I don't know about all of you, but I am tired of watching a different hurricane very week. Now, for the second week in a row, we are watching the same hurricane for a second week. With Ivan looming so large, did anyone even notice TD 10 popping up so far north and offshore last week? This was even in an area where storms just don't usually develop.
According to the meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center, the problem is the ocean is so warm and full of energy that storms are popping up where they usually wouldn't, storms that should be weak are developing into serious threats, and stronger storms are gathering strength to be awful. There must be something to this-Does anyone remember ever seeing so many category 4 and 5 storms?
While those of us along the N.C. coast escaped the brunt of Hurricane Frances, it still found a way to beat us up as it passed inland. Some heavy seas pounded us during the middle of last week and heavy rains flooded many lower areas in the N.C. mountains. Unfortunately, it appears a similar scenario may be developing for later this week, with Hurricane Ivan.
In spite of the continuous bombardment by nasty weather, there are some bright spots in the fishing report. The ocean water is still warmer than usual for this time of year, but the fall fishing is trying to begin anyway. Last week, Sportsman's Pier, in Atlantic Beach, reported an increasing number of spots, along with pretty good fishing on several other species. This week that spot bite has spread to Bogue Inlet Pier, in Emerald Isle, and several of the piers on Topsail Island.
The flounder bite from the piers has been pretty good all along the coast. Just go in any pierhouse and you will see numerous pictures of smiling fishermen with nice flounder. Other species that are being caught from the piers included Spanish, blues, trout, pompano, red and black drum, sea mullet, gray trout, and even a few early false albacore.
The inshore flounder bite is going strong too. Even in the dirty and rainwater diluted water of the lower Cape Fear River, the flatfish are biting. The Wildlife Bait and Tackle Flounder Tournament was held this weekend and 122 flounder were weighed. Congratulations to Byron Powell for catching the doormat that claimed first prize.
The flounder bite in the ocean had also been strong during the breaks in the nasty sea conditions. When the hurricanes finally decide to leave us alone and the ocean calms out, I expect to hear more good reports from the nearshore artificial reefs and rocks.
In the few days the conditions were good for heading offshore, there has been a respectable bite. In addition to the tuna, dolphin, wahoo, and billfish that are scattered along the N.C. coast, the Oregon Inlet boats are starting to catch some bigeye tuna.
Even though the conditions weren't as good as the early forecast, the king bite turned on fairly well, just in time for the Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament. Congratulations to the Hat Trick, with Captain John Thompson, Steve Walton and Denny Spence. They won the 400 boat tournament with a 57.3 pound king. Their big king also set a new record for the largest king ever caught in this tournament. Congratulations guys!
The Wrightsville Beach King Mackerel Tournament is scheduled for this weekend. The tournament committee has announced they are looking at the weather for the tournament days and are considering postponing it until late October. The forecast (only Friday is available this morning) is for SE to S at 20-25 and gusty, with 5-8 foot seas. The WBKMT committee will meet Monday night. They will post their decision at www.wbkmt.com and I will post it at www.northcarolinasportsman.com.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver