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Weather and fish finally cooperate

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Like Hannibal of “The A-Team” TV show used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Despite Saturday being a bit dreary, the weather and the fish got their acts together on Sunday and Monday and made for a Chamber of Commerce type holiday weekend. Here at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center it was very nice to see so many people visiting and getting on the water. The beaches were packed, the waterway looked like an interstate highway and offshore the calm seas made for great fishing conditions.

The fish did not disappoint either, as the Gulf Stream has turned red hot. Mahi-mahi have been the hot ticket with lots of fish more than 20 pounds. In addition, there are still good numbers of wahoo around. On Monday, I know of at least two blue marlin that were released at local hot spot 100/400. This awesome action will continue off our coast for another month as the mahi peak through May and June.

Closer in, the king mackerel bite finally fired off nearshore. The 390/390 was the hotspot as Capt. Roger aboard the charter boat ShowTime had his limit of kings in the 10- to 15-pound range on a half-day trip. Roger reported his success came while slow trolling dead cigar minnows.

Also, the cobia have started to show up nearshore and are a welcome visitor to fishermen trolling for kings. If you are fishing and see what looks like a giant brown catfish come up behind the boat, that is your cobia.

I suggest carrying a spinning outfit with 20- to 30-pound line. Rig a 2-ounce bucktail jig onto a few feet of 30-pound fluorocarbon and attach to this rod-and- reel outfit. Lastly, tip the jig with either fresh squid or a squid strip imitation. When the cobia shows up, be ready and flip the jig to him. Dance the jig around him and “tease” him. Within seconds, the cobia will jump on the jig and you’ll be hooked up to a big, powerful and tasty gamefish.

Just off the beach, the Spanish mackerel bite has been as hot as you want. Fishing friend Mike Edge spent Monday trolling with some friends between the Ocean Isle pier and the 392 ledge and he reported some of the best Spanish fishing he’s ever seen. He was trolling Yozuri swimming plugs and also reported losing what he thought were likely several king mackerel as well.

Randy Lingerfelt of Albemarle trolled up plenty of Spanish while fishing off the Big Hill on Long Beach on Sunday. He also set a dead cigar minnow long just in case a king was around and was rewarded with an awesome 32-pound king.

As you can see, the fishing really took off this weekend. The weather is forecast to be very stable all week and that will lead to even better fishing, as the fish are able to settle into their preferred patterns. I look for more king mackerel action in the 50- to 65-foot depth range as well as continued great Spanish fishing nearshore and mahi fishing offshore.

BRANT McMULLAN is a charter captain and fishing columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at captbrant@oifishingcenter.com.