Crystal Coast Fishing Report. From Blue Marlin to Bluefish and everything in-between, the fishing along the Crystal Coast and Cape Lookout has rocketed into a fast pace. The beaches, sounds, inshore and offshore catches have all been great. But here’s the good news. It’s just getting started!
Beach water temperatures this past week have been averaging around 64-66 degrees. Just a few degrees warmer and Spanish mackerel will move into the piers and beaches. Sea mullet, which are extremely delicious to eat have been the dominate catch out the surf up until now. But they like cooler waters. As it continues to warm the sea mullet catch will begin to wane. But that’s OK. Bluefish, both the smaller 1-2lb taylor blues and their big brother the 5-10lb Hatteras blues have been filling the void. Mix in black drum, pompano and even albacore and that completes the surf catch from this past week.
Crystal Coast Fishing Report: Blue and White Marlin
We had some gale force winds at the beginning of last week which prohibited the charter fleet from heading out so the fishing report isn’t exactly what it could be. But when they launched off Wednesday the action experienced was well worth the wait. Dolphin catches have been most plentiful with a good catch of wahoo mixed in. Blue marlin are starting to show
The offshore boat, “Sensation Sportfishing” caught “huge white marlin”. We don’t know the exact size because it was all catch and release. But Captain Dale Britt from the Sensation reports on the activity of other Morehead City waterfront charter boats.
“Marlins were in the water yesterday as Delta Dawn caught a Sailfish, Fishing Partner caught one out of three Blue Marlin along with a Sailfish, and Wisher broke off a Blue Marlin and saw another”, reports Captain Britt.
Crystal Coast Fishing Report: Cobia and Albacore
Mid-May isn’t normally thought of as a hot and heavy billfish time along the Crystal Coast. Most inshore and sound fishermen are thinking of cobia. Schools of cobia will move inshore and on the inside to spawn. They can be found in the deeper sections of Bogue Sound, Back Sound, Core Sound, behind Barden’s Inlet and the backside of Beaufort Inlet. The two tactics most used is bottom fishing for them using circle hooks, drum rig with fresh menhaden. The other is sight casting to them with large plastics.
And speaking of sight casting, this past week saw great action sight casting for Albacore. This is another fish that moves in close to shore giving opportunity to a wide range of anglers. Captain Joe Shute of Cape Lookout Fly Shop in Atlantic Beach reports,” The albacore bite is as good as it normally is in the fall. So if you want to get your line stretched, now would be a good time.”
Captain Joe is a master of understatement.
Crystal Coast Fishing Report: Plenty of Bait
This is also the time of year where back creeks and canals get filled up with small menhaden locally called peanuts, finger mullet and the larger jumping mullet. All three make for great live and/or cut baits.
Here are a few secrets to catching these baitfish. Always approach slowly and move carefully when coming up onto a body of water that holds bait. If you can see them then they can see you. Baitfish are always on the lookout for predators like a Heron to pluck them out of the water.
Menhaden swim in large schools but generally stay about a foot or so beneath the water. They are a silvery fish and like to “flip” causing a light reflection that will catch your eye.
Finger mullet tend to swim towards the top of the water. Their “tell” is that they swim like how geese fly-In a V-formation. Look for the V-shaped wake on the surface.
The most obvious give away for a jumping mullet is in the name. No one know exactly why jumping mullet jump but it is not uncommon to see one jump distances of 5-10 feet in a half dozen successions.
You catch these baitfish (as well as other types) using a cast net. A 4-6 feet cast net which when open is 8-12 feet is all you need. One the mistakes people make is getting a cast net too big. Another is getting one too light.
We are only in Mid-May and all types of fishing are doing well. With light winds and cooperating rain the fishing will do nothing but get better.
This fishing report is brought to you by Margaret Hitchcock of Hitchcock Realty. Whether you are buying a home, selling a home or looking for investment property Margaret Hitchcock is eastern North Carolina’s premiere Realtor. She can help guide you in matters of real estate including mortgage lending, home loan, legal, financial, environmental, permits, property management and more
Carteret County, Morehead City, Emerald Isle, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Newport, Swansboro, Harker’s Island, Havelock.