The last few weeks have been amazing – the weather has been great and the waters are just full of bait…and the predators are right on their tails. Things are only going to get better and better – it’s time to book your october date now (time is getting limited!).

[b]Nearshore/Backwaters[/b]: The [b]red drum[/b] bite continues to sway from very good to amazing. The rain we’ve had during the last few weeks has done wonders for the bite (not that it neeeded any help) by muddying up the water and making the fish very aggressive and less spooky. The drum are busting shrimp up and down the bank and spinnebaits and topwater plugs have been working very, very well. While most fish are 22-26 inches – we’ve had a good number of 28-34″ fish the last few weeks. The [b]speckled trout[/b] bite is also off to a great start – I’ve been catching good numbers of 1-3lb fish back in the marsh and the bite is only going to get better and better into October.

The inlets and beaches are also teaming with 1-4lb bluefish and countless spanish – they’re busting mullet and all types of silversides and anchovies all over the place. The fish for them has been plain stupid with light tackle.

[b]Nearshore:[/b] Besides the millions of bluefish and smaller spanish – the wrecks have been covered up in big 3-7lb spanish that love to eat live finger mullet and greenies. We’ve been chumming them up with ease and have had killer strikes catching good numbers of fish in no time.

The albacore bite has also been very strong – there are great numbers of albacore on the beaches out to wherever. Some are on “rain bait” (micros) and, if you’re lucky, you can find them eating big silversides – but regardless, we’ve found them very fishable on light tackle and fly almsot every day during the last week.

The wrecks in the 5-15 mile range are also covered in sardines and cigar minnows – and there are predators all over the place. The king mackerel bite has been ridiculous and there are barracude and big schools of amberjacks all over the place – on the days we’ve been live bait fishing we’ve barely been able to keep a line in the water! However, [b]this past week was highlighted by a sailfish we caught only 4 miles off the beach![/b]

9/25 – This day I will remember forever. Chad and co. started off the morning bailing bluefish (catching countless fish) and spanish in the inlet on light spinning gear – we were casting to busting fish and stayed hooked up constantly for hours.

In the ocean we found great numbers of albacore – and we hooked a bunch and landed a couple. At the wrecks we found a great king bite landing a bunch of 7-10lb fish and broke off several very, very large amberjack. We also caught a nice 6lb spanish on one of the nearshore wrecks on the way in and lost several more.

However, the highlight was right in the middle of the day. [b]Just 4 miles off of Atlantic Beach,[/b] in greenish, 78 degree water, while casting to a pod of albacore, a school of ballyhoo/needlefish/houndfish got up and started skipping across the surface just off of my bow. One of them broke from the pack and skipped towards my boat, only to disapear in a huge splash less than 10 feet from my gunnel. I saw a large black shape right under the surface – and all of a sudden…it stuck it’s sail up, righ at the surface.

I freaked out, grabbed a king rod, caught a pogie with my bare hand out of the livewell, hooked it up and tossed it overboard. The bait swam straight down in a panic – and not seeing the sailfish, i reeled it up – and the sailfish came up after it. This sail was so hot we could lsee it changing colors before our eyes -I quickly tossed the bait back off my stern and he rushed the paniced pogie, and just 5 foot from my engine, started billing the bait, inhaled it and went tailwalking to the horizon.

A while later, Chad joined a very elite club – someone who has landed a sailfish in the nearshore waters of North Carolina. The fish revived easily and swam off strong – awesome man, awesome.

The other things we caught…. πŸ™‚

9/27 – What an amazing day – all day. Today it was slick calm and i had two trips – and we killed the kings, AJs and Cudas. We didnt go 5 minutes without a bite all day.

In the morning, Eric and Bethany put 7 kings in the boat (including a 15 a 20 and a 25lb fish) – and released every one. We also landed probably 5 or 6 big barracuda and broke off a half dozen or so AJs. The action was constant for 4 hours – constant reeling, double and triple headers. I even had to fight a few!

The afternoon was all about the AJs. I felt bad for Jason – he was alone and fought everything. He never had a break in the 4 hours we were fishing. In addition to his 7 kings (kept 1, released 6 – biggest was estimated in high teens) and 5 big cuds – Jason landed 3 or so 15-20lb AJs and broke off a ton in the struture. The schools of AJs was huge and was coming right up to my boat – the problem was that most of them were much, much too big (you know 70-80lbs) and we couldnt keep them off the structure.

Awesome job guys!

I had two days with Nicely crew this week – and we had two very fun days. First – the ocean day. I loaded up with live bait and hit the wrecks and while we spent part of the morning running from thunderstorms – we found a very, very hot bite of large spanish mackerel. Live chumming with finger mullet we had constant action for hours – we boated a good dozen 4-6lb spanish, lost or broke off just as many and had dozens of short strikes. Nolan was also able to hook a few on maria plugs and zara spooks – the problem was that the fish were so hot they kept sawing through my floro leaders and were hitting the little swivels. Amazing day guys!

The Nicely crew also did very well inshore – fishing in the rain one afternoon. We got into a nice speck bite, landing a half-dozen arond 2lbs on grubs. The drum bit was also very steady – we found them busting shrimp in the grass and were able to put a half-dozen in the boat on spinner baits (all were mid slot but Nolan was able to land one right at 33″). Nolan Snr was also able to get a couple of strikes on topwaters – no hook ups but it was a thrill!! Great day y’all!

Today I again had the pleasure of fishing with regular client Anthony and his son, Ammar (i know I spelled that wrong – correct me later!). First thing – we hammered the shrimp finding birds on big schools of nice 20-30 counters. We caught about 12lbs in an open area and then went to work on the drum.

While we had to deal with annoying rain all morning – we had a very steady red bite. Anthony landed 8 or so, myself 2 or 3 but Ammar stole the show. Period.

This tough, cowboy of a 9 year old hooked, fought (took 10 minutes!) and landed a 34.5″ red – all on his own. Biggest we have landed all year in the marshes. Holy cow!!!

Can’t wait to see you guys this October!

Mike and Kathy and I had a very nice morning – catching a few drum and netting a beautiful bunch of 20-30 count shrimp. We also got to see something amazing – a carrot island pony give birth. Not something you see every day!

Baby horsey….

Sam and I went looking for tailing fish this morning – we found several, getting a few good shots before we went to the blind cast. Sam landed several on spinner baits and lost a few – high-light was a large school of 50 or so fish we found smacking shrimp in a foot of water! Great fishing with you – look forward to having you back again!

Regular client Gregg brought along his pooch, sonny (no baby-sitter) and we all went looking for some reds. We found ’em too – busting shrimp in the creeks. Gregg is a geat fisherman and was easily able to capitalize – but i have to say…i think sonny enjoyed the fish more than we did. That dog would go nuts when we hooked a red! We were also able to net a whole bunch of shrimp as well! Always good having you Gregg!

Today I had the absolute pleasure of fishing with Mark and his very lovely daughters. We started off the morning with big schools of shrimp – BIG SCHOOLS of shrimp. We loaded up, to say the least, netting about 15lbs in an hour or so. The problem we had today was the gill-nets – miles of them. So many I could barely fish. But we made due.

We found a decent red bite landing several on spinnerbaits. Megan was the queen though – she landed the first red and fought it like a pro. Joy and I did our own thing – using popping corks off the stern – and she caught a speckled trout! Later she caught a baby red and a slot. We also found a very large 8 point buck. Awesome job ladies!

[b]Venison – anyone? [/b]

Bruce and I put a hurting on the shrimp and reds today. Back in a closed area (thanks bernie!) we got on a bunch of legit 15-20 count shrimp. We had to cull through the smaller ones – and bruce did a good job doing that…throwing back all shrimp that weren’t at least 20 count in size. He ended up with a good 150 shrimp though after an hour or so of netting πŸ˜€

The red fishign was just as good – we landed about a dozen or so on spinnerbaits and almsot all were in the slot. Bruce also broke off a screamer. But, being that it was just him and I – I got in on the action and even got to land a couple – including a nice 32 incher πŸ˜€

Even Katie and I were able to get out a few times – and we found a great topwater bite almsot every evening we got out. This evening in particular I had some amazing strikes – just plain amazing. Katie did too – but she did not approve any of the photos for posting πŸ˜•