• Offshore Fishing

    Mercury Marine's Skyhook system eliminates the need for anchors, linking the outboard system to satellites that keep the boat in place.

    Don’t anchor out again

    Anchoring technology has come a long way since the early days of boating. Power-Poles and Minn Kota Talons are remote-controlled anchoring systems that are great for inshore anglers, and Minn Kota’s iPilot and Motorguide’s xi5 trolling motors lock on to a satellite through GPS and keep a boat’s position steady, leaving anglers free to fish without having to worry about the boat slipping off the fishing hole.

    14 hours ago
    NOAA Fisheries rules that red snapper fishing in the Atlantic Ocean will remain closed for 2016.

    No red snapper season for 2016, say federal fisheries managers

    Fishermen won’t be allowed to keep any red snapper in the Atlantic Ocean this year, after a May 20 announcement from NOAA Fisheries explaining that the total number of fish removed from the population in 2015 exceeded the allowable catch and discard level — somewhat surprising since there was no open season last year.

    May 25 at 10:22am
    Although the great majority of dolphin landed wind up on someone’s dinner plate somewhere, a tagging program is providing fisheries managers with tremendous information about dolphin, their lifestyles and habits.

    Catch-and-release dolphin? Really?

    Catching a dolphin and releasing it may sound like sheer lunacy to some bluewater anglers, but there is a sound reason to let a few go each year. 

    May 15 at 7:00am
    Dolphin grow at a tremendous rate, rarely living a half-dozen years and reaching maturity less than halfway to their first birthday.

    Dolphin grow fast, die young and taste good

    Few organisms in the ocean can match the fast life cycle of the dolphin fish, coryphaena hippurus. Dolphin reach sexual maturity at four to five months, where it takes a king mackerel three years to spawn. The world-record dolphin, 87 pounds was believed to be slightly less than five years old. By comparison, the world-record king mackerel, a 93-pound fish, was thought to be closer to 25 years old.  

    May 15 at 7:00am

    Rigging a Dink Ballyhoo

    1) Using a thawed, small/medium, high-quality ballyhoo, remove the bait’s eyes with an arrow shaft.

    2) Use cutting pliers to remove the bait’s pectoral fins.

    May 15 at 7:00am
    The first run of dolphin that appears off North Carolina’s coastaline is usually made up of bigger fish, known as gaffers because they’re big enough that landing them requires a gaff.

    Great for gaffers - May is a great month to catch gaffer dolphin

    It’s a warm, early morning in the middle of spring, with a slight breeze out of the southwest. Stephen Hunter keeps his Cape Horn center console in Holden Beach, but he often chooses to use the Cape Fear River channel when leaving before dawn, for no other reason than the reliability of its water. Picking his way behind Oak Island and Southport, he makes a starboard turn into the channel, slips into the ocean, then pushes the throttle down and heads offshore.

    May 01 at 7:00am
    The Labrador Current and Gulf Stream collide off Cape Hatteras, making those offshore waters among the best in the world for a variety of bluewater fishing, including blue marlin.

    Hatteras: a cape, a village, an inlet

    The village of Hatteras isn’t located at Cape Hatteras, but approximately 12 miles to the southwest at the southern end of Hatteras Island near Hatteras Inlet. It’s an unincorporated village with a population of approximately 500. 

    April 15 at 7:00am
    Mike Voytkowski (L) was fishing aboard the Beagle with Capt. Bill Dillon when he landed this new state record, a 32-pound false albacore.

    New state record false albacore verified

    Mike Voytkowski fought his new state record false albacore for a long time, but it took even longer for his record application to work through the channels and be approved.

    April 04 at 4:27pm
    Yellowfin tuna are the stars of the spring bluewater show off the Outer Banks, but they’re just one of several species that may show up in your bait spread.

    OBX offshore kickoff - Hot bluewater fishing off North Carolina’s coast centers around Hatteras in April

    The first bluewater fish to arrive off the Outer Banks each year are tuna, and their names include a small variety of colors. Bluefin have become regular visitors in March, staying until the water begins warming in April. Pods of blackfin pass through in winter, but the schools get larger and hungrier as spring arrives. They are joined by a few yellowfin and occasional bigeye tuna in late March and early April, and the fishing continues to improve. 

    April 01 at 7:00am
    South Cape Lookout is 1 of 5 areas off the east coast that will soon be closed to bottom-fishing.

    South Cape Lookout faces bottom-fishing closure

    In an effort to protect and boost the numbers and quality of fish in the snapper-grouper complex, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council will close South Cape Lookout to bottom fishing. The 5.1 square mile area is a popular spot for anglers fishing on the bottom.

    March 23 at 6:45pm
    Derek Nelson, Neil Manning, and Capt. Kenny Koci pose with the new North Carolina state record white marlin, taken in November out of Hatteras.

    Neil Manning catches N.C. state-record, 138-pound white marlin

    A mid-November fishing trip to Hatteras proved very fruitful for Neil Manning of Ashburn, Va., who returned from an overnight trip with Capt. Kenny Koci on the Fin Again with a box full of fish and a state-record white marlin on the deck.

    January 27 at 9:04pm
    Finding convergence zones will turn your fishing trip into a catching trip.

    Improve your offshore fishing by finding convergence zones

    “What’s the perfect water temperature to find tuna? How about wahoo? What about grouper?”

    January 26 at 11:43pm
    Kent Raynor, Scott Pelletier, Capt. Jodie Gay, Timmy Parker, and Sgt Trevor Hanlon pose with the record king mackerel caught by Pelletier during the Championship for the North Carolina National Guard Cape Lookout Shootout Series presented by Yamaha. The fish weighed more than 68 pounds.

    Record king mackerel caught during Championship for the North Carolina National Guard Cape Lookout Shootout Series presented by Yamaha

    When Kent Raynor lifted the big king into the Blue Water Candy on Nov 15, he and crew members Scott Pelletier, Timmy Parker and Capt. Jody Gay knew they had a fish that had a great chance to win the championship of the Cape Lookout Shootout Series. But it was several days later before someone pointed out that their 68.67-pound king was the largest ever caught in a tournament along the Atlantic coast, the previous record being a 66.55-pound fish caught by Andy Hinton aboard the Hot Grits II during the Teach’s Lair King Mackerel Tournament in 2002.

    November 27, 2015 at 10:48pm

    Greensboro angler catches limit of king mackerel – from a kayak

    It's no secret that Yaupon Beach Reef (AR 425) holds a variety of fish. It is arguably the most popular of all the artificial reefs overseen and maintained by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, and in the past few years has attracted a new user group. Kayak anglers have discovered the productive reef is only about a 30 minute paddle from several Oak Island beach accesses, and they have been venturing to the artificial reef on an almost daily basis this fall. On October 21, Mark Patterson of Greensboro launched through the Oak Island surf shortly after sunrise and returned around 1:30 P.M. with a limit of king mackerel.

    Patterson's kings were all in the 20 to 30 pound range. It's probably a good thing they weren't larger; he didn't have a large fish box or cooler to store them. They were in a thermal bag strapped to the bow of his kayak and all the tails were sticking out. The longest king was 45.5 inches and weighed 27.9 pounds. The next longest weighed 24.3 pounds. The shortest was only an inch or so less and was estimated at 20 pounds. That's a lot of steaks and fillets for a fishing trip that only burned about a half gallon of gas in the truck to get to and from the beach access.  

    October 26, 2015 at 6:58am
    Filipe Balbino had to whip an inexperienced crew into shape quickly to land this 98-pound wahoo out of Carolina Beach.

    Wilmington angler catches 98-pound wahoo off of Carolina Beach

    When Filipe Balbino of Wilmington gathered visiting friends and family last Saturday for a relaxing fishing trip, he wasn’t planning on doing battle with a nearly triple digit wahoo. However, while trolling for king mackerel near Carolina Beach, his crew decked a 72-inch, 98.2 pound beast that struck not one, but two of his king rigs.

    After stopping to net a morning’s supply of fresh pogies outside of Carolina Beach Inlet, Balbino set sail with his 6-man crew to a king mackerel hotspot. Resting 10 miles offshore, the 10-Mile Boxcars is an artificial reef submerged in 60 feet of water and comprised of 10 railroad boxcars plus chunks of concrete.

    October 22, 2015 at 9:29am
    Doormat flounder are plentiful on the wrecks and reefs nearshore of Carolina and Kure Beach.

    Top 4 tips to catch more flounder

    Take a horse-carriage tour through Wilmington and you’ll learn that no Civil War battles took place in the city; the battle for this town happened on the ocean. For Capt. Dennis Barbour of Island Tackle & Hardware, the war is still there, but instead of North vs. South, it’s man vs. flounder. 

    Barbour has a few tips that can help anglers land more flounder in these waters, which are littered with civil war wrecks, the remnants of mostly Yankee ships that sunk while blockading or bombarding Fort Fisher. These remnants are what the flounder come for, and it’s what keeps Barbour and other anglers coming back too. A few tips from Barbour can help other anglers land their share of these flatfish.

    October 15, 2015 at 8:09am