By Skylar Walters
The good news about this week’s fishing report, as the title suggests, is the month of April is slowly coming to an end, and it couldn’t come any quicker for local anglers.
The past weekend was basically a washout along the coast, as cooler and rainy weather arrived and then refused to leave. But that’s all in the past now and despite a little more drizzle earlier this week, the past couple of days and this weekend have really shaped up to be favorable for anglers.
Water temperatures have hit the 60-degree mark, and other than some minor fluctuations here and there, will continue to climb into the month of May. And although we still have a few days left in the month of April, the month of May is what has anglers talking. Depending on the conditions, several fish species could show themselves in the coming days or weeks. Lots of anglers keep fishing logs just for this reason. No one can predict the exact date a certain fish will arrive. They can, however, use historical data, preferably from their own fishing excursions, to give a best estimate of when a specific species will arrive.
If you haven’t started doing this in your fishing years, I would suggest jotting down some notes here and there. With the technology of cell phones and other electronics, not to mention plain old pen and paper, you might be amazed at what last year’s data will tell you about what to fish for and where to fish for it. Now that we’ve covered that, I’ll fill you in on my guesses for the month of May.
Atlantic bonito should be arriving in the next couple of weeks, maybe sooner, but again depending on the weather. From what records I have, 63 degrees is the magic number to start looking, although some years it has been 2 degrees warmer when I found them. Anyway, it shouldn’t be too long now and Spanish mackerel will be right on their heels, although there have been a couple of reports of Spanish already being caught along the Brunswick County beaches. Not many but some.
Add in another week or two and we’ll probably be talking about water temperatures in the mid to upper 60s. With that come cobia, and plenty of them. Sight casting around the pods of bait that will also show up during this time is one way to target them as is bottom fishing around the inlets with whole spots on medium-sized tackle. More on that in another report.
As you can tell, things happen fast during the month of May, and that’s less than one week away. No matter what your target or targets, you want to be ready. Hopefully with the better weather, there’ll be some reports next week. We’ll also add in some tips for fishing for Atlantic bonito.