I don't really mind the rain, but the lightning is another matter altogether. In the past week several people along the NC beaches have been struck by lightning. I don't remember hearing of many folks being struck by lightning in the past, but it sure has gotten my attention recently.

I have asked a few times about what preparation could be done if caught on the water during a thunderstorm. The answers were pretty much all good common sense approaches. The first is to seek safe harbor as quickly as is prudent and get off the water. Second is to make yourself as small a target as possible. This includes dropping antennas and outriggers to lower your vertical profile. Third is to turn off all electronics and avoid creating any electrical field that may attract a strike.

The slightly cooler weather that accompanied the thunderstorms has been nice. As much as I enjoy it, I would trade it for hot or cold without the storms. This week's forecast doesn't include any extremely hot weather, but trust me, it will be back before the summer ends. This week's forecast has light winds into the weekend. Hopefully they will stay around through the weekend also.

There are more tarpon in the news again this week. They are all along the coast. There have been numerous hookups reported from the piers, but very few landings. The most unusual tarpon story this week is from Cape Point at Cape Hatteras. One of the surf fishermen there hooked a tarpon and played it for quite a while before it broke off.

Fishing over the past week remained pretty good almost everywhere. Flounder fishing is strong around the inlets and there were also several excellent reports from the piers and in the surf. Inside, many flounders are being caught along the edges of channels and at creek mouths. Live mullet minnows have been the preferred baits, but mud minnows and peanut pogies have also been attracting strikes.

The king bite off the southern NC beaches has slowed just a little in the past week. There are still some kings, but the larger kings have either moved or gotten lockjaw. Capt. Chris Medlin reported a 42 pound king was caught off the Jolly Roger Pier at Topsail. Many nearshore king fishermen are also finding a few dolphin mixed with the kings.

Offshore, dolphin remain the mainstay of the catch. A few more wahoo are being caught in the hot water. One really good spot has been between the end of Lookout Shoals out to the Big Rock. The tuna bite is still hottest from Hatteras northward.

Congratulations to Capt. Brant McMullan and the crew of the Carolina Contender for winning the Boater's World-CCSA King Mackerel Tournament. Their winning king weighed 43 pounds.

Members of the Charlotte Offshore Sportfishing Club claimed the club and individual honors at the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association Club Challenge, held at Oak Island. Andy Fisher claimed the top individual spot in the Flounder Category with a 5 pounder, while Rob Farris topped the king mackerel anglers with a 29 pounder. Congratulations to both of them and to the COSC.

This weekend, there are again three tournaments along the NC Coast. The most important, at least to me is the King of the Cape Classic. The King of the Cape Classic King Mackerel Tournament (910-278-4575) will be held in Southport on July 23 and 24. The Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament (252-276-4423) will be held in Atlantic Beach from July 22 to 24. The Dare County Boat Builders Challenge (800-422-3610) will be held in Manteo from July 23 to 25.

Capt. Jerry Dilsaver


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