View Full Version : HRBT CBBT 6-7 Jul 2012

07-08-2012, 07:15 PM
HRBT-North, Fri

Sunny, hot and just about breezeless. And that's why I fished mostly under the shade of the bridge, not out in Hampton Flats.

Lots of boats were out. A few small flatties were caught. I caught those pesky croakers and toads. Took home a 17" flounder.


Again, sunny, hot and little breeze. Water was just about flat when I hit the water at 0630 hrs. Current wasn't too bad, but it picked up in the afternoon.

Picked up clams and a dozen fiddlers from Oceans East, so my targets were sheepheads, spades and flounder.

Lots of yakers were out. I talked to several. Small spades, croakers, toads, short flounder and other fish were caught. I caught a 16" short flounder, black sea bass and a lot of pesky croakers and toads.

First time I fished for sheeps. I learned that croakers and toads like fiddlers. Those pesky fish took my bait, so I think the sheeps didn't get much of a chance. On a few bait-checks, the fiddlers were gone, and I barely felt the tug. I think, MAYBE, a sheep made an attempt, but I failed to recognize the subtle tap and make the set. I did feel some tap, but I thought it was some small fish nibbling the bait or my sinker grazed the bottom. On the taps where I set the hook, I ended up with croakers and toads. It seems sheep bites are less obvious than tog bites (and may of us know the subtle tap-tap from togs). Oh well, learned learned. I'll be better prepared next time.

I didn't catch any spades, but a yak diver told me he saw small spades around the pilings. Again, I think spades didn't get a chance at my clams because the pesky croakers and toads got'em first. One yaker caught and released a few small spades. He said he fished maybe 5 feet deep and watched the spades come up to the bait.

Oh, btw, see the croaker? I caught many on a naked baitless hook......huh?....go figure.

The first pic is from HRBT. The other four were from CBBT.

07-08-2012, 09:40 PM
Yea those croakers and toads ate half of my fiddlers when I was there last time. I gave up and did floundering before trying again later that day. I think the trick is to avoid the pylons that tons of croakers hang out. When I did that, I got bites but no hook ups then I ran out of time.

I hear the spades are caught around the 1st island. Did you try that?

In August, I will return to catch my sheepie for the year! :)

07-09-2012, 09:56 AM
At least you got a keeper flounder even if the spades and sheep weren't cooperating. Do you use a float when you fish for spades? When I was getting my master's, a guy was studying spadefish. He was catching them by chumming with clams then drifting clam chunks on super small hooks under a float back into the slick. That might cut down on the number of bait stealers.

If you ever see a cannonball jellyfish while you're out there, grab it. They make good spadefish bait, too, but I don't know what the process is for using them as bait. Not much else is going to try to steal your bait if you're using jellyfish parts.

Cannonball jelly:

07-09-2012, 09:37 PM
I think you have to fish the pilings (or other structure) for sheeps and spades. I heard you shouldn't fish the bottom, and should fish part way down to avoid much of the croakers and toads. The diver said he saw spades as shallow as 15'. The other yaker fished for spades 20'-30'. That's where I fished for spades.

August?!? Heck, I'm planning to go again next weekend. I have sheep fever :D Hey, if you go in August, you also have togs to target. Open VA tog season changed from 23 Sep to 1 Aug. (must be the discovery of a good tog fishery)

I just used a tandem rig with clams for the spades, Bill. Dropped it down and waited, but those croakers attacked quickly. Hmmmmmm........I wonder if croakers and toads like c.ball jellyfish. If not, it gives us a better chance at spades. I don't think I ever saw jellyfish at CBBT, or at other places like HRBT and Rudee (yet).

07-09-2012, 09:54 PM
Oh, I've been reading up about catching sheeps. They are very subtle eaters, but there's two ways I learned from experienced anglers. Watch the line to see it circle, then set the hook. Or raise the line up gently until you feel the pull. Continue to pull and either let the fish self-hook or you set the hook. Can't wait to try it.

07-09-2012, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the report! I'll have VB on my radar again in a couple of weeks. Im sure you'll be going...

07-09-2012, 10:32 PM
Looks like fun! I don't miss the drive but definitely the variety of fish. I think I'll be heading that way one of these days to try for some sheeps. I think you'd have more sensitivity if you ditched the top and bottom rig and went to a carolina style rig or even the common tog rig. Carolina rig depending on current would be a 1-4oz egg on main line - bead - swivel - leader - small jig head (1/4-1/2). I think you could use this for sheeps and spades. In SC/NC we always use something like this for sheeps/flounder/whatever. You can drag it or fish it vertical.

07-09-2012, 11:07 PM
That's great news on the Tog.

On a related note, I remember seeing humps and then little dots on the fish finder and they were croakers because I would jig it and catch them just to prove it. When I get close to the pylon,
the FF goes nuts and get tons of noise. Does anyone experience that?

07-10-2012, 08:03 PM
Yeah, my FF goes nuts too when the yak is close to the pilings. That's why I just use it mainly for depth when close in.

Never really heard of that set-up, Mike. With a jighead at the end of the carolina rig? I guess the jighead takes the slack out of the line below the egg. Makes sense. It's worth a try. Anyway, I used the tandem rig (with fiddler and clam) to basically see what's down there.

07-11-2012, 06:27 AM
Can you set the hook with tandem rig (Clam and fiddler) effectively? I found that I don't have arms for that especially using heavy sinker 4+oz. My rod top spped dropped a lot when I tested shrimp and blue crab combo for test.

Anyway, I am planning to hit CBBT area on Sat (July 14th).


07-11-2012, 05:59 PM
I set the hook with the tandem rig just fine, but I did it only on croakers and toads. Have not caught spades or sheeps yet on the tandem rig. I used the tandem because I wanted to use two different baits. Next time I'll use Mike's suggested carolina rig (with jighead). Or maybe I'll use a tog rig (dropper loop attached to a 3-4 inch line with hook). Some of my tog rigs have single hooks and some have double hooks.

So far, the current has not been too bad at CBBT. Seems like the current is not as strong as we approach Summer months. So, you may not need to use heavy sinkers to get the rig down. I used 2 oz, and it was fine. It really helps if you drop the rig just behind the piling where the water flow is near-stagnant. If your rig drifts out of that zone and into the flow, then the current will pull it away. Also, for next time, I plan to not fish so deep for sheeps/spades.

As I recall, you use heavy rod/reel combo. For togs (and other fish that hang around structure), I use a fairly light set-up (9 oz reel on a 5 oz rod; rod is fairly stout to handle heavier sinkers too), so my arms can last 8-12 hours of fishing. I think your combo is well over 20 oz. Go easy on your arms by going to a lighter combo.

I'm planning to go to CBBT on 21 Jul. Hope my schedule works out. Good luck this weekend!