The fishing is hot right now. The sea mullet have for sure gone on the feed. They usually prefer shrimp, but here lately bloodworms have been the key. Had one group of guys in the shop this weekend who caught 80 in one day. There are tons of blues off the pier being caught with Gotcha plugs. There are some chopper blues (up to 13 pounds) being caught off the surf with cut bait. The red drum have slowed down a bit in the inlets, but there are still a few there if you are patient. The red drum however, are tearing up top water plugs in the creeks and the rivers. The first few Spanish have been caught off the pier this week along with some decent pompano. This spring has been one of the best I have seen in a long time for bonito. Two to four miles outside New River inlet they are chewing. Make sure you have some trolling gear like you would use for Spanish (Clarkspoons and Yo-Zuri plugs) if they are not busting on the surface. Have some diamond jigs rigged and ready to go. The word from the charter guys is the ¾-ounce silver jig has been the best. Make sure you also have a large bucktail rigged on a heavy rod with lots of line as there have been quite a few cobia caught over the weekend. If you happen to see a cobia throw the jig a good ways away from him and rip it past him. It is a good idea to have a large curltail soft bait attached to the bucktail. Just south of us there have been some kings caught off the piers so it should not be long now before we land one or two also. Since the cobia are around I’m sure some lucky soul will manage one off the pier this week. The stream is alive with wahoo, African pompano and now since grouper season is open they are fair game.
You all know how I look for signs from nature to tell me when the fishing is going to be great, but I am at a loss. The usual tell-tale sign of spring are the yellow butterflies. I haven’t seen but one or two so far. Maybe the cold winter has them delayed but not everything else. The ants in my yard in the fall told me it was going to be a cold winter because they were building tall mounds instead of the flat mounds. They were right on, but the butterflies have let me down. One obvious sign of the coming summer is primary election signs and they have not disappointed at all. LOL.
Tight lines and fair winds.
Capt. Chris Medlin is a third-generation tackle shop owner and charter captain. He makes his home on Topsail but loves fishing all over. Most of the time you can find him at East Coast Sports in Surf City or just contact him through his website at Eastcoastsports.com.