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Fishing

  • 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.

  • Tripp and Austin's Backwater Battle set for Saturday in Holden Beach

    A fishing tournament will be this weekend on a Brunswick County island with potentially hundreds of dollars in prize money.

    There’s nothing unusual about that, except this tournament was organized by two 8-year-olds.

    The first Tripp and Austin’s Backwater Battle is set from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26. The captain’s meeting will be Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at the Holden Beach Marina.

    Boundaries are from the Little River swing bridge to the Southport waterfront. No ocean fishing is allowed.

  • A whiting by any other name is still a wonderfully tasty panfish

    Now is the time to go fishing for whiting. You can call them whiting, or you can call them sea mullet, Virginia mullet or even kingfish (though I've never actually heard that one used around here).

    Whatever you call them, they are the best thing going in inshore bottom-fishing until the water gets decently warm. Whiting are an early season pier-fishing and surf favorite, and what they lack in size they make up for on the dinner table.

  • Calabash captain and crew win tournament

    Fishermen finally got a reprieve from Mother Nature toward the end of last week as the winds and seas settled. Many of the area’s offshore fishermen, registered for the Martini’s Wahoo Tournament, headed offshore to the edge of the Gulf Stream in search of big wahoo as well as tuna and dolphin.

    Wednesday and Thursday provided fair weather with winds from the Northeast at 10 to 20 knots, and Friday was by far the best weather with flat, calm seas, sunny skies and warm temperatures.

  • Hook A Hoo and Family Day offer fishing enthusiasts entertainment venues

    I feel like I’ve been writing about the great things to come forever. The wind hasn’t stopped blowing in two weeks, and my thermostat switch is worn out from changing between heat and AC.

    I often look back at my fishing report archives I keep online at www.OIFC.com on the fishing report page to see what was going on this time last year.

  • Red drum are fun to catch and eat, but limits must be obeyed

    Last week the state closed all commercial harvest of red drum, a move that will probably last until September when the cap on commercial catches of the fish resets. The way North Carolina tries to manage this very important fish continues to change, and a lot of folks are currently debating the issues surrounding red drum in the state’s committee structure.

    Red drum are the state’s official saltwater fish, and they have always been a symbol of inshore fishing here even though a lot of other Southern states also can claim large red-drum populations.

  • Tandem rig increases your chances, helps identify size of your prey

    Spring anglers often have to contend with instability, from the weather, to which fish will bite on a given day. That is one reason people talk about “runs” of fish, though in all my years I have never seen a fish run. The fish are like the changing weather: here one day, gone the next.