Daily Bible Verse

December 30, 2006

Specks at South Topsail

Just got back in from a two hour walk on the beach with Donna. Beachcombing, not fishing. There were several different groups of anglers, some bottom fishing, some throwing plugs or grubs. One was fishing with a carolina rigged shrimp, whole but not alive. I didn't see a fish. None of the anglers I talked to had caught fish or even had a bite. I talked to Mr. Nick who had fished at Surf City Pier about everyday this week, and caught small trout, a few keepers, all on grubs. He said that bottom anglers were catching a few sharks and rays. Got word from Tommy that an angler limited on speckled trout south of Jolly Rodger Pier at Topsail Beach early this morning. No word on size, but this time of year, I would settle for ten 13 inchers for supper. Don't have any information on anything inside at this time. I am expecting word from fishin bud Caro17. I think he had planned to head out this morning, and he usually lets me know what he catches. I talked to a guy this afternoon that has just bought a kayak at Herring's Outdoor Sports. Jason is taking her out for her maiden voyage right now. He has his fishing rod, and hopefully he will bring back something to brag about. If you have never ridden or fished from a kayak, you are missing one of my favorite experiences. Go by Herrings Outdoor Sports and talk to Steve or Jesse, and check them out. You can rent a kayak and try it out before you buy. I am sure you will enjoy the time on the water.

The sun is shining, and it's almost 70. Might be 70 by now. Donna and I started our walk wearing sweatshirts, but were down to short sleaves before the walk was finished. So, it appears that fishing is slowing, but what a wonderful day for a walk on the beach.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

What I Did, What I Heard

What I Did

I went out in the kayak today. I fished grass banks on the west side of the ICW. I caught five puppy drum from 17 to 22 inches. Released all. I was hoping to find some speckled trout, but they gave me the slip today. I caught the reds on a 1/16 oz jig and Berkley Gulp Shrimp (new penny). All were in relatively shallow water. I saw a nice speck caught in a creek mouth that was about 2 1/2 or 3 pounds. I think the bait was live minnows.

What I Heard

I heard that there were a couple of nice specks caught from the surf today along with a keeper flounder, don't know the size. I heard that Chuck, from East Coast Sports caught a nice speckled trout in the surf today. Good job Chuck. Also, a big sea mullet was beached before noon today on cut shrimp. I heard that a few small specks were caught from Surf City Pier in the AM.

And that's about the information I have today. I am thinking about giving surf fishing another try in the morning. The water temp is still hovering in the upper 50's, and I haven't given up on trout in the surf yet. Think I will take some fresh shrimp and give bottom fishing another try.

Is anyone getting live shrimp with cast nets now? I haven't seen any in a while. Are they all gone out or burried? Do they stay around all winter?

Till next time....
Tight Lines!
Johnny

December 27, 2006

Inside Fishing Report and Gulp Tips

I went out to the surf today, but there was nothing out there. I didn't hear of anything being caught, surf or pier. The bottom has changed a lot from before the latest front. So if you are headed out in the next few days, better scout your locations so you won't be fishing in unproductive territory.

Got an email from fishin bud and blog reader Caro 17 today. I have posted it in full. Give it a read. It has some good tips about Berkley Gulp.

email follows:

> WAS HAVING WITHDRAWL SYMPTOMS FROM NOT FISHING FOR 5 DAYS HAD TO GET
> OUT THIS AFT FOR 3 HRS, FISHED SOME OF MY HOLES AND THE RESULTS WERE 4
> LITTLE DRUM AND 3 FLOUNDER ALMOST LEGAL, DON,T THINK FLO GROW PAST 13 1/2
> ".
> BUT IT WAS FUN ,STARTED OUT WITH 3" NATURAL SHRIMP. NOTHING ON IT WENT TO
> 3"
> NEW PENNY THAT IS WHAT I CAUGHT THEM ALL ON .
> TIP FOR YOUR READERS IF YOU WANT TO PRINT IT. GULP SHRIMP IS VERY
> EXPENSIVE, AND WHEN YOU CATCH A COUPLE OF FISH ON ONE IT STARTS TO PULL
> DOWN
> ON THE JIG AND WON,T STAY UP, SO I HAVE BEEN CUTTING THE HEAD OFF AND
> USING
> ABOUT 3/4 OF IT , THE FISH HIT IT JUST AS IF IT WERE A WHOLE ONE . ALSO
> WITH
> THE GULP SHRIMP THEY SAY THE SCENT IS WATER ACTIVATED AND NOT TO PUT A
> USED
> SHRIMP BACK IN THE PACK AS IT WILL ACTIVATE THE WHOLE PACK, SO I HAVE BEEN
> PUTTING MY USED ONES IN A SEPERATE PACK AND USING THEM LATER. THIS ALWAYS
> WORKS I HAVE CAUGHT FISH ON ONES THAT HAVE BEEN IN MY USED BAG FOR A WEEK
> .
> PLUS WHEN I EMPTY A BAG OF GULP BAIT I PORE ANY LIQUID INTO MY USED BAG.
> JUST FOR THOUGHT USE IT IF YOU WANT . LATER CARO 17


Thanks to Caro 17 for this fishing report and tips on saving money on Berkley Gulp. It is a great bait, but a bit pricy. So we need to save all we can.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

December 26, 2006

Surf Still Rough

A morning trip to the Surf City Pier proved to be fruitless. The surf is still churning and a steady 15 mph wind is blowing from the southwest. The sun is out, and the temp is comfortable, so we are just waiting for the wind to lay down. There were several folks fishing from the pier and no one was catching anything or getting any bites. I didn't see anyone fishing from the surf in the Surf City area. I haven't heard anything from inside today, if I get word I will post asap.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

December 25, 2006

Wonderful Christmas Day, But Not for Fishing

Christmas is always a wonderful day, celebrating the birth of Jesus. But the weather today was anything but wonderful at Topsail Island and Surf City. Windy with gale warnings and bands of heavy rain throughout the day, and surf breaking eight or nine hundred feet from shore. Not ideal conditions for fishing. Not even ideal conditions for ducks! The couple of times I went out and looked at the surf, there weren't even any surfers out in the ocean. Now, if it's too rough for Surf City surfers, it's rough. The rain is supposed to stop tonight, but it will still be windy tomorrow and tomorrow night. Wednesday hopefully, will be a better fishing day. Maybe the speckled trout will still be around. I am not finished catching trout this year. I try not to be greedy, but I just love them. I don't take more than a couple a day when I fish, if I catch any. On occasion I will keep my limit, but not often. We will see if the specks are still out there as soon as the weather clears. Dad is here and we will be hitting the beach, or maybe the pier, as quick as the wind and rain will cooperate.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny
Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish all the blog readers a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for all your prayers and kind notes of support throught the year. I started this blog as a record for myself of my fishing trips. It has grown larger than I ever imagined. We had over 25,000 unique hits this year, and the number of hits are growing daily. I really enjoy the feedback from you readers, and I am glad when I can answer questions and help out a bit. Please feel free to continue to send the emails, questions, and comments, as these help fuel the blog fire! Thanks for your continued support, and Merry Christmas!

I didn't fish today, I was getting ready for Christmas Eve suppper. But I talked to several folks that did fish, and the news isn't too good for surf casters. I haven't heard of anything at all coming from the surf. "Not even a bump." As my fishing bud Tommy put it. My dad who is visiting for Christmas, fished in the surf for trout for a couple of hours this afternoon and he had no luck either. However, on Surf City Pier, the few who ventured out there were catching small throw back speckled trout. Fishing bud Tim hung onto a nice trout, but was on the pier alone and couldn't get the beast into a net before it pulled loose. Tomorrow doesn't look too good because of the weather. It's already windy, and it's only going to get worse. The rain is coming in the morning, and from what I hear, a lot of it. But hopefully, it will be gone Tuesday. Maybe we will be able to get back on the beach soon before the specks and sea mullets move out.

Till next time....
Tight Lines!
Johnny
Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2006

Elmer Fudd says,
"Be Vewwy Quiet, We're Hunting Muwwets."

It's just a few days until Christmas, and the fish are biting in the surf like it's fishing season! Speckled trout are still biting in the surf today. Even though a front has moved in and the surf is angry. The waves are high and small craft warnings have already been issued. And the specks are still biting. Friend Tommy caught a nice two and a half pounder today in the surf. But specks aren't all that is being pulled onto the sand by a good number of anglers daily on the beaches of Topsail Island. Blues, yes I said blues, they should have been gone a while ago. And Tommy's wife Susan caught a big spot a few days ago. Black drum are in the surf, they are not huge, but they are edible. And sea mullet, big sea mullet, also known as whiting, some up to two pounds, a few bigger than that, are being caught on cut shrimp and ........ you guessed it.... sand fleas! Sand fleas are being found on the beach. You have to dig for them, but they are there. If you watch the shore birds, you will see them picking up small fleas in the suds. Ken and I are planning to give the sea mullet a try in the morning. We are taking fresh shrimp and a shovel to dig fleas. We are looking for a good day on the beach. The sky is supposed to clear tonight, and the temps should be in the middle to high 60's. Two days before Christmas. I love this weather.
Till next time....
Tight Lines!
Johnny
Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2006

Keeper Trout

The speckled trout were in the surf thick Tuesday morning. I caught no less than 20, probably more. Only problem, they were small. I kept three that were a bit over 13 inches for supper last night. The specks were biting Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet, three inch in smoke color. I got them at Herring's Outdoor Sports, but I am sure that they carry them at the other tackle shops at the beach. I know they have them at East Coast Sports. I fished them with a slow retrieval, pick up the rod tip, then lower and reel, pick up rod tip then lower and reel. I couldn't entice a bite by bouncing on the bottom like I usually fish a jig. The bite seemed to come as the jig was falling back to the bottom. I tried fishing mirrolures, but had only a couple of small bites. Small trout are still being caught from Surf City Pier in the daylight hours. As you probably know the pier is closed after dark. I had a report of several black drum and some sea mullet being caught in the surf just north of Surf City Pier. Don't know what the bait was. I talked to a couple of guys digging for sand fleas (mole crabs) yesterday afternoon. They were actually finding a few fleas, but they were deep. They had to do a lot of digging for just a few fleas, but when fleas are your bait of choice, then digging is what you do. I still haven't gotten out in the kayak. It seems that every time I get ready to go, something comes up, and I have to reschedule my trip. Maybe I will get out soon. I really miss my little outboard skiff, this time of year. There are a lot of good winter fishing spots that I just don't have the energy or time to paddle to, and with the little skiff I could motor up and go. I hope this wonderful weather continues. Donna and I am having a great time walking on the beach in our shorts and t-shirts at Christmas time. If you can get here, the weather is great, the fish are biting, the restaurants and bait shops are still open, so load the car and head this way! We would love to have you for Christmas.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2006

Grand Slam!

I received another email from a cyber fishing bud Jim. I haven't met Jim face to face, but have chatted with him via emails for a time now. Jim fishes mostly from his boat behind Topsail island in the creeks and flats. I posted a picture of one of Jim's catches recently on the blog. Jim hit a "Grand Slam" Monday on a fishing trip to one of his "honey holes". Part of Jim's email follows.


"CONGRATS ON YOUR TROUT CATCHIN IN THE SURF . GOOD JOB. FISHED ANOTHER HONEY HOLE TODAY FOR 5 HRS. BOATED 5 DRUM, 3 FLOUNDER AND 4 TROUT , ONLY 2 LEGAL FLOUNDER. AS THE OLE TIMERS SAY I GOT THE GRAND SLAM A LEGAL TROUT , DRUM AND FLOUNDER ALL IN THE SAME FISHING TRIP, HAD TO WORK HARD TO FIND THEM TODAY THEY WERE ALL SPREAD OUT. YOU WERE TALKING ON YOUR BLOG A WHILE BACK ABOUT HAVING A LOT OF BREAK OFF'S WHEN YOU FISH FOR DRUM IN THE OYSTER BEDS, I ALSO HAD THAT PROBLEM AND WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME IS I STARTED USING A HEAVIER BRAIDED LINE 20 LB, AND A BLACK STEEL LEADER, HASN,T EFFECTED THEM HITTING IT , WHEN I GO AFTER THE BIG REDS I GO UP TO 40LB . READ YOUR BLOG TONIGHT AND I DOUBT I KNOW MY STUFF, THEIR ARE A LOTS OF GUYS OUT THEIR THAT OUT FISH ME EVERY DAY. GO GET UM"

Jim, Congratulations on the Grand Slam. Rewards like that come to anglers that deserve them. You have to spend a lot of time on the water and pay your dues. Thanks for the tips on fishing around oyster beds. It's uncanny how reds know exactly where to run when they get hooked up.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny



_________________________________________________________________

December 17, 2006

Fishing on the Inside

I received this email from a reader who fishes a lot on the "inside", which is the creeks, sounds, and flats off the Intracoastal Waterway behind Topsail Island. This guy really knows his stuff and catches a lot of fish pretty much all winter long. So you don't have to quit fishing just because is is cold. You just have to know where the fish are. Here is the email and a picture of the fish he caught Sunday.





fished one of my honey holes today from 12 till 4 ,boated 17 fish , 12 drum, 5 trout, kept this one drum, he was throat hooked would have died anyway so he won,t go to waste. same proceedure, 1/16th jig , 3"new penny, fished very slow. go get um.
caro 17


Thanks to the reader for sending the email and the picture, and for allowing me to publish it.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

Merry Christmas

Sunday



I didn't fish today, but I did yesterday. I caught trout. Not many keepers, but I had fun catching trout all day. The single speck I caught Saturday morning early, and the others were caught later in the morning when friend Tommy and I were out south of Surf City Pier. The specks were biting all up and down the beach. I heard of specks being taken in the surf from New Topsail Inlet to New River Inlet. I can personally vouch for a dozen keepers caught south of Surf City Pier. Most of these were caught on grubs, but a few were caught on Rainbow MirrOlures. That's what I caught my keepers on. Except for one that bit a Berkley Gulp 3" Shrimp in the New Penny color. I tried bottom fishing for a couple of hours late in the afternoon, but didn't catch anything. I had planned to take out the kayak, but that didn't work out. I may go out tomorrow after the sun is up for a while. I have a few "honey holes" that I want to try for red drum. I am hearing that they are biting really well on the inside. Also the speckled trout are biting on the inside near the inlets, both north and south. I have a couple of pictures of yesterdays catch that I will post when I get them downloaded to my computer.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

Merry Christmas!

December 16, 2006

Speckled Trout Still in Surf

I finally got a chance to go fishing yesterday. I went to the Surf City Pier for a couple of hours before I had to make a trip to Sneads Ferry. I caught several specks, all of which were too small, but I was delighted to catch them. It proves that they are still in the surf, and haven't been run out by the cold. Friend Tommy caught a nice one yesterday. The keeper speck bit a green grub. He said a friend he was fishing with caught four specks, all keepers in the surf, south of Surf City Pier. I know that's kind of general, but I can't divulge another anglers honey holes. I don't mind giving up mine, but some trout anglers are funny that way. I saw an angler stuffing trout in his waders so his bucket would be empty as he walked back to the truck. These guys will do anything to protect their domain! There are still flounder in the surf also, Tommy caught one this week, only to have it stolen off the back porch by a pretty smart racoon, by moving a bucket, and unhooking a bungee to get the cooler open. I can see what's left of the flounder carcus in the creek from my elevated back deck. These racoons around here are really crafty. Several weeks ago, three speckled trout were stolen from the cooler on the back porch. They have learned who catches the fish on Topsail Island!

My trip out this morning to the surf netted one 17 inch keeper trout. I kept it too, I have some mussels in the fridge that will be good grilled up with the speck for supper along with some fried grits. (maybe potatoes tonight) I plan to go out in the kayak later, the puppy drum have been biting all up and down the waterway in the creeks and flats after the sun warms the water a bit. I will be using 1/16 oz jig and gulp saltwater baits. I am going to start out with the homemade (by Chris Medlin at East Coast Sports) jig baited with the gulp. This is a fantastic jig, and doesn't ever miss. Well almost never. Good job Chris! Go by East Coast Sports and ask Chris about the jig.

My cousin, Joe Kimball, from Robins, NC. is an avid hunter, and has challenged me to a duel of sorts. He and his friends are hunting today, and will email pictures of the days bag. I will email pictures of todays stringers of my friends and myself as we fish. Bragging rights go to the winner! Kind of like apples and oranges, but it will be fun anyway. Well, time is a'waistin, got to get back out there, Joe and Cuz Terri are coming to visit after Christmas, and I would love to be able to brag a little when they get here. I only hope Joe's son Josh isn't hunting today, if he is, I am doomed already. This kid is a dead shot, and seems to have a horse shoe hidden somewhere on his person. LOL Just kidding Josh. Scroll down a bit and check out one of Josh's latest trophy's. Ok, enough. Gotta go fishing!

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

December 14, 2006

Rough Surf

I haven't been watching the weather, so I am not sure where it is coming from, but the surf is really rough. The surfers are out in force, and the waves are breaking half way out the pier. I didn't see or hear of any fish being caught anywhere in the surf, but inside in the sound and creeks off the ICW, now that's another story. I am hearing from a reader that he is catching red drum and speckled trout everyday on Berkley Gulp baits and light weight red head lead jigs. He says fish the creeks after the sun has warmed the shallow water. So tomorrow, I plan to hit the creeks and flats with the kayak. I'll keep you posted.
Till next time....
Tight Lines!
Johnny

December 11, 2006

Saw One Speck On Beach

Not much to report today. I saw one small speckled trout that was caught in the surf today on a green grub. It was just barely a keeper, but the angler threw it back to grow a bit more. That's all I have seen. The bait shop guys tell me they are hearing of a few here and there. Information is getting harder to get. The die hard speckled trout anglers are so secretive, they won't share information, and there aren't many others out there. Again, I haven't caught anything in a while.
Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

Trout Still Around, Along With......Mullet?

Got a report last evening that a few speckled trout were caught in the surf somewhere north of Surf City Pier. So the cold weather hasn't run all the specks off the beach. The trout were small, but they were keepers. I was out on the beach for a while yesterday in the am, I didn't get any trout, and only saw two anglers on the beach. I went out in the kayak after that. I didn't get any hits, didn't even see a mullet minnow. But I did collect some nice oysters and mussels for a delicious gas grill oyster roast for supper last night. Dipped them in butter and homemade coctail sauce. (ketchup, horseradish, texas pete) Had fried grits along with them. MMMMMM good.

Also heard of a big whiting caught in the surf on a piece of cut shrimp. That's encouraging. Black drum, sea mullet, and trout still in the water along with the toads (puffers). Better get down here and wet a line while the fish are still here.

Thanks to all the readers who sent emails and posted get well wishes on the message board during last weeks migraine. It's nice to know you all are concerned about my well-being. I sincerely appreciate your concern.


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

December 9, 2006

Black Drum in Surf

Migraine eased up a bit this morning, so I went fishing in the surf. I tried casting MirrOlures and several different grubs for trout, but had no bumps. I had a few frozen shrimp that I had left from a previous trip, and I had them with me, so I tied a bottom rig and after a few minutes I had caught a small black drum. Not a big deal, except that it tells me that the water is still warm enough for speckled trout. The black drum will leave before the water gets too cold for trout. So, even though I didn't get a speck today, I am sure they are still around. I just didn't fish in the right spot today. Had I felt better, I would have made a couple of moves and tried to find them. Maybe tomorrow.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

Migraine

Apologies to everyone. This has been a bad one, going on since last Sunday evening. I don't have any fishing info. My phones have been off the hook. Can't stand the ringing. Please be patient.

December 6, 2006

Tom Still Catching Trout

Friend and neighbor Tom is still catching trout in the surf, somewhere south of Surf City Pier. He is using MirrOlures and green grubs. The lead heads are red or white, doesn't seem to make much difference. I haven't heard anything else. I am still having headache pain, and I haven't been out since Sunday. I will get out some more info as it becomes available.

I have added a message board as an experiment. If it is something the readers like, I will continue it, as it doesn't require much upkeep. I guess the usage will let me know if it is a success or not.

I am also activating the comments option on the blog. I had de-activated it because of the spam that was being posted. So let's try it again. Just use the links on the post to post a comment.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

December 5, 2006

Still Out

Migraine still bad. Talked to Tom this afternoon. He caught one nice speck on a grub. Says the water looks great, but nothing much is biting near Surf City. He heard that the specks were really biting up north near Seaview Pier today.

December 4, 2006

Bad Weather, Migraine

We have had some wind and rain the last few days, and today I have had a bad migraine. So I have no report for you, other than the weather has cleared. It is still cold, lows at the beach tonight are supposed to be in the upper twenties. Wind should be light out of the north to northwest. I don't have an updated water temp, last I have was 62 degrees. More as I have it.
Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

December 2, 2006

17 Spot Red Drum

This picture is a proud Jacob showing off the beautiful 17 spot puppy drum caught by Jacob and his dad David. These two savy anglers pulled in this beauty on the south end of Topsail Island just north of the inlet. It has eleven spots on one side! What a fish! I would like to see a fish like this one on the wall in my living room. Wouldn't that be a nice piece to have? And the bragging rights? Man, they will never end! Be proud Jacob! Keep up the good work. If you decide to give fishing lessons, let me know. I want to sign up!

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

Trout Limit, Huge Whiting























The pictures here are another of Michael Makowetski's fantastic stringers of speckled trout and whiting. He was helped out by his father-in-law Richard, who caught a lot of the big whiting on live shrimp. Michael limited out on specks two consecutive days. The trout were caught on MirrOlures and jig heads with grubs. Colors varied, but I think mostly it was MirrOlure 52-18, and green grubs. If I am wrong on this, Michael will let me know. If you scroll down a bit on the blog, you can see another nice stringer of trout and whiting, and even a big flounder that these two master anglers managed to bring in last weekend. Congratulations again Michael and Richard, well done.

UPDATE: I mentioned a white MirrOlure that was really working well in the muddy, murky water the other day. Well the number is TT-51, and it works well at night also. I have talked to several Ol'Timers who like to use this lure for night time trout fishing, especially during the full moon. Give them a try.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

Rough Surf

The surf has laid down a bit today, but Thursday and Friday it was a bit rough. Actually more than a bit rough. A mirrolure cast up current, was completely downcurrent before the slack could be reeled in. There was a couple of small specks caught near me on tandem jigs, but even the rigs with the large jig up front and the smaller one in the rear were washing downcurrent really fast and wouldn't go to the bottom. I fished this morning for a bit before I had to stop and work on my fishing Blazer, but I didn't catch anything. I didn't see anything caught either. There were lots of people bottom fishing, but I only saw one medium sized whiting, about 12 inches long. Hopefully fishing will pickup tomorrow.

The water is looking better. It has cleared up a lot since the "Swamp Water" post. It has also warmed a bit. According to the Wilmington TV station, the local water temp is now at 62 degrees, up 4 degrees from last weeks low of 58. If this water temperature stays up like this, we may be catching speckled trout at the end of January. The weather at Topsail Island is wonderful. I can't believe I am still wearing shorts and T-shirts on the first day of December. It was 73 degrees today, with lots of sunshine. We have cold weather on the way, so we are enjoying this weather while we can.

Thanks to those who have sent pictures in. I am having trouble with the blog. The link I am supposed to use to upload the pictures has mysteriously disapeared from the blog control panel. The folks at tech support are working on the problem. I will get these pics posted to the blog as soon as it is up and running correctly.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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