Considering the heat and water temperatures, the month of August had, up until this past weekend, been rather giving to anglers as far as the fishing goes. But as you all know, the arrival of “Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten” put an abrupt stop on what fishing was left for the remainder of the month. But not to worry, things will start getting back to normal fairly quickly and hopefully in time for the last hoorah weekend of the summer, although the forecast doesn’t look all that appealing. Great care must be taken as the normal summertime pattern of thunderstorms is in the forecast throughout Labor Day and at the end of this report you’ll read why anglers and boaters alike need to heed the warnings and keep an eye and ear to the sky when venturing out.
Inshore, the fishing has been much of the same for the past few weeks. Plenty of baitfish are in the creeks and waterway meaning anglers are having to change their tactics in order to draw interest from their target species. Those looking for red drum are finding that fresh cut bait is getting more interest than the normal finger mullet rigged on a Carolina Rig. With the amount of baitfish available, the fish are pretty full so getting them to eat your offering takes some patience. The larger, scented artificial soft baits are also working pretty well in the creeks and around the docks. Flounder fishing is much of the same, with anglers electing to use scented artificial baits worked in the deeper creeks. Fresh shrimp is finding some black drum around the oyster bars.
Offshore, which has been limited other than early last week, the king mackerel fishing has been very slow close to the beach and what fish have been found, have been rather small for this time of year. Anglers are finding better fishing and better quality fish in the fifteen to twenty five mile range. Some inshore dolphin are being found in the ten mile area but for larger and more quantity, anglers are having fishing thirty mile plus. Bottom fishing has been good in water depths over one hundred with better results for grouper, snapper and triggerfish in water depths starting around one hundred and twenty feet.
Once conditions allow, anglers will be reporting some good wahoo fishing in areas around the Steeples, Same Ole Hole and Swansboro Hole. Things were just getting going before the weather turned and there’s no reason to think the fish won’t be there waiting once the boats can get out there. Some small blackfin were also reported early last week as well as plenty of gaffer dolphin. Some anglers fishing offshore have been reporting a plethora of barracudas, which is to be expected in the extremely hot water temperatures. If that’s all you seem to be catching, moving to deeper water sometimes helps to get away from the toothy critters.
As mentioned earlier in reference to lightning, according to the National Weather Service, regarding water related activities, fishing is the number one activity for lightening related fatalities at forty three percent followed by boating at twenty one percent, beach activities at twenty six percent and swimming at nine percent. These values were derived from seventy six cases from 2006 to 2016. As the saying goes, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors”. For additional lightning safety information and resources, visit www.weather.gov/lightning.