Once again we had a fairly nice day on last Saturday but the weather turned for the worse on Sunday. Some of the larger boats ran Sunday and early Monday, but then the winds breezed to the point that even the larger boats stayed home. Early this week, it has been partly cloudy to cloudy and very muggy. Hopefully this will be enough to keep the water temperatures from falling again. The inshore temperatures got back into the 60's last week and weekend and will make for some good fishing as they continue to rise. If the winds will fall out, Sunday looks possible but Saturday still a bit stiff. Then, the weather changes so fast this time of year, that we could have a great weekend all around.
Inshore fishing has been a bit irregular along the NC coast. On the southern end, near Southport and Wrightsville Beach, the speckled trout fishing has slowed a bit. However, back up some of the smaller creeks, there have been scattered schools of red drum. These schools have been a bit hard to locate but had good numbers of hungry fish, to reward your effort. The drum have been well back up in the creeks and often required poling, rather than running the motor, to get there.
In the central part of the state, the large trout have slowed down and so have the drum. There have been some scattered smaller trout and a few drum. Farther to the north, around Manteo and Manns Harbor, there have been enough hungry stripers around to keep fishermen smiling. Favorite spots have been around the bridges. Speaking of stripers, the annual run up the Roanoke River is just getting going. The next several weeks in the Weldon area, will produce many fishing days that are the stuff a fisherman's dreams are made of.
Surf and Pier
Until the southwest wind blew the surf up so much, the pier fishing was getting better almost daily. Most of the piers are open and several are rushing their repairs to get open. Sea mullet (whiting), bluefish, the occasional gray or speckled trout, a few black drum, blowfish, and chinese flounder (a new nickname that I just heard for skates) are making up the bulk of the catch. With this rough surf, it may take a few days for the surf to calm back into a fishable condition.
Cape Point, at Buxton, has been the site of some good excitement for a few nights. It started Saturday has lasted for a few days in spite of the heavy surf. This has been the location for a good spring run of red drum. In addition to some scattered pups, there has been a nightly run of many drum over 40 inches.
Since the wind switched to the south on Saturday, the only place to try nearshore fishing has been on the easterly facing beaches. These are Carolina Beach, Cape Lookout, and Avon. Before the blow started there were some bluefish and sea mullet around most of the inshore artificial reefs and the atlantic bonito had arrived off Wrightsville. If the wind lays over the weekend, these should be some of the first fish to begin biting.
Over last weekend the kings bit well again in water around 100 feet deep. Frying Pan Tower was a hotspot that is a little shallower than this, but its location, at the end of Frying Pan Shoals, generally makes it fish as though it were significantly deeper. Bottom bouncers also did well with sea bass, grunts, and a few grouper. This area has basically been left untouched during the week, because of the weather. It is far enough offshore that it should fire right back up as soon as the conditions return to fishable.
There were tuna caught all along the coast on Saturday and Sunday. More wahoo, some dolphin, and several billfish were also in the offshore mix. Unfortunately, the weather put the halt to this fishing early in the week. As soon as the weather allows, the offshore fishing should pick right up where it left off. It should also get better for the next several weeks.