Don't think that we are out of the oppressive heat for the remainder of the summer, but this week is forecast to be a little cooler. If you aren't an early riser, I would like to share with you that it is a great way to work outside and escape the heat for a few hours. You would need to be up and about to appreciate how much cooler it is just after daylight than it is just before dark. Just don't start any power equipment and disturb your neighbors, who might want to sleep in!
This week's forecast has the wind breezing up a bit on Wednesday and Thursday, but settling back out by the weekend. There is even a hint of some northerly winds late in the week. This and the stronger winds are for the central and northern coast, with the winds staying under 15 knots along the southern coast. Usually some cooler temperatures accompany those northerly winds, so they aren't all bad.
There are more tarpon in the news again this week. They are in the nearshore ocean waters all along the coast. There have been numerous hookups reported from the piers, but very few landings. Thankfully most of those landed have been released.
Even the nearshore king and Spanish mackerel fishermen have reported tarpon encounters of the closest kind. Light line will hold a tarpon, if you can let it run long enough to tire itself. However, most releases have been early and unintentional as small treble hooks and lures are no match for a tarpon's power.
In an unusual story that I didn't get until after deadline last week, Robert Cox landed a 30.2 pound barracuda off Sportsman's Pier. This is really close for barracuda, who usually prefer the clean blue water of the Gulf Stream and the eddies near it. However, this isn't a huge surprise as it is the second one off a pier this summer and the water has been unusually warm.
Fishing over the past week has been pretty good almost everywhere. Flounder fishing is strong around the inlets and there were also several excellent reports from the piers and in the surf. Many nice flounder are also being caught along the edges of the Morehead City Turning Basin.
The kings have been biting well off the central and southern NC beaches for a while now. Many king fishermen are also including some dolphin in their catch.
Offshore, dolphin were the mainstay of the catch, with a few more wahoo being caught around the end of Lookout Shoals off Morehead City. The tuna bite is still hottest from Hatteras northward.
Congratulations to James Guthrie and the crew of the Early Times. They caught a 44.70 pound king on Saturday to win the East Coast Got-Em-On Classic King Mackerel Tournament at Carolina Beach.
Congratulations also to John Nesbitt and the crew of the Restitution for winning the Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament. They caught and released a blue marlin and a white marlin to win the event on release points. No marlin were weighed during the tournament.
This weekend, there are three tournaments along the NC Coast. The Capt. Eddy Haneman Sailfish Tournament (910-256-6550) will be held in Wrightsville Beach from July 15 to 17. The Long Bay Artificial Reef Association Club Challenge King Mackerel and Flounder Tournament (910-278-4137) will be held in Oak Island on July 16 and 17. The Carteret County Sportfishing Association/Boater's World King Mackerel Tournament (252-725-4346) will be held in Beaufort from July 16 to 18.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver