Wasn't Memorial Day Weekend some fantastic weather? After all the gloom and doom weather forecasts earlier in the week, the big low stalled out over Cuba and we had the best weekend so far this year. It started getting nice on Thursday afternoon and stayed nice through Monday. Unfortunately it looks like we may pay for it during the middle of this week, but right now I believe it was worth it. The current forecast is for the big low to slowly begin to move our way and bring us lots of rain. As long as there aren't dangerous winds, we welcome the rain. We are already about 5 inches behind for the year and certainly could use it.
Probably the biggest news of the weekend is the potential 105 pound State Record Cobia caught at Hatteras. According to Frisco Rod and Gun, Jesse Dunlow, of Windsor, caught the huge cobia while fishing at Diamond Shoals on Saturday. Once certified by officials at the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, Dunlow's catch will replace the 103 pounder that Tony Moore caught off Emerald Isle pier in 1988.
Congratulations to Captain Jerry Gibson and Captain Jeff Vreugdenhul for winning their respective tournaments during the Swansboro Rotary Memorial Day King Mackerel and Blue Water Tournaments. Gibson and the crew of the G-Force caught a 29.75 pound king mackerel to top that tournament, while Vreugdenhul and the crew of the Reel Love caught a 509 pound blue marlin to top that tournament. The Reel Love is a 28 foot outboard powered boat that had its cockpit full with the big blue. From the time the Reel Love entered the inlet until it backed into the scales, the big marlin created a lot of attention, as it was hanging over both sides of the boat.
Check out these pictures that were sent to me by the tournament.
Farther to the south, Captain Barrett McMullan and the MacMarle'n scored the win in Capt. Brant's Far Out Shoot Out. The Far Out Shoot Out, out of Ocean Isle, is an offshore tournament that is decided by a boat's aggregate weight of 1 dolphin, 1 tuna, and 1 wahoo. The MacMarle'n had a 55.90 pound tuna and a 24.95 pound dolphin for their winning 80.85 pound total.
If it had not been during a tournament, the king mackerel fishermen would have been thrilled with the number of dolphin that they were catching. Unfortunately the king fishing wasn't that good, but the dolphin tried to make up for it. Everyone who left sight of the beach reported catching dolphin. They were not little dolphin either. The average was probably around 15 pounds and there were a few really big bulls.
With the calmer winds, the nearshore waters began clearing up and the surf and pier action warmed back up. Long Beach Pier reported good action with speckled trout and flounder. Most piers had good Spanish mackerel and bluefish catches. The Bogue Banks piers saw some nice sea mullet and Bogue Inlet Pier saw Ricky Kirby deck a 41 pound and 7 ounce cobia. In the surf, at Cape Point in Buxton, there were several runs of trophy red drum and a few cobia.
Inshore, they are still having some good catches of drum in the marshes and creeks along the entire coast. A few gray trout and sea mullet are being caught in the Morehead City Turning basin. The best action in Morehead City is under the light of the high-rise bridges at night. If you can get a bait past the bluefish, the gray trout are waiting underneath them. The hot striper action continues at Manns Harbor and it is also going strong in the Neuse River around New Bern.
For more in-depth coverage on "how to" and "where to" go fishing along the Carolina coast, check out my articles and more in the North Carolina Sportsman Magazine and visit us on the web at www.northcarolinasportsman.com.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver