The kickoff I was expecting has not materialized, but there are plenty of fish to catch. We need some really cold weather and a good NE blow. The Spots are out there as the sink netters have been loading up just offshore but we need a NE wind to push ’em down and on the beach. Once we get a good NE wind, they should explode according to the amounts that have been coming into the fish houses.
The good news is that the specks and reds have surely gone on the feed, and it looks like there will be a bumper crop this year if I keep seeing what I am seeing now. There are lots of good sized specks in the surf at night if you are willing to forego the comfort of your bed for the evening. The 17m-808 Mirrolure and the 52m-808 have been some awesome baits so far this year, but it is always good to have some other colors like the Night Stalker and the Electric Chicken. The reds are being caught at the inlets and off the piers in good numbers as well on cut mullet, Mirrolures and gold spoons. Lots of good eating sized black drum are being caught on cut shrimp too.
On the soundside, the reds and specks are in full feeding mode as they are making their way out to the ocean. On the soundside the VuDu shrimp by Egret baits has been killing them. Specks, reds and even big pompano have been hammered by this brand new bait. Pink and pearl with a chartreuse tail have been the go to colors. The flounder bite is pretty good, but the gigging has been awesome. It is prime time for gigging right now.
If you want to have a nearshore adventure, the false albacore are making their annual pilgrimage. These guys are busting baits all along the coast and will readily take Diamond Jigs, Gotcha Plugs as well as flies. The black sea bass are still in season and are on the feed as well. The nearshore flounder bite is on fire too. Two-ounce bucktails tipped with Gulp shrimp are for sure a good way to go.
Offshore the schoolie king bite is good from 12-23 miles and frozen cigar minnows on Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs are getting the job done. The grouper bite is in full swing too. If you feel like taking a ride the stream is stacked with big wahoo that are ready to feed. High speed trolling with planer rods seems to be the ticket for big fun and full freezers.
Tight lines and fair winds!
Capt. Chris Medlin is a third-generation tackle shop owner and charter captain. He makes his home on Topsail but loves fishing all over. Most of the time you can find him at East Coast Sports in Surf City or just contact him through his website at Eastcoastsports.com.