Another beautiful slick-as-glass morning and I’m up and rarin’ to go at 5am – then my charter calls with some bad news – a late start combined with car issues. So we postpone our 6:15am launch time to (YIKES!) 10am! Since they booked me for a full day, I wasn’t worried. I was just a bit concerned about gettin’ on the fish,! but these guys were laid-back and simply wanted to fish. To top that off – boy could these guys fish!!

We cruised out of the inlet with a bait well full of mullet – and low and behold, no breakers, no birds, nothin’. The only site was a group of apparently clueless people trying to snorkel at the Fort Macon jetty – a bit too dangerous for snorkeling, if you ask me… Anyways, we cruised the beach and ran into several schools of tightly packed pogies. Ignored by everyone else, we decided to give them a closer look. Lucky for us, they were surrounded by schools of mostly small Spanish (12 -14”) that were not, in the slightest sense, picky. Bill had a blast catching them on the fly-rod (pictured below). After we tired of that, we motored over to some of my flounder spots.

Predicting another day of a slow bite, I was soon to be surprised. Within an hour and 45 minutes, they boated 14 legal fish (most of which were between 2 and 3lbs) and 3 or 4 shorts. We kept 9 flatties and released the rest.

But we still had plenty of time to kill – so what do next? We decided to head out to some live-bottom in the area of NW Places – it was so calm, I made the 14 mile run in less than 25 minutes. Once we got out there, we put some strip baits in the water and trolled for an hour or so – had a nice gaffer dolphin sky on our baits and briefly hook up before pulling the hook – overall, we produced probably 8 strikes and no takers. The most exciting part of the whole trip was all the big yellowfin tuna we saw sky-ing within 100yds of the boat – it seemed like every 20 mins we’d see another big splash. Next time, I’m bringing my kite-fishing gear!

They were a bit bored of trolling, so we decided to drop some baits for bottom fish – even though I had no anticipated bottom fishing and didn’t really have very good bait. The big surprise was the big trigger fish! We boated 3 (all 4-5lbs) almost instantly on the one squid strip I had brought for trolling. I can only imagine how many we would have caught had I brought proper bait. We also broke off a couple of grouper and landed some nice grunts, etc.

On the way in, we encountered a huge bluefish blitz outside the inlet– all the fish were a good sized (1-3lbs). Every cast produced a fish and Bill had a blast landing them on the fly! We ended up with 3 spanish, 10 or so blues, 9 nice flounder and 3 triggers.

All together, what an interesting trip! We tried just about everything and had pretty much constant action of some sort! Good job guys!