Another beautiful slick-as-glass morning and Iâ€™m up and rarinâ€™ to go at 5am â€“ then my charter calls with some bad news â€“ 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 wasnâ€™t worried. I was just a bit concerned about gettinâ€™ on the fish,! but these guys were laid-back and simply wanted to fish. To top that off â€“ 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, nothinâ€™. The only site was a group of apparently clueless people trying to snorkel at the Fort Macon jetty â€“ a bit too dangerous for snorkeling, if you ask meâ€¦ 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 -14â€) 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 â€“ so what do next? We decided to head out to some live-bottom in the area of NW Places â€“ 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 â€“ had a nice gaffer dolphin sky on our baits and briefly hook up before pulling the hook â€“ 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 â€“ it seemed like every 20 mins weâ€™d see another big splash. Next time, Iâ€™m bringing my kite-fishing gear!
They were a bit bored of trolling, so we decided to drop some baits for bottom fish â€“ even though I had no anticipated bottom fishing and didnâ€™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 inletâ€“ 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!