The cooler weather of the past few days has been nice. I have been finishing up rigging my new boat and it has been a blessing not to be sweating profusely. The forecast has us warming up toward the end of the week and includes that ever present threat of summer afternoon thunderstorms. No really strong winds are forecast, but the sea breeze can build to 15 knots on almost any afternoon, with dangerous gusts in and around any thunderstorms.

About two weeks ago, lightning from one of these thunderstorms hit a warning siren for the nuclear power plant at Southport and set it off. There were some tense moments for the nearby folks until they were informed of the cause of the siren blast.

If lightning will do this to one of those heavy duty sirens, it can't be good striking a boat. When you see a storm building, it is very wise to get off the water, or at least out of the path of the storm.

The good word from the inside fishermen is increasing numbers of flounder. There are some larger ones too, as the several over 10 pounds from Carolina Beach and Southport will attest. There are also a good number of flounder being caught at the nearshore artificial reefs and hardbottom areas.

While many rigs and baits will work for flounder, a favorite along the entire coast is a 12 to 24 inch Carolina Rig, with a size 2 or 4 Kahle style hook on one end and a swivel on the other. An egg sinker, from to 1 ounces depending on the depth and the current, is used above the swivel, on the line to the reel. The preferred baits are finger mullet, mud minnows, and peanut pogies.

Red drum, black drum, and some scattered speckled trout are also being caught in inside waters. While the catches have been slowing some, there are still a few cobia using the waters inside Ocracoke Inlet and behind Shackleford Banks. Hatteras Inlet was the cobia hotspot this weekend.

The piers reported mixed catches over the weekend. There was a mixture of bottom fish, plus Spanish mackerel and bluefish. A few more kings and cobia were decked from the piers last week, including another cobia and the first king from Bogue Inlet Pier. Congratulations to Brandon Braxton, of Vanceboro, for that 18.1 pound catch.

The offshore catch continues to hold an abundance of various size dolphin, plus some wahoo, tuna, and billfish. Last week, the tuna numbers increased again also. This is always welcome this far into the summer.

The Pirate's Cove Cobia Tournament was held over the weekend in Manteo. Congratulations to Nicke Walker, who won the event with a 49 pound cobia.

This is Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament week in Morehead City. The Big Rock Tournament began on Monday morning and will continue until Saturday. There are numerous ways to win a share of the record purse of almost $1.4 million.

The Ladies Big Rock Tournament was held this past Saturday. The Honey Hush, with Capt. Chuck Lindner, won the event with a blue marlin release by Annette Loftin, of Swansboro. The Honey Hush is the only two-time winner of this ladies-only tournament, having won in 2001, with Michelle Quillen Warren as the angler. Way to go ladies!

The North Carolina Sportsman Monthly Seminar Series will be at MVP Marine in Garner this coming Tuesday evening, June 22. The free seminars will begin at 5:00 PM and include segments on throwing cast nets and king mackerel fishing. Capt. Mike Wells, of MVP Marine and Intimidator Sportfishing Charters, and I will be conducting the sessions. Call 919-662-1888 for more details.

Capt. Jerry Dilsaver


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