Daily Bible Verse

September 28, 2005

Bloodworms R Us

The spot bite has cooled a bit, but I suspect it's only temporary. The wind is E-SE and relatively calm. The water temp has risen, if you can believe it, to 81 degrees. We need some NE or N winds and some cloudy days to cool down the water before we will see the really good spot runs. I'm not saying you can't catch a few spots, but to catch a full cooler, it will take all day, maybe even two days. The best bait at this time is bloodworms, or goldworms as I like to call them. I’m so stingy, that I hate to turn loose of enough money to buy them when I can catch my own shrimp and finger mullets, or dig my own sand fleas, but spots love them. Most anglers with a substantial catch are using bloodworms. I haven't seen a big mullet in weeks. There have been some good spanish runs, but not many kings have been caught from the island's piers. The blues are still around, and the persistent angler can catch a few nice ones. Monday, there were a couple of nice speckled trout caught from Surf City Pier. The gray trout have been there for a while. It’s nice to see the specs finally move in. There are a lot of flounder in the water, but not many keepers. I talked to one angler, and he said he caught 9 with only two keepers. Surf fishing is still a pain because of the seaweed in the water. It's not unusally to pull in a 5 lb clump of the stuff on your bottom rig. I suspect that the seaweed settles in the holes just like shells do. All my favorite fishing holes are full of seaweed. You can search the beach and find a spot where there is no seaweed, or just put up with it. I haven't heard much about the backwater fishing near Surf City, but I have heard that some really nice trout are being caught around the high-rise bridge in Sneads Ferry.

My friend Yogi, owner of Yogi's Grill on Highway 17 in Holly Ridge is recovering from a broken leg. He hasn't been able to fish in a while. Stop by the Grill, have a nice lunch, and wish him well. Get well Yogi, see ya on the beach.

Till next time….
Tight Lines,
Johnny

September 23, 2005

SPOTS R HERE

If you have bloodworms, take them to the Surf City Ocean Fishing Pier. Anglers with these squirmy, more valuable than gold, critters are pulling the spots in two at a time on the north side of the pier. With the water temp still 80 degrees, it needs to cool off a little more for the spots to stay in. This is just the first good run, and I suspect the bite will only improve in the coming weeks.

Not much is biting on the south side of the pier. I saw two puppy drum, no bigger than 16 inches, but one went in the cooler. Hope he has the 125 bucks when the MAN catches him, and I hope he does. I am a strong believer in our conservation efforts. I have fished on Topsail Island for almost 30 years and until recently I haven't had much luck catching reds. So these efforts are working.

Flounder were caught today, although only a few were keepers. A large shark was landed this morning by a king angler off the end, and promptly cut into steaks. Delicious when served up with baked beans cole slaw and fries, or my personal favorite, baked potato.

I tried surf fishing near the pier this afternoon. There was so much seaweed and trash in the water that it only took one cast to change my plans. I sat in my chair with my wife Donna and watched the surfers, enjoyed the cool breeze, and the walked in the surf. The water seems to be getting cooler to the touch, but is still 80 degrees. As the water cools, i suspect the spot will move in, along with trout and most other cooler water fish. The bite will only get better. Get ready! Till next time.....

Tight Lines!
Johnny

September 19, 2005

High Flyin' Grandpaw

Congratulations to Scott and Jennifer on the birth of a baby girl, their first baby, at 4:15pm today. Mom and baby are doing just fine. She is our fifth grandchild, 4 girls and 1 boy.

Again, sorry for no fishin reports lately. I will resume when I can get another computer.

Thanks for your understanding. Till next time...

Tight Lines!
Johnny

September 18, 2005

Computer Crash

Hi, Sorry I haven't been posting. My computer took a major nose dive, maybe a belly buster or cannon ball would be a better term. Anyway it's dead for now. I am using my son Scott's computer while on a visit to his Charlotte home. He and wife Jennifer are expecting their first baby, a girl, in the morning. I'll let you know the next time I can post. Anyway back to my computer. It's busted and I won't be posting until I can get a new one. Not that there is anything much to report. The regular catches of small croakers and mullets, with the sharks and skates here and there. I have seen a few, very few, spots starting to show up. It's about time for them to start. So, until next time......
Tight Lines!
Johnny

September 10, 2005

Good News, Bad News

Which do you want first? Good or Bad? You don't get to decide. The Good News is....the seaweed isn't as bad. Grey trout bite is good. There was a lot of greys caught last night. Most were caught on cut shrimp, but I saw one caught on a Got-cha plug. Lots and lots of small croakers and small sea mullets. An occasional spot, usually a nice one, and a few puppy drum, mostly under the slot. Now for the Bad News. The wind is blowing so hard (35 mph gusts)that standing on the pier is uncomfortable. I hope that Surf City Pier is well built, cause it's rockin tonight! Huge waves are slamming it from the northeast. I fished this morning about 2 hours, caught small mullets and a pompano. There was a surfing tournament this morning and there was no shrotage of good 6 to 10 foot waves. The wind is out of the NorthEast at 30 to 45 knots and gusty. The high temp today was 83 with partly cloudy skies, and the water temp is 80 degrees. Hurricane Ophilia headed our way? I will check the weather first thing in the morning to see if I have to start packing. We rode out hurricane Charley last year. Won't do that again. Till next time.....
Tight Lines!
Johnny

September 9, 2005

Seaweed Carpet

As I walked out on the pier last evening, I was walking on a carpet of seaweed. The ocean is still really rough. Waves are breaking almost at the end of the pier. Ken tells me that it actually splashed up on the pier, getting him wet. The surfers are loving it. Anglers are catching puppy drum, not many keepers, and trout. Grey trout are showing up in good numbers now. I saw several caught last night on cut shrimp. Most are around 15 inches in length. Seems the water is full of small croakers, about 4 or 5 inches long. Surf fishing is almost impossible with the undertow, the rip currents, and the seaweed. After hurricane ophilia passes through, I'm sure the surf will calm down. I am looking for the large fall mullets and spots to move in any time. The air is cooler, high was 83 today, but the water is still warm, 80 degrees. It needs to cool down a little more for the good fishing to start. If this NE wind continues, it shouldn't be too long. There are plenty of flounder being caught in the backwaters, especially in Banks Channel. Near the south end of the island, around Lee Island, anglers are catching lots of drum. Some are in the slot and can be kept. I found a good recipe for drum, and tried it last night. I marinated the drum in Texas Pete, then put a little oil on it and grilled it with onions. MMMM really good. Not hot at all like I thought it would be.

BIG FISH....125 LB TARPON CAUGHT AT JOHNNY MERCERS WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH PIER BY A WILMINGTON MAN. WOW

Till next time, tight lines!
Johnny

September 7, 2005

Fishin' is TOUGH!

Noreaster... a word that sends chills up the back of most anglers. It seems that not much bites. The surf is churning and spitting up seaweed. A five ounces of lead will not hold the bait down. It bounces down the beach like a rubber ball. However...an angler at the Surf City Ocean Pier pulled a 3 1/2 pound puppy drum our of the foaming white sea. So, my conclusion? If you are willing to put up with five pound bunches of seaweed on your hook, the wind blowing sand and salt spray in your face, and the occasional sprinkle of rain, there are fish out there to be caught.

September 4, 2005

Flounder

I decided to take my own advice. I set the clock early, took my casting net out to the bay, and caught about 3 doz assorted sized finger mullets. I was on the pier by 7am. Fishing was SLOW. I had nothing, zero, until about 10:15am. I caught my first flounder of the day. A nice 18 incher. Beautiful fish, but it turned out to be my last one of the morning. I saw one other flounder which was about 12 or 13 inches. The angler didn't measure, but I could tell it was too small. I also saw one small blue. NOTHING ELSE! I couldn't believe it, the water was nice, a little dingy, with just a little chop, and full of bait fish. School after school of finger mullets came cruising by. I guess the water is just too warm, 85 degrees. But it is summer, right? I left the pier about 12:45. I got hung up under the pier and broke my carolina rig off. I figured that was a good time to call it a morning. It is clear and about 81 degrees today, with NE wind about 10 mph. A little cooler than last few days. Till next time........
Tight Lines!
Johnny

September 3, 2005

Slow, but they are out there.

Fishing from a pier or surf fishing is slow this time of year. But, if you are dedicated, and have the time, there are fish to be caught. Flounder are in the water. There was a beautiful 10 pound 10 ounce door mat caught this week in Banks Channel beside a dock. You don't really think the angler will say which dock, do you? I saw a nice flounder, about 18 inches, leaving Surf City Pier as Donna and I walked onto the pier Friday evening. Anglers were catching a few pompano and blues, along with small croakers. Side note, I wish we could catch big croakers here like they are catching in the Chesapeak Bay and James River in Virginia. I hear it's nothing to catch a cooler of 2 and 3 pounders there. Could it be the netting laws there that makes the fishing so good? That's something to research when I have time. Now back to my fishing report. I heard that there was a 26 inch puppy drum caught this afternoon on the pier. I also hear that there are spanish in the water early in the morning. Thursday morning anglers were catching plenty of them, but not many were over the 12 inch size limit. Friday morning there were some spanish caught. My friend and pier employee, and custom fishing rod builder Bill caught a couple of really nice ones. So, my point is, if you get up early, if you spend the time casting your Got-Cha plug, you can catch spanish and blues. If you get up really early, catch live shrimp, mud minnows, or finger mullets, and spend the time dragging your bait up and down the pier, you can catch flounder, if you can keep the blues from biting off your bait. So, don't despair, there are fish in the water. Set that alarm early, get out to the bay and catch that bait, and get to your favorite fishing hole. There is no better way to spend your time, than fishing. Until next time......Tight Lines.
Johnny

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