Once again we are looking at a forecast that has the wind building some through the middle of the week, but the long range forecast has it falling back below 15 for the weekend. The fall weather for the past few days has been really nice and looks to be continuing that way. You can expect chilly mornings that warm into the 70's by early afternoon. This is excellent weather for going fishing.
You can tell it is fall simply by the wind direction. It has been mostly from the north for several weeks. This allows us good access along the beaches on the southerly facing beaches, but makes us wait for a break to head east or offshore. This has slowed the small boat fishing some, as they have to wait for good forecasts. The larger boats have been going pretty regularly and when the weather allows, the smaller boats have also found some pretty good fishing offshore
The inshore catch has been a little mixed, but there have been some fish for those who looked around. Spots are still luring the most fishermen, but the bite seems to come and go. The good news is that there are some large ones and the reports are still coming of large spots farther to the north, that are on their way.
The good flounder fishing reports continue also. Some of the best inside flounder reports have come from behind Shackleford Banks. The nearshore artificial reefs and along the ocean beaches are also giving up some nice flounder.
The puppy drum are moving around and have been caught from back in the marshes out to the surf and even a few nearshore rocks and artificial reefs. There are also some big red drum holding around the nearshore ocean rocks and reefs. The king mackerel fishermen are catching them on live baits.
Gray trout are making a showing along the entire coast. Several hotspots have been the ferry channels at Hatteras and Ocracoke, off the Cape Lookout Jetty, the Turning Basin at Morehead City, John's Creek Rock off Masonboro Inlet, and the WOFES off Southport.
The ocean piers had another pretty good week. The catch included spots, sea mullet, flounder, trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and pompano. The catch and time of the bite seems to vary almost daily. It would be wise to call your favorite pier and see what they say.
Carolina Beach Inlet is open again after being closed for over a week, after a shrimp boat ran aground, sank, and then broke up.
The king mackerel bite continues to be sub-par. The conditions and bait are good but the fish just aren't here. Not that they have been really hot, but two of the better locations have been around the jetty at Cape Lookout and the Cape Fear River Sea Buoy at Southport.
There has been an absolutely awesome wahoo bite going on offshore. From the Rock Pile off Hatteras to the 100-400 off Southport, the wahoo have been on fire. The charter boats have been consistently catching 10 or more a day. There are also some tuna, both yellowfin and blackfin, mixed in, along with a few dolphin. The yellowfin bite gets stronger from Hatteras to the north.
Congratulations to Capt. Jeff York and the crew of the Trick Z for winning the Fall Brawl King Classic this past weekend. Their winning king weighed 30.15 pounds.
This weekend, the Coral Bay Open King Mackerel Tournament (252-247-6900 or www.coralbaymarina.com) will be held in Morehead City.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver