The past week saw many scattered rain cells along the NC coast. The bad news is that it looks like they will continue for a while. There is serious lightning in some of the storms, so be aware of the storms closing in around you and be prepared to head for shelter.
The weather forecast for this week doesn't currently include any really strong winds, but there is a swell running from the southeast. The winds should vary from southeast to southwest, and stay between 10 and 15 knots through Monday, when they are forecast to increase to 20.
Tarpon are a big thing again in this week's reports. They are all along the coast and in Pamlico Sound. Sportsman's Pier is reporting seeing them roll in the water and it is driving the fishermen bonkers. The fishermen in Pamlico Sound have been reporting numerous hookups daily and averaging landing roughly half of them
Capt. Dave Dietzler, of Morehead City, had a unique story this week of someone catching a bonefish in the Morehead City area using shrimp for bait. While this is extremely unusual, it has happened several times previously and the warmer water temperatures of this year make it easier to believe.
Chris Hollins caught a huge 68 pound king this week from Avon Pier, at Cape Hatteras. Another king fisherman on the pier, Jerry Norton, had kings of 41 and 32 pounds. I wonder how many king tournaments boats will be headed to Hatteras in the next few weeks?
The fishing from area piers hasn't been red hot, but it has been fairly consistent. There has been a mixture of Spanish, flounder, spots, black drum, pompano, sea mullet, and more. Sometimes the fishing at night is better for both the fishermen and the fish.
In inside waters, many flounders are being caught in the inlets, 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.
Some nice puppy drum are being caught as a bycatch of the flounder fishermen. The large red drum have also come to Pamlico Sound. Late afternoon and early evening have been the best times.
In the ocean, flounder fishing is also good at most of the artificial reefs just off the beaches and at many of the nearshore rocks and wrecks.
The king bite heated up some over the weekend and over 110 boats weighed during the King of the Cape Classic in Southport. Congratulations to Capt. Toby Russ on the Mr. Goodhands, who caught a 42 pounder to win the tournament. Many king fishermen are also finding a few dolphin mixed with the kings.
Offshore, dolphin remain the mainstay of the catch, but there was a good billfish bite late last week. The tuna bite remains hottest off Oregon Inlet.
Congratulations also to Capt. Brian Harrington on the Run Off for winning the Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament by releasing two sailfish and a white marlin.
The Pelican, with Capt. Arch Bracher, won the Dare County Boat Builders Challenge by catching (and releasing) 6 white marlin, plus 1 blue marlin and 1 sailfish. The top boat builder was Paul Mann Custom Boats, who totaled 14 white marlin, 2 blue marlin, and 1 sailfish. Congratulations to all.
This weekend's tournaments are the Raleigh Saltwater Sportfishing Club King Mackerel Tournament (919-662-7446) in Atlantic Beach and the Oriental Rotary Tarpon Tournament (252-249-1014) in Oriental.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver