With the exception of a really windy day on Friday and a couple of afternoons with strong sea breezes, our good summer weather continued for another week. The strong winds on Friday were from the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy as it passed well inland of us.
Not that I want to wish that on anyone, but thankfully we didn't have to deal with the fury of Hurricane Dennis. Unfortunately, with four named storms forming already, the forecast for a busy hurricane season is looking to be correct.
The great weather forecast continues through the end of this week and into the weekend. The strongest wind forecast over the next several days is for 10-15 knots. This forecast is usually issued for calm summer conditions and allows for the afternoon sea breeze to build.
I'm hearing more and more reports of a good red drum bite all along the coast. It is also about time for the large red drum to begin coming into the Pamlico Sound. A good spot to look is on the islands and points around the mouth of the Neuse River.
It is also time for the tarpon to arrive in Pamlico Sound. In this area you can fish for tarpon during the day and then look for the large red drum in the late afternoons and evening.
There are also some speckled trout being caught in inside waters along most of the coast. The specks can be really particular at times, but live shrimp can often save the day.
The hot cobia bite has slowed some, but there are a few catches almost daily. The most consistent spot right now is along the Outer Banks from Hatteras Inlet to Oregon Inlet.
Fishermen on the piers and in the surf are still seeing a mixed catch. The surf and pier catch is a combination of gray trout, speckled trout, flounder, red drum, black drum, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano and sea mullet. The hot king bite at the Crystal Coast piers slowed toward the end of last week, but picked up to the south at Oak Island.
A few tarpon were hooked last week at the Topsail Island piers, but there are no reports of one being landed.
There are still enough undersize king mackerel being caught to continue my weekly warning. The easiest way to identify large Spanish and small kings is the fingernail-size black spot at the front edge of the leading dorsal fin. If it has one, it is a Spanish. If not, it is a king.
Do not mistake these small kings for Spanish and keep them. The minimum size for kings is 24 inches and the limit is 3. For Spanish it is 12 inches minimum length and a limit of 15. Mackerel are measured from the tip of the nose to the middle of the fork of the tail
The offshore fishing continues to be excellent if you can dodge all the Sargasso weed in the water. This begins with dolphin from about 15 miles or so on out. Closer to the Gulf Stream, a few tuna are being caught, along with some wahoo.
The billfish bite has been hot for several weeks and this weekend was no exception. Several grand slams were reported by the Pirate's Cove charter fleet. The sailfish bite is quickly moving inshore with the warm water and bait and is just in time for the Capt. Eddy Haneman Sailfish Tournament this weekend.
Congratulations to David Hooks and the Capt. Hook crew for winning the East Coast Got-Em-On Classic this weekend. Congratulations also to Capt. Mike Edwards and the Talkin' Trash crew for winning the Mayport, Fla FLW Kingfish Tournament.
This weekend's tournaments are the Boater's World/Carteret County Sportfishing Association King Mackerel Tournament (252-725-4346) in Atlantic Beach, Capt. Eddy Haneman Sailfish Tournament (910-256-6550) in Wrightsville Beach and the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association Club (Flounder and king mackerel) Challenge (910-278-4137) in Oak Island.