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  • We fared well at Oak Island. There is a lot of standing rainwater and some dune overwash, with plenty of smaller tree limbs down, but basically pretty good. I have been out this morning checking on some friend's houses and all did well. Ocean Crest Pier appears to have done well too. I didn't go as far as Oak Island Pier. The waves are gone and the rain has slowed, but the wind is still at about 30 to 40, with stronger gusts. A pic of OCP this A.M. is attached. Thanks for everyone's concern. I hope the folks farther up the coast weather it as well, but I'm afraid they won't.

    August 27, 2011 at 7:25am

    The waves from Hurricane Irene are cranking at Oak Island. The winds are still from the ENE as the storm approaches, but when they switch to N tomorrow morning this will be awesome. Not much for fishing, but great for surfing. This picture was taken looking at Ocean Crest Pier.

    Right now the winds are at about 25-30 and it is raining hard.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:32pm

    We're just about through preparing for the storm on my end of the state, but my friends elsewhere are still working hard.

    Many boats were pulled in the Morehead City - Atlantic Beach area, but the folks on the Outer Banks don't have that luxury. I finally spoke to some of my friends in Hatteras and they said about 10-15 boats had moved to Coinjock, but most had removed their outriggers, cleared the decks and were doubling the dock lines.

    Doug Liester said he was worried this storm may take the remaining Atlantic Beach piers (Sheraton and Oceanana) and he was heading down this moring to get some pictures. Maybe he will post those with the waves pounding later.

    My best wishes are with everyone. Hunker down, stay safe and don't do anything foolish. When you can, post here and let everyone know how you are doing.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:41am

    The Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department will host a kayak fishing seminar at the Oak Island Recreation Center on April 20 at 6:30 P.M. The seminar will last approximately 2-1/2 hours and will include information on selecting and rigging a fishing kayak, safety, inshore fishing (redfish, speckled trout and flounder) and launching through the surf for king and Spanish mackerel. A fully-rigged fishing kayak and several others, plus numerous accessories will be on display. Capt. Jerry Dilsaver will be the featured speaker. There is a $20 registration fee for the seminar. For more information call 910-278-4747 or 910-279-6760. A flyer may be seen at www.captjerry.com.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:05pm

    The speckled trout haven't quit biting--in fact, they may have ramped up the action a little bit. I was in a situation a few days ago when we didn't have means to get on the water, so we fished from the bank.

    The little creek we walked down to looked good, but it appeared more likely to be holding reds than specks. However, all we really wanted was to have something pull back, so we began rigging up. Before I could get my tackle bag out and get a grub on the jighead, my buddy caught a trout.

    That was only a sign of things to come. We didn't keep an accurate count, but we had to have caught at least 40. Most were those 13 1/2 inchers that seem to be everywhere, but there were a dozen or so keepers and some big ones.

    We decided early on that if we needed to measure a fish to tell if it was legal, we would release it. We still kept five nice trout, with the smallest being 17 1/4 inches.

    They wanted 4 inch soft plastic grubs with paddletails. There had to be some green on the bait. I fished electric chicken and he fished chicken on a chain. The bait had to be on the bottom. I fished a 1/8 ounce head and fished it very slow. He fished a 3/8 ounce head and fished much faster. They ate them both.

    The water warmed a degree or two this week and we're not looking at a cold spell, so this should continue for a while. Maybe I'll have trout for Thanksgiving.

    Good fishing and Happy Thanksgiving to all,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    November 19, 2010 at 10:50am

    It has taken a while, but the speckled trout have finally arrived in good numbers along the SE coast. Even better, while the days have been pretty cool at daylight, they have warmed to the point shirtsleeves are all you need when the bite is on from mid-morning to late afternoon.

    Many specks died or were taken by predation during the cold winter earlier this year and not many were around during the summer. Now the young of the year are showing up in many areas and the 12 and 13 inch specks are almost a nuisance.

    When the little trout get that thick, sometimes switching to a topwater bait helps concentrate on larger fish. Those smaller ones just don't have what it takes to attack something big walking across the surface. The number of strikes will go down, but the percentage of keepers will usually go right up.

    I've been having good luck with the MirrOlure She Dogs and She Pups. These lures are made of a different plastic and sit higer in the water and are easy to work in choppy conditions. They also have multiple rattles at a higher frequency and brighter colors than the Top Dogs and Top Dog Jrs.

    Sometimes the trout are tired of seeing the same old thing and really respond to something different. The hardest thing to do is to not set the hook on seeing the strike, but waiting until you feel it. Sometimes the eye connects to the arm too fast and you miss them. This is especially important when fishing braided line.

    Good Fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    November 12, 2010 at 12:47pm

    I went back to a friends farm near the Neuse River in lower Johnston County to get a few more pictures to fill in a hog hunting story that is scheduled for the January 2011 NCS and we decided we were there, so why not hunt. It was one of those days when the temperature started dropping in the afternnon and the pigs decided they needed to get out of the swamp and feed.

    This sow and several others sauntered out of a cutdown about 5:15 and began milling around. I watched them for a while to see if a big boy came out to claim the area, but when he didn't, I decided to take home some bacon.

    One shot from my 30-06 planted it on the spot. It wasn't a big pig, but perfect eating size at a guesstimated 100 pounds. Once I was sure it was down and not going anywhere, I swung on one of the others, but they understood gunshots weren't good news and got back in the woods before I could get on target again.

    The pork chops will be very tender and good. I prefer feral pigs to pen raised pork - especially when they are from pigs this size.

    Now to go get some grouper for the freezer before the season closes. BLackened grouper and pork chops is an excellent surf & turf combo.

    Good fishing (and hunting)
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    November 04, 2010 at 12:05pm

    When the wind lays out for a few hours or you decide you can stand the butt whipping for the reward, the kings are biting off the S.E. coast. They aren't very choosy about baits and are acting like they're starved, so they're probably biting something even when we can't get there.

    The Cape Fear Sea Buoy out to Lighthouse Rocks has been the hot spot. With the water cooling another couple of degrees, they have spread out to 15 and 18 Mile Rocks this week. They are probably at most of the other rocks in roughly 60 feet of water, but the crowd of boats at these places on calm days is large enough no one can be looking elsewhere.

    The kings may be biting a little better on live baits, but they are also hitting frozen cigar minnows and ballyhoo. I don't know anyone that has tried lures, but they would probably hit them too.

    While it isn't a usual pattern, the kings are mixed in size from the teens to the fifties. Enough smokers are mixed in, you have to stay with your A game and be ready.

    Bait can still be caught along the beach and in the lower Cape Fear River.

    Good fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    November 04, 2010 at 11:35am

    As badly as the red water from rainwater runoff still has the lower Cape Fear River area wrapped up, the fish are biting surprisingly well. On the inside, flounder and puppy drum are the primary attractions, while king mackerel have everyone's attention in the ocean.

    The kings are close. They are at Yaupon Reef (AR 425), McGlammery Reef (AR 420), the Cape Fear Ship Channel, Lighthouse Rock and on out. All of these places are within sight of the beach. Bait has been pretty easy to catch also.

    The reds are spread through most of the creeks from the Elizabeth River up to Snows Marsh and across the river to behind Bald Head Island. They like live baits best, but so many pinfish are still around it is difficult to fish live shrimp effectively.

    You would think live shrimp would attract some trout too, but the trout catches have been really inconsistent. The big catches (numbers and size) are not very regular.

    Flounder are still in many of the creeks. A lot are being caught by fishermen after red drum, but a directed attempt for flounder, using mullet minnows and small pinfish, spots and croakers, usually produces more and larger flatfish.

    The question running rampant locally is whether the cold snap for this weekend will be the one that finally ushers in the fall. Some record highs were set during the week, so the forecast temperature drop might be a bit of a shock for fish and fishermen. We'll know what happened next week and report it then.

    Good fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    October 28, 2010 at 9:37am

    In spite of water that is still stained brown from all the fresh water runoff, the inshore and nearshore fishing along the southeast cost is doing surprisingly well.

    King mackerel have become the favorites of live bait trollers and fishermen from the ends of the Oak Island Piers. The kings are targeting baitfish along the beach and are really close.

    Last weekend boater got too close to Oak Island Pier and cut off six kings that fishermen on the pier were fighting at the time. That is TOO CLOSE and we need to help inform those boaters that don't realize they have gotten too close.

    The good news is the pier fishermen also landed 20 kings from Oak Island Pier in one day and about 35 for the week from Ocean Crest Pier.

    Flounder and puppy drum are biting well and a few specks are being caught. So far the good catches of specks are scattered and inconsistent. The pups and flounder are much easier to locate and catch.

    Speaking of flounder, I spent a morning with Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow Minded Charters in Little River. We caught some frisky pups and one flounder that just had to have a mullet minnow. A picture of the flounder is attached.

    The water is still holding around 71 degrees and the fishing is pretty good. When the water temperature drops to 67-68 degrees, we should all get ready to do some catching.

    Good fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    October 21, 2010 at 4:40pm

    The North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association held the Oak Island Classic Kayak Fishing Tournament at Oak Island on Saturday and besides the usual redfish, trout and flounder divisions, it also included a king mackerel division.

    Four of the participants reported battling kings, but only one was boated. Congratulations are in order for Kirk Talbert who landed a 45 1/2 inch king from his kayak on Saturday and won the king mackerel division. This is definitely a first for N.C. and may be a first for the entire country.

    October 12, 2010 at 7:47am

    KING MACKEREL! That is the word along the SE Coast. We knew it was going to happen sometime soon, but wondered how all the rainwater runoff coming down the Cape Fear River would affect it.

    Most would agree the rainwater runoff either didn't affect the ocean fishing or that maybe it actually helped it a little bit. I believe the latter is true, at least for king mackerel. The rainwater runoff pushed baitfish that were up in the Cape Fear River into the ocean and cooled the water from 81 degrees to 74 degrees and the kings responded.

    The kings are hungry and right on the beach. There were a few spotty catches last week, but it began in earnest Saturday afternoon. Since then, fishermen on the two piers (Oak Island Pier and Ocean Crest Pier) have landed dozens of kings and boat anglers are quickly limiting at the nearshore artificial reefs and in the river channel.

    The North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association held the Oak Island Classic Kayak Fishing Tournament at Oak Island on Saturday and besides the usual redfish, trout and flounder divisions, it also included a king mackerel division.

    Four of the participants reported battling kings, but only one was boated. Congratulations are in order for Kirk Talbert who landed a 45 1/2 inch king from his kayak on Saturday and won the king mackerel division. This is definitely a first for N.C. and may be a first for the entire country.

    The king bite is still going strong and should be wide open for the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament that was postponed from Oct. 1 and 2 to this weekend. Lots of big fish will be caught.

    Good fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    October 12, 2010 at 7:41am

    The Southeast Coast is reeling from the monsoon rains of last week, but there are a few places where the fish have escaped the dirty water pouring down the Cape Fear River and are biting. One of the fish that are biting well is Spanish mackerel. Puppy drum and flounder are biting well and spots are beginning to show for pier fishermen in growing numbers. There have even been a few reports of king mackerel.

    This is the week of the Oak Island Classic Kayak Fishing Tournament at Oak Island. The tournament is being held by the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association and the Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department and is open to all kayak fishermen.

    Several members of the NCKFA arrived early for tournament duties and we had to try a little pre-fishing. After finding some flounder and pups biting in the creeks behind the island, we switched to the ocean. This is the only kayak tournament I am aware of that also has a king mackerel division and we wanted to see if any of them might be around.

    We haven't caught a king yet, but the Spanish macks were biting well and showed a definite fondness for mullet minnows and small menhaden under floats.

    Mark Patterson, founder of NCKFA, had some real excitement Monday morning when a six foot blacktip shark took a fancy to one of his king mackerel baits. It made a leap he described as, 'Higher than his body length and he was about six feet long,' about 30 feet in front of his kayak. Shortly after increasing Mark's heartbeat and spiking his adrenaline levels, it bit or kinked the leader and got away. He was enjoying an Oak Island sleigh ride and no one had yet caught up to him for a picture when the leader parted.

    Kings have been caught from the piers at Holden Beach and Cherry Grove and just off the end of the Little River Jetties, so the kayak fishermen might have an exciting tournament. For more information on the kayak tournament, click on www.nckfa.com.

    Good Fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    October 05, 2010 at 10:29am

    The Southeast Coast is reeling from the monsoon rains of last week, but there are a few places where the fish have escaped the dirty water pouring down the Cape Fear River and are biting. One of the fish that are biting well is Spanish mackerel. Puppy drum and flounder are biting well and spots are beginning to show for pier fishermen in growing numbers. There have even been a few reports of king mackerel.

    This is the week of the Oak Island Classic Kayak Fishing Tournament at Oak Island. The tournament is being held by the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association and the Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department and is open to all kayak fishermen.

    Several members of the NCKFA arrived early for tournament duties and we had to try a little pre-fishing. After finding some flounder and pups biting in the creeks behind the island, we switched to the ocean. This is the only kayak tournament I am aware of that also has a king mackerel division and we wanted to see if any of them might be around.

    We haven't caught a king yet, but the Spanish macks were biting well and showed a definite fondness for mullet minnows and small menhaden under floats.

    Mark Patterson, founder of NCKFA, had some real excitement Monday morning when a six foot blacktip shark took a fancy to one of his king mackerel baits. It made a leap he described as, 'Higher than his body length and he was about six feet long,' about 30 feet in front of his kayak. Shortly after increasing Mark's heartbeat and spiking his adrenaline levels, it bit or kinked the leader and got away. He was enjoying an Oak Island sleigh ride and no one had yet caught up to him for a picture when the leader parted.

    Kings have been caught from the piers at Holden Beach and Cherry Grove and just off the end of the Little River Jetties, so the kayak fishermen might have an exciting tournament. For more information on the kayak tournament, click on www.nckfa.com.

    Good Fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    October 05, 2010 at 10:23am

    This isn't S.C., but it could be. Last week I went to a writers conference in Jensen Beach, Fla. that was sponsored by D.O.A. Lures. In addition to meeting, greeting and eating, we got to try some new products by fishing in the Indian River Lagoon with some local guides. This 33-inch, 11.5 pound speck was caught by my guide on Tuesday, Geoff Page. It was hiding in a hole in a grass bed and hit a D.O.A. shrimp in their new glow over gold flake color. We caught two more trout heavier than 5 pounds and a fair scattering of smaller ones, plus some snook and a couple of jacks.

    I learned some things at the writers conference, plus got to check out some new products from D.O.A., Shimano, Power Pro, and Eagle Claw. The best part was learning some new fishing techniques. Look for them in some future colums in S.C. Sportsman Magazine.

    Good fishing,
    Capt. Jerry Dilsaver

    June 15, 2008 at 8:17pm

    Nice Fish, I know you had fun. My favorite way of cooking reds is to remove the side, scales and all and cook them on the grill in the scales. Once cooked they scoop right out of the sking and scales. I usually rub them down with Cackalacky Rub, which adds all the neccessary seasonings.

    October 21, 2010 at 4:50pm
    A comment titled: big yak in response to a report titled: Spanish Macks by Yak

    Nope Jeff, the yak in the pic is a Wilderness Tarpon 130T, but the picture was taken from a Hobie Pro Angler. You were sorta close.

    The wind was blowing 15-20 when this pic was taken, but it was from the north and off the beach, so it wasn't rough in this area. The forecast for the tournament is for less than 10 knots and again from the north to northeast. The kayak anglers in the king mackerel division might just post some excellent results. I don't know that the results will make it up Saturday night, but they should be there sometime Sunday. They will also be in the NCS magazine.

    October 05, 2010 at 4:17pm
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