First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of reports lately – I’ve been extremely busy fishing – too busy for the computer! I also want to apologize to some folks for leaving your reports out – I lost severals days of photos but if you want to be on the sight, send me some of your own photos and I’ll update the report 😉
Recap – while the king bite slowed last week, it should pick up really fast soon!! With this NE blow – there are mullet all over the beaches and inlets – it’ll be fall before you know it!!! The big spanish bite, however, is RED HOT and should only continue to get better throughout the month. The flounder bite has also been red hot up this way and conditions are prime for some good beaufort-area catches.
September can be a really hit or miss month – if the storms avoid us, expect awesome water conditions and fantastic flounder, king and big spanish fishing. The dolphin are still around and the sailfish sightins should increase!! As it’s typically a slow time for bookings, do not hestitate to call last minute if you decided you want to come fishing!! I also still have lots of OCT/NOV dates available – call now to book your peak date!!! The speck fishing should be out of control this year!!
8/25 – This year I again had the pleasure of fishing with Derek – last year we had a really funny day. Last year, Derek didn’t land a flounder while his nephew, Trevor, slayed them – landing seven keepers with two five pounders! Trevor also fell off the dock at my slip and I had to pull him over the gunnel.
This year, we started off the morning chasing some spanish – the schools were small and moving fast, but if you could get your bait in them – it was automatic. Derek had several double-headers on speck-rigs and they kept a half-dozen before we decided to switch over to flatties.
Today the flounder bite was AUTOMATIC – hits on nearly every cast. In two hours, they landed over 25 fish with 12 beautiful keepers with four fish weighing in at just around 4.5lbs. We also had some good action on the light-line but the cudas quickly finished off our fish slicing several in half right under the hull.
8/9 – This morning I fished a half-day with Dave, Chris and Lauren. Veteren Bay anglers, they wanted a taste of some NC fishing. We started off playing with some picky (and small) spanish in the inlet before we switched over to Flounder and live-lining for big spaniards. The flounder bite was steady but the fish were small today – we threw back a lot of fish and they kept two for dinner. The light-line, however, was very active. On 12lb test we probably had 12 hits and managed to boat a 3lb spaniard, a 5lb 10oz spaniard. With the clear water and bright sun – the mackerel were extremely picky – we would watch 10 big spanish circle our baits without hiting them. What it took was some nifty hooking of the bait and waiting for the sun to go behind the clouds – then we’d get a hook-up.
We finished the day with Dave’s beautiful 15lb king caught on a live-greenie. That fish smoked some serious drag!
8/10 – Went fishing with katie in the afternoon for a few hours – among small kings, ‘cuda and dolphin she landed this gorgeous 22lb king (weighed on the boga and released) that took her 25 minutes to land. For some reason, the picture just does not do it justice – but i promise it was 22lbs!!
8/11, 8/12, 8/13 – Besides slick calm seas, there were some awesome weedlines holding 8-10 miles from the inlet. Katie’s sister, Becky, was visiting from Colorado, so I took off a few days and we trolled the weedlines, catching a lot of nice dolphin. We were averaging probably 12 dolphin an hour with few schools of fish – lots and lots and lots of singles. There were also a lot of bottlenose dolphin in the area – and they would come right over and play beside the boat – you could even hear them talking!
This morning I fished with Chris, his brother and his father. The bite was pretty slow this morning – we had to work pretty hard for our strikes – but when we got them, we made them count. Amidst several boats fishing the Sneads Ferry Tourney, we had a great run and Joe brought in a *CITATION* 30lb king that would have easily been in the money in the tournament!
We picked away at the kings for the day and worked some weedlines with a few hits but few fish.
8/16 – This morning I Fished with Glenn and friends. All of them having already landed NC Marlin, they wanted to try some nearshore stuff this time around. We picked away at the kings in the morning, landed several ncie eating fish and losing some good runs.
Mid morning we switched over to flounder – finding a very hot bite. In a couple hours, we boated close to 20 fish with 9 keepers – the biggest weighing in at just 1oz shy of citation!!!!
The fish of the day was Glenn’s surprise red drum caught while flounder fishing – it measured in right at 33inches and took him almost 15 minutes to land!!
8/17 – I fished with my Dad this afternoon – we took it really easy and started off lookinf for some kings. We caught several decent schoolies (all released), a bunch of little dolphin (all released) and some big houndfish. As the tide slacked, the fish turned off and we went looking for flounder.
I didn’t have a lot of flounder bait this morning – but we made them count. You had to really work for them this morning, but caught a good amount of fish and kept two for dinner (18″ and 21″).
However, what really made the day was my dad’s surprise drum – while flounder fishing with a live goggle eye his rod doubled over and for almost 20 minutes, he battled a beast of fish on 12lb flounder tackle. We were both pretty surprised when he came to the surface – this gorgeous fish measured in at 34.5 inches and weighed a little over 15lbs. He swam away very strong.
8/19 – This morning I had the pleasure of fishing with Fred and his daughter Sara. Sara is 9 and is an absolute fishing fanatic – she’s caught just about everything the sound and nuese has to offer but really wanted to catch a king and dolphin.
The morning was slick calm – too calm for a good bite. Nonetheless, we still landed 6 undersized kings before I decided we needed to pick up and switch tactics. As soon as I got to the new location, I found lots of bait and the fish were soon to follow. After landing several cudas, a shark and some small kings – we found a hot king bite. While cudas finished off half our fish under the boat, Sara managed her first keeper king – a pretty 32″ fish. Soon after, she landed her first dolphin – it was tiny bailer but her first fish nonetheless.
After a big flurry of hits, I jigged up some fresh baits and we got to witness a free-jumping sailfish slash some bait on the surface – I couldn’t get him into the baits but it was still an awesome site!
Right at the end of the day, it was when we hooked into the fish of the day. As I was putting the line out, something slammed the bait three times and a BIG BULL mahi (est. 20-30lbs) came out of the water shaking his head back and forth. I put the belt on sara and gave her the rod – she battled the beast for close to 15 minutes. He made several long runs and never jumped – he just bull-dogged for nearly the entire fight. However, right as we got him near the boat he made a hard run and snapped the 15lb test clean. I was really dissapointed but sara was extatic – she got to see the big, beautiful fish and talked about it the entire ride in!
Sara really made her dad proud today – she fought every fish herself and never lost interest for a moment over the entire day. We need more kids like sara – keep fishing!!
8/20 – This morning I fished with Wright and his son, Wright. We wanted to chase kings and dolphin right off the bat, but, unfortunately, the sea conditions made us switch our plans around. With the full moon, the flounder bite much better in the afternoons – but since it was pretty choppy we decided to do the flounder thing first. Like I said, it wasn’t red hot – but they managed 5 nice keepers with about a dozen landed in a couple hours. As the seas calmed, I pulled the anchor and we went after the bigguns.
I jigged some bait and put the lines out – pretty soon we were getting knockdowns. Right off the bat, we pulled in a nice eating size king before a cuda hit the downrigger and started tail-walking like a sailfish. He wasn’t big – but man can they fight!! We pulled for a bit longer, bringing in a 3lb spanish and pulling off several cuda before we called it a day and headed back to the barn.
The bite wasnt red hot today, but we all had a great time and I’m sure I’ll see you guys again this October or November!
8/21 – Today I had the absolute pleasure of fishing with Jim, his wife Diane and their daughter Caroline (I apologize if I spelled that wrong). The conditions were beautiful and we went out after the bigguns to begin the day. Within thirty minutes, I was jigging up bait in beautiful blue water with a great weedline coming together over some structure.
I had to work to keep the baits away from the cuda and sharks but we landed some nice snake kings and a big spanish right off the bat. Pretty soon we had our first dolphin – a 2-3lb bailer that came off right at the boat. But we kept plugging away, landed another bailer and it was then that we finally hooked a decent mahi – a 8-10lb cow that Caroline expertly brought to the boat before a big ‘cuda bit it off, right behind the gills, at the gunnel. Pretty frustrating. With the bite slowing down, I decided to head off and try to find some more dolphin – pretty soon I found some bait and we had a few bailers in the bait and the starboard line started screaming – 20 minutes later Caroline pumped up a 20lb king from the deep! We picked away at the bites for a little while longer before we decided to head in and do some flounder fishing – on the way in I found some secluded bait, put out a line and immeadiatly hooked up a dolphin that jumped the hooks right away.
Just as I predicted, the flounder bite peaked in the afternoon. The instant our baits hit the bottom, we had flounder grabbing the mullet. In an hour we managed 12 fish with 5 keepers between 17″ and 21″. However, while we were flounder fishing – the big fun was the red hot big spanish bite. I had them busting mullet all around the boat – as they were EXTREMELY leader shy, we had a lot of bite-offs but Caroline still managed a 3lb and a 5.5lb spaniard!!!
Caroline is a Duke hopeful – keep studying (and of course – keep fishing!!). I had a great time and I hope I see y’all come trout season!
8/22 – Fished with David his two sons this morning for a half-day. We started off live-baiting for spanish and kings – we had constant hook-ups and landed several 3-4lb spanish and a bunch of undersized kings.
After the boys tired of that, we switched over to flounder and bottom fishing – David brought in 5 or 6 flatties before we decided to call it a day.
8/23 – Fished this morning withe Mike and his wife, Lauren. A vetern fly angler, Mike had previously booked an inshore trip in MHC – only to experience what many of clients complain about – trolling with tuna tackle for spanish. He wanted to experience some light tackle saltwater fishing, so I started these two off with some big spanish and little kings on 10lb test – we had constant knock-downs, several bite-offs, a few “quick releases” and boated several big spanish and small kings (all released). Lauren’s 5.5lb spanish won the pot today!!
As a thunderstorm started rolling in, we switched over to flounder really quickly – Mike made three casts and landed four fish! As lightening bolts started appearing in the horizon, I punched the throttle down and we raced back to the slip beating the storm by mere seconds.
Great job guys!!!
8/24 – This morning I was honored to fish with Mike and his father – a US Marine Crops Veteran and former holder of the of NC State King Mackerel Record (1958 – 1963 – caught on the old EI pier).
It was a bit choppy with the E/NE wind, so we had to stay close to the beach – I started off the morning srfiting live baits for kings and spaniards – we had many, many knockdowns but simply could not get a fish hooked up. The problem was that the fish were small this morning – and a live mullet or shad was simply a very large mouthful.
After being unable to get a king to the boat, we switched over to flounder – the first few stops produced lizards and toads but we soon came upon a hot bite with my friend Captain Scott Crocker. We landed 7 keepers and probably 15 shorts and had a bite on literally every bait I had in my live-well. They were biting very well but were not all together agressive – some fish we waited for over 2 minutes and still pulled teh baits!! As it started to get choppy, we pulled the anchor and called it a day and headed back to clean some fish.
I hope to see you two again in the fall for some big fall kings!