Spanish mackerel blowout on Ocean Isle Pier (by Saltyweeks) - Post Awards -
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Spanish mackerel blowout on Ocean Isle Pier (by Saltyweeks)

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Awarded by , 05-20-2010 at 09:44 AM (2691 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by saltyweeks View Post

I just got back from a week-long trip to the coast where I absolutely slayed the Spanish Mackerel from the Ocean Isle Pier, as well as catching many whiting (sea mullet). I also had some good flounder fishing with a friend inshore at the Sunset Beach Bridge.

By far the highlight of the trip was the Spanish mackerel fishing. Spanish mackerel and bluefish were hitting for several days off and on at the Ocean Isle Pier. I saw many Spanish caught on Gotcha plugs, but I really did the job on them using my own customized Spanish gold hook rig.

I’m not too shy to say I was the envy of the pluggers around me as I wore out the Spanish mackerel and also caught plenty of blues at the Ocean Isle Pier. There were two days I caught my limit of Spanish on the pier.

There was a third day there however (Tuesday) where the wind blew so much it was almost impossible to throw my gold hook rig, and the Spanish were not biting anyway. On that day I settled for bottom fishing.

I did pretty well catching some nice-size whiting (sea mullet) but the some local pier vets around me did even better, filling their cooler with nice sea mullet during the “Mullet Blow” day. The guys who really cleaned up were throwing fresh cut shrimp off of the end of the pier.

Most of the time I was pier fishing I was with my friend Randy Patterson (known locally as the Ice Man) who was using Gotcha plugs and catching his share of Spanish, including one that was bigger than any of mine for the week.

Randy lives at Ocean Isle Beach but had never been down to the Sunset Beach Bridge fishing. When I told him about the great flounder action there he wanted to go, so one day we forsook the Spanish mackerel bite and hit the Sunset Bridge.

At first we were fishing Gulp shrimp on jig heads. I caught plenty of small flounder but no keepers. Eventually Randy took his cast net (he’s a better thrower than me) up into the Sunset Beach creeks and we caught some big corncob size finger mullet.

We fished the finger mullet for about a half hour getting nothing before deciding to back to the pier and the Spanish. I had already packed up to leave and Randy was reeling in his flounder rig when I heard him say “Um...wait a minute Jeff.”

He then paused and looked very focused while something munched on his big mullet. After about thirty seconds he set the hook on a gorgeous 21-inch flounder that I netted up the rocks for him. We took a pic, threw it in the cooler, and went back to catching Spanish mackerel on the pier.

Overall it was a great week and great fun fishing. I was on assignment interviewing some important local folks and writing a two-part story for the Brunswick Beacon about the potentially troubled future of Carolina recreational fishing that will be out in print starting next Thursday.

But around the work there were many days of terrific fishing. If you are in lower NC or upper SC I suggest you find out if the Spanish mackerel are at your local pier and then make yourself a gold hook rig. If they are there I guarantee you’ll beat out the guys throwing Gotcha plugs.

Jeffrey Weeks


  1. KMNIII3's Avatar
    Saltyweeks - could you describe how to make a gold hook rig? I'm going to OIB later in June, would love to try one.
  2. Stillerfan's Avatar
    Nice catches for the week. I to am interested in your gold hook rig. Going to Topsail at the end of June and will be pier fishing.
  3. Bread Man 1's Avatar
    Stillerfan, they sell them at all of the Topsail Piers. Easy to make. If unsure what they look like, just ask for a diamond jig gold hook rig.