Wow – We finally had a streak of good marine weather. The temperatures were hot but the seas were fairly calm most of the week. As a result there was a lot of catching going on offshore and near shore a like!
Topsail Island’s fishing piers are reporting anglers are taking limits of Spanish on a regular basis most in the mornings before the surface temps get hot. The blues and mullet are still biting and some pompano are being taken. When the water has been clear some nice flounder have been caught as well. The king fisherman have been doing real well too with a few fish topping the 20 pound mark.
Inshore the drum have moved to the marsh banks and around the docks on the ICW. They are hitting topwater plugs, live bait and soft plastics. The New River area is producing some nice speckled trout with live bait working best to land the bigger fish. Some nice black drum have been caught, especially at night. Flounder are being caught too.
Off shore the king bite has been hot and they are likely to show up just about anywhere there is large schools of bait. The best strategy right now seems to be to motor out to ledges look for suspended bait in mid column or on the top and then troll that area. If you don’t see any bait pods, move to another ledge till you do. Mahi are now being caught in 100 feet of water and keep moving closer. As usual look for a nice weed line or other flotsam and fish there.
The grouper bite has been steady with many nice gags and reds being taken in 100’ of water and deeper. A few smaller gag grouper have been reported in closer. Deep water is producing
We had a decent day fishing yesterday but today surpassed it!
My crew backed out at the last minute due to a family matter so I went by myself. While I was alone in the boat, I was with several other friends in their boats, we scout areas and then fish together once we find the fish.
Because I was crewless I decided to skip the bait jigging and just pull dead cigar minnows. I headed out to the last place we fished yesterday about 18 miles out. That was our best area yesterday, we got kings and mahi there. But today I didn’t see the bait pods we marked yesterday and only caught one small
One of the other two boats got on the kings about 9:30 and called the other two of us over. Soon I had filled my limit (3 fish) and continued to fish but released the 2 fish I caught. They were a bit bigger today.
At one time I had two fish on at the same time but the second one got off before I could get the first one in. Great day - back in by 2pm with a total of 5 fish caught, 3 kept and 2 released and one lost fish.
All fish were caught on cigar minnows using Hank Brown rigs. They hit plain, pink and green (only ones I tried). A couple on the down rigger the rest on long and medium long lines.
Man I love this place!
From New Topsail inlet, we headed out at 6:30 this morning and stopped at the first set of box cars to jig up some bait. There were several good sized schools of bait and we had no problem filling our livewell.
First stop for kings was about 14 miles out on some ledges. Caught one 7 pound king but didn’t see much bait and didn’t get another hit after an hour so we headed a little further out. No luck there so we moved north and finally started marking some good bait on the ledges out there. We caught a pair of 8 pound kings, one small dolphin, a 25 pound class Amber Jack and a small shark.
The wind and seas started to really pick up after noon so around 1:30 we headed for the hill.
I had the pleasure of fishing in the first “Bucket Brigade Open” which was held at Surf City Pier this past Saturday. There were about 30 of us fishing in the BBO as we like to call some from as far away as Charlotte.
The BBO started out as a group of anglers from an online web site, NCangler.com, wanting to get together and fish. One thing led to another and soon the BBO was born. It is intended to be an on going event. The idea centered around pier fishing and most of us are actively involved in supporting preserving public access to our public waters. As a result we decided to accept a donation for entry into our BBO bucket decoration contest and donate that money to the NC Public Access Foundation (NCPAF).
NCPAF is a non-profit organization that was formed to help acquire lands to secure public access to our beaches, streams, lakes and other public waters. Rapidly increasing development around waterfronts has resulted in public access to these resources disappearing. They are dedicated to raising money, awareness and public support for preserving access for all! Check out their website at: www.ncpafonline.com
By the way, the name Bucker Brigade was chosen because so many of us that fish carry 5 gallon buckets with us. We had very imaginative entries into our bucket contest but Forrest Loy of Atlantic, NC took the top prize with his “fish surrender” bucket. A standard bucket but adorned with hundreds of hand tied flies and lures. The idea being when a fish sees that bucket, he just surrenders on the spot. Well, it looked great anyway!
The Spanish mackerel and blue fish bite remains extremely strong. Both boaters and pier based anglers have seen times when a “limit” was reached very quickly. Some are saying this is the best year for Spanish they have seen in a decade or more. Early morning and late in the day are the best times.
Inshore fishing is producing catches of flounder, black drum, croaker, red drum, speckled trout and pompano. A good number of kings and some nice cobia are also being caugh. Offshore the dolphin are moving in closer as the water warms. I have seen some excellent catches of grouper and sliver snapper too.
Tight lines to all!