Once again we had a strange weekend along our coast. I was fishing Sunday morning as the fronts rolled through and it was wild. At first, the wind was stiff from the west and it was cloudy and cold. By about noon, the wind had turned to the north, the sun had come out and it was pretty nice. Then, by mid-afternoon the wind had switched to the southeast, the clouds had moved back in and it had gotten cool again, but not quite as cold as in the morning.
Monday and Tuesday look to be good fishing days, but by Wednesday the forecast begins setting us up for another less-than-perfect weekend. The current forecast doesn't go into the weekend, but the wind is forecast to turn to the north sometime Wednesday afternoon or evening and build to around 20 knots for Thursday and Friday. I'm hoping it blows itself out by the weekend, but, with our history over the past month, I'm not too optimistic.
The inshore and nearshore water temperatures keep trying to rise, but these cool fronts are holding them back. Maybe now that we are into May, the weather will settle out some and the water will rise to near normal temperatures.
There were a few large drum caught at the point at Cape Hatteras Saturday evening, but the bite didn't continue into Sunday. Many other fish, such as sea mullet, flounder, bluefish and trout are starting to bite pretty consistently there, so they are hoping the drum get going steadily pretty soon.
The puppy drum bite in the creeks and marshes has been the one thing that has withstood most of our irregular weather. This has been the most consistent inshore fishing over the past few weeks and is still improving.
I heard a few more good speckled trout reports last week and over the weekend. Sunshine and warmer temperatures are the key with the trout. Most are being caught in coastal creeks, but there have been some caught in the Outer Banks surf and a few caught from the piers along Oak Island.
There are also some gray trout being caught along Shackleford Banks and in Bardens Inlet. There were also a few reports from the Morehead City Shipping Channel and Turning Basin over the weekend. It is also about time for some good gray trout catches from Wallace Channel at Ocracoke.
Sea mullet are biting along the entire coast. Most have been caught in the surf, from the piers and in the nearshore ocean. They also moved into the Morehead City Shipping Channel and Turning Basin over the weekend.
There are good reports of bluefish along most of the coast. They are being caught in the surf and from the piers, with some larger ones just offshore for the boat fishermen.
Capt. Stu Caulder sent me pictures late last week of the first Spanish mackerel of the year. They had a good bite Thursday off Wrightsville Beach. Capt. Caulder's charter had several large Spanish
Atlantic bonito are being caught off Ocean Isle, Wrightsville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Ocracoke. These are tasty fish—unlike false albacore, which many people mistakenly call bonito. Do yourself a favor and learn to tell the difference between true bonito and false albacore.
When the weather allows, tuna are still the hot offshore catch. There were a couple of small weather windows last week and the bite was hot. The offshore catch included yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin, king mackerel and a couple of billfish.
The Rebel King Mackerel Pier Fishing Tournament is this weekend from Ocean Crest and Long Beach Piers at Oak Island. For more information, call 910-278-6674 or 5962 or visit www.oceancrestpier.com or www.longbeachpier.com.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver