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Fishing

  • Weather stabilizes and fishing heats up

    Fishing is really getting cranked up. Last week I reported kings and Spanish biting along the beachfront. Immediately following the start of this bite, the weather turned and it blew hard Southwest for nearly a week, keeping fishermen off the water and dirtying the water.
    As I have said many times, the weather is a pendulum and, like politics, when it swings too far one way, it will likely swing back too far the other, rarely reaching a happy medium. Thus last week’s long stint of high winds looks to be followed by this week’s long stint of stable weather.

  • May should be a good month for fishing

    After a vigorous start to the spring fishing season, the bite has slowed a bit for Brunswick County anglers as we get into May. Shifting and unsettled weather patterns, wind and occasionally muddy water have factored into a few slow weeks.
    Still, a respectable number of fish are being caught, including some very big ones. Chopper blues and king mackerel are being landed off of the piers, the inshore flounder bite is still decent and a lot of black drum are prowling around structure inside.

  • Plenty of fish caught inshore

    After a tremendous start to the spring fishing season, the inshore action slowed down a little bit over the last few weeks, but there are still plenty of fish being caught. Things are likely to pick up for a big burst in late April and May before the summer heat slows things down again in June.
    Inshore redfish continue to feed but the schools are a bit more dispersed and finding them is not as easy. Also, pinfish and small bluefish have entered the equation, so fishing bait is more of a problem.

  • Now is the time to ‘go catching’

    Having been a fisherman my entire life, and doing it for a living for more than 20 years, I think I can legitimately claim I can “sense” what’s happening on the water. Of all the things I’ve learned about fishing in my life on the water, the most important is to know and understand the changing conditions, and then be able to adapt and adjust.

  • Atlantic sturgeon now a federally endangered species

    Atlantic sturgeon are now a federally endangered species. The National Marine Fisheries Service has published a final rule in the Federal Register listing four distinct population segments of Atlantic sturgeon as endangered and another as threatened. To read the final rule, go to: http://www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/regs/frdoc/12/12AtlSturgeonFR_SER.pdf.
    The Carolina and South Atlantic population segments, both of which are prevalent in North Carolina waters, will be listed as endangered.

  • Fishing the Gulf Stream is an amazing trip

    After weeks of great weather, bring on the holiday week—and sure enough the weather gods step in to mess up most of our plans, including any opportunity to head offshore to fish the Gulf Stream, where big fish are waiting.  
    At the Ocean Isle Fishing Center, we were able to run one trip before the winter winds returned. We found good action around the 100/400 and Blackjack with multiple Wahoo up to 60 pounds and big blackfin tuna up to 25 pounds.

  • It’s time to start the fishing season

    With the amazingly wild warm weather we have had this winter and early spring, it’s hard to declare a start to the fishing season that the weatherman says never closed. Although conditions have been perfect for weeks and the fish have been co-operating, what’s missing are the fishermen.
    I can only imagine the number of baby fish being born because of the lack of fishing pressure; so if there is a silver cloud to the high fuel prices keeping fishermen off the water, maybe that’s it.

  • Here are some mistakes to avoid in catching sea mullet

    The Brunswick County piers are seeing their best run of sea mullet (whiting) since the 1980s, although not many anglers are taking advantage of it and not many of them are doing the exact right things.
    I can tell you the sea mullet are there, though, since I spent last weekend catching them until I couldn’t lift my arm and saw other folks having similar results.

  • Feeding station set up at OIFC Reef

    Staff Report

    Last year the N.C. Marine Fisheries designated AR460 (Artificial Reef 460) as OIFC/Jolly Mon Reef in honor and appreciation of the work done by Ocean Isle Fishing Center to enhance and promote the fisheries. (AR460 was established by the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association 3 miles off Ocean Isle Beach.)
    At the presentation ceremony, Capt. Brant McMullan said, “Our goal at OIFC will be to make this the best artificial reef along the coast and we will put our minds to work to come up with a plan to make that happen.”

  • Sea mullet are a dependable panfish

    The early spring Brunswick County pier and surf action has been dominated by the good news of strong sea mullet runs. Last year was a good year for them, too, and with catches of spot and croaker seeming to decline each year, they are rapidly becoming our most dependable panfish.
    Sea mullet, also called whiting or Virginia mullet in North Carolina, are a generally small but delicious fish caught from the northern Atlantic Ocean beaches (where northern anglers call them kingfish) all the way down around into the Gulf of Mexico.