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April 13, 2018

Saltwater Experience 11 Year Old Catches Giant Tarpon

Captain Rich Tudor takes his sons out for some sunset Tarpon fishing using live mullet at the bridges!

Saltwater Experience


Till next time....

Tight lines!


Fisherman's Post Topsail – April 12, 2018

Thanks go to Fisherman's Post for this Topsail Area fishing report.

John Carothers (age 4), of Raleigh, with a red drum that went for a mud minnow beneath a popping cork. He was fishing with Capt. Chadwick Crawford of South End Anglers.

Amanda, of Surf City Pier, reports that the sea mullet are here, with one angler pulling in 45 fish in the morning hours using shrimp. Aside from the early morning, nighttime and rainy weather are also both perfect for mullet fishing.
The occasional bluefish is starting to come into the mix, while stingrays, dogfish, and puffers are still out in force.
Tyler, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that sea mullet are being caught mostly at night by anglers using shrimp. A few black drum and a single bluefish have come in on shrimp as well, while quite a few puffers are hanging around the pier.
Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that both the red drum and speckled trout bite is on fire inshore, with cut shrimp accounting for most of the action. If the fish are on the surface, lures like the Zara Spook are working wonders, and you might also pull in a citation bluefish.
Surf anglers are seeing a few black drum and a handful of sea mullet, Both should start to show up in greater numbers over the next few weeks. Fishing bloodworms or cut shrimp on the bottom will be your best bet.
Sea bass are being caught within four miles of shore, and they’re biting mostly squid on bottom rigs and Ringtail lures.
Out around the 18 mile range, bonito and false albacore are starting to show, with anglers having the best luck when casting Big Nic Spanish Candies to breaking fish.
Assorted bottom fish are hugging the bottom in the same range, with cigar minnows accounting for most of the fish.
Fishing Reports from local Charter Chapters.
Cigar minnows, when trolled, are catching kings out 25+ miles. Once the water temperature goes up a few more degrees, expect the offshore bite to pick up even more.
Mike, of Native Son, reports that swings in the weather are making fishing unpredictable. For the most part, red drum are still in their bigger, early season schools, but those schools are starting to break up. The reds can be found under docks and in the marshes, mostly in places out of the way where they have some thermal protection (slower current flows and darker bottoms especially). Most of these places are still covered in “snot grass,” so use Z-Man PaddlerZ rigged weedless with no weight and retrieve at the surface (or just below).
Speckled trout are still around and seem to have survived the freeze fairly well. MirrOdines and soft plastics are both producing on the specks, but if the water temperature is above 60 degrees in the morning, try throwing topwater baits.
The bonito are arriving, but if the wind doesn’t stop blowing, don’t expect them to bite in big numbers. The bonito action should begin to pick up over the next couple of weeks, and bigger spanish mackerel should come in behind the bonito.

Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that reds are being caught around docks, near oyster beds, and in inland creeks. Live and cut bait, in addition to soft plastics on Fathom inshore jig heads, will work for the reds.
Trout are in the creeks and can be fooled with MirrOlures and Fathom jigs, as well as Z-Man Trout Tricks.
Bluefish are beginning to show up inshore and can be caught with the same baits used to target the red drum and trout. The black drum are in marinas, canals, and around rocks and oyster beds.
Black sea bass and tautogs are hugging the bottom nearshore. Metal jigs and squid baits on chicken rigs will bring them in. A few bonito have also been caught, and their numbers will continue to grow over the next week or two. Casting Epoxy jigs, Stingsilvers, and Jigfish will work, as will trolling Bomber Long A lures and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers.
Tautoga onitis 
Image result for Tautoga onitis Image result for Tautoga onitis Image result for Tautoga onitis
Tautogs can vary in color, but the shape is unique.The tautog or blackfish, Tautoga onitis, is a species of wrasse native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. This species inhabits hard substrate habitats in nearshore waters at depths from 1 to 75 m. Wikipedia
Found close to shore on hard-bottom habitats, occasionally entering brackish water. Adult male territorial and active during the day to feed and rests in crevices at night. Prefers temperatures above 10°C. Spawning was noted in June-July in Canadian waters, but appears more protracted (April-July) in coastal waters of Virginia, USA. Feeds mainly on mussels, gastropods, other mollusks and crustaceans. This species has gained popularity as a prized food and sport fish

Ray, of Spring Tide Guide Service, reports that black and red drum fishing is where the action is. The drum are hanging on the flats behind the inlets and in the backs of local creeks, where anglers can find some relief from the high winds that have been blowing through the area. Look for a fast moving tide, and use shrimp on Carolina rigs or Bass Assassin’s Chicken on a Chain soft plastics with Menhaden Pro-Cure to fool the fish. At times, sizing down to a very light jig head has made the difference.
Speckled trout have been found in similar areas using the same baits.
Over the next few weeks, look for bonito to start moving closer to shore.

Marc, of Bad Habit Sportfishing, reports that bonito fishing has been slowly picking up as the fish move closer to shore. The 35-70’ water depth has been the best for the bonito, where trolling Clarkspoons, Drone spoons, and pink Yo-Zuri Deep Divers has worked well. Don’t be surprised to come across some bluefish while targeting the bonito, a bite which will only get better over the next few weeks.
Sea bass are biting strong, though you have to go through a lot of smaller fish to find the keepers. The sea bass are falling for standard bottom rigs (such as diamond jigs), though 1.5 oz. Stingsilvers have been producing, especially when tipped with squid.
Wahoo are hitting trolled ballyhoo and hard baits like the Braid Marauder or any Yo-Zuri plug. A few blackfins have been caught, and all signs are pointing to a strong presence of mahi very soon.

Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that black and red drum (some over-slot) have been falling to cut shrimp fished around docks.
The water is warming up, though it’s not quite where it needs to be for the bonito that are slowly trickling in. A few bonito have been caught within 5 miles, along with some false albacore and bluefish. Vertical jigging and casting jigs are both working for all three species.
Nearshore reefs are holding tautog, sheepshead, and black sea bass, which are all biting fiddler crabs. Bigger sea bass and grunts are being caught in depths of 70-90’, with squid and jigs working well for both.

Till next time....
Tight lines!

April 10, 2018

Wildlife Commission Seeking Angler Opinions on Fish Attractors and Aquatic Vegetation

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with theSouthern Division of the American Fisheries Society (SDAFS), is asking lapsed and active anglers to complete an online survey about their opinions on fish attractors and aquatic vegetation.

Responses from the survey will help fisheries biologists gain valuable information that will improve aquatic habitat enhancement programs in reservoirs in North Carolina and across the Southeast. Since 2016, Commission staff have installed nearly 500 natural and artificial structures in public reservoirs throughout the state, as well as established aquatic vegetation in 10 reservoirs.

Anglers from across the Southeast are being asked to participate in the survey, which was developed by SDAFS’s Reservoir Technical Committee. Committee members are interested in opinions from anglers who fish mainly in reservoirs, according to Lawrence Dorsey, the Commission’s District 6 fisheries biologist and chairman of the committee.

“The survey should take no more than 15 minutes and is completely anonymous,” Dorsey said. “All of the information compiled from the survey will be analyzed and reported back to state fisheries and wildlife agencies across the Southeast and beyond.”

For questions or additional information, email Lawrence Dorsey.

April 9, 2018

New state record bluefin tuna caught off Oregon Inlet

     Release: Immediate
                 Contact: Patricia Smith
     Date: April 9, 2018
Phone: 252-726-7021

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has certified a new state record bluefin tuna.

Retired Army General Scott Chambers of Townsend, Delaware, reeled in the 877-pound fish March 17 after fighting with the fish for 2 ½ hours off Oregon Inlet. It measured 113 inches curved fork length (tracing the contour of the body from the tip of the nose to the fork in the tail) and had a girth of 79 inches.

He caught the fish using trolling dead bait on 130 pound line test on a 130 Shimano rod and reel aboard the charter boat A-Salt Weapon fishing out of Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo.

Chambers’ fish broke the former state record bluefin tuna by 72 pounds. That fish was caught off Oregon Inlet, as well, in 2011. The world all-tackle record bluefin tuna was 1,496 pounds and was caught off Nova Scotia in 1979.

For more information, contact Carole Willis, with the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament, at 252-808-8081 or carole.y.willis@ncdenr.gov.

Download a photo of Chambers’ fish here.

Till next time....
Tight lines!

March 11, 2018

The Harry Frogfish - Strange Fish

National Geographic Kids

The hairy frogfish is a type of fish that’s covered in spines. These spines, which resemble strands of hair, allow the marine animal to camouflage itself against coral and seaweed. Found mostly in warm waters around the world, the hairy frogfish can also change its color to blend in with its surroundings. 

These animals may be excellent at hiding in plain sight. However they do something that really makes them stand out from a lot of other sea creatures. The fish—which usually grow about four inches long—don’t swim. Instead they walk on their wide fins along the seafloor as they look for snacks to eat.

When it comes to meals, hairy frogfish aren’t too picky. They chow down crustaceans and other fish such as flounder. These guys sometimes sneak up on their prey. But other times they make their prey come to them. Hairy frogfish have a special extra-long spine on their dorsal fins that looks like a worm. By waving this bait back and forth in front of their mouths, they can lure a target within striking distance. Talk about being put in a hairy situation! 

Text by Andrea Silen, NGS Staff

March 7, 2018


Release: Immediate - Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: March 7, 2018 Phone: 252-726-7021

Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee to meet

MOREHEAD CITY – The Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee will meet at 6 p.m. March 21
 at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington regional office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

The committee is meeting to continue assisting the Division of Marine Fisheries with development of Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. Agenda items include a presentation reviewing data sources considered for the southern flounder stock assessment.

A full meeting agenda can be found here.

For more information, contact Mike Loeffler at Michael.Loeffler@ncdenr.gov or 252-264-3911 or Anne Markwith atAnne.Markwith@ncdenr.gov or 910-796-7292.

1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699

Patricia Smith
Public Information Officer
Division of Marine Fisheries
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
252 808 8025    office
252 342 0642    mobile

New Weekly Spotlight: Peter Miller
Peter Miller: Hero on the Water
Classic cars, top of the line boats, and Italian suits might make you think of some Hollywood actor. Even though he could be, he has chosen to spend his time pursuing his true passion. His name is Peter Miller, and he has shown the world that he is one of the hardest working and most talented fisherman out there.

Peter and his son, Niles, at the Emmies
After graduating from the University of Miami, Peter set off to found the “Get Lit” fishing team. With Peter’s determination and leadership, they went on to win over 120 fishing tournaments, including the World Sailfish Championships. Three times.
After graduating from the University of Miami, Peter set off to found the “Get Lit” fishing team. With Peter’s determination and leadership, they went on to win over 120 fishing tournaments, including the World Sailfish Championships. Three times.

The three time world champ gained credibility and respect from anyone and everyone in the fishing industry. But it wasn’t good enough for Peter. He set off to start “Bass 2 Billfish with Peter Miller”, and turned it into one of the most successful shows on TV.
Click Here to Watch on WayPoint TV

Click HERE to watch Peter help his new buddy, Wyatt, slay the Sailfish on an episode of Bass2Billfish with Peter Miller.Hope you enjoy "Bass 2 Billfish with Peter Miller."

Till next time....
Tight lines!

February 5, 2018

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission to meet Feb. 14-15


N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission to meet Feb. 14-15 in Wrightsville Beach

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Feb. 14-15 at the Blockade Runner, 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach.
The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 and 8:30 a.m. Feb. 15
A public comment period will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 14. Members of the public may speak to the commission on any fisheries-related topic. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for up to three minutes. No other public comment period is slated for this meeting.
The deadline for submitting written comments to the commission, including email, through the Marine Fisheries Commission Office, is Feb. 9. Those who wish to forego this process and give handouts to the commission during the public comment period should bring at least 12 copies of the handout.
The meeting agenda includes:
  • Voting on committee recommended changes to eligibility requirements for commercial fishing licenses (any changes will require legislative approval);
  • A report on a Southeast Regional Southern Flounder Stock Assessment;
  • A presentation on potential solutions to address shellfish lease conflicts; and
  • An update on analysis and recommendations for the striped mullet fishery.
A meeting agenda and briefing book materials can be found here.
The public may listen to the meeting on the Internet. Up to 200 participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions for participating in the webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be found here. Following the meeting, an audio recording will be posted online.
For more information, contact Nancy Fish in the Marine Fisheries Commission office at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.

1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699

Till next time....
Tight Lines!