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Weekend Blitz Report

Morehead City - Atlantic Beach - Harkers - Cape Lookout
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Weekend Blitz Report

Postby KnotCase » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:04 am

After the blow last week, some of us wondered if the albies would still be around. Sounds funny now, considering the 4 days of superb fishing from Thursday through Sunday! And once I heard about the blitz Thursday morning, I knew I had to skip work on Friday!

I left Raleigh at 4:30 AM Friday, and I was in my boat and pulling away from the HIFC dock around 8. The fish were way offshore - almost to the Kunckle, but the bite was on! Before long, I was tight to the first of many. With the camera rigged with a wireless trigger, I even captured a few moments like this:
HWD_2972.jpg

Before the day ended, I had released 16 nice, fat albies.

Matti Majorin joined me on Saturday. We left the dock shortly after 7 and headed for the deep. When we turned the corner at #4, we found a big rolling SE swell - where did that come from? We found our first big piles of birds around Cape Point. It looked like it might be bluefish, so we kept steaming South. Apparently, we were wrong - we soon heard on the radio that Dog Tired and some of the other guys had busting albies under those birds! We found our own fish busting out past the slot, and we were hooked up and happy soon enough. But the morning bite never seemed to gather much momentum, so we went searching...out to the Knuckle...then back down the West side of the Shoals...then across to the East Side...Did I say there was a big swell? :o Holy moly!

We found big schools of shad East of the Slot, and one meandering Mola Mola, but we did not see any evidence of albie activity so we turned back to the west. And as soon as we crossed back over, we were into birds working over breaking schools of albies. We didn't know it then, but we were in for one hell of an afternoon! We started picking up doubles right away. The action was moving south fairly quickly, and we followed it all the way to the Lumps. There was a small fleet camped out West of the Lumps, and soon after we got there we were into some serious blitzes. And it seemed like every time one of us hooked up, the other did too! :D We lost count of the number of doubles!

When the activity West of the Lumps slowed down a couple hours later, we started working our way farther offshore. And we continued to pick up fish here and there. By around 3:15 or so, the rest of the fleet had retired. It was just me and Matti in my boat, and Carl Heakins in his, out by the Knuckle Buoy. And it was Armageddon! We were surrounded by big bait balls and lots of eager fish. We had non-stop action for 90 minutes! Here's Carl getting it done:
_HWD0421-2.jpg


We could have kept right on fishing, but we were a long way from the dock and quickly running out of daylight. We landed our last fish at about 4:45, and then headed in. The icing on the cake? We were treated to a beauty of a sunset, and a cool moonrise! Here's a shot I took somewhere around Shark Island:
HWD_3060-2.jpg

It was completely dark by the time we rounded #4, so we had the pleasure of running the drain at night. But we made the dock safely at around 5:45, totally exhausted but absolutely satisfied.

Mattie and I went out again on Sunday. While the action wasn't as fast, we still caught a bunch of fish and again were treated to our share of doubles. What an extraordinary three day stretch!

For those of you watching at home, the water temps increased over the weekend. The temperature at the Rock Jetty was back up to 64.9 Sunday afternoon! And there is still a ton of bait around - so this amazing season might just keep going a little longer.
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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby KnotCase » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:07 am

A few more pics from the blitz:
HWD_3007.jpg

HWD_3085.jpg

HWD_3093.jpg
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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby scarter » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:53 am

Excellent report, Hugh! It's breezing about 20 from Santa's factory this morning, cooler at about 50. Will be checking to see if they've come in a little closer... :) That fishing was tops.
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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby Keysjake » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:56 am

Great Report Hugh,

Your pictures just keep getting better, what an amazing fishery we have here in paradise, it could last a lot longer with this weather. I will be back out there on Thursday. :D :D
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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby bhorsley » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:47 am

awesome report while i was hacking up a lung --jealous to say the least but glad you all got them. Great photos Hubert.

Got a text this am (19th) from Tiderunner about what looked like big schools of albies off the GMs
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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby brcarls » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:37 pm

How big was the mola mola? I've never seen one, that alone would have been with the trip to the east side for me

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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby KnotCase » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:24 pm

This Mola was about 3 1/2 feet across.
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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby Landlocked » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:27 pm

I was down Thursday and Friday,...both incredible days!! Friday I saw most of the fleet out past the shoals almost to the knuckle, I pushed out even farther and was into small, but very cooperative pods out around 70-80'. It was awesome riding back in Friday at 35mph and it still took 20 minutes to get back near shark island!!! I've never run the drain in the dark,...not sure I have the stones for it.
Let's hope they stick around for Boxing Day!!!!

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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby BlueHeron » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:30 pm

Great report Hugh!
Glad Mattie was able to keep his balance on such a large vessel. ;)
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Re: Weekend Blitz Report

Postby jeffnc » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Harkers Albies with Chris 2013 022.JPG
brcarls wrote:How big was the mola mola? I've never seen one, that alone would have been with the trip to the east side for me
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