8/27 – Today I fished with regular client Gregg and his wife Bev – who was coming along for the first time. Out goal today was to put Bev on some big slot fish, and we accomplished that task shortly. Gregg started off landing a rat on a spinner, and then we found small groups of drum running the shoreline, pushing wakes and bird-dogging shrimp out of the grass. The fishing was tough though – you have to literally put the lure on the fish’s nose to get him to eat it.
Bev hooked and landed the first first – a gorgeous 26″ slot slammed her spinnerbait and she followed, quickly, with a rat. We spent the rest of the day doing this, casting to small wakign schools and small groups of drum rolling in the grass. We had a couple factors working against us today, one was the increasing south wind, hot temps…..and all the dang nets in the water. We found huge, 500-1000 yd gill nets in just about every spot we went. One of them was even loaded with literally hundred of dead, rotting and spoiled red drum. The worst part – besides for not checking his net often enough – this type of fishing is completely legal in North Carolina. It also makes my day hard – when I plan a charter around the tides, wind and conditions (which are all usually working against me)…running into nets really messed up my schedule. They aren’t exactly good for fishing.
But I don’t want to dwell on nets for two long, while we had a lot going against us we still eeked out a very good catch. Among a few more rats, Greg finally got a slot fish to roll on a spinnerbait as it rolled on shrimp in about a foot of water. Bev followed with another beautiful slot fish – beatign out greg for the day. I told her many times – and I’ll say it here – she should be so proud of her accomplishments. She beat her very experienced husband and landed mulitple reds on artificial baits. Not any fisherman can do that!
We didn’t have the number of the days prior, but we still had a great day and we made up for by cast netting about 8-10lbs of 20-30 count greentail shrimp.
Awesome day guys!!!
8/26 – This morning I took out Mike, Mike and Johnny of Little Washington. Big Mike and Johnny were both spin-casters and little Mike (well, Young Mike) was a fantastic fly-caster. This morning we started very early and found the reds right away, catching a rat within minutes and finding wake-pushing, shrimp-busting fish immeadiatly.
We found a lot of small schools of fish on shrimp today and picked away at them all morning and into the afternoon. We worked our butts off to try to get Mike one on the fly – and he was a trooper, working his butt off. He had two great strikes on a top-water mullet-imitation popper and had four good takes on a shrimp pattern as I had him sight-casting to busting schools of fish. Keep this in mind though, when these reds are eating shrimp they can be very difficult to fool – with all the bait in the water you need to get the lure right on the red’s nose to get a hit. It can be a little frustrtaing, particularly when you’re casting to singles and small schools, but persistance pays off. That’s why spinner-baits are so effective this time of year – it stands out from the crowd and the drum literally can’t ignore it!
Johnny pulled off the catch of the day today – we were watching a single slot fish roll on shrimp in the grass and he arced his lure right on the fish’s head. Right as the lure was about to hit the water, the red turned and literally caught it as it hit the water. I’ve had this happen before and it makes me believe that these guys are honestly catching shrimp after they pop and fall to the water. Amazing.
We didn’t have the numbers of the previous day but still managed double digits of slots. Awesome day guys! I look forward to having y’all back!
8/25 – Today I had the pleasure of fishing with Win and his friend Lee. They are fantastic anglers and we had an incredible day too boot!!!!
We started off the morning a little late, picking away at 3 or 4 slot fish and a couple rats in the first hour and this continued for the first half of the charter – it was great fishing though, we saw fish smacking shrimp and pushing wakes down the bank, just like I’ve been seeing almost everyday for the previous two weeks!
After the tide slacked and it began to fall – it simply became an epic day. Up to this point we boated around 8 slots and some rats, and I looked down the shoreline – a huge wake was coming towards us. We sat and waited for the school – as it came closer, I saw it was about 50 fish balled up against the bank. Win and Lee threw out their spinnerbaits and placed them on either side of the school – the school split in two and each half went after one of the baits. As drum swirled around each of the hooked fish, trying to steal the lures out of their mouth, absolute confusion reigned. Both anglers were convinced their lines were wrapped as they looked down and saw big drum swirling around their fish.
This went on for the entire rest of the day – each oyster bar and bank held another large school and we stayed hooked up for hours. We watched fish come charging out of the grass and slam spinnerbaits right under the surface – today these fish were so aggressive it was mind-boggling. I lost count of all the fish we caught – easy upwards of 20. As the water fell out around us and I was poling out of the creek – LEe even caught three blind casting over the mud flats. WHAT A DAY GUYS!!!!
8/24 – I went out mid-morning with Katie for about 3 hours to check out a few spots, scout a few areas and net a few shrimp for dinner. Well, we found the reds right away – right where I left them. We started off picking away at the slot fish and a few rats (landing about 4 slots and 3 or 4 rats), blind casting spinnerbaits to slightly windward banks. After we made a small detour and netted about 6 pounds of 15-25 count shrimp, we hit a few new areas.
Within 2 minutes of putting the trolling motor down – a big school of slot fish came charging down the bank, pushing a huge wake and “bird dogging” shrimp. When I say bird dogging – these reds act like guys on a deer drive. They run down the bank in tight schools, pushing wakes and making as much noise as possible to scare the shrimp out of the grass. When the shrimp start popping – they hammer them.
After katie and I each pulled a 26″ slot fish out of the school, we continued down the bank landing another slot drum every 10 minutes or so. It was almost too easy! To close out the day, we found two more big schools hammering shrimp and left them biting to go make shrimp quesadillas for lunch. Total for the day was 12 slots and a few rats – we could have caught them all day long and into the night. Oh, and of course – katie caught twice as many fish as me 😕 Howqever, she did lose a BIG flounder right at the boat.