After being pretty nice through most of last week, the wind decided to blow over the weekend. It was a backsliding cool front that hit Hatteras during the day on Friday, moved to Cape Lookout that evening, and had wrapped up the Cape Fear Areas by Saturday morning. To add insult to injury, not only was the wind strong, it was basically an easterly wind and tried to shut down the good fishing that had been going on. We then worked back under a high pressure dome for the early to mid week, but a change is expected before the weekend. Unfortunately, another cool front and associated wind is forecast for this coming weekend. The good news is that it may pass quickly enough that the wind goes back to the south and doesn't really hurt the fishing.
Tony Taylor, the Publisher of Louisiana Sportsman Magazine sent me a message and link to a picture of a huge blue marlin over the weekend. The 1,054.6 pound blue marlin was caught during the Gulf Coast Billfish Classic out of Biloxi, Miss. That information is posted on the fishing reports section of the North Carolina Sportsman Magazine Web Site at www.northcarolinasportsman.com. If any of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament fishermen bring one in that large, there will surely be a big party in Morehead City.
Speaking of the Big Rock---For the 5th consecutive year the total purse will exceed a million dollars. This covers multiple levels of entry and prizes for the largest blue marlin, most billfish release points, first billfish each day, and several gamefish categories. The Ladies Big Rock was held Saturday in less than ideal conditions. Only about half of the 24 boat field ventured offshore in the rough seas. There were no billfish caught, but Michelle Pelesnick, of Raleigh, landed the largest dolphin, Christy Canfield, of Morehead City, landed the largest wahoo, and Suzi McKenzie, of Raleigh, landed the largest tuna. Trust me, these ladies earned their prizes. For more information on the Big Rock Tournament, call 252-247-3575 or visit www.thebigrock.com .
Along the southern NC coast, the king mackerel action has been slowly heating back up. The reports started last Monday, with several large kings from the Oak Island piers and some scattered action at the Cape Fear River Sea Buoy and several nearby rocks. Saturday and Sunday the action picked up a bit, even with the brisk winds. There is also a report of a run along the beach and several of the offshore rocks at Carolina Beach. This increasing activity is just in time for the Greater Wilmington King Mackerel Tournament this weekend. For more information on the tournament, call 910-686-4131 or visit www.gwkmt.com .
In the ocean, Spanish mackerel and dolphin fishing continue to be hot. There are some scattered reports of king mackerel and cobia being caught from the piers. Some rolling tarpon have also been spotted moving along the beaches. Spots, pompano, a few sea mullet and other bottom feeders are in the surf and pier fishing zone. The Brunswick County piers are also reporting catches of speckled trout and flounder.
While the experienced trout fishermen are managing to find a few trout back in the coastal marshes and creeks, the big word there is the puppy drum and some scattered flounder. With the high new moon tides, the drum are already feeding well up into the flooded marsh. An assortment of soft plastics and gold spoons will usually get their attention.
For more in-depth coverage on "how to" and "where to" go fishing along the Carolina coast, check out my articles and more in the North Carolina Sportsman Magazine and visit us on the web at www.northcarolinasportsman.com.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver