NC angler catches pending world record bigscale pomfret

The folks at Chasin Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Beach, NC weighed in a bigscale pomfret that could become the new world record. It is about 6 pounds heavier than the current world record, a 20-pound, 10-ounce bigscale pomfret caught in 2004 out of St. Augustine, FL.

North Carolina anglers Jeremiah Elliot, Trever Burns, Chandler Butler and Zack Elliot were fishing outside of Beaufort Inlet when they called Chasin Tails on the evening of Friday, April 21, 2023. The men wanted to make sure the store’s weigh scales were open and in order.

With cell phone reception cutting in and out, the folks at Chasin Tails couldn’t hear the call well enough to know what kind of fish they were bringing in. 

“We really had no idea what they had, as it was hard to hear them over the phone,” they said.

The fish tipped the scales at 26.71 pounds. The species has a closely-related cousin, the Atlantic pomfret, and a fisheries biologist positively identified this catch as a bigscale on Monday, April 24. 

Because it’s not a fish commonly caught in North Carolina waters, the state does not currently list the bigscale pomfret in its record books. Chasin Tails is assisting the anglers in having this fish certified as North Carolina’s first state record for the species, and having it certified as the new world record.

NC angler breaks white grunt state record

New NC state white grunt caught on Jan. 2, 2023.

Logan Ennis of Red Oak, NC was fishing near the 14 Buoy off of Morehead City on Jan. 2, 2023 when he caught the new North Carolina state record white grunt.

Ennis’ fish weighed 4 pounds, 13.6 ounces. He caught the fish on a Daiwa Saltist 35HG reel mounted to a Star Rod jigging rod. He was using squid as bait. The fish was 17.5 inches long (fork length), with a girth of 16 inches.

Chasin’ Tails Outdoors weighed the fish and helped Ennis contact the Marine Fisheries headquarters to confirm the measurements.

The NC Division of Marine Fisheries certified the fish as the new record, besting the previous record of 4 pounds, 8 ounces, which was caught off Cape Lookoot in 1969.

Saltwater ponds are perfect for flounder

Pay attention to saltwater ponds while on vacation — they often hold big flounder.

Whether you live along the Carolina coastline or are just visiting for vacation, don’t overlook the saltwater ponds that are abundant in some areas. Many vacation resorts feature ponds that either visibly connect to the inshore waters or have a series of hidden culverts that bring water (and fish) into and out of the ponds.

Many of these ponds hold flounder. Some of these fish get into the ponds and never leave, gorging on baitfish every time the tide flows in. So even though the waters are relatively small, some hold big flounder.

The typical baits work here — finger mullet and mud minnows on Carolina rigs are great. But bucktail jigs are just as good when worked slowly and methodically. Many anglers stand on the bank and cast toward the middle, but those in the know make long casts that land much closer to the shoreline, then work the bait or lure slowly as it runs parallel to the sea wall or bank. Just like when fishing a freshwater pond for bass, few fish live in the middle of a pond, with most constantly patrolling the shallower water near the banks.

This type of fishing is good because it doesn’t take up a whole day, so if you’re on a family vacation, you can do it while grilling or while other family members take showers for a night out. Or you can do it as a family without having to hire a charter or dedicate a certain amount of time to it.

It’s laid-back fishing that can pay big dividends. Try it next time you head to the coast.

NC saltwater fishing report: early July

North Carolina’s saltwater fishing report is a hot one.

Anglers along the North Carolina coastline have been catching a variety of species of fish for the past few weeks. The fishing forecast looks to be just as good for the immediate future.

Manteo 

This past Saturday, the fishing fleet out of Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo dodged the tropical storm, and their anglers brought back yellowfin tuna, dolphinfish, wahoo, sea bass, and a pile of tilefish. They also released two billfish — a blue marlin from COUNTRY GIRL and a sailfish from OBSESSION. The day before, it was much of the same on the meatfish, and a white marlin was released from HAPHAZARD. Nearshore anglers out of Manteo caught lots of Spanish mackerel and ribbonfish.

A variety of species are hitting the docks daily for anglers fishing out of Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo

Williamston

In the Williamston area, anglers fishing with Capt. Scooter Lilley of CWW Inshore Charters have been slaying the speckled trout in the past week to 10 days. With breaks for stripers, catfish and largemouth bass in the freshwater, Lilley’s saltwater trips have put limits of specks in the boat numerous times. They’ve released a lot of trout (40 in one trip for two anglers) and kept some for the fryer. They’ve also caught some redfish, and an occasional catch-and-release flounder.

Capt. Scooter Lilley’s clients have been catching tons of trout with CWW Charters.

Atlantic Beach

In the Atlantic Beach area, anglers are catching everything from cobia, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, red drum, sheepshead and speckled trout. Many reports of catch-and-release flounder, including a 28-incher caught by youth angler Tucker Kane, have also been coming in to the folks at Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle.

Youth angler Tucker Kane caught a pile of flounder, including this 28-incher while fishing out of Atlantic Beach.

Hatteras

Anglers in Hatteras are having a field day with a variety of fish. Red drum on the beaches have made up many reports coming into the Red Drum Tackle Shop. Madison Thume caught a 33-inch cobia from the beach. Other reports include speckled trout, blues, sea mullet and Spanish. One angler also recently caught a 3-pound, 7-ounce pompano that he weighed in at Red Drum. Sand fleas and shrimp have been the bait of choice for many anglers here.

Tracey Farber shows off her first red drum, caught in Hatteras.

The fishing is good, so get out there and enjoy it!