Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Capt. Ray says

"Been catching some nice specks and stripers in the river and the beach bite is on fire too.  We got a few openings."
----- Ray

Sunday, October 22, 2017

All reports aren't good

This one isn't great.  My first day on the water, took my dad and my buddy Brett Hinson who has built me some very cool sticks.  www.carolinacustomrods.com 

I spent most of the time up around New Bern within 3 or 4 miles either side of the bridge.  I threw a spook-like walk the dog topwater bait for about 4 solid hours.  I had 6 very lazy bites from what looked like decent fish, probably stripers or perhaps a trout, but only caught one 17 inch striper.   Brett caught a puppy drum on a rattle trap.

I was blown away by the amount of bait.  Despite what has been generally good water quality this year, the menhaden were having a hard time of it.   There were school after school of little 2-4 inch menhaden from one side of the river to the other and spanning several miles.   It was dead calm, so O2 may have been a little low, but a lot of these menhaden also had sores, something that we have not seen in a long time.

Unlike catostrophic fish kills of years past, these were not all turning belly up at the same time and there were almost zero dead, rotten floating menhaden.   As soon as one would go into a death spiral a gull would plop down and pluck him up.  There were plenty of menhaden falling out of formation and going into a circle and there were thousands upon thousands of sea gulls on top of them at the first sign of struggle.

 The menhaden schools were pretty tight and balled on the surface.   Sometimes would be 30 or 40 gulls hovering and plucking weak and injured.   What was oddly missing is sign of fish frenzy chasing and feeding on menhaden.   We got a bite about everywhere we went and would see an occassional slow swril as a striper or trout sipped one down, but nothing crazy.  Almost everywhere we went, there was the same story. 

It was mid day before we got out there and I have heard that the morning and late afternoon bite were completely different, but I thought we would get more bites than we did......just way too much bait and the fish were full, hence the lazy bites.

On a positive side, there was a lot of bait, good to see that.  Also there were a lot of very healthy looking mullet around, of all sizes.  We did see some finger mullet get showered on the shoreline a couple of times, also close to where I missed a couple on the spook.  There were no signs of dead or distressed fish other than these little menhaden.   I'm sure there were plenty of fish around cleaning up from below at the right time of day and the gulls were doing a good job of keeping things cleaned up on top. 

Since I'm semi-retired from the guiding thing, I can really appreciate those who are out there fishing on their days off to stay on the bite, "prefishing" before trips and keeping a pulse on what's going on.  My efforts today don't reflect the good fishing that those guides have been experiencing because they are spending time on the water.    That's what it's all about.   On my next trip, I think I'm going to save some time hunting around and just hire one of the guides.

Friday, October 20, 2017

striper action on fire


 Some pics from a recent trip with Capt. Jennings, most on topwater

Thursday, October 19, 2017

On the way home

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Negotiating the price of mud crabs

Although very nice crabs, I think that the crabber got the better end of the deal.

Excellent striped bass fishing with Capt. Greg

and yes there are still some big drum in the riva!

Ashley and trout fishing

If you want to learn about trout fishing, this would be the year to do it and we have just the guy.   Give Melissa a ring at 252-671-3474



Took my casino winnings and put together a last minute charter.  A lot of rain and a lot of casting and 8 hours s later pat and I each got a bite.  Both on spooks.  I missed mine.  This one is dinner.  Along with three mud crabs we bought off a crabber.  Mud crabs are like supersized stone crabs.  

Like a cross between a snook and a tarpon......and yes, they do jump.  
All are born as males and grow up in the estuary, turn to females and go to the ocean to spawn.  They get over 60 pounds. 

All in one day with Capt. Greg

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lots of spots back home

Picture from Capt. Ray catch from yesterday's 5 boat trip organized by Down East Guide Service

Now some Marlin Porn

See the reef in the background, sometimes the bite came less than 100 yards from the break and in less than 100 ft of water.   
The high boat averaged 2 black marlin releases each day, including 4 over 500 pounds and one of those nearly hitting the half ton mark.   I got to see one of those yesterday, estimated in the teens, way, way over a grand.   That was the one we came for, although I didn't know it at the time.   I have a great new appreciation for what these blokes are doing down here with heavy tackle marlin fishing and why people come from all over the world to do it.  


In the corner