Saltwater Summer Fishing is in Full Swing here in SE North Carolina! We have had a very busy fishing season so far with lots of Fishing Trips in the Books. Fishing has been Excellent Most days and Okay to Good on those windy & rainy days as adjusting to the summer time weather is essential to having consistent successful fishing trips. During the past two weeks Fishing Topsail, Wrightsville & Carolina Beach we have boated many very large Flounder, Grey Trout, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Red Drum along with numerous smaller fish (a good sign for the upcoming Fall Fishing!).
ProFishNC Charters Quick Look at Successful Inshore Fishing Summertime Tactics:
- Drift Fish to cover ground: Drifting Livebaits and Artificials is key to finding the fish this time of year. If you are having a hard time locating good numbers of inshore fish in your area, fish the inlets and creeks directly around the inlets using the Drifting Technique. You can drift any tide at any time as long as you can control your boat. Use the wind and currents to your advantage as you find your “set & drift” then line up your boat for the longest drift possible. Use Carolina Rigs for drifting live-baits and Heavy Jigs (I use Blue Water Candy Jigheads with Berkeley Gulp!) for your artificial baits. With this technique, even a novice fisherman will be able to locate the fish and be able to more efficiently fish where the fish are feeding.
- Find Live Bait and USE IT!: The fish are feeding HEAVY on mullet and menhaden right now; therefore, you should use them as well! Pinning a live mullet to a Carolina Rig (w/ a 2ot Circle Hook) is catching HUGE Numbers of Flounder right now around the inlets. The Red Drum have been keyed in on Live Menhaden and Mullet on Carolina Rigs as well. This time of year, fishing the deep-water docks with live baits has been producing good numbers of Red Drum even on the hottest of afternoons!
- Fish the Docks & Grasslines and Inlets: When Inshore Fishing during the HEAT of the Summer the backwaters heat up quick! Because of this many inshore fish move out to the deeper docks, ICW Grasslines and Inlets to find the water that is a few degrees cooler than the HOT Backwaters of the Inland marshes and creeks. Focusing your inshore fishing strategy to fish the deeper tidal waters will produce more fish During the “Dog Days” of our hottest summer months.
- Always have out a Monster Bait: Lots of big fish are moving through right now (Big Red Drum, Big Flounder, Big Bluefish, Big Cobia…and the infamous Mystery Fish (we’ve all had a monster or two on the line that we could not get a glance at before she breaks free). Remember to use top notch gear for your monster lines (I use Shamino Spheros 10000 with 60 lb PowerPro braid and 40-60 lb Fluorocarbon Leader).
- Circle Hooks/Pink Fluorocarbon/ Presentation: I am a HUGE Proponent of Circle Hooks! Yes, even for Inshore Fishing (for many reasons). One, you will kill less juvenile fish when the fish really takes your bait deep. Circle Hooks are designed with the point facing the shank allowing the hook to set in the corner of the fishes mouth. Two, we take the “Missed Hookset” out of the fishing equation as you just wait until you line pulls tight then reel in slowly. *Note: If you do hook a fish too deep and you intend on releasing the fish, ALWAYS just cut your line and re-tie a new hook or jig head on your leader. Believe it or not, most fish survive deep hooksets as their body will work the hook out; however, once you pull on a deep set hook the odds of survival are drastically reduced. I use Pink Fluorocarbon for my leaders for two reasons: One, Fluorocarbon is very abrasion resistant and holds up longer on all of the toothy critter and dock pilings encounters! Two, the color PINK is the first color to disappear when entered into the water column. Pink will become invisible at two feet; therefore, creating a more natural looking presentation of your baits.
As Always, Tight Lines and Take the Family Fishing this Season!
Capt. Trevor Smith
ProFishNC Charters “We Have Fun & Catch Fish!”