Poor weather is predicted for the weekend, but that doesn't mean that NC anglers haven't experienced good fishing this past week. Read more to find out how and where anglers are taking fish.
Northern North Carolina Tidal Waters Fishing Reports (Ocracoke Inlet to Surf City)
Overall Summary for the region
Our mildest winter on record has yielded some nice catches with bluefin tuna being caught on a regular basis, including a few trophy sized fish. Yellowfin and blackfin tuna, along with wahoo, dolphin and amberjack were caught with increased regularity over the past few weeks. Billfish catches were few and far between. Midrange activity was low and uneventful with very little to report, with the exception of an occasional striped bass or king mackerel. Near shore activity recently improved with the arrival of the larger bluefish, which were caught in good numbers. Puffers were caught on a regular basis, along with a mixed bag of other species.
Oregon Inlet Fishing Center brings us these reports
4/19/2012 Today we had three offshore boats go out and they returned with sizeable amounts of dolphin, some of them gaffer dolphin, and scattered yellowfin tuna. Tomorrow we look forward to an exciting day of fishing with fifteen boats booked to go offshore.
4/17/2012 A few offshore boats went out today. They came in with catches of yellowfin tuna and a wahoo.
4/16/2012 Two boats went offshore today. Returning with some dolphin and yellowfin tuna
4/15/2012 We did have two offshore boats leave the marina this morning, in spite of the breezy conditions. They just returned with ample catches of yellowfin tuna, a sixty-three pound wahoo and dolphin.
4/14/2012It was a good day for yellowfin tuna fishing today. There were also scattered dolphin caught. We had nearshore boats out as well, and they had sea bass releases.
A modest increase in success rates yielded some nice catches of spotted seatrout in the early morning hours in the Roanoke Sound off the Little Bridge and underneath the Washington Baum Bridge. Oregon Inlet’s Green Island Slough also yielded some nice catches. Anglers fishing around the bridge pilings at Oregon Inlet caught a few sheepshead and black drum on a consistent basis. Manns Harbor anglers managed to catch plenty of striped bass, but most are undersized.
Piers on the Outer Banks are now open for the season with puffers being the most abundant species. Bluefish blitzes occurred on short term occasions allowing the fortunate anglers that happen to be there plenty of action. Red drum, striped bass and croaker were caught with increased regularity, along with other species including kingfish, flounder, weakfish, black drum, pigfish, pinfish, skates and both smooth and spiny dogfish.
Central North Carolina Tidal Waters Fishing Reports (Ocracoke Inlet to Surf City)
Overall Summary for the region
The headboats started the season nicely with large catches of vermilion snapper, spottail pinfish, bank sea bass, white grunt, tomtate, red porgies, black sea bass and the occasional large cobia. The Gulf Stream produced some 20- to 50-pound wahoo, blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, king mackerel and false albacore.
Capt. Joe Shute's Bait and Tackle Report in Atlantic Beach reported on April 19 that
Inshore fishing continues to do well.* Large numbers of bluefish and some Spanish mackerel are being caught around both the Beaufort Inlet and Bardens inlet up at Cape Lookout.* Sea mullet fishing is still doing well both inside the sound and up off*shackleford Banks.* There have been a few Atlantic Bonito showing up around the artificail reefs and the cobia should be showing up any day now due to the warmer water and air temperatures.* The offshore wahoo bite is still good and there are more and more gaffer dolphin starting to show up along*with blackfin and yellowfin tuna.
Lots of sea mullet, northern puffers, bluefish, spotted trout, red drum and some small flounder were landed. Anglers had the best luck with the flounder and trout in the local creeks and sounds using MirrOLures and soft plastics. The mullet and puffer have been hitting cut shrimp or squid fished on the bottom, and the bluefish seem to be hitting anything thrown at them.
The water has been warming steadily since the end of winter, and the fish are starting to respond. Catches from the beach and area piers included bluefish, northern puffers, sea mullet and some spotted seatrout. Cut shrimp seemed to be the go to bait for the bottom feeders, with frozen squid a close second.
Southern North Carolina Tidal Waters Fishing Reports (Surf City to North Carolina line)
Ocean Isle Fishing Center brings us these reports
4/19/2012 Capt. Wally has been catching the mess out of kings a little further out.* He told me today that he caught a 40" 46# king today.* Capt. Jeff Beck said a king was caught at Youpon Pier, always a good sign.* I failed to mention in Capt. William Parker's report, but he found a temp. break near the Cape Fear Rive of 67, or 68, I can't remember, to 70 degrees.* It's all shaping up to be a good king season!
-- Capt. Rickey Beck
4/18/2012 Captain William Parker and his wife Pat headed to the Youpon Reef this morning.* William said when they arrived they saw Spanish busting all over.* They deployed an Alabama Rig with*00 Clark* Spoons a fair distance behind the boat,* All was going well until William called me to say he had a big Spanish and the action was hot.* As soon as he put his mike up the action shut down!* But there is going to be no freezer burn on these fish.* They became tonight's dinner.
-- Capt. Rickey Beck
Overall Summary for the Region
Offshore, wahoo fishing was outstanding with some boats catching upwards to a dozen fish. Dolphin showed up and fishing for them should only improve over the next month. Blackfin tuna and a few sailfish were also caught. Boats bottom fishing a few miles inshore of the break caught grouper, red snapper, hogfish, cobia and vermilion snapper. Note: No possession of shallow water grouper until May 1. Nearshore reefs produced a lot of black sea bass, a few flounder and some over the slot red drum. Note: No possession of black sea bass until June 1.
Inshore anglers targeting red drum and spotted sea trout reported decent catches. The bays and creeks behind Bald Head Island and the tidal creeks around Ocean isle produced the best catches. The sea mullet fishing around the mouth of the Cape Fear River slowed some over the last couple of weeks, but good catches of mullet were reported.
Area piers reported slow fishing. Sea mullets and bluefish were caught in low numbers, along with a few keeper flounder. Shore anglers reported much the same with some good red drum catches along Lee Island.
See you on the water,
Tidal Fish North Carolina Associate Editor