Gary Hurley

Morehead City April 2006

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Joe, at Joe’s Pro Bait and Tackle, reports that inshore the sea mullet bite is the best that it has been in years. The best catches have come from the Coast Guard Station’s side of the no wake zone. Many anglers are anchoring (some illegally in the channel), but this is not the way to catch them. Drifting using spec rigs tipped with bait is the way to go. Fishbites and the new Berkley Gulp artificial bloodworms work well also.
Lots of gray trout are being caught, although most are small. There were some 22-inch class gray trout caught around the Coast Guard Station at night, and the larger gray trout are starting to show around the high-rise bridges at night.
Tons of small speckled trout are in the local creeks, such as Spooners, Broad, etc.
Red drum are in the marshes in good numbers. There are tons of schools above the North River Bridge.
Nearshore, water temperatures are warming up much faster than last year. The bluefish and albacore have already appeared. Albacore were everywhere just outside the inlet last week. Atlantic bonita should be showing up any day now, and the king mackerel are not far behind.
Offshore, good to excellent catches of yellowfin and blackfin tuna have been made from the NE corner of the Big Rock down to Swansboro Hole and at the rise. Fair numbers of wahoo are being caught also.
Capt. Shane, of Second To None Charters, reports that the wind continues to limit the opportunities for getting out, but when you can get out the action has definitely been hot at times.
They’ve been finding yellowfin tuna (many in the 35-40 pound range with some as big as 60 pounds) between the Big Rock and Swansboro Hole. Blue and white has been a productive color in front of medium-sized ballyhoo. Lately the fish have been stacked in around the Rock with king mackerels mixed in the bunch. The wahoos are also cruising the same area, with some in the 50 pound range hitting the fish box this last week.
There have also been some billfish picked up by several of the charter boats. Check out the SST’s before heading out as the wind is pushing the warm water and fish around. This time of year you need to be looking for water temps in the 72 to 74 degree range.
George, at Carolina Bait and Tackle, reports that sea mullet fishing has been fantastic. They’re in the inlet, surf, and by the Fort Macon rock jetties. Go with cut shrimp, and expect the average size to be 14-15 inches.
There have been blues and gray trout mixed in with the sea mullet. There’s also been a couple of flounder already reported, but the fish were small.
J.J., at Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that sea mullet is the best inshore action right now. Try using cut shrimp on a spec rig or on a double bottom rig.
Lots of gray trout are being caught, but they’re all small. The main area for grays has been the inlet or the drop off in the turning basin. Try using Stingsilvers or Deadly Dicks.
One guy reported Hatteras-sized blues off the beach where the Triple S Pier used to be.
Albacore have shown up already. They’ve been at the second buoy out in the shipping channel and around AR315. No bonito reported yet, but there also haven’t been many guys fishing for them because of the wind.
Willis, at Oceanana Pier, reports that the pier has sees some small speckled trout, some sea mullets, and some baby flounder. The specks are mostly under-sized, but there are some keepers mixed in. The sea mullet has been the main action, with cut shrimp as the go to bait. The few flounders hooked so far this year have been 8-9 inches.