Memorial Day week-end is upon us and it looks like we are going to have some decent weather. So the biggest question I get is “what’s biting?” So time for a fishing report or as I like to call it, a catching report!
The flounder bite has been picking up with some really nice ones being caught near the inlets, creek mouths and even a few off the piers. Live bait is working well of course as is Berkley Gulp! baits on a jig head and other soft plastics. A few specks and some nice slot size drum are also being caught in the back waters.
The Virgina mulllet bite has just about finished up but the pompano have moved in! I’ll take a pomp over a mullet any day. They aren’t biting fast and furious yet but you can catch enough for meal or two if you are patient. Folks are using good quality shrimp and when you can find them their favorite, sand fleas. The Spanish bite continues to be good, especially when you can find nearshore water that is clear. The blues are chopping and a few kings are being caught out in the 15 mile range.
Not much to report offshore as few of us have been able to get out this week with the weather. That should change this week-end so I’ll try to give you an update as I get reports. There will be lots of folks on the water this week-end with the nice weather and the Swansboro King Mackerel Tournament adding to holiday week-end, so be safe and hope you Catch ‘Em Up!
Lately I have had a hankering to try the Carolina Beach area for some doormat sized flounder. Every year we hear about big flounder being caught there. We catch some nice ones here too, don’t get me wrong. Its just that with a couple of tournaments coming up in the next few weeks I thought I’d try that area.
It takes a while to learn a new area, there is lots of water in the CB & Snow’s Cut area. Not to mention the area of the Cape Fear River near Snow’s cut. My buddy from Sneads Ferry, Allen, and I headed out about 8 am and ran the ditch down there. We founds lots of nice looking spots. But we didn’t find lots of fish :( We boated one nice fat Speckled trout and a 15/16 inch flounder at the side of the boat who got off before we could get a net underneath. That was it. But we had fun exploring new areas. Maybe we’ll try again some day, when the grass seems greener again…....
Yesterday I had the privilege of participating as a volunteer in the Wound Warrior fishing event at Seaview Pier at North Topsail Beach. This is the 3rd annual pier fishing event put on for these Amercian Heroes from the Wounded Warrior barracks at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. Each one of these young men were wounded proudly serving our country in Iraq or Afganistan. This event is one of the ways we as a community are using to try to show these guys how much we appreciate them and that they are not forgotten.
This was my second year serving as a volunteer. We had twenty-four marines and three wives. We cut bait, take fish off hooks, show these guys how to use the gear, get their water, whatever they need. They seem somewhat overwhelmed at times by our anxiousness to help them enjoy a day of fishing. Many of them had never been fishing in saltwater and all seemed to have a blast taking a day away from the rigors of the routines of treatments, therapy, medical tests, etc.
But the best part is getting to know these guys. Listening to their stories. Hearing about their love for their country and their dedication to serve it proudly. To a man they all want to go back to the fight once they are recovered. Some will not be able to go because of their injuries but they still want to go. Some will talk more than others about their experiences overseas but from each you can sense their pride, not in themselves but in their country and the Marine Corps role in protecting our country.
They caught a lot of fish yesterday, blues, mullet and a few Spanish. They made a lot of new friends. They warmed the heart of a few old codgers like me. True Heroes are these men, Heroes indeed!
Mike Hall, Jr. of Hampstead caught the new state record Yellowfin Grouper (aka Fireback grouper) jigging off the coast of Topsail Island. Mike is a senior at Topsail High School and was fishing with his dad and David Mason aboard David’s boat the “Knot Kiddin”. He was using the Roscoe Jig from Blue Water Candy Lures.
They had been trolling all day without much luck. They decided to make one last stop and do a little bit of jigging. When Mike pulled up the fish, he knew he had a very nice grouper but had no idea it would beat the world record Yellowfin Grouper by half a pound. They proceeded back to the dock and didn’t even have the fish weighed until the next day.
When they weighed the fish the next day they learned that they had a record setting fish and called the NC Divsision of Marine Fisheries who sent a Biologist over to check the fish and certify it for the record. As it turns out even though the fish beat the world record by 8 ounces, the IGFA rules diswalified it from the record because when the fish was first hooked up the rod was passed to Mike from his dad. IGFA rules require that only one angler can touch the rod for the fish to count as a world record. Mike will hold the state record as NC has no such arcane rule.
On a side note, the new Roscoe Jig from Blue Water Candy now has been used to catch to new state record fish, this grouper and an Amber Jack caught last month. Way to Go ROSCOE!