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Fishing

  • Giant bluefin tuna season has begun

    I am happy to ring in the New Year with the good news the giant bluefin tuna have finally shown up off our coast.

    The season for this fishery typically starts in December and runs through January. Last season it was very slow off our area, but this season we had our hopes high. Much of the commercial netting of menhaden (giant bluefin tuna’s main food source) has been haulted off the Carolinas, and all indications were there was going to be much more baitfish presence this season.

  • Newer artificial baits luring fisherman

    January is a great time for boat shows and tackle expos, and if you go to one you will see a bewildering selection of lures available for throwing at inshore saltwater fish. The Bass Pro Shop, Dick’s Sporting Goods, our fine local tackle shops and even the better Walmarts carry most of the same artificial choices. All of them work in the right situation, and you shouldn’t be reluctant to try some of the newer models out there gaining fame for their success.

  • Make use of fishing gear you got for Christmas now

    If you are looking to celebrate the New Year by breaking in that fishing gear you got for Christmas, there are still opportunities out there. Water temperatures are a little lower than what they were last year, but that is still warm enough for the area to hold some fish. Quite a few species are still active, with speckled trout topping the list for most winter anglers.

  • Location is key when finding fish in winter

    The weather has alternated between unusually warm and typically cold, but local inshore fishing has settled into its traditional winter pattern. That means fewer people are fishing but some coolers are still being filled.

    For the casual bottom angler and the surf fishermen there are targets out there, though they might not be easy to find. Fish are schooled up tight, meaning it isn’t hard to miss out on them if you are at the wrong spot at the wrong time. Some of them also tend to be more active at certain times of the day and night.

  • If you can stand the cold, you might be able to catch fresh fish

    Plenty of spot are in the waterways of Brunswick County right now, although few people know it. These spot show up every year after the pinfish have left. A lot of folks are unaware they are still around. These are not the bigger ones you might catch in the fall, but the medium-sized silver fish. I caught 40 the other night and could have had all I wanted. They were eaten pretty quickly; fresh fried spot in December are a great treat.

  • Now is good to time to fish black drum

    With cold weather having firmly settled in, inshore anglers are finding the going pretty tough. Unless, of course, they happen to be out looking for black drum, which are around in force and are likely to be the best thing happening until spring arrives.

    Black drum are decent fighters and good to eat, and they hit in local waters virtually year-round. Tolerant to extremes in temperature, even the coldest water doesn’t put them off the bite, which is why they are a popular fish in the winter.

  • Cool weather fishing proves good offshore

    This past week the weather broke for us a few days to get offshore and do some fishing. On Dec. 3, my wife, Amy, brother Barrett and their scuba diving instructor/friend Cameron Sebastian with Coastal Scuba joined me aboard the Carolina Cat for a day of fishing and diving.

    The plan was to run offshore to the edge of the Gulf Stream to try to catch a wahoo or two, then head inshore and do some diving and spear fishing for grouper and maybe find a lobster or two.

  • The fish don’t mind, they’re already wet

    The weather has been anything but stable over the past couple of weeks. There have been a few tolerable days in which fishermen have been able to venture offshore, but for the most part we’ve been relegated to boat maintenance.

    The shame of it is the fishing is actually very good right now. Over this past weekend the Ocean Isle Fishing Center hosted Capt. Kyle’s Thanksgiving Speckled Trout Classic. Despite a cold, soaking rain all day long, participants turned up with good catches of trout. The results were based on the heaviest three fish aggregate:

  • Advice on how to catch red drum during winter

    Cold weather means different things to different anglers. While some folks have put their rods away to wait for spring, others are still out there experiencing great action on schooled-up red drum. These drum, often called redfish, provide year-round sport for shallow-water anglers when other fish have run to warmer climates.

  • The reds are coming, the reds are coming—grab your fishing rod

    With colder water temperatures dictating inshore fishing, local anglers’ focus has fallen primarily on red drum and speckled trout.

    Of the two, redfish are already making a terrific showing while specks are popping up in their usual hit-or-miss style. Meanwhile, black drum are also being caught in many different locations and will probably be available no matter how cold the water gets.