Something must be wrong! By my calculations, we are coming up on our fourth week of nice weather. Sure we had a day or two of showers and cooler temps almost two weeks ago, but it has been good to excellent weather the majority of the time. Even better, the forecast is for it to be mostly the same through this week. There is a little more wind forecast for the end of the week and the possibilities of showers and thunderstorms, but overall the good weather is continuing.
I got the opportunities to get out and go fishing a few times last week and really enjoyed it. I hope no one tells the boss, but I plan to slide in another day or two this week also.
I know it sounds a little like a broken record, but overall the fishing continues to get better. I don't know about all of you, but that's a song I don't mind hearing repeated endlessly. For water temperatures this morning, Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, Long Beach Pier in Oak Island, and Sportsman's Pier in Atlantic Beach all have it at above 75 degrees. No wonder the fish are here and biting so well.
I managed to get offshore last week as the guest of Skipper Gentry and Christian Bedsworth of Carolina Gentleman Tackle Company, in Morehead City. We were testing some of their Carolina Gentleman lures and rods. Everything worked well and the fish even cooperated. We caught dolphin until we were tired and then headed a little deeper looking for a blue marlin. The marlin didn't cooperate, but it was a great day of fishing, with some great folks, and some lures and rods you should check out.
The dolphin bite continues to get hotter, along with the billfish, plus there are still good numbers of tuna and wahoo.
On another day, I was the guest of Dr. Bill Carr, of the Fishbites Bait Company, on a bottom fishing trip out of Surf City with Captains Larry Lanier and Chris Medlin. Fishbites are a synthetic bait that Dr. Carr developed while studying fish behaviors and reactions. There are inshore and offshore versions, plus cold water and warm water varieties. I am very pleased to report that fish like them. We used small pieces to jig cigar minnows and larger pieces to catch grouper, pink snapper, porgy, grunts, triggerfish, and sea bass. At the end of the day, I talked Dr. Carr into some inshore samples so I could continue experimenting on my own. I believe I have a knack for that kind of research.
The inshore fishing has changed some, but is might even be for the better. There are still some sea mullet, gray trout, and bluefish in the deeper water between the State Port Docks and Beaufort Inlet. There are also lots of nice gray trout at Wallace Channel. In addition, more keeper flounder are showing both inside and along the beaches.
Some speckled trout and red drum are being caught in the creeks and marshes. Look for the trout in the deeper areas and the drum on the flats. A wide variety of soft plastics has been working for both.
The nearshore king mackerel bite continues off the Oak Island piers, plus at Yaupon Reef (AR 425) and McGlammery Reef (AR 420), which are just off the beach there. As of today there have been 35 kings caught on Ocean Crest Pier and 20 on Long Beach Pier. There is plenty of bait along the Oak Island beaches. It should be pretty crowded this weekend, with many folks pre-fishing for the Swansboro Rotary Memorial Day Tournament.
The ocean piers continue to report good catches of sea mullet, spots, Spanish mackerel and blues. The rest of the pier catch includes puffers, gray trout, false albacore, Atlantic bonito, and the occasional keeper flounder.
Cobia have shown up everywhere along the coast. They are spread from Southport to Oregon Inlet, with the hottest action right now coming from around Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver