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Nature Title

Bluefish Chesapeake Bay

Considered an excellent sportfish the Bluefish leaps when caught then fights to the end. They generally prefer the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay, however, are common around the mouths of tidal rivers, and along surf beaches and piers. Smaller Bluefish can be found in rivers and brackish water. Adults usually travel in groups and can be quite aggressive when they feed. It's not uncommon to see the surface of the water erupt into a churning froth as a school of Bluefish chase and devour bait fish. Circling Gulls are a good indicator Blue fish are feeding. Casting any lure or bait into the general feeding area will virtually guarantee a strike. Small bluefish can be eaten, large adults are usually released when caught.


Common Names Bluefish, Snappers, Sea Wolf
Scientific Name Pomatomus saltatrix
Average Size 1 - 3 feet
Average Weight 3 - 15 lbs.
Minimum Size Limit* None*
Possession Limit* 10*
Season Mid April - July
October - December
Lure Spoons, tube eels, surface plugs, feathered lures, plastic worms
Bait Cut bait, minnows
World Record 31.8 lbs.
Virginia Record 25.25 lbs. Bluefish Rock, Chesapeake Bay, Gayle E. Cozzens, 1986
Citation Size 16 lbs., Citation for release 36 inches or longer

* All regulations are subject to change throughout the year. Always check with the Virginia Marine Resource Commission for new regulations before you go fishing @ 757-247-2200 or

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