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Discussion Starter #1
Anglers Earn Over 7100 Citations in 2002

Anglers registered 7104 trophy-size fish for citation awards during the 45th annual Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, which ran from January 1st through December 31st last year. This was the second highest total in tournament history, topped only by the 8299 awards earned last year.

For the first time in tournament history, striped bass accounted for the largest number of citations among the 34 eligible species. The 904 citations represented 13% of all awards and was the most since striped bass returned to eligibility an 1992. Striper catches were boosted by one of the mildest winters on record, which produced over 350 citations in January and February and a surge of big fish in the ocean during the last two weeks of December. Released fish accounted for more than 70% of all striper citations.

The mild winter also produced a banner year for tautog with citation numbers reaching 418, the most since 1974 and the 4th best total ever. Almost 80% of the award-winning fish were caught during the first 4 months of the year.

For the second year in a row big spot appeared throughout the Chesapeake Bay during the summer months and by year's end 593 had earned tournament awards. Even though this was a substantial decline from 928 citations earned last year, it was the fifth best total in tournament history.

Also topping 500 awards last year were white marlin with 592 citations, flounder with 570, and dolphin with 506. The dolphin total was the highest ever, almost doubling the prior record of 261 set in 1991.

Anglers enjoyed the best fishing ever for trophy croakers with 382 citations, crevalle jacks with 96, sheepshead with 87, and gray triggerfish with 43. Blue marlin accounted for 123 awards, which was the 2nd best total ever.

Three new state records were established during 2002. On July 7th Steve Hasynic of Norfolk captured a 104 lb. 8 oz. Cobia at the Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel, on May 29th Jim Bishop of Ellicott City, Maryland captured a 274 lb. 12 oz. thresher shark off Wachapreague on the eastern shore of Virginia and on September 29th Chip Watters of Virginia beach caught a 2 lb. 13 oz. kingfish from the surf at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach.

Fifty-eight anglers registered at least six different species of fish for citation awards and qualified as Virginia Expert Saltwater Anglers. This is the second largest number to qualify since the program began in 1996. In 2001, sixty-one anglers earned expert angler status.

The Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament is operated by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission with funding provided by the Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. Awards are made to anglers catching fish meeting established weight criteria in 23 species. In addition, awards for the catch and release of fish meeting specified standards are available in 18 species.

Citation awards are full color certificates delivered at the recipient's choice as a plaque or in a plastic album page. Special awards are presented to anglers meeting the eligibility requirements of the Master Angler and Expert Angler programs.

For more information, contact Claude Bain, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 968 S. Oriole Drive, Suite 102, Virginia beach, VA 23451 (757) 491-5160, [email protected]
 

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Rob,
I caught my first two citations this year in June. (1 Cobia kill and 1 Cobia release)
Should I be concerned that I have not received my paper yet? My friends have told me that it could take quite a while but it's been quite a while.

Thanks!
 

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Teeman
Im in the same boat you are. Caught a nice cobia in june also and Im still waiting for my citation. Thought I would get it by christmas. They take forever....
 

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T-man & Geo,

My 2000 Red drum citation took a year to get and my Jan. 2002 Rockfish citation has yet to show up. I have "heard" on average it takes a year from the time you submit paper to receive award.

Be it good, bad, or indifferent - that's the deal ?!

Go Fish,

`bucket
 

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Be patient guys, it seems like forever to get them, but that's only because you want to hang them up right away for all your fishin' buds to see. I've heard that they wait til the end of the year and send them all at once. The few I've got usually showed up in Feb. Good job on the paper!! It's always nice to look @ on a day you're not fishing, I keep mine in the garage w/ my tackle so that when I'm cleaning gear or just fiddling I can look at them and dream of getting the next one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guys...Starting last year the citations are now being printed "in-house" instead of the old way of mailing them to a printing company out of state. This has speeded up the process greatly.

Claude started in early Dec. printing species that had no chance of still being in our waters. The rest of the species aren't started till after the end of the year. However with a little over 7000 citations to print and mail out and only 2 people working on them it will take some time to get them all out. Give him at least 60-90 more days before you start calling the office.
 
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