Big showing of dolphin has energized Morehead City offshore bite
Good numbers of gaffers have arrived around Big Rock
Plenty of gaffer-sized dolphin have made Gulf Stream fishing out of Morehead City a pleasure over the past week or two.
Capt. Mike Webb of Pelagic Sportfishing in Atlantic Beach said Gulf Stream fishing, which has been pretty good for most of the spring, has kicked into high gear with the arrival of hordes of hungry dolphin. While the fishing for wahoo and blackfin tuna has slowed a little, the sometimes overwhelming number of dolphin in the waters around the Big Rock more than make up for it.
“It has been a good bite, and it seems like more dolphin are arriving almost every day,” Webb said. “The offshore water is getting really warm, and dolphin are spread from the break to 200 fathoms. It seems like the better numbers and larger dolphin are a little deeper, at 100 to 200 fathoms, but there are scattered pods of nice dolphin closer in. When you find them, they aren’t the least bit hesitant about biting.”
Webb (252-904-3361) said pronounced rips and defined weed lines have been missing most days because the weather has almost been too nice. But scattered grass has been holding fish, even if it’s difficult to fish. Webb said any floating debris has the potential to attract baitfish, and he’s already finding dolphin under such floaters.
“Billfish are showing up, too,” Webb said. “If their numbers continue growing, it could be a banner year for the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.”
Webb said most of the dolphin he’s been catching have been nice, gaffer-sized fish. Some singles have been around, but most have been in pairs and often triples.
“Most mornings, we have been starting at the break, just offshore of the 90-foot drop, and trolling our way towards deeper water,” Webb said. “Typically, there is a little action right around the break, and then you look for rips, weed lines, grass paddies, temperature breaks, color changes or anything else that tends to concentrate bait and fish. Not everything holds fish, but if you work down the lines, you will usually find something that has concentrated them. The day can go from slow to wide open in a matter of seconds.”
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