The Virginian-Pilot
                             THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT 
              Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: Sunday, July 9, 1995                   TAG: 9507060200
COLUMN: Tight Lines 
SOURCE: Damon Tatem
                                             LENGTH: Medium:   78 lines


Cobia and king mackerel at piers along the Dare Coast have continued to provide anglers with plenty of entertainment recently. Although the pace of live bait fishing has slowed a little compared with the last several weeks, it is considerably better than in the past few years.

Not only have king mackerel and cobia been plentiful, but unusually large fish have been landed, such as a 64 1/2-pound cobia taken by Steve Dombrowski of Nags Head and a 62-pound king mackerel by Kevin Holland.

The five piers along the northern beaches reported 13 cobia and seven king mackerel taken between June 27 and July 3. Pier fishermen on Hatteras Island decked two cobia and 16 king mackerel in that period.

Frisco pier was the most productive location on Hatteras Island, with 10 kings and one cobia landed. A number of big tarpon were hooked and lost from the pier on July 2. The two largest king mackerel reported from the Hatteras area each weighed 54.5 pounds and were taken on live bait from Rodanthe Pier by Jerry Eaton of Rodanthe and Pete Kenton of Salvo. Eaton's king was caught Sunday and Kenton's was caught Monday.

Besides the big fish already mentioned, pier fishing along the northern beaches has been fair with spot, croaker, sea mullet, tailor blues and Spanish mackerel landed. Most of the bluefish and Spanish mackerel have been taken on jiggers with red heads and white or green bodies. A few nice-sized trout have been caught, but action hasn't been predictable or dependable.

Surf fishing from Corolla to Oregon Inlet has been fair. Small bottom fish have provided the bulk of the action. The best fishing has been early in the mornings or late in the afternoons. Bloodworms have been the most productive bait, although some anglers have had good luck catching sea mullet and pompano on sand fleas.

Flounder have been plentiful around Oregon Inlet, but most have been under the legal limit of 14 inches in the ocean and 13 inches in the sound. Several good catches of speckled trout have been reported from the Bonner Bridge catwalk and the revetment on the inlet's south side. Anglers using sand fleas and crabs for bait have scored well on sheepshead in the same areas.

Fishing for sea mullet, spot and croaker has been good along the beach from ramp 23 to Buxton. Some good catches of Spanish mackerel weighing up to six pounds have been taken at Cape Point. Puppy drum, flounder and bottom fish also have been reported. Bottom fish, bluefish and flounder have been beached from Cape Point to Hatteras Inlet.

Anglers on Ocracoke Island have landed fair numbers of small bottom fish. Some puppy drum have been taken from both the north and south ends of the island after dark. Pompano, however, have been unusually scarce.

Headboats operating around Oregon Inlet report good fishing for croaker, sea bass and triggerfish. Some good catches of flounder have been reported from the Davis Slough area by small boat fishermen.

Inshore trolling around Oregon Inlet has been generally slow, with a few Spanish mackerel and blues taken. Charters have caught kings, cobia and plenty of jacks in deeper water around offshore towers.

Well offshore, dolphin fishing has been consistently good off Oregon Inlet. Yellowfin tuna fishing has been slow. Billfishing, which had been mediocre during the past few weeks, improved dramatically on July 1. Good catches of marlin were reported from southeast of Oregon Inlet below the Diamond Shoals light tower. The Wildfire, fishing out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, released six white marlin. Five white marlin were released by the Sea Toy and three by the Dare Devil. Some marlin were taken the following day, but action shifted to areas northeast of the inlet.

Charters off Hatteras Island have caught plenty of dolphin of mixed sizes. Tuna have been scarce, but a few nice-sized 50- to 70-pound yellowfins have been taken. The Hatteras fleet released over 15 billfish on July 1, including three white marlin and a sailfish by the Release, two blue marlin by the Bullfrog, a sailfish by the Lucky Chip and a white marlin by the Atlantic Blue. ILLUSTRATION: Staff photo by DREW C. WILSON

Anglers on small boats troll for fish at Oregon Inlet where trout

and bluefish have been taken recently.

by CNB