05/22/09 — Fishing report

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Fishing report

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on May 22, 2009 1:46 PM

Northern District

Ocean: Offshore catches remain good, with anglers catching yellow and blackfin tuna, dolphin, greater amberjack, and some very large wahoo. Billfish catches continued to improve, sailfish in particular. Assorted groupers and blueline tilefish were caught out of the Hatteras marinas. Midrange fishing was uneventful and slow, with very few anglers fishing these waters.

Offshore anglers sometimes catch a few king mackerel in the midrange while returning from their Gulfstream trips, but even this was slow this week. Nearshore anglers caught a few spotted seatrout, but not as many as in recent weeks. Catches of other species improved, with moderate-good catches of bluefish in the 7- to 11-pound range. Croaker, kingfish, spot, and assorted others were caught on a regular basis. Access was difficult due to rough seas during the week.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Catches were slow compared to weeks. Sheepshead caught from the Oregon Inlet Bridge were the big exception, and some nice 10-12 pound specimens were caught. Undersize striped bass and flounder were caught in the same area.

Piers/Shore: These anglers did not have to wait for calm seas like the near-shore boaters did and were able to catch plenty of the 7- to 11-pound bluefish that were available. Plenty of kingfish, croaker, spot, pinfish, pigfish, and assorted sharks and rays were also caught.

General Overview: Success rates were moderate-good in all modes when weather permitted. Sea conditions limited anglers somewhat, but catches were good when anglers were able to drop their lines.

Central District

Ocean: It was another week of phenomenal dolphin catches Anglers are catching boatloads of gaffer dolphin, ranging from 15 to 30 pounds.

The billfish bite is definitely picking up, and several charter boats returned with marlin flags flying last week. A blue and a white were both caught mid-week. There have also been some small kings and the occasional wahoo caught

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The water is warming up quickly and the Spanish mackerel fishing is really heating up off the beaches. A few lingering bonito were caught over the weekend, and the big 5- to 10-pound bluefish are still out there.

The cobia fishing paid off this weekend for patient anglers. Cobia ranging from just legal to 60-70 pounds were weighed in over the past few days. A few days of cold, rainy weather may set the fishing back some, but in general we're experiencing great late spring fishing.

Piers/Shore: Anglers are still catching large bluefish, ranging from 5 to 10 pounds. The Spanish bite has been good, especially early in the morning, and will continue to improve. The sea mullet fishing appears to be slowing down, but anglers are still catching plenty of croaker, some nice black drum and a few spots.

Southern District

Ocean: Offshore, last week was as good as it gets for dolphin. Private and charter boats had great catches when the weather permitted. Along with the dolphin there were some nice wahoo and a few blackfin tuna.

Billfish catches are becoming more common over the last couple of weeks. Red, scamp, and gag groupers are biting well in the 40- to 50-mile range.

Closer to shore, there was a decent king mackerel bite at Yaupon reef earlier in the week, but for the most part the fish were on the small size. Spanish mackerel and some big bluefish are being caught by anglers trolling clark spoons along the area beaches. Keep a sharp eye out for cruising cobia this time of year while you are fishing for Spanish.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing has improved. There are reports of some nice flounder starting to show up. Cape Fear River, Carolina Beach Inlet, and Tubbs Inlet are producing some fish. Trout fishing still remains a little slow, but there are some around.

The bays and creeks behind Bald Head Island and the Cape Fear River around Southport have been holding some fish of late. Red drum are holding in the creeks, and can be sight fished when conditions are right.

Piers/Shore: Fishing has improved in this mode as well. Pluggers caught lots of bluefish along with some Spanish mackerel last week. Anglers who were bottom fishing caught sea mullets, pompano, and black drum.

Oak Island piers had a fair week on the king mackerel and large bluefish.

It's time for the speckled trout to start biting on the Brunswick County piers.