It looks like the weatherman missed the call again. This time, however, he missed on the side that was good for us along the entire NC coast. The low pressure system and accompanying gale winds that were forecast for Thursday night through Friday night, plus the rain for all weekend, just never quite developed as predicted. Don't get me wrong, that was a plus, but it sure had many folks altering their plans for the Memorial Day Weekend.
One of the better sights, that many fishermen in the Morehead City and Atlantic beach area were welcomed to, was the ships returning to port carrying the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune. The preparations for the return of these soldiers had been going on for a while. On Sunday, I drove through Camp Lejeune and saw hundreds of signs that were welcoming home husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and friends. My offering to them is very simple and sincere---Welcome home Marines and thank you for a job well done!
The big news all along the coast continues to be cobia. Lewis Boyd of Duck caught the 113 pound cobia that I reported last week. It was 67 inches long and had a girth of 35 inches. Boyd and Bill Hogan were fishing at Diamond Shoals, just offshore of Cape Hatteras. On the same trip, they had 3 other cobia over 70 pounds and released 3 more in the same size range. Congratulations. The Carteret County Sportfishing Association Cobia Tournament is scheduled for this coming weekend, May 30 to June 1. For more information call 252-240-2751 or visit www.clis.com/ccsa.
Another huge catch came on Friday, when Alex Andresen of Hillsboro, landed a 72 pound and 15 ounce black drum from Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle. Andresen subdued the big drum on 14 pound test line and it was first thought to be a potential IGFA Line Class Record. Unfortunately, IGFA does not recognize 14 pound line but goes from 12 to 16 and the 16 Pound Class Record is 91 pounds. It is still a very large fish and Andresen should be proud. Congratulations.
Capt. Chris Medlin, of East Coast Sports in Surf City, called to say the puppy drum were thick in the marshes and creeks behind Topsail Island. Similar reports are coming from all along the coast. The reports are that the inshore flounder are biting well also.
The fishing report from the piers continues to be good. There are small blues spread along the entire length and larger Hatteras blues at the ends. With the lighter winds, the water has cleared and the Spanish mackerel bite has picked up again. There have been good reports of speckled trout hitting live shrimp on the Oak Island piers
Gaffer dolphin continue to lead the Gulf Stream catches over the past week. There have been a few reports of these larger dolphin, a few wahoo, and even one small blue marlin being caught near the 14 buoy off Cape Lookout Shoals.
The 23rd Annual Swansboro Rotary Club Memorial Day Blue Water and King Mackerel Tournaments were held Memorial Day Weekend, May 23 to 25. In spite of a far from ideal weather forecast, that actually became pretty nice, Jimmy Bean, Swansboro, and crew of the Schedule Sea topped the King Mackerel Division with a 28.10 pound king and Marquesas, Atlantic Beach, with Capt. Brian Peele and angler Stephen Bolick, topped the Billfish Division By catching a 518 pound blue marlin and releasing a sailfish. Congratulations
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver