05/23/08 — N.C. fishing report

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N.C. fishing report

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 23, 2008 4:29 PM

Northern District

Dare, Hyde, Currituck

& Beaufort Counties

Ocean: Offshore anglers continue to catch plenty of yellow and blackfin tuna. Dolphin, cobia, Atlantic bonito, little tunny, and wahoo have been caught with increased regularity.

A few billfish have been caught.

Mid-range anglers have been pleased with some large-striped bass and red drum being caught -- about two miles offshore from Kitty Hawk southward to the Pea Island area. These fish were caught in a very concentrated area and if you found them a nice catch was almost guaranteed.

Inshore success rates were the most improved this week with very nice catches of spotted seatrout and weakfish. Access to them was tough with most of them being caught in the near-shore surf zone by surf caster. A few bluefish were caught in the same area.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Spotted seatrout, weakfish, and red drum have been most abundant with improved catch rates throughout the region. Seatrout of both types have been caught at Oregon Inlet's Green Island Slough on a regular basis with dawn and dusk yielding the best catches.

Red Drum catches have been best fishing the Roanoke Sound off the Melvin Daniels Bridge and underneath the Washington Baum Bridge opposite of Pirates Cove Marina. Dawn and dusk were the best fishing times.

Piers/Shore: Spotted seatrout and weakfish were caught on a regular basis, with most of them being legal specimens in the 2 1/2- to 3-pound range. Bait or tackle was not a factor as everyone caught them regardless of what they were using or their fishing experience.

Some nice large sea mullet along with bluefish were caught. Anglers also caught silver perch, spot, stingrays, skates, puffers, burrfish and a host of others.

General overview: Success rates continue to improve in all modes of fishing with water temps in the surf throughout the region fluctuating in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Anglers should concentrate their efforts in the early morning and early evening hours as this has been the best time for most all modes of fishing.

Central District

Pamlico, Craven, Carteret

& Onslow Counties

Ocean: Few boats ventured out last week -- the weather did not cooperate. Spanish have been reported near Beaufort Inlet.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Speckled trout can be found in the Newport River. Red Drum are also in the Newport River.

Kayakers are fishing for red drum in the creeks around Bear Island and having great catches. One angler released 11.

Bluefish can be found off the Cape Lookout Shoals and just about everywhere else. They range in size from large Hatteras Blues to small 10-inch fish.

Sea mullet are in the main channel of the Whiteoak River in Swansboro. Spanish have been reported on the Cape Lookout Shoals and near Beaufort Inlet.

Piers/Shore: Sea mullet, perch, bluefish, spots and croaker are being caught along the beaches and on the piers. It has been a slow week.

Southern District

Pender, New Hanover

& Brunswick Counties

Ocean: Offshore fishing has been great when the wind is not blowing. Very nice catches of dolphin along with some wahoo are keeping the charter and pleasure boaters happy when the weather allows for a trip.

Bottom fishing just inshore of the break has been very productive for red groupers of late. Closer to shore there are plenty of king mackerel around. Most ledges in the 10- to 20-mile range that are holding bait have plenty of kings in the 8- to 10-pound range.

Along with the mackerel there are some nice cobia around as well. Even with the wind, there are lots of Spanish being reported along area beaches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Despite very gusty winds and few anglers, fishing was decent last week. They were some very good catches of flounder coming out of the river. Along with the flounder, were the trout catches with have been good all year.

Live shrimp and shrimp imitation lures such as D.O.A shrimp are catching the trout. The flounder are biting live minnows.

Piers/Shore: Weather has slowed fishing but there still are some nice fish being caught. Lots of blues and Spanish are being caught by the pluggers; sea mullet and some very nice pompano by the bottom fisherman; and large blues by the king mackerel fisherman.

I didn't hear of any kings coming off of the area piers last week, but the Oak Island Pier has had a good start to the year so far.