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Kids Tournament June 30, 2009

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This Saturday (July 4th), Surf City Pier is having a Children’s Fishing Competition and Celebration.  This event is free and will expose youngsters under the age of 16 to the excitement of fishing in a fun , educational, and safe family oriented environment. 

The event runs from 10am until 2pm with an awards ceremony at 2:30pm.  There will be lots of games and prizes.  Everyone is a winner in this tournament!  The kids and their adult “helper” fish for free during the tournament.

So bring your kids and have some great family fun at Surf City Ocean Pier on Saturday, July 4th!  http://www.surfcityoceanpier.com/

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Topsail fishing report for June 23rd, 2009 June 23, 2009

imageI had the pleasure of fishing with my good friend Gery today. He met me at the house at 6am and we headed for the boat ramp. Took us a little while to net some menhaden (we both took a couple of “practice” throws ) but by 7am we were headed for the inlet. We also had some ballyhoo on board and our goal was to find some more of those nice dolphin we had been catching the past few weeks. We also wanted to be in the “game” if a sail showed up as a few have been reported inside of 20 miles lately.

We made a stop at a “usual” spot about 8 miles out and trolled with 2 other boats for a while. we heard from a friend on the radio that had been there earlier that day that not much was happening. So after 45 minutes of trolling with no bites, we headed further out. Soon we had a dolphin on and Gery landed a nice 14 pound cow. A little while latter I landed a 12 pounder. Then the bite went cold.

We moved back inshore to a different spot and just after noon we hooked up another dolphin. Then another, a 16 pound Bull with an attitude - took a while with many runs and jumps for Gery to get this one int he boat! Then a king mackerel. After an hour with no bite, we made our final move and said we would troll the last 1/2 mile to the ledge then call it a day.

We also said we would stop at seven fish, which ever came first. Soon we had our fifth dolphin of the day and just as we arrived at the “spot” we boated our 2nd king. It was time to head for the hill with a pair of grown-up with grins like a child!

Great day on the water Gery, as always I enjoyed fishing with you my brother! The final was five Dolphins: 16, 14, 2 @ 12 and an 8 pounder; 2 kings: an 8 and an 11 pounder.

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Slow bite but more mahi! June 20, 2009

My buddy from Raleigh, Randy and I had another rare opportunity to fish on a Saturday. Today it was a bit choppy and a bit unsettled in the morning but over all a decent day on the ocean. We gathered bait (menhaden) and headed out of the inlet around 7:30.

Our first stop was the first set of box cars. Apparently it was the first stop of 17 other boats, we had lots of company! After an hour of trolling with no bites, not seeing much bait in the water and seeing no one else hooked up, we left. We hit several different spots, all usual haunts for kings this time of year with no luck.

Not wanting to get shut out, we decided to try try the first set of box cars on the way home. Amazingly there was NO ONE else there when we arrived but two other boats did show up after a little while.

We had been trolling for a short few minutes when Randy says, “Fish on the prop wash bait”. I’m stunned cause I didn’t hear the clicker go off nor did the rod bend. I looked out at the bait just after the dolphin ate it. Randy had watched the fish swim into our spread, sniff our bait and chow down! It don’t get any better than that folks, nothing like watching a fish hit that bait right behind the boat. Full living color indeed.

She didn’t fight much at first but then she decided to LEAD the boat, leaping out of the water and passing the bow of our moving boat! After a short fight Randy had her beside the boat and I used my brand new gaff. I now have two on board after last week’s incident, one I bought and one Randy gave me, thanks pal!

Well that got the skunk off the boat. Then we caught three sharks, including a double header. To finish off the day we caught and released a king mackerel.

Enjoyed fishing with you again Randy. Enjoy that fresh fish!

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Video from 6/9 trip June 18, 2009

My buddy Mark had the camera rolling while Taylor fought a fish on last week’s trip.  Mark was vacationing in Surf City and made it home yesterday to Sanford.  So he loaded up the video last night.

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Dolphins & Kings June 13, 2009

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Today I had the pleasure of having my good friend Randy from Raleigh down to fish with me on my boat.  I caught some nice menhaden before he arrived and we headed out of New Topsail inlet around 7:30.  They have been dredging the inlet and it is now in pretty good shape, the buoys were moved also. 

The seas were decent, about 2 feet with a little chop on top.  We went to the first set of box cars and by 8:00 we had our first fish in the boat, a king mackerel.

We lost a couple of more then I boated a nice 14 pound dolphin. We caught a shark and then the reels went quite for a while.

Finally we heard that sweet music from the clicker on the reel and this time Randy boated an 18 pound bull dolphin!  I was using the gaff I have had on the boat for 4 years and we had used on the previous 3 fish that day. As I reached into the water the business end of the gaff just fell off and we watched it sink. Having a small boat, I never put a second gaff on board in order to conserve space. Randy and I were determined to get that dolphin into the boat, gaff or no gaff.

Thus a wrestling match ensued. As you may know, dolphin fish go berserk when something touches their tail or body, so as I grabbed the tail, he exploded in the water. Randy got to fight the fish a little bit more. So the next time I held the leader tight in one hand and grabbed him by the tail with the other. Again he goes berserk and I couldn’t hold onto his slimy, skinny tail. Randy gets to fight the fish a third time. This final time I just decided to reach over with both hands, bear hug the fish and wrestle him into the boat. Mission accomplished!

After a bit of a celebration by Randy and I, the fish played the drum in my fish box for us, we decided it best to borrow a gaff from a nearby friend of mine for any future catches. My wrestle mania was short lived.

Then as we were redeploying the lines, I got a strike as I was putting a bait out. It turned out to be the largest king of the day going just over 12 pounds! We were liking this pattern, king, dolphin, king, dolphin, etc.We ended up with 4 kings and a pair of nice dolphins. Not a bad day at all and no half-a-fish! I lost one of Randy’s kings (would have been #5) at the gaff - knocked the hook right out of his mouth, first time I ever done that…...duh.
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More Mahi! June 09, 2009

imageToday was my friend Taylor’s birthday and he wanted to go fishing so he invited myself and my good friend Mark (Pier Dweller) to go with him in his boat. We decided to troll in the 25 mile range for some dolphin (mahi). It was full moon night which often means the fish quit biting about mid-morning but we wanted to try anyway.

Mark comes down a few times a year and fishes with me while staying at his family place in Surf City. So when Taylor called and said he had a couple openings for today, we changed our plans from fishing on my boat to go with Taylor. I’m glad we did. The weatherman got it wrong on the marine forecast - it was lumpy when they called for smooth but it was manageable. I even stayed dry on the way out but Mark got pretty wet on the right side. Taylor did a great job in keeping us from getting beat up.

As we approached the area we planned to fish we deployed a pair of cedar plugs while still doing about 8 knots for the last few miles. We didn’t get any hits so when we arrived at our destination we pulled those in and deployed a spread of ballyhoo on various rigs all hand crafted and rigged by Taylor. We had a great spread, Taylor does fine work! We had a missed strike then soon after we had our first fish on for the day. I manned the rod and soon had a stinky barracuda at the gunnel. We released him quick before he could totally stink up the place.  A little later I landed our first dolphin of the day, she went about 12 pounds.

Then we got a double strike from the same fish. First he hit our medium short flat line and as Taylor was preparing for the fight he broke off, dropped back, hit our long line on that side and disappeared. We lost the fish but now we are really pumped up! Soon after that we hooked up again but it was a short strike. Mark had the rod in his hand and two coaches beside him feverishly hollering, “drop it back, drop the bait back”. He complied and soon landed our second dolphin of the day.

It was approaching 9 AM and that was to be our last fish of the day despite 3 more hours of fishing. Today the theory of a full moon shuts off the bite by mid morning held true. But we were happy with a pair of very nice mahi in the cooler and a beautiful day on the water with friends! Happy Birthday Taylor! Hope you enjoyed your birthday.

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Offshore 6-2-09 June 03, 2009

Mike with MahiThe weather man was calling for very calm seas yesterday and I had the opportunity to go offshore with my friend Taylor in his boat.  Another friend of his, Tanner, also went with us.  I meet Taylor at 4:15 (o’dark thirty for sure) at his house on Topsail Island.  We loaded the rest of the gear and ice and headed out meeting Tanner at the boat ramp.  We cleared New River Inlet about 5:30 and headed for the vicinity of the Swansboro Hole, 60 nautical miles offshore.

Our intend was to troll for a while and then do some bottom jigging.  We deployed our trolling spread at our first stop and soon after hooked up on a nice dolphin fish.  I pulled her in after quite a nice aerial display, we estimated her at between 12 - 15 pounds.  Right after that we had a knock down but no hook-up.  We saw a weed line and temperature slick nearby so we headed over there.  Nada.  We moved a few miles and hooked up another mahi.

We then trolled for quite a while with nothing.  So we headed fro some nice bottom numbers and started jigging.  Tanner had a nice red grouper sliced in half on the way up by a shark.  Then Tanner boated a nice triggerfish.  It was the biggest I have seen caught so far and weighed in at 7 pounds and 7 ounces, earning him a NC Citation!  We also caught a few red grouper, a strawberry grouper and a few other bottom fish. 
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We decided to move inshore a bit and do some more trolling, hoping to catch a few more mahi and maybe a wahoo or yellowfin.  As I was deploying the prop wash bait I had a fish hit the bait just as I was putting the line into the flat line clip.  I had the monofiliment line across my fingertips and it pulled so hard that it burnt my skin on the fingers - the white, thin marks are very visible but not painful.  I let go and tried get the fish hooked up but never did see what it was.  A short while later the long line snapped off the outrigger and Tanner picked up the rod - it was nice billfish, maybe 7 or 8 feet long.  The fish sailed out of the water several times - I think it was a marlin but not sure if it was a white or a blue marlin.  After a few flights, crashign throught our spread, the fish headed straight for the boat and came unbuttoned.  Game over. 

It was an exciting minute or so and really got our blood pumping.  But that was it for trolling.  Another hour produced no bites so we finshed the day with a little jigging and then headed home.  Great day on the water with some friends and some nice fish in the box.  Hard to beat that!
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