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Named storms can put a damper on offshore fishing

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By Brant McMullan, Fishing Correspondent

It is hard not to feel as if something is not out there conspiring against the world of offshore sport fishing. Fuel prices, government regulations and weather have put a hex on the sport that is driving its participants into extinction.
The most recent blows have come from not one but two named storms that have literally formed within a few miles of our beaches. And, of course, both storms have affected our area over the weekend: the most recent over an important holiday weekend.
It is a tough pill to swallow. But, you have to be stubborn to be a fisherman, and we must push on and hope for better days ahead. What goes up, must come down, right? I’m waiting.
The majority of the wind over the weekend was from the north, which kept boats close to shore but did not keep them out of the ocean all together. Seas were relatively fishable early Saturday and early Sunday, and fishermen spread along the beachfront in search of Spanish mackerel, bluefish and king mackerel. Unfortunately, the waters were a bit dirty due to the large swells, and beyond scattered Spanish mackerel and bluefish, the fishing, honestly, was not the best. I hate to say, but that is the only report, as the weather has kept us inshore all week.
One area of fishing that has been consistently good this season is the inshore flounder and redfish bite. The Ocean Isle Fishing Center guides continue to bring in great catches of both species. There have been more 5-pound flounder weighed thus far this season than all of last year. It speaks well for the fishery and, hopefully, it will continue strong through the summer.
Looking ahead, the Jolly Mon King Classic tournament is not too far off. It is set for June 15-17 the Ocean Isle Fishing Center is the host. The tournament annually pays more than $70,000 in cash prizes to participants and is particularly focused on family involvement in fishing. For details on the Jolly Mon King Classic and entry information, visit www.OIFC.com.
If we can get all this nasty weather out of here, then maybe the kings can move inshore and get into their normal summer routine. I will keep you abreast of their movements.

Brant McMullan, a two-time winner of the SKA national championship, is a charter captain and fishing columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at captbrant@oifishingcenter.com.