I love Spring – it’s a very diverse season. The water warms up quickly and the fishing heats up very, very quickly. What’s so great about spring is the diversity – every single day is different as different species arrive and swim by following the warming ocean currents.
Despite our cold winter, the current water temps are above normal and the warm weather of this week (last week in March) is going to be very beneficial in really getting us over the hump.
My favorite hallmark spring species. These small tunas fight hard, taste great and are usually very reliable when they finally show up. We catch most of these guys casting light spinning tackle (and occasionally trolling) and they are very fly friendly on most occasions.
The later we get into April expect to find an increasing number of other fish mixed in with the “bones” – big spanish mackerel, king mackerel, big bluefish, lots and lots and lots of little bluefish…
In addition, the locals where we target these guys also provide us with great opportunities to jig for big spring flounder and a variety of other bottomfish (black seabass, small grouper, etc).
Every day can be a great mixed bag of fishing – it just depends on how you want to try to shape your day.
AMBERJACKS ON TOPWATER/FLY
This is a very special fishery – so special that I am extremely hesitant to advertise it. The Amberjack fishery in North Carolina is world class – there are few places in the developed world where they come shallower and in such huge numbers. Locally they get a bad rap as they are not a coveted food fish (and if they were – they would be fished out like much of florida and the gulf coast where they ARE a very popular food fish) and few people target them. This is a very good thing – the numbers and their behavior is simply incredible.
Where else can you find a fish of such size that pulls harder…and loves topwater poppers and flies. 20-60lb+ fish that will come streaking after a plug, hit it multiple times leaving splashes the size of man-hole covers. It simply does not get any more exciting than that.
While these guys usually start showing up nearshore come late april, they start to get very aggressive come mid-may where the best fishing of the year takes place for a month plus. While we have this action all summer long, the early summer the fish are simply less educated and easier to fool in more locations. There is not a better opportunity to catch bigger fish on flies, again, in the developed world.
There are also ample opportunities at other fish in the same areas during may, and also june – cobia (may/june), king mackerel (april, may, june), mahi-mahi (late may, june)….and also good opportunities to jig for flounder on many of the same wrecks and live bottom areas.
BACKWATERS – EXCELLENT REDFISH AND MIXED BAGS
2009 was a top year for red drum (much like the amazing years of 2005-2007) and 2010 is off to a good start. We are already finding great numbers of fish in the 18-30″ range scattered up and down our beaches and many creeks and marsh areas. This is a good omen as fish of these size stay in the marsh all year and a good spring indicates good redfishing all summer and fall long. However, what the spring is known for is big schools of hungry reds on the shallow flats!
HOWEVER, this year my clients get to fish in style on my 2009 PATHFINDER FUSION for the entire season! My boat has excellent fishing amenities and a top speed of over 50mph combined with a smooth and dry ride – we’ll get to the flats and creeks in record time!
We can target reds – always tide dependent – in just about anyway. Spin, topwater, corks or fly – either tailing or sight-fishing. Just let me know what you’d prefer to do and we’ll find a good tide to accommodate you.
Once we get into May, the diversity of the inshore fishery becomes to grow. Not only will the redfish continue to get more and more aggressive, but we’ll start to find scattered numbers of speckled trout in their summer patterns.
However, early summer (well – all summer for that matter) is the time of dock fishing for me – for one, it’s not only a way to catch great way to catch big reds and flounder during many different tides but we also have a great sheepshead and black drum fishery in the area if we switch tactics Sheepshead and black drum are great fighters, and not only do they provide a really good change of pace but it’s usually a fishery of lots and lots of action as bites are easy to come across – and once you get the hang of it, the catching gets a lot easier too! They are both great food fish and tough fighters to boot.