On Monday of this week I had the opportunity to fish with my good friend and missionary, John Shepherd. He is staying in Surf City this week and hasn’t fished in the salty stuff much. So we headed out in the morning before the wind got bad searching for some flounder.
John lives in the foot hills of east Tenn. and enjoys bass and trout fishing, so he applied his techniques for catching small mouths with a C-rigged lizard to flounder fishing with Gulp! and quickly pulled 4 fish to the boat. Two of them were nice keepers. We were fishing around the docks in the Surf City area from my boat. The wind picked up and the bite shut down pretty quickly after that.
I filleted the flounder for John and fixed a crab/shrimp stuffing for the fish so John could cook it later for his wife. I got word from John last night that “the flounder was like a rocket, out of this world”!
Yesterday I finally got to make a fishing trip to the Gulf Stream this month. The weather kept me penned down for a few weeks and then I had some other issues that kept me off the water, so I was ready to do some catching yesterday. My friend Scott Erickson, owner of Century 21 Action Realty in Surf City was kind enough to invite me to go with him and his buddy Tanner aboard his boat the “Reel Dream”.
We met at the high rise bridge boat ramp on Topsail Island before dawn and headed out of New River inlet, when the sun came up over the horizon we were already six miles offshore. The seas were flat so we made great time. We arrived at Gulf Stream to find beautiful blue water. Man this plan was coming together nicely. We put out a five rod spread and started trolling the “break” looking to catch a hoo or two with maybe a nice tuna or dolphin in the mix.
We had two solid hook-ups but both came unbuttoned after a minute or so. It got the blood boiling but that was it. No more bites on the troll. So we switched over to bottom fishing and proceeded to fill the box with tasty bottom critters. Red Grouper, silver snappers, b-liners, grunts, jolt head porgies and trigger fish. I caught one trigger that weighed in at 4.8 pounds, just shy of a citation but tasty just the same. We hit a few grouper holes on the way back in before arriving at the inlet about 10 minutes after sunset.
We had three very large manta rays come right up to the transom of the boat, one was at least 10 feet across. They are wild looking animals with those eyeballs extended out so far in front of their body and those big graceful wings - they look like a space ship or something. They were fun to watch. Tanner hooked up with another Tiger shark, I was just about to take a picture of it int eh water beside the boat when the leader snapped. What a huge shark!
Beautiful day on the ocean with good friends and a box full of fish. No Hoos but no complaints either.
We have had some decent weather the past few days but due to uncontrollable circumstances, I haven’t been able to get out on the water. So I bring you a report from my good friend and sometime fishing partner, Taylor.
Taylor says: “We went out of New River Inlet at dawn and headed off shore. We caught 3 nice cobia and some assorted bottom fish while fishing with John and Doug on 9-12-09 about 29 miles offshore. The Cobia weighed 32lbs, 29.5 lbs and 22.5 lbs. We were using both jigs and natural bait. Two of the Cobia came on jigs, the third on cut bait.”
Today was one of them days, not quite nice enough to enjoy a day of trolling in a small boat but too nice not to go ocean fishing. So when that happens I break out my offshore flounder gear!
I was launching at the boat ramp when I ran into a friend and invited him along. We caught a handful or two of finger mullet and headed for Rich’s inlet. The wind was blowing from the NNE at about 15mph, so we knew it would be a little bumpy on top of those 3 footers that were rolling in.
There was a nice tide line right outside the inlet so we decide to pull some Yo-zuri deep divers for a little while. We managed to catch 2 eating size tailor blues in a few short minutes and decided to head out to our destination a few miles offshore.
We anchored up and threw out a couple of mullet on Carolina rigs, a light line with a cigar minnow and broke out the jigging gear too. Very quickly I brought up an undersized flounder, then my buddy caught something…..... the first glance we got looked like a hammerhead shark but was too “peaceful” in coming to the boat. Soon we realized it was a 4’ barracuda latched onto a 20+ inch flounder! He had the flounder in his mouth side ways so that is why it looked like a hammerhead at first. We measured what was left (no tail or right side of the fish) and there was over 18” so the flounder was at least 20 or 21 inches long. Bummer.
Then the blues started hammering our baits, one more blue found its way to the box. we were getting low on bait by now so we decided to pull anchor and head in and use our last few mullet to try for some red drum. as soon as I threw over the anchor ball, my line gets hit. Up comes a nice 18’ flounder. We decided to use our last couple of baits there. But blues got them so we headed home. The anchor chain broke and we lost the anchor - guess it was time for a new one anyway
It was a quick trip (couple of hours) but was nice to get out for a while and also to fish with Rob - we don’t get many chances to fish together. Now its time to get ready for our club meeting tonight and “debrief” everyone on our KMT.