Crystal Coast. Who says you need a boat to catch king mackerel? In fact one of the king mackerel catching hot spots is a place you can walk to. No really! It’s at the end of the Bogue Inlet Pier located in Emerald Isle. There have been a multitude of kings caught in the 15 to 20 pound range. And a lot of kings caught in the 20 to 30 pound range. And believe it or not, there have been several kings caught in the 35 pound plus range. All of these kings have been caught during the month of August with king landings happening as frequently as 2, 4 and 6 a day. That is a tremendous amount of activity coming from a static platform. It ought to be real exciting with the Bogue Inlet Pier king mackerel tournament still a few months away!
For you guys and gals with boats, it seems that the Crystal Coast king mackerel hotspot for the trolling crowd has been over on the east side of Cape Lookout around the 1700 Rock and the Atlas tanker. That’s word coming from Captain Joe Shute’s Bait and Tackle in Atlantic Beach.
Spanish mackerel activity has been very good too behind the breakers, the boats trolling inshore and from the piers. Most Spanish catches are mixed in the bluefish catches with gotcha plugs the lure of choice. Most Spanish are in the 1 to 2 pound range. But Spanish mackerel in the 6 pound range have been landed at places like the Bogue Inlet Pier. The larger Spanish tend to be caught off of live bait.
Carteret County Big Red Drum
If you are looking for big red drum then ya’ gotta head north! Fishing off of northern Carteret County in the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound the tradition run and catch of the big 30, 40 and even 50 pound red drum has begun.
Here’s an interesting fact about North Carolina red drum. Several years back I produced a television documentary on these fish. Come to find out that North Carolina drum, more specifically the Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound drum migrate east and west and very rarely north and south. Out of tens of thousands of tagged red drum a miniscule number were ever recaptured north of Virginia or south of South Carolina. Recaptures invariably occurred in the sound or Oceanside of OBX.
Another fascinating fact about big red drum or “bull” drum as they are sometimes called. Their weight can approximate their age. For example a 40 pound red drum is probably close to being 40 years old. Think about as you handle the fish in readiness for a safe handling and quick release.
This time of year presents a real challenge for offshore fishing reporting. The challenge is that it pretty much remains the same thing-Great! Tuna, dolphin and wahoo are the mainstay catches for the Crystal Coast offshore fishing fleet. If the charter has marlin on the mind or billfish for their fishing wish then our captains have no problem accomplishing that goal too. Blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish are being caught and released every day.
Crystal Coast Billfish
Now where to catch to catch these fish? Go grab a nautical grease chart. Draw a straight line between Beaufort Inlet and the Big Rock. You’ll see that for the most part you are running just on the western side of the Cape Lookout Shoals. At the end of the shoals is the 90 foot drop, the Big Rock then the 100 fathom drop. Fish that area. The marlin fishermen will then probably run north or south along that edge.
Back inshore spots, sea mullet, puppy drum, pompano and flounder are all being caught out of the surf. The sounds are producing good catches of flounder and drum too. Don’t be surprised by the number of speckled trout mixed. Most folks think of specs as a fall time fish. But some of the biggest trout I have ever caught has been during the middle of a hot summer’s day.
If ready to make the move to the Crystal Coast then contact Margaret Hitchcock with Hitchcock Realty at (252) 269-2893. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a home, condo, land, lot or a secondary vacation house, Margaret is the experienced Realtor for you. She represents buyers and sellers in Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Swansboro, Newport, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Highway 24 and the Bogue Sound area as well as Down east.