Gary Hurley

Southport April 2006

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Capt. Butch, of Yeah Right Charters, reports that he’s looking for the winds to lay out and the gulf stream to “light up.” Off of Oak Island, April is the prime gulf stream month, with most boats targeting yellowfins. The wahoo, dolphin, and blackfins are always nice bonuses.
For the smaller boats that can’t make the run to the gulf stream, the Atlantic bonito should be in any day now. Trolling around the artificial reefs off the beaches would be a good place to start your hunt but not necessarily the only place you will find them. If the AR’s don’t produce, try other spots like Light House Rocks or anywhere birds are diving.
Troll for the bonito like you do for spanish mackerel. Use #1 & #2 planers with #1 and #2 Clark spoons.
Bottom fishing should be good at the closer in spots, like the Shark Hole, 390/390, 15 Mile Rock, 18 Mile Rock, and Light House Rocks.
King fishing has been hot around the Tower (along with bottom fishing action). The average size of the kings has been 8-12 pounds, with some in the 20 lb. class being caught and even an occasional 30 lb. king already being hooked.
The best bet has come from cigar minnows or trolling 3.5 drone spoons.
Capt. Jimmy, of Top Dog Guide Service, reports that getting out of the wind has been hard lately, but when you do the fishing has been good.
Speckled trout are biting up in the creeks, under the Oak Island Bridge, in St. James Marina, and in the old yacht basin. Most are coming on artificials, with a few biting live shrimp under a cork or a peanut pogy on the bottom.
The red drum bite continued to be good through the winter, with some good action right now from Dutchman’s Creek. Most are small, but they’ve already found some over the slot. The reds, like the speckled trout, are coming mostly on artificials.
There are bluefish on Jay Bird Shoals if you want to play around with them.
Virginia mullet have been caught on the mud bar around Caswell Point.
One guy reported a couple of keeper flounder from Lockwood Folly Inlet (most were very small).
And the spanish should be showing up anytime.
Dave, at Ocean Crest Pier, reports most anglers are coming to the pier to catch whiting. Cut shrimp has been the bait of choice, and the better fish are averaging around a pound each. Day catches of 40 to 50 fish are not uncommon for some anglers. Fishing has been best on southerly winds.
A few early flounder have been caught but they are undersized.
A speckled trout was caught, and there should be more roaming in the surf as the water is now around 60 degrees.
A 5 lb. 10 oz. pompano was caught in the surf and weighed in, and that is a good sign fish are making their migration north.
Billie, at Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that a few catches of reds and trout have come in recently. Guys have had some success at St. James Marina and around Davis Creek. Just about everyone’s using artificials.
Whiting are coming off the piers and out of the surf. Go with cut shrimp.
And a few flounder have already been caught (even a few keepers).
Valerie, at Yaupon Pier, reports that whiting and croaker are biting on cut shrimp. They’ve also picked up some small spots on Fishbites and a couple of small blues.