The last week of April was pretty good as far as the fishing goes. Decent offshore weather allowed those wishing to head off the beach to do just that and those knowing where to go and what to look for were very well rewarded. The near shore and inshore fishing also showed an uptick in productivity, something that’s to be expected when the water temperatures have already reached in the lower seventies.
Unfortunately, the arrival of the month of May will put a little bit of a hiccup in what’s already been enjoyed. Cooler temperatures on the horizon for the weekend as well as some significant winds will mean that the month’s weather will need to rebound in order to get back to what anglers experienced last week. But not to worry, Mother Nature has a way of doing that just fine; and it will occur in due time.
As already mentioned, water temperatures are already reading in the 70s and anglers found plenty of large Spanish mackerel eager to eat over the weekend. One of the even better things about the arrival of Spanish is that it happened right off of Wrightsville Beach and anglers didn’t have to head towards the Ft. Fisher area to find them.
The Spanish were running in the two-pound range with some reports of larger fish in the mix. They were found by trolling around Masonboro Inlet and also around the Liberty Ship and just offshore of that. Clark Spoons worked well for the trollers as did the medium sized Yozuri Plugs. Some anglers looking for atlantic bonito also got into some sight casting action. Speaking of bonito, while there are probably still some fish around, it appears as though that season was relatively short lived but with a dip in temperatures later this week, they could very well pop up again. Bluefish are plentiful around the inlets and the chopper blues are also still being found on a regular basis.
Off the beach a little, some snake king mackerel were found around the Five Mile Boxcars with some larger fish being found in the 10-mile range. Some decent king mackerel action has been reported along the beaches of Brunswick County and it shouldn’t be too long before that happens in our parts. As always, but especially this time of year, make sure you familiarize yourself with the proper identification of king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. You can log onto the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries website, http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/home, and click on species identification under the size and bag limits tab.
Further off the beach, the bottom fishing has been good in the twenty to 30-mile range. And now that the gag grouper season has opened as of May 1st, expect a few more reports coming in from that specific group of anglers that like to target bottom fish.
Gulf Stream fishing was good with lots of wahoo and even some decent dolphin action being reported coming from the Swansboro Hole and Same Ole areas. However, with the onslaught of wind forecast for the weekend, that type of fishing will have to take a mini break.