are scheduled to be planted by the National Wild Turkey Federation on 678 acres surrounding Fort Stewart, Ga., part of a longleaf pine restoration program
>>State fish officials have been investigating a die-off of gizzard shad in South Fork Rivanna Reservoir near Charlottesville. The fish were found around the bottom of the dam and their death was blamed on hot weather and low water conditions that decreased oxygen in the impoundment.
SALTWATER FISHING TOURNAMENT
There are new leaders in the king mackerel and sheepshead categories of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. Here are the standings:
BLACK DRUM: 87 pounds, 3 ounces, Paul Elliott, Surry, Latimer Shoals (C-2 Buoy).
BLUEFISH: 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Richard Brown, Richmond, off Virginia Beach.
BLUEFIN TILEFISH: 18 pounds, 14 ounces, Chris Boyce, Hampton, Norfolk Canyon.
COBIA: 90 pounds, 10 ounces, Charles Thain, Birdsnest, Inner Middle Ground, C-13.
CROAKER: 4 pounds, Glen Ford, Newport News, James River.
DOLPHIN: 58 pounds, 6 ounces, Burt Whitt, Norfolk, Cigar.
FLOUNDER: 11 pounds, Rudolph Levasseur, Chesapeake, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
GRAY TRIGERFISH: 4 pounds, 2 ounces, Adam Lyons, Chesapeake, Seagull Pier on Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
GRAY TROUT: 9 pounds, 8 ounces, Joseph Hudgins, Jr., Chesapeake, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (4th island).
KING MACKEREL, 62 pounds, 3 ounces, James McDonald, Virginia Beach, Sandbridge Pier.
KINGFISH: 2 pounds, 3 ounces, Bill Pope, Norfolk, Sandbridge surf.
SEA BASS: 7 pounds, 8 ounces, Reggie Myrick, Portsmouth, wreck off Virginia Beach.
SHEEPSHEAD: 14 pounds, 5 ounces, Kay Alley, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. .
SPADEFISH: 13 pounds, 15 ounces, Donald Knight, Chesterfield, Wolf Trap Light.
SPANISH MACKEREL: 6 pounds, Alfred Simpson, Virginia Beach, Sandbridge pier.
SPECKLED TROUT: 9 pounds, 15 ounces, David Hester, Chesapeake, Elizabeth River.
STRIPED BASS: 73 pounds, state record, Frederick Barnes, Chesapeake, off Virginia Beach.
TAUTOG: 20 pounds, 6 ounces, Michael Shreve, Glen Burnie, Md., Monroe Wreck.
TUNA, BLUEFIN: 226 pounds, Kim Schwallenberg, Edgewater, Md., off Wachapreague.
TUNA: 89 pounds, Troy Holtry, Newburg, Pa., 20 Fathom Finger.
WAHOO: 68 pounds, Ron Fair, Cheriton, off Wachapreague.
Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show, Aug. 8-10, ShowPlace, 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, features Larry Weishuhn, the NRA trophy deer display and nearly 300 exhibitors. Adult tickets $10 per day or $15 for the weekend, kids under 15 can enter free with a paying adult. Information from sportsmanshow.com.
Triangle Archer’s 3D tournament, Aug. 17, Blacksburg, fee $12 or $25 per family, information from Triangle Archers 3D tournament, June 22, Blacksburg, fee $12 or $25 per family, information from James Overfelt.
Outdoor Sportsmen’s Classic, Aug. 22-23, Salem Civic Center.
Smith Mountain Lake Striper Club Fishermen’s Flea Market/Swap Shop, Sept. 5, 7 p.m., Moneta Community Center.
Eastern Regional Big Game Championship, Sept. 13 and 14, Southampton County Fairgrounds, Franklin, sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association, more information from Kenneth Pickin, P.O. Box 1860, Williamsburg, Va. 23187-1860; 757-229-0490. This is the contest for deer, bear and turkey killed east of the Blue Ridge. Additional information from vpsa.org.
Triangle Archer’s 3D tournament, Sept 14, Blacksburg, fee $12 or $25 per family, information from James Overfelt.
Third annual WSLS 10 Hunters for the Hungry banquet, 6 p.m. Sept. 27, Dave Sarmadi Mitsubishi, Salem, tickets $20 singles; $35 couples, kids 12 and under free, to benefit the organization’s feed-the-needy program, tickets from Jeff Fletcher, 540-985-6523 or Fred and Phyllis Wells, 540-992-3874 or may be purchased at Dave Sarmadi Mitsubishi, additional information from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Western Regional and State Big Game Championship, for deer, bear and turkey killed west of the Blue Ridge or advanced from the Eastern Championship, Sept. 27 & 28, Rockingham County Fairgrounds, Harrisonburg, more information from Jon Ritenour, 2041 Spaders Church Road, Harrisonburg, Va. 22801, 540-434-8028. Additional information from vpsa.org.
Fall Optimist Club of Cave Springs Fishing Tournament, Oct. 3-5, Smith Mountain Lake.
Saltwater striped bass tournament opens Oct. 4.
Roanoke Valley Friends of NRA banquet, Oct. 18.
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