Virginia Beach 8th Annual Mid Atlantic Rockfish Shootout
Captain Mike and crew officially take 1rst place in the 7th Annual Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout in Virginia Beach Va.
After the official Mid Atlantic Rockfish Tournament's Captain's meeting we could all feel the anticipation as fishing day approached. Even though the weather was bitter cold in Virginia Beach for tourney weekend we knew we were going to fish hard for this years tournament. The Gannet and her crew were ready!
For Virginia Beach striper fishing this is the big event of the year where the winning boat and crew can take home one very nice purse. Day 1 we started out down the beach about 45 miles until we found the warmer water and the bait we had been fishing on the last 3 days of charter fishing before the tournament that week.
The Va. Beach striper fishing was wide open and after catching probably 25 striper in the 25 to 30 pound range we knew we needed to catch some bigger fish to have a shot at winning this tournament. Over the past six years the Mid Atlantic Rockfish Shootout is known for some big fat Virginia Beach stripers. Three 30 pound fish is usually a nice catch of rockfish on any other day but this was tournament day and we knew these fish would not take the prize so we had to find school of striper with a bigger class of fish.
Captain Mike and Crew Find the Big Striper
While charter fishing the week before the tourney we knew there were acually four different schools of rockfish the last couple of days and the biggest striper were on the southern end. We knew if we could find these fish we stood a great chance of boating a few pigs. So we fished south from school to school and about four schools later at about 12:30pm we scored big.
The money stripers we caught included:
- 2- Forty one pound striper
- 2- Forty three pound striper
- 1 - Fifty pound 2 ounce striper
- A total of our three biggest striper weighed in at a grand total of 136.85 pounds, enough to win the tournament and a prize of $59,128 for the team members.
Again the total weight on the three Virginia Beach stripers we weighed came to 136.85 pounds and that was on day one, which was a Thursday. Little did we know we could have stopped fishing right then. But what serious striper angler would even consider doing that so we readied ourselves for days two and three despite the fridid weather. Day two and three came with very poor fishing conditions and very cold wind chills.
After all was said and done we took 1st place and were very glad to have it. Last years Virginia Beach striper fishing tournament, officially known as the 6th Annual Mid Atlantic Rockfish Shootout was a 2nd place finish. All told we banked just under $100,000 for the past two Va Beach striper fishing tounaments.
I'd like to thank Chance who makes all my custom baits (you can't buy these baits in the stores),
Mike Standing of Waterman Sport Fishing for putting on another first class tournament and of course my diehard anglers that fish all tournaments with me which includes, Thomas Blanton, Shawn Shapiro SR, William Hoover, Garrett, Walter, Robert, and of course my mate Shawn (BIRD) of which NONE of this could be possible without him.
Day One Conditions:
Seas - Calm
Air temp - 20 degrees
Water temp - 43.5
Bait & Birds = Fish