With the concerns of tropical storm Colin gone and a five day forecast of sunny skies and warm temperatures, this upcoming week of fishing promises to be productive for all that head on out! That coupled with the fact that beach water temperatures are now about the same as Gulf Stream waters, fishing catches should produce some large fish in close.
But let’s start off on in close from the beach. Surf and pier fishing continues to be very active with catches of spots and sea mullet out of the surf. There have been a lot of pompano mixed in too. Bluefish are getting caught off of bottom rigs, but for the true blue bluefish fishermen and the Spanish mackerel seekers, pier fishing with Sea Striker Gotcha plugs have been working best. Traditionally the Sea Striker Gotcha plug with a red head, white body and gold hooks catches the most fish.
The ever popular Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle reports bluefish and spanish mackerel weighing in up to 3 pounds.
The boat fishermen for Spanish have been using a variety of Clark and Drone spoons to varying levels of success. Fishing around the inlets seems to be best, if not most popular. Bogue Inlet, Beaufort Inlet and around Barden’s Inlet at Cape Lookout, including Cape Lookout shoals have all been productive Spanish mackerel locations. To be honest with you just troll in front of Bogue Banks and Shackleford Banks and you will catch Spanish and bluefish.
Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, a premiere bait and tackle shop in Atlantic Beach, NC reports on a fish that isn’t necessarily the most popular fish sought after, but definitely one of the most fun and difficult to catch-Sheepshead.
“We are starting to see some Sheepshead make their way in now. I remember last year, the Big Rock week was when we had an excellent bite on them and that next week. So, things really should start picking up for the convicts. As for locations, the best area seems to be around the Atlantic Beach Bridge right now. But we’ve seen some from around the Beaufort High Rise Bridge and the Port Wall area also. We are just at the start of the season for these fish so, we’ll see more and more show up as we move into summer. Now, that a few fish are starting to be caught, we do have Live Sea Urchins and Live Fiddler Crabs In-Stock. I’ve been getting some calls about the Sheepshead Jackpot Challenge and yes, we will be having it again this year. It will start on July 1st for anyone that wants to enter.”
Contact Chasin’ Tails Outdoors for more information at (252) 240-FISH (3474).
Even the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries agrees about the sheepshead catches. Last week they stated, “The sheepshead bite seemed to be on in full force. Just about all inshore structures held at least a couple of fish.”
Offshore fishing reports have quieted down a bit this week. Folks are getting geared up and practiced up for the 58th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament which runs from June 10-18. With a winning billfish from this tournament able to produce a million dollar paycheck, folks tend to get tight lipped about catches and locations right before all the action begins. We do know that in recent weeks that blue marlin in the 600-800 pound range have been caught and some released. These are big fish capable of winning any tournament.
With all that said, tuna, dolphin (mahi-mahi) and wahoo are mainstay catches for the offshore fleet. King mackerel are mixed in with these catches too.
If you want to know the area the offshore boats work just take a SE heading out of Beaufort Inlet, run along Cape Lookout Shoals, reach the 90 foot drop area and start trolling until you come to the location known as the Big Rock. This large “rock” sits right on the edge of the 100 fathom drop off. Boats will work this area searching for temperature breaks and weed lines. It is one of the most productive billfish destinations you could ever find.
Puppy drum (redfish), speckled trout and flounder catches are at their early summer level of excellence in “traditional” places like the Middle Marsh, North River Thoroughfare, the Haystacks, up in Carrot Island/Bird Shoals and on up the Newport River. The key to all of these locations are marshes near deep water. But there are many locations that get completely overlooked. If you see a dock or a series of docks right off the ICW, fish it! Places like the Gales Creek bridge and the Broad Creek bridge off Bogue Sound, fish it! Creeks such as Spooner’s Creek and Pelletier Creek all hold fish in and around docks and piers.
Live bait such as finger mullet or tiger minnows are very productive. So is live shrimp but the problem with live shrimp is that everything in water loves them. You can easily go through your entire supply of live shrimp in minutes do to pinfish and other “garbage” fish. A variety of soft plastics with a mix of colors work well too.
We haven’t heard too much about cobia catches of late. We’ve had some stormy conditions that have either prohibited or hampered most fishermen from getting out or being able to catch them. But the traditional places like behind Beaufort Inlet, off of Wade Shores, the rock jetty behind Shackleford Banks, 20 feet plus worth of water off the ICW, within the hook of Cape Lookout and around buoys, wrecks and reefs will all be productive.
Before we let you go, we’ve also been hearing about a fair number of grey trout (weakfish) being jigged up in the Morehead City turning basin. Sheepshead are also found along the NC Port wall as well as some large flounder down on the bottom.
Contact Margaret Hitchcock with Hitchcock Realty at (252) 269-2893 to find your home, condo or townhouse along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina so you can always have a home to fish out of!