BEWARE OF THE HEAT! Beginning on Monday, we will be having a few days this week when the heat index will be over 100. This is serious stuff folks and you need to drink plenty of good fluids, like water and sports drinks, while you are out working or fishing. Some shade and lots of sunscreen are good things too.
If you can find the time, you should be able to go fishing this week. Right now the weather forecast through Friday doesn't have any wind over 10 knots and most of that will be the afternoon sea breeze. It is shaping up to be a week that you will be able to fish anywhere you like.
Last week, I talked about being safe with the heavy July 4th crowds on the water and related a story about a boater that wasn't paying attention. I must be a magnet for these folks. This past Sunday, I was idling by a small boat that was being checked by the Coast Guard and was nearly run over from behind.
I can't imagine what the boat driver was thinking (or in this case obviously not thinking). The Coast Guard boat had its blue light on, was in plain view, and it was obvious they were tied to and boarding the other boat. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard already had a situation they deemed serious enough not to let go and stop the idiots that almost hit us. Seriously, the miss was by less than two feet and they were flying in a situation that called for no-wake.
The big news this week, both figuratively and literally, is tarpon. They are in the nearshore ocean waters from Oak Island to Cape Lookout. There have been numerous sightings, including myself while catching bait off the Oak Island lighthouse early Sunday morning. Doug Leister, of Fort Macon Boat Sales in Morehead City, called Friday to report a huge school off Sportsman's Pier.
Many unsuspecting king mackerel fishermen had their live baits crashed, only to get a couple of jumps out of a fleeing tarpon before the hooks pulled or line broke. Twenty pound test line will hold a tarpon, if you let it run long enough, but size four and six treble hooks are a serious mismatch.
Capt. Jot Owens, of Wrightsville Beach, had seen some tarpon earlier in the week and went fishing Saturday on his day off. He hooked a tarpon off Masonboro Inlet that he fought for over four hours and six miles. Capt. Rick "Rod Man" Bennett was returning from a similar "day-off" trip with his son and transferred to Owens' boat to give him a hand. They finally landed the huge fish and took plenty of pictures and measurements, before releasing it. Several hours later, they found the measurements computed to a fish of over 200 pounds, while the state record is only 164. Congratulations and thanks Captain Jot, for thinking of the fish first. You have your pictures and your memories.
Fishing over the Fourth Weekend was pretty good almost everywhere. Flounder fishing is strong around the inlets and there were excellent reports from the piers and in the surf. The kings bit well and many king fishermen included a few dolphin in their catch. Offshore, dolphin were the mainstay of the catch, but the tuna are still hot from Hatteras northward.
Congratulations to Mike Edwards and the crew of the Talkin' Trash. They caught a 46.65 pound king to win the Jolly Mon King Classic at Ocean Isle.
I will be leading a North Carolina Sportsman Monthly Seminar Series event at the Bass Pro Outdoor World store in Concord on Wednesday evening, July 7. The evening will be divided with an hour session on general king mackerel fishing starting at 6:30 PM and, after a short break, another hour session on tournament tactics for king mackerel.
This weekend the East Coast Got-Em-On King Classic (910-458-3384) is at Carolina Beach and the Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament (910-686-9778) is at Wrightsville Beach.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver