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Fishing

  • Weather and fish finally cooperate

    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.

  • When making your own 'fishfinder' rigs, keep it simple

    You can’t beat the real thing, and right now water temperatures are stirring up all kinds of live critters in the sea for fish to eat.

    There are no sure things in fishing, but live bait is a pretty good way to go if you use a simple rig and know what your target fish is trying to eat.

  • Gulf Stream Mahi bite on fire; Spainhour's crew wins GPS Store Far Out Shoot Out

    History has shown May is the best month to catch Mahi–Mahi offshore our area in the Gulf Stream. Fortunately, it is May. And fortunately, history didn’t forget where it left off last year as the Mahi bite has started out great.

    As of last week, the Mahi, a.k.a. dolphin, started biting strong along the edge of the Gulf Stream some 50-60 miles offshore. Locations such as the 100/400, Black Jack and MacMarle’n hole areas have been producing lots of Mahi, averaging in the 10-15 pound range with some fish upward of 30 pounds.

  • Flounder tournament set for June 13-14

    Brunswick County celebrates a quarter of a century of inshore flounder-tournament fishing when the 25th annual flounder tournament takes place June 13-14.

    The tournament, based out of the Shallotte Point Volunteer Fire Department and with weigh-in at Tripp’s Fishing Center, will have $6,000 in cash and prizes.

    The tournament is sponsored by the Sudan Daredevils of the South Brunswick Islands Shrine Club.

    Entry fee is $75 per boat and includes two free dinner tickets. Entry fee is $25.

  • Variety of plugs target trout and mackerel now on the prowl

    Two of our most sleek and beautiful inshore gamefish are cruising the waters just off the shore right now, and it is a good time to target them.

    Although very different fish, speckled trout and Spanish mackerel share the common traits of being great on the line and great on the table. As a big bonus, both can be caught easily using artificial lures, which is a lot of fun when you get these feisty critters to smack your offering.

  • Pier fishing still has its charm for various groups of anglers

    Fishing piers are a sacred thing to saltwater anglers, and Brunswick County is blessed to still have them in operation.

    Elsewhere on the coast, the piers are disappearing, but here there is still a chance for folks to cast off the planks and maybe fill up a cooler. Many people came to the sport as kids on an ocean pier, and even if you like to take a big boat out to the bluewater these days, it is always nice to get back to your roots.

  • Fishing action heats up with kings

    The fishing has taken a dramatic turn for the better this past week.

    As is typically the case, we fishermen wait and wait, and then finally something/someone throws the switch, and the fish are magically here.

    The fact last week’s weather was stable and warm certainly didn’t hurt, and it offered fishermen a chance to get out and work on the fish.

  • Anglers anxiously awaiting the arrival of near-shore kings

    Now that we’ve broken the hot/cold cycle and spring is working toward summer, the fishing is finally starting to get on track.

    The near-shore waters have warmed to 68 degrees, and the offshore waters are 70-plus degrees. Water temperatures are one of the keys to fish migrations, and king mackerel fishermen out there know what 68 degrees means. That is considered in the optimal temperature range for kings, and it means it will be very soon these hard–fighting and good-eating game fish invade our waters.

  • At last, the linebackers of the fish world have arrived

    They are mean, they are mad, they are hungry, and they are here. So why not go out and catch them?

    The first bluefish of the year have appeared in our local waters, and they are only going to be joined by more. A great many will be smaller blues caught by anglers throwing pencil plugs such as Gotchas out on the deeper ends of the piers, while some will be really big fish landed at the very end of the piers by folks using heavy tackle.

  • Spring fishing heats up; Sauls catches 7.95-pound trout

    Finally, the weather has begun to settle, and water temperatures are on the rise. We’ve been back and forth between winter and spring too long, and I’m hoping we have finally shaken that trend.

    During the past week and a half, the weather has finally stabilized—allowing fishermen to get out on the water. In addition, the warmer air temperatures have helped raise water temperatures, which has spurred the fish into moving and feeding.