By From staff reports
Published in Sports on May 8, 2009 1:46 PM
Ocean: Offshore anglers are starting to catch a mixed bag of species after a slow winter. Bluefin tuna catches were fair the last few weeks but the fish have moved northward and catches are now almost non-existent.
Moderate amounts of yellow and blackfin tuna, dolphin, wahoo, greater amberjack, blueline tilefish, and assorted groupers were caught on a regular basis this week.
There were very few billfish catches.
Mid-range fishing was slow, with a few king mackerel, blueline tilefish, and black seabass being caught. Nearshore action was slow to moderate with some nice spotted seatrout catches in the one-mile range, but access has been tough due to rough seas that have limited fishing. Dogfish sharks and skates remain plentiful.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Catches were varied and small, with the exception of some nice spotted seatrout being caught in the early morning hours off the Melvin Daniels bridge and under the Washington Baum bridge. Striped bass catches are somewhat improved but most were undersize.
Piers/Shore: These anglers caught a mixed bag of species with bluefish, spotted seatrout, puffers, kingfish, spot, and endless amounts of rays and skates being caught on a consistent basis. Red drum catches on the beach from Rodanthe southward have improved somewhat.
General overview: Favorable weather conditions have finally allowed anglers to try their luck in most modes of fishing after a brutal winter season of tough conditions.
Ocean: Last week's stretch of beautiful weather gave us the first busy fishing weekend of the season. Offshore catches included plenty of dolphin, amberjack and Hatteras blues.
Citation wahoo were caught over the weekend though fewer wahoo, kings and tuna were seen later in the week. There were reports of a few marlin hookups and a few nice blackfin tuna.
The headboats came back with good catches of gag and red grouper and black seabass. Keep an eye out for other wildlife offshore -- anglers have reported seeing lots of loggerheads and even a few leatherbacks along with curious ocean sunfish or mola-mola.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The Spanish are here!
Anglers caught the first Spanish mackerel of the season around Beaufort, Bogue and New River inlets. Most of the Spanish were small to medium sized, ranging from about 12-18 inches and mixed in with bluefish of all sizes.
Anglers have also reported catching gray trout and tons of small croakers over the weekend. The sea mullet bite seems to have slowed down. Anglers reported catching mostly smaller fish but there were still a few one-pounmd monsters mixed in. Some early cobia were also been spotted.
Please be aware that flounder size limits have changed. The April 2009 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide for Sports Fishermen is available online.
Piers/Shore: The Spanish bite has been good in the morning and evening. The piers are also seeing some great bluefish action, with fish of up to eight pounds reported over the weekend.
Anglers also caught black drum, gray trout and sea mullet.
Ocean: Offshore fishing has been excellent. Dolphin and wahoo are biting well for the stream fisherman. Boats bottom fishing just inshore from the break are catching red, scamp, and some big gag groupers.
Closer to shore, the kings have shown up along the Brunswick county beaches. Yaupon reef saw some nice fish caught there last week along with some cobias. Spanish mackerel were reported along all area beaches.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing has really been a little slow. I have seen and heard of only a few good catches so far and they have come from the Little River rock jetty, where some fish up to eight pounds have been reported. Most fish are being caught on live shrimp on a float rig.
Along with the trout there are some drum, both black and red being caught. There are some trout coming out of the Cape Fear River, but fishing has been slow. Sea mullets are being caught in the mouth of the Cape Fear River, with the incoming tide being the best time to fish.
Piers/Shore: Area piers report some good catches of sea mullets last week. Night time seems to produce the best catches. Spanish mackerel are also being caught when the conditions are right along with bluefish. The first king mackerel of the season was caught last week off an Oak Island pier with the fish weighing 35 pounds.
Surf fishermen are catching blues, sea mullets and a few pompano.
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