Fishing still hot around Cape Lookout for Spanish, flounder, reds
Cape and its shoals are prime fishing spots this summer
Spanish mackerel like these two have been a regular catch around Cape Lookout, along with flounder and redfish.
While fishing typically slows during July and August, Capt. Noah Lynk of Harkers Island said that hasn’t been the case this year in the waters around Cape Lookout. Lynk, who runs Noah’s Ark Charters, there is good variety in the waters around the cape and the shoals that run offshore from it, plus the inshore waters back towards Harkers Island, Beaufort and Morehead City.
“The best variety of fish is in the ocean, and right on the shoals is a great place to begin,” Lynk said. “There are lots of bluefish and Spanish mackerel, plus some scattered flounder and red drum. Fishermen looking a little larger action can find some kings and cobia around the wrecks and artificial reefs just off the shoals, especially on the east side. There are some sharks, too, and catching a shark is a big adventure for a lot of fishermen, especially the kids.”
Lynk said flounder have been numerous in the hook at the cape and in the channels back towards Harkers Island. The red drum fishing had been slowly improving, and some have been mixed with flounder close to the cape, but the most-consistent catches have been in the Haystacks and Middle Marsh.
“A lot of sharks have been cruising the shoals this summer, and they can be a lot of fun to catch,” Lynk said. “Most of the sharks are blacktips up to around 30 pounds, but there are some others too, including hammerheads. Many people are fascinated by the hammerheads, but the blacktips are much more exciting to fight. Most blacktips jump a time or two, and all make at least one hot run.”
Lynk (252-342-6911) said the Spanish mackerel, bluefish and sharks at the shoals are all hitting different lures. Lynk makes a Spanish/bluefish rig that uses a small duster with a hook about 24 inches in front of a Clark Spoon that can be trolled without a planer or trolling sinker. This allows catching Spanish and blues on much lighter tackle and the fishermen have more fun.
Lynk often stops and casts as MirrOlure L29MR MirrOLip once he locates a school of bluefish or Spanish. He said he pulls it under, then twitches it a few times and lets it pop back to the surface; the Spanish and blues can’t refuse it, and it also catches red drum, sharks and cobia. He switches to the larger 111MR floating diver when specifically targeting sharks so they don’t swallow it.
“The flounder and red drum inside the inlets aren’t as aggressive, but they will bite – and they will hit lures,” Lynk said. “Sometimes I carry live bait just to be sure, but so far they have been hitting artificials. I’ve caught a few on MirrOLures and other hard baits, but I’ve had the best luck with soft plastics.”
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