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Gulf Stream March 31st March 31, 2009

imageMother nature finally gave us another fine March day to make it out near to the gulf stream.  The seas were under 2’ with very little wind in the morning but the wind picked up for a choppy ride home.  I went with a friend in his 28’ McKee Craft, very nice boat!  The more popular places like Same Ole and the Nipple were loaded with boats, I counted over 20. The water temperature was 70 degrees with a nice break going to 72 very close to the structure we were fishing. While it wasn’t a fierce bite, they were chewing pretty good out there with some steady catching experienced by many of the boats.

Folks that were trolling caught some nice wahoo, mainly on the deep planers (Old Salty #32) with red/black being a favorite color combination for the day.  There were also some very nice catches of Yellow Fin tuna, most were in the 30-50 pound range and we heard of a couple of black fin tunas being caught too but we didn’t see any of those ourselves.  The jiggers were doing well too.  Lots of nice grouper and some pompano, triggers and of course Amber Jacks.  A reliable source told me of two nice AJ’s over 100 pounds each being caught!  I think we’ll see some pictures of those soon smile 

Overall it was an awesome day with some decent catching going on.  It should just get better and better as the water warms and hopefully the seas will lay out enough for us to go get ‘em!

Posted by Topsail Angler in • Catching ReportsTrip Reports
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Mullet & Blues March 28, 2009

Springtime is here.  So are the sea mullet and bluefish!  A few small blues have been caught on the island’s piers this week, signaling the water has started to warm up a bit.  We also saw a few mullet caught, not in big numbers but a trickle to start the season.  Surf City Ocean Pier opened yesterday and as is the tradition there they gave away a season pass to the pier to the first person to land a Virginia (sea) mullet.  Daniel Lee of Wilmington was the lucky winner by catching the first Virginia mullet of the season at 6:45 a.m.  It won’t be long now till the chopper blues, Spanish Mackerels and my favorite spring time catch, Atlantic Bonito show up just off our coast!

A bit about Virginia Mullet.  In these parts this fish is also called Sea mullet or whiting.  Funny thing is, this fish isn’t in the mullet family at all!  What we commonly call a Virginia or sea mulllet is more properly known as a kingfish. Not to be confused with a a king mackerel which is also often called a kingfish.  The kingfish family has three species that frequent the waters of the western Atlantic.  They are the northern, southern and gulf kingfish.  They are fine eating and can be caught on cut bait or shrimp.  See my wiki entry for more info on this locally popular fish.

Posted by Topsail Angler in • Catching Reports
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Fish Update March 15, 2009

The wind was blowing most of the week so few boats made it off shore.  The ones that did were rewarded with some nice catches of grouper in 100 feet of water and deeper and some nice wahoo where caught by folks trolling along the temperature breaks just west of the Gulf stream.

Inshore the fishing remains slow with some drum being caught in the creeks and some larger ones being caught at the north end of Lea Island from the surf.  I also have heard reports of a few sea mullet (aka: Va. Mullet, kingfish) being caught from the piers on Topsail Island.  It shouldn’t be long though before the blues then Bonito show up with the Spanish right behind.  as they say, stay tuned….........

Posted by Topsail Angler in • ArticlesCatching Reports
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More Pictures from 3/5/09 March 08, 2009

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My buddy Randy just sent me this picture along with several others form our trip on March 5th.  To see all the pictures from that trip, visit my photo album.

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My buddy Randy just sent me this picture along with several others form our trip on March 5th.  To see all the pictures from that trip, visit my photo album.

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Cobia, Grouper and more March 06, 2009

imageThe old adage about March, in like a lion, out like a lamb may be true more often than not.  But on yesterday’s fishing trip the March weather was like a lamb and the fishing ROARED like a lion!  What an awesome day to go fishing.  The winds were less than five knots, there were no seas to speak of and the sun shone bright all day.  It was a little cold, especially on the ride out but tolerable. 

We headed out about 6 am with Rick Croson who operates Living Waters Charters out of Wrightsville Beach.  On board with Rick was Jodie Gay, owner of Blue Water Candy Lures, Randy Durham, owner of NC Angler and myself.  The purpose of today’s trip was to get some HD video footage for a couple of projects Randy is working on (Randy also owns Credence Pictures).  The projects revolve around the jigging technique and highlight the use of Roscoe, Jodie’s newest jigging product.

We headed for the Steeple, a place near the Gulf Stream, about 62 nautical miles from Masonboro inlet.  The water temperature was only around 66 degrees, a little cooler than we had hoped but we could see some great marks on the bottom machine so we dropped our jigs down.  Today we were fishing exclusively with Roscoe jigs.  It wasn’t long before we had the day’s first Amber Jack screaming off line, Jodie pulled him to the boat after a long tough pull (they are nicknamed Reef Donkey for a reason) and then released it.  We estimated it weighed about 70 pounds.  That scene was to be repeated many, many times throughout the day.  Jodie also hooked up a Bull shark that we estimated to weigh about 250 pounds or more. Then Randy hooked up on our first “meat” fish of the day, a nice 25 pound cobia!  That was his first ever cobia!  Then Jodie hooked up on a cobia, this one weighed over 65 pounds!  We were getting wore out by all the AJ’s so we decided to try a different area a few miles away.

imageThat area was alive.  We saw 3 or 4 big turtles and the sonar screen was just plan LIT UP with fish all up and down the water column.  We caught 3 tiger sharks all weighing in the 250 plus range, man what a mouth full of teeth, mean and ugly!  And what a work out on a jigging set-up.  Soon Rick and I both hooked up with cobia, Jodie caught another and then I landed a 55 pounder.  We ended up with our limit of 8 for the day!  Some friends in another boat fishing near us with Roscoes also caught their limit.It seems the cobia really liked the Roscoe jigs.

In between all the cobia, a nice African Pompano was landed and of course plenty of AJ’s and some Almaco Jacks.  We were having a great time but really were hoping for a grouper or two.  But of all the boats out in the area that day we only heard of 2 being caught, seems the grouper just hadn’t been chewing.  Just as we said it’s about time to head for the hill, Jodie hooks up loses and then re-hooks up with what he thinks is a grouper.  A few minutes latter he proves to be right by landing a 41” gag grouper! This is one huge fish and a great way to end the day! 

Roscoe proved to be a real fish producing machine!  Today’s catch on Roscoe rigs included cobia, grouper, amber jacks, almco jacks, and African pompano.  All three colors, pink, blue and brown all caught plenty of fish.  We headed back in calm seas and hit the ramp a little after 7 pm.  What a great way to start of March fishing!

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