Hello everyone. I have been gone for a few weeks to Alaska doing some fishing and touristing. It was a great time! Ask me any specifics and I will bore you to tears with stories and pictures. Before the plane ever landed on the trip home, donna looked at me and started talking about "When we go back---" so maybe what I thought was the trip of my lifetime could happen again. If the opportunity to go comes again, I can be packed in very little time. I guess that sort of says it all, doesn't it?

Now, I'll try to get this report and web site back to a current status.

Wouldn't you know that as soon as we look to be settling into a somewhat routine summer weather pattern, something springs up to jeopardize it. The current potential problem is Tropical Storm Bob. While it is very far away as I write this, it is expected to grow to hurricane force before it makes landfall and then curve right towards us and bring some unsettled weather by late in the week. With a little luck, it won't strengthen and will be dissipated by the time its remnants travel this far.

This is the Fourth of July week and our beaches and waterways are extremely crowded. The general weather forecast is for hot and humid, with a chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. When you head out this week, whether you will be on the water or on the roads, please pack a big bag of courtesy and patience. Both will go a long way toward making your and others outings much more enjoyable.

While there have been some slowdowns in the fishing along the NC coast, there are fish biting almost everywhere. Flounder fishing is really taking off almost everywhere. There have been some standout catches scattered about, but the Carolina Beach and lower Cape Fear River areas have really been excelling. Puppy drum are the other hot inshore catch. The reports are good from the Outer Banks to the NC/SC Line.

The piers continue producing good mixed-bag catches. Flounder, pompano, Spanish, and blues are the primary catches. There have been a few kings and cobia. The Oak Island Piers continue to have good runs of large speckled trout early in the mornings. Live shrimp is the bait of choice for these anglers.

Spanish are biting pretty well just off the beaches, with kings from there out to about 100 feet deep. Most of the kings are 10 to 20 pounds. Congratulations to Johnnie Johnson and Harry Fowler for winning the Greater Wilmington Hydra-Sports King Mackerel Tournament this past weekend. Their 36.46 pound king topped the 243 boat field. This weekend's tournament is the Jolly Mon King Classic, from Ocean Isle Beach.

From just out of sight of land to the Gulf Stream, dolphin continue to be the majority of the catch. The exception to this is the boats fishing out of Oregon Inlet and heading north from Hatteras. Here there are still some good catches of yellowfin tuna. This must be influenced by the cooler waters of the Labrador Current moving down the Atlantic Coast. A few wahoo are also scattered in the offshore catch.

Since we have returned, I have received quite a few questions regarding our trip and especially our time in Homer, which claims to be the "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World". I can't verify it as the capital, but the halibut fishing was pretty much a matter of dropping down a bait and holding on. Homer is a small coastal town that I would compare to our NC towns of Manteo, Beaufort, Swansboro, or Southport. A very unique peninsula named Homer Spit extends from town almost 5 miles out into Kachemak Bay. Homer Spit is a narrow body of land that is less than a half-mile wide at its widest point and is less than 20 feet above sea level at its highest point.

Homer Spit very much reminds me of our own Outer Banks at Ocracoke and Hatteras Villages. This is where the harbor, and most of the fishing and tourist related businesses are located. One motel, several campgrounds, and a city and state maintained fishing lagoon, are also on the Spit. We caught lots of fish, felt very comfortable, very welcome, and would recommend Homer as a great destination for a traveling fisherman. Visit www.homeralaska.org to see more.

Once the fishing season has slowed here, you can expect to see an article about our Alaska trip in North Carolina Sportsman Magazine. You can check the magazine out at www.northcarolinasportsman.com.

Capt. Jerry Dilsaver


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