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06-02-03

I wish the weatherman had missed the forecast again this past weekend, but unfortunately he was right. The gale winds came from the south on Saturday afternoon, along with a good scattering of rain, but the really bad weather waited until the cool front arrived on Saturday night. After recording a low-grade tornado a few miles away in Pender County the previous week, the folks in the Murrayville community outside Wilmington were slammed with a fierce microburst storm on Saturday night.

The National Weather Service describes microbursts as powerful downdrafts of wind, usually accompanied by rain, associated with thunderstorms. The one in Murrayville had recorded winds of 80 to 100 MPH and did significant pictures to over 40 homes. The results looked much like a strong tornado. One of the pictures I saw showed a tree limb driven end-first through a wall and sticking out on the inside. Thankfully no one was killed or seriously injured.

The early forecast shows some gusty winds during the middle of the week, but calming down some by the weekend. Let's hope so, we are due for a good weekend on the water.

Once again the big news all along the coast is cobia. There hasn't been another state record, but the number of cobia over 70 pounds is nothing short of fantastic. The cobia action is hot just about everywhere. Try for them inside the inlets, from the ocean piers, and along the nearshore ocean.

The Carteret County Sportfishing Association Cobia Tournament was held last weekend, May 30 to June 1. Beaufort fisherman Jeremy Cannon topped the 31 boat field with an 88.5 pound fish. The next two places were in the 70's and another handful were over 60 pounds. Congratulations to all.

For those cobia fishermen who would like to try their skill in another tournament, the 4th Annual Pirates Cove Cobia Tournament, will be held this weekend, June 6 to 8, from Pirates Cove Marina at Manteo. For more information, call 1-800-422-3610 or visit www.pcbgt.com.

Coastal NC fishing is pretty good, consistent, and maybe even showing a little improvement. Puppy drum are biting in the marshes and creeks and more flounder are showing up, especially in the Carolina Beach and Southport area. Spanish mackerel and bluefish are biting well also.

Fishing from the piers continues to be pretty good. There haven't been any reports of kings for a couple of weeks, but that should change as soon as the weather settles. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel lead the pier bite, but many bottom feeders, including pompano, sea mullet, spots, croakers, and both red and black drum, are around when the conditions are calmer. The reports of speckled trout hitting live shrimp on the Oak Island piers has continued for another week.

Gaffer dolphin have lead the Gulf Stream catches over the past few weeks, but look for that to change. When nearly 200 boats head out after billfish from Morehead City next week, the reports will include a lot more billfish. Most of the billfish will be immediately released. There have been a few reports of dolphin as close as the R8 buoy out of Beaufort and Bardens Inlets. This is a little early for them to be so close in, but no one is complaining.

The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament begins this week with the opening of the headquarters on the Morehead City Waterfront. The tournament begins with the Big Rock Ladies Tournament on Saturday June 7, then switches gears to be regular tournament on Monday June 9. The tournament continues through Saturday, June 14, with daily weigh-ins at the Big Rock Landing on the Morehead City Waterfront. For more information, call 252-247-3575 or visit www.thebigrock.com.

Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

                                      

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