CCU has seventh annual fishing seminar this weekend

-A A +A

There is something to be said about Brunswick County’s temperature fluctuations. Throughout January, February and March, the one thing I can make certain to my charter customers is uncertainty. One day it’s 75 degrees with calm winds and the next it’s 40 degrees and blowing 30 knots. Normally these changes induce better or worse fishing patterns, yet sometimes I find myself riding in from offshore thinking, “Why the heck didn’t they bite today?” Of course this question can be asked on any tough day of fishing, but I will admit I find myself asking this question often in these three months of unpredictability.

              January and February are especially bad for building and crushing confidence levels of our area’s fishermen. Delicious wahoo and blackfin tuna are the targeted species this time of year and some anglers will swear these two months have brought their best fishing days of the year. Large dark lures such as a black and purple Iland lure or the popular red and black Blue Water Candy JAG work to entice a strike from a hungry wahoo.

As for the blackfin tuna, one must never forget the classic Green Machine lure pulled behind a Boone Bird. Not only is this combo extremely simple, but it also works when nothing else wants to bite. Thankfully, March normally brings a few more warm, calm days to the mix and will have eager spring Gulf Stream anglers returning to port with their first few mahi-mahi of the season.

Anglers with smaller boats and shortened fuel range should look for king mackerel and false albacore around Frying Pan Tower and well-known spots in 110 feet of water. The southwest tower ledges, Navy Wreck and a few hard bottom areas inshore of the Blackjack Hole are where normally good numbers and quality kingfish that will bite almost anything that resembles a cigar minnow. On a good day, I have caught at least a dozen fish by casting swimming plugs. This method can be extremely entertaining for someone who has never caught a hard-fighting, fast fish by using an artificial lure. The kingfish strike hard and make blistering runs. Most strikes are visual and leave first-timers speechless as the fish skyrocket out of the water to eat bait.

Finally, if king mackerel fishing is not your style of fishing, look no farther than bottom fishing around the same hard bottom areas the king mackerel fishermen are trolling near. Cut bait offerings such as squid, mullet or cigar minnows paired with a two-hook dropper rig are prefect for black sea bass, pinkies and vermilion snapper. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a big, fat, out-of-season grouper either. Grouper prefer engulfing live baits such as menhaden and cigar minnows but chowing down on a piece of cut squid is not uncommon either. Thankfully, bottom fishing is a little bit more reliable than trolling and serves as a perfect backup plan for anglers having a tough time in the Gulf Stream.

As usual, the marine forecast for this upcoming week, Feb. 16-21, is looking bumpy, leaving us fishermen tied up to the dock wondering whether we’ll ever get to go fishing again. However, through the doubt and shivers of our dismal weather patterns there is one definite escape coming Saturday, Feb. 20. The Coastal Carolina Saltwater Fishing Club will have its seventh annual spring seminar at Coastal Carolina’s Brittain Hall, 23 Chanticleer Drive, Conway, S.C. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the seminar starts at 10 a.m.

Presentations will be given by our areas top anglers, including myself, and cover a variety of topics such as bluewater, bottom fishing, king mackerel, inshore/nearshore and fly fishing. Ticket prices are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, which includes one lunch and one raffle ticket entry.

This seminar is great for experienced and inexperienced anglers wishing to learn something new about our area’s fishery. And, who knows, in addition to learning new techniques you may win something during the raffle.

Mark your calendars this Saturday, Feb. 20, for the best-priced, educational fishery around our area.


Capt. Derek Treffingeris an Ocean Isle Fishing Center offshore charter captain, avid angler and duck hunter and business student at UNCW. He can be reached at djt3521@uncw.edu.