It finally seems like Spring is here to stay, and with it has come a new assortment of fish teeming off our shores. Come Summer, almost a dozen varieties of fish will be available to catch, but starting in May, at least five types will be out in abundance. We here at Seaduction want to give you a heads up about what’s down below.
The Bluefish, as you’d expect from the name, is a long-bodied fish of bluish color that fades along its belly. They typically weigh between one to fifteen pounds, though they can get as fat as forty. With a sharply-forked tail and razor-sharp teeth, they are prime predators. Strong, aggressive, and fast, they hunt in loose groups and continue to attack in frenzies long after they appear to have eaten their fill. This ferociousness strongly contributes to their wide appeal as a recreational game fish, though their bold flavor when cooked is a factor as well. They spend the Winter months down along the warmer coastal waters of Florida but begin migrating northward throughout April; by May, they will have reached the waters of Virginia.
Red and Black Drum
The Red Drum and Black Drum are cousin-species with a more moderate flavor than the aforementioned Bluefish, though Blacks tend to grow much larger, reaching between five to thirty pounds on average. They are both foragers, preferring to rustle up food from the sea floor rather than hunt it down. With rounded teeth and powerful jaws, they can easily crush oysters and other shellfish. When they are distressed or flopping around out of water, they make a drumming sound, hence their name.
Croakers are smaller-bodied cousins of the Drums that typically reach between one to two pounds. Their bodies are mostly silver, often with a faint bronze or golden tint, but their bellies turn a white color that leads up to an underslung chin with three to five protruding barbels. Despire their sometimes-underwhelming size, the Croaker is one of the most versatile fish to cook, as it tastes equally good fried, broiled, or baked.
Trouts have long, slender silver bodies with white bellies and black dots along their sides. Like the Croaker, they also often have an iridescent tint, though theirs tends to be blue. They usually grow between one to four pounds, though specimens have been caught offshore in Virginia that reached up to seventeen pounds. Adult trout voraciously feed on other fish but will eat shrimp and other marine life if necessary. Despite being somewhat bony, their meat is widely regarded as moderate and tasty; however, their most appealing feature as a game fish is the intense fight many of them put up when hooked.
This strange-looking yet good-tasting fish is easy to identify by the fact that it has a flat, round body that is brown on the left side and white on the other. In most subspecies of Flounder, both eyes are located on the left side, and its mouth contains sharp conical teeth. Adult Flounders have the intriguing ability to change their skin complexion in order to camouflage themselves against predators. That camouflage, however, offers no protection against a juicy piece of bait dangling on a line.
Now that you’ve read about what’s out there, book a trip with us and see it for yourself! We are Virginia’s Premier Sportfishing Charter. Contact us at 757 287-4477, and keep an eye on our site for updates about the other half dozen fish soon to arrive in June.