Inshore Fishing

Fly fishing for Fat Alberts

Dr. Tom Earnhardt, a former law-school professor who is host of UNC-TV’s Exploring North Carolina pioneered fly-fishing for false albacore more than 20 years ago. Since then, they’ve be written about in fly-fishing journals across the country.

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Inshore Fishing

Fat Albert food value? Forget about it

Point 1. Raleigh’s premier Japanese restaurant, Waranji, features escolar, aka white tuna, on its menu. Escolar is not a tuna and is a weird kind of fish. Its meat is 80-percent muscle and 20-percent wax that, being indigestible, runs right through digestive system in less than an hour. Eat and run? Waranji’s menu does not offer false albacore, which, presumably, is worse.

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Content

False albacore provide North Carolina fishermen with plenty of action in the fall

Known as little tunny, false albacore and, informally, Fat Alberts, the fish that goes by the scientific name Euthunnus alletteratus is abundant up and down the Atlantic coast and even south to Brazil and east to Africa. They hunt in packs and often are mixed in schools with small yellowfin, blackfin or skipjack tuna, Atlantic bonito, Spanish mackerel and bluefish.

They’re liable to show up anywhere from the Gulf Stream to the shoreline, and along North Carolina’s coast, they’re caught from piers and boats, in the surf at Buxton’s Cape Point, and they often blitz piers at dawn and dusk. All they require is clean water with a high salinity level.

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Offshore Fishing

Hatchet marlin?

Capt. Fin Gaddy of the Qualifier out of Oregon Inlet said nobody knows how many white marlin are really caught because many were possibly spearfish. The two species are almost identical, except for the greater distance between the vent and the bottom (anal) fin.

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Offshore Fishing

Are white marlin threatened?

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently considered a charge that landings data supported listing the white marlin as “threatened” under the National Endangered Species Act.

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Offshore Fishing

What’s ‘The Point’?

The Point is 34 to 42 miles southeast of the Oregon Inlet sea buoy, at 35.32.57 to 35.33.00 (north) by 74.50.67 to 74.84.00 (west). It appears as a box canyon where the deep shelf has eroded into the upper shelf, as though a chunk was removed from the slope. Start searching for a steep drop-off once you’ve reached the 560-590 line and dropped from 40 to 50 fathoms. The bottom of the “box” is 400 fathoms and appears suddenly. […]

Sidebars

Bigeye facts

Dr. Craig Brown, chief of the highly migratory species branch of NOAA Fisheries in Miami is an expert on bigeye tuna biology. Here are some of his observations:

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Offshore Fishing

One ‘app’ for two functions

Bluefin and bigeyes are the only tuna with a warm-blooded circulatory system that allows them to recycle oxygenated blood one more time before sending it to the gills for re-aeration. The difference is, bluefins use a complex of blood vessels lying in close proximity — the ‘rete mirabile’ — to warm them in cold waters, and as a result are the only tuna that regularly inhabits cold water. Bigeyes use the rete mirabile to feed in oxygen-depleted cold water beyond the scattering layer, and are the only tuna that can do it. […]

Content

Get The Point – ‘The Point’ off North Carolina’s Outer Banks is a bigeye tuna hotspot in May

Bigeye tuna occupy the offshore waters off North Carolina’s Outer Banks from spring through the summer, but most of the action is from the second week in May through June. About once every 10 years, large numbers of bigeyes show up all in the same place, with every boat for miles fishing for them and every boat having frequent hook-ups.

The numbers are enormous.

Bigeyes are bigger than yellowfin tuna and smaller than bluefins. They will school with other tunas including yellowfin, true albacore and skipjack, and with non-tunas like wahoo. Although bigeyes average 100 pounds — twice the size of yellowfins — you can quickly tell the stubby, fat bigeyes during a multi-strike blitz; they charge off straight away on the surface rather than diving. […]

Inshore Fishing

Winter Stripers

Gary Dubiel of Spec Fever Guide Service has been featured by PBS, ESPN and Discovery Europe television channels.

That means when it comes to fishing for striped bass at the N.C. coast, he knows his business.

Dubiel runs the 23-foot center console Spec Fever year round throughout the Pamlico Sound area, including New Bern and Oriental, plus Weldon in the spring and Morehead City.

He fishes inshore, inside and upriver for red and black drum, gray and spotted seatrout, king and Spanish mackerel, inland stripers and tarpon.

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Offshore Fishing

Future of golden tilefish looks bright

There appears to be no danger of golden tilefish being fished out under current management. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s recently concluded stock assessment resulted in a doubling of the commercial allocation. Can expanded recreational fishing be far behind? […]