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Well, here's the word from Saturday, my final day in Tidewater.

Met up with Salty and Digger at the Narrows where we caught a handful of small pups. The heat was enough to give me a stroke, so we went and relaxed in Chick's Beach cafe with a few beers and lunch. A brief storm swept through and drove everyone off the beach. Around 5 or 6 we hit the beach and fished until nightfall, catching several more pups and several croaker. Shoreline showed up soon after we got there. Bait was sand fleas and cut mullet.
 

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I went there for a few hours yesterday on the Duck Inn/Inlet side. I cought a few pups, black sea bass and toad fish. Clams worked well, but attracted toad fish..yuck. I lost 4 rigs, getting cought on things and having to cut my line....ugh.

There were 4 people with cast nets by the Pilot boats. The fish were literally jumping out of the water there. They brought in a bunch of fish. Mostly bait fish, including one overflowing net that took 2 people to pull out of the water. There were a few good size blues and some large mullet as well.
 

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Oops Busted on the the bluefish!

I know it wasn't anybody on this board but. . .

* It is unlawful for any person to use any recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to catch and possess any species of fish that is regulated by an annual harvest quota (includes: black drum, black sea bass, bluefish, scup, speckled trout, striped bass, and summer flounder) [4 VAC 20-670-30].

Also just as a reminder you can catch bait using a cast net without a license. But you need a cast net license in order to use one for foodfish.

Tom
 

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Tom, do you know anything about the regs pertaining to seine nets? Is it the same rules you have for cast nets (bait only, no permit)?
 

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The only thing they were keeping was the large mullet. You can't really control what you catch with those nets.
 

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is it illegal to catch bone fish in cast nets? not bonefish as in the sport fish but the chesapeake bay bonefish. my brothers and i don't really know what they are but we catch em all the time in our nets. they are usually about 1-2 lbs and have no meat on the at all. they have an almost metalic smell and they are all bones. seeing as how they are very oily, we use them for crab bait, chum, and thing of like that. is it illegal to keep em??
 

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Do you mean houndfish? (you say potato, i say potaaato...) I've also heard them called Ches. Bay Sailfish - but that could be something totally different.

<a href="http://www.aug.edu/~sbajmb/pictures/Best-of-Cozumel-2002-Web/pages/04-Houndfish.htm">Houndfish Pic</a>
 

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no, it's neither of those. i've looked through every fish book i have an on the internet and can't find anything that looks like the fish we catch. all i can really tell you is they eat mud minnows, and live in somewhat shallow water. i hve never seen one anywhere except in the creek off of chesapeake avenue by powhatan pkwy.
 

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Here is the section of the reg the complete reg is at:
http://www.mrc.state.va.us/fr670.htm

I don't know what you mean by bone fish. How about a better description. Body shape, mouth shape, teeth, etc.

BTW the fish on the previous list are those that have a commercial quota. Bluefish in my opinion is pretty dumb.

Also seine nets (I assume you are talking about a fine mesh net each end of which is mounted to a pole six feet tall where the net is about 20 feet long and pulled through the water by human power) aren't on the list. I don't know how legal they are or aren't for catching finfish to eat. I know I used to use them to catch fish for an aquarium all of the time. I'll look more later.

As far as catching and keeping Virginia is a possession state. You can catch anything and only keep "legal to keep" fish.

Now for the rules. First you have the following:

D. No license shall be required of any person taking minnows, menhaden, or mullet with a cast net for personal use as bait which is not to be sold, traded, or bartered.

In another section you have:

C. Any law or chapter applying to the setting or fishing of commercial gill nets, cast nets, dip nets, crab pots, crab traps or crab trot lines shall also apply to the gear licensed under this chapter when set or fished for recreational purposes, except that:

1) certain commercial gear used for recreational purposes shall be marked in accordance with the provisions described in section 4 VAC 20-670-40,

2) the daily time limits for commercial crab potting and peeler potting established in Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-30 shall not apply to the setting and fishing of recreational crab pots licensed under this chapter., and 3) the closed season and area established in Section 28.2-709 of the Code of Virginia shall not apply to the setting and fishing of recreational crab pots licensed under this
chapter.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to catch and possess any species of fish whose commercial fishery is regulated by an annual harvest quota.

E. It shall be unlawful for any person using a recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to take and possess more than the recreational possession limit for any species regulated by such a limit. When fishing from any boat, using gear licensed under this chapter, the total possession limit shall be equal to the number of persons on board legally eligible to fish multiplied by the individual possession limit for the regulated species, and the captain or operator of the boat shall be responsible for adherence to the possession limit.

F. It shall be unlawful for any person using a recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to take and possess any fish which is less than the lawful minimum size established for that species. When the taking of any fish is regulated by different size limits for commercial and recreational fishermen, that size limit applicable to recreational fishermen or to hook-and-line fishermen shall apply to the taking of that species by persons licensed under this chapter.

Tom
 

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as for a description of the fish, it is golden yellow in color with a silver underside. it has either very small or no teeth. the mouth is somewhat downturned and the eyes are set bak about the same as a spot. the fish is very narrow (skinny) with pectoral and anal fins. it smells very strongly almost like steel. it is oily and good bait for anything that eats fish. like i said, the only place i've ever seen them is in that small creek. i have no clue what they are but my brothers tell me they have been netting them for as long as they can remember. we don't go hunthing for them, they just get in there sometimes when we're tryig to catch some minnows. any info?? i don't want to be hit with a heavy fine because it's illegal.
 

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might be..........but they are usually about 1 or 2 lbs.
 

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Try this link for a picture of a menhaden.
http://www.floridasaltwater.com/fl/baitfish/menhaden.htm

They do get to the 1-2 pound range and up to 12 inches long.

A few years ago there were schools of 1-2 pounders off of Plantation Light that were so thick your depth sounder would go from 90 feet to 20 feet when you were in a school. Additionally, your wire line rods would bounce all over as the line bounced off of the fish.

Or maybe it is an american shad.
http://www.chesapeakebay.net/info/american_shad.cfm

Or maybe hickory shad
http://www.fisheries.vims.edu/femap/fish%20pages/Hickory%20Shad.htm

Tom

Tom
 

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Stingray,

You may be talking about mullet. They have been catching a ton of mullet lately with casting nets. Last night I stopped by at dusk just to see how the fishing was. Fish were jumpin out of the water. In 2 cast with a large fishing a guy brought in enough to fill 4 -5 gallon containers of mullet, about a foot a piece. I'm only only familiar with using them as bait, but he says he freezes them and bakes them.
http://mt.essortment.com/mulletfish_rzxp.htm http://www.flpa-images.co.uk/picdisplay.asp?GROUP=32100

I can't resist....didn't Elvis have a song about houndfish? I aint nothing but a houndfish..... LOL
 

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thanks for all the info everyone. i've looked at all the links and the closest matches are the atlantic shad and hickory shad. i thought tat shad travel in schools though. do they stop schooling once they get bigger than a pound or something. i have never seen the fish i catch cooperate like schooling fish do. it's more like sharks feeding in a frenzy.
 

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Sounds like these guys:

Dorosoma cepedianum or Gizzard shad. They are relatively common, and they smell really really strong. They get up to about 3 lbs, with an average closer to a pound, in moving water commonly jump.

 

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thats it. that is the fish we've been netting. is it legal to catch them?? if so, are there any size or limit regulations??
 
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