Believe it or not, there is no storm currently brewing in the tropics. To be sure, I've checked several times, but right now the only disturbance in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Lisa and it is well past us up in the north Atlantic. This is the first time in two months, that we haven't had a weather situation either happening or on the horizon. It feels real good and I hope we build on it.
Continuing from the end of last week, the weather for the next few days is very possibly the best we have seen in almost two months. It will blow up a little Tuesday, but should quickly settle out and the forecast is for winds of 15 knots or below into the weekend. It hasn't cooled significantly, but the winds are from the north and northeast due to a cold front that backed in over the weekend.
The water hasn't cooled much yet either and is running several degrees warmer than usual. I saw way too much 77 to 79 degree water while fishing the US Open last weekend. It should be about 5 degrees cooler than that by now. The good news is even without the water cooling, our fishing has improved over the past several weeks and it continued again last weekend and into this week. If this front gets the water temperatures to drop a few degrees, the fishing could really go crazy!
The spot catches from the piers have been increasing for a couple of weeks. They are nice spots and pull pretty well when catching doubles and triples. Other species also being caught from the piers include flounder, Spanish, blues, pompano, red and black drum, sea mullet, gray trout, and speckled trout. At the end of last week, the king bite fired up at several piers. The reports included Kure Beach Pier with a pair, Long Beach Pier with three, and Bogue Inlet Pier going one of four.
Spots are biting in inside waters too. Two very busy locations, which are often clogged with boats, are near the Emerald Isle-Cape Carteret Bridge and around Lockwood Folly Inlet. To further complicate things, there is a dredge working at Lockwood Folly Inlet. If you are fishing in a channel, please remember that it is illegal to block the channel and impede the traffic. You should anchor along the channel edge and cast over into it. While they would prefer not to have to, the Coast Guard is monitoring these situations and will write tickets if the situation warrants.
The flounder bite is going well in both inside and nearshore ocean waters. Excellent flounder catches were reported from the artificial reefs from Ocean Isle to Cape Lookout. Take your good tackle too, as there are a fair number of large ones in the mix.
Gray trout are being caught all along the coast. Several premiere locations include Oregon Inlet, the Cape Point surf, Hatteras Inlet, the Ocracoke surf, Ocracoke Inlet, Core Banks, the hook at Cape Lookout, Middle Marshes at Beaufort, and Johns Creek between Masonboro and Carolina Beach Inlets. With all this happening, they should also soon show up at the WOFES and the artificial reefs off Brunswick County.
Speckled trout are also being caught in the deeper holes in the marshes and along the surf. There has also been some action around the bridges near the inlets. This is especially good at night under the lights.
The kings bit well all along the coast from Saturday on. They are scattered along the beaches, as evidenced by the pier catches, but the rocks and wrecks in roughly 60 feet of water are the hot spots.
The offshore bite has been good when the weather cooperates. There have been lots of wahoo in the recent offshore catches. There are also dolphin, a slowly growing number of tuna, and an occasional billfish.
Congratulations to the Capt. Dean Spatholt and the Fish Meister crew for winning the US Open King Mackerel tournament. Their winning fish weighed 41.30 pounds.
This weekend's tournaments are the Nags Head Surf Fishing Tournament (252-441-1670), the Atlantic Beach Surf Fishing Tournament (252-726-6350), the Drum Inlet King Mackerel Tournament (252-225-8741) and the Big Rock Sailfish Challenge (252-247-3575).
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver