Wow – how crazy has this past week been? The week before easter weekend, it was sunny and in the 80s and the water temps off the beach were approaching 64 degrees! A few bonito were showing and the water was even getting too warm for seamullet! Then the artic got us!
Even so, on the approach of the cold front, we had good fishing inshore and off the beach and we were able to do pretty well after the front started to push out.
Bonito Days: April 17, April 22(sun), April23, 24, 29(Sun), 30, May 1, 2, 11
Roanoke River OpeningsL May 2nd PM-May 3rd AM, MAy 6th PM-May 7th AM, May 9th PM-MAy 10th AM. [/b]
Here’s the latest report and I’ll follow it with a recap of what else has been going on…
4/10 – I fished again with Dave and Sue – these two live to fish and we have a ball together. Plus, this past Wednesday was drop dead gorgeous and slick calm all morning. We hit the backwaters and found 54 degree water in the morning and 62 degree water by mid-afternoon.
First fish of the day was a nice fat 17″ speckled trout that nailed a tsuanami swim bait. During the rest of the afternoon, I poled around the whole time and we were able to pick away athe small 14-20″ reds on tsuanami swim baits, worked very slowly along the edges of oyster bars. The water was crystal clear but we did not find many fish we could sight-cast to today – we found a few stragglers and one decent school that we blew out of a bay before we could get a shot. Most fish we found in the dirty water on silty, muddy bottoms – a contrast from similar conditions in March.
Towards the middle of the tide, Sue caught the fish of the day on a spinnerbait – a gorgeous upper slot red. A quick pic and he went back in the drink!
We’ve been experiencing good redfishing since mid-March. But it’s spring reds for you – one day you see 10 giant schools and catch 20 fish. The next day you see 10 schools and catch 1 fish. However, the fish are still in pretty definite patterns – if you find areas holding fish, chances are they’ll be there the next few days, etc. The rewards are high though – and with the water as crystal clear as it is…sight-fishing conditions are fantastic!
While you can catch fish on all tides, outgoing or low-tide has been the best (the water is the warmest) in areas of darker bottoms or scattered oyster rocks. Spinner-baits rolled extremely slow, righto n the bottom are producing well…and jerkbaits on a weighted hook and small split-tail jigs are also effective.
We also have managed a few nice trout and some early flounder (like Rod’s 17″ fish this past Friday!)
Mike’s first Red!
While the seamullet bite slowed this past week, the cold front fired it up again. This past Wednesday, Dave’s grandson, Nick, murdered them in the turning basin – we landed close to 40 keepers with countless small croakers, little gray trout, etc etc etc. mixed it. It’s great fun and excellent eats – nothing like a seamullet that’s so big you can filet him, fried real crispy! Mmmm mmm!
The Bonito made a very short and fleeting appearance on the 3rd and 4rth – but the cold front lowered the water out of their comfort zone and pushed the few “scouts” back to warmer water offshore. However, we also found good numbers of snapper 1-3lb blues and a great bite of aggressive False Albacore from the Beach to the ARs. This past Thursday we trolled up a bunch of bites, and while we had numerous malfunctions on all sides, Paul landed his first False Albacore, ever!
Friday also showed us an AWESOME bite on the beach – nice big pods crushing big silversides. While they were a bit up and down, a little work would give us good shots at a couple big pods every 5-10 minutes.
This action should continue until mid-month and the Bonito move in thick – and speaking of Bonito. It;s only a matter of days – and my space is limited. SO BOOK NOW.
Paul’s first False Albacore!