There has been a good bite of Redfish and Black drum in the ICW and creeks just off the ICW. We are starting to see a few smaller Reds 14” to 21” in some of the creeks on warmer days. Most reds and black drum are hitting mud minnows and “fresh as you can get shrimp”. We use two hook bottom rigs with 2, 1 & 1/0 bait holder hooks, with the fresh shrimp. If you would like to go the artificial root, I would recommend using scented grubs. The best bet I’ve used has been Berkley Gulp and Berkley Powerbait shrimp in colors Pearl & New Penny. Jigs heads for the grubs in ¼ to 3/8 oz, colors red and black seem to be the trick. Work’em slow around docks and drop-offs on grass lines and oyster rocks. The best tides have been falling or raising but fishing closer to the lower parts of the tides.
We are seeing a few small Speckled trout around Wrightsville, south of Wrightsville the bigger one’s should really start to bite any day. Grubs have been the best bet for the trout; we’re using Saltwater Assassin sea shad and shrimp patterns. Colors that have worked lately; Elec. Chicken and Chart Diamond and Chicken on a chain. Don’t forget those never fell; Mirrolure’s, in colors silver mullet and white on white. Mirrolure I like are the 17MR and 27MR in the spring. The water is still cool so don’t forget to work the lures a little slower. Look for the Specks around marsh grass lines that have oysters on the edges of them.
Fresh water large mouth Bass fishing has really picked up lately, we’ve had some great day’s bass fishing in the last two weeks. We are fishing local lakes, pond and the NE Cape Fear River. The best lures have been; sinko worms rigged with no weight in colors green pumpkin, watermelon and black/red fleck. I prefer Berkley’s 5” & 7” heavy weight fat sinkworm series, I rig the worms on 7/0 wide gag worm hooks. We have also had some luck with the 17MR MirrOlure in colors 18, 49, 50 and BKGCH. I really surprised at how many saltwater lures work so well for fresh water fishing, but also how many people don’t try’em! We are catching eight to over fifth teen bass a day; sizes of a pound to over four pounds.
Near shore bottom fishing is good now with catches of sea bass, ringtails and tautogs. The dog sharks are thick just off the beach too, we had over 25 sharks on the last near shore bottom fishing trip. Squid has been the bait of choice, I like squid because it stays on the hook and it’s easier to catch the bigger fish with it. I like to make my own bottom rigs for bottom fishing. I use sixty pound mono with three way swivels and 3/0 off set J hooks. A two to four once bank sinker tied to twenty pound mono, that way if it gets hung-up you can get your rig back. This kind of fishing is great for kids and beginners because it’s instant gratification; drop down and get a bite!
Fishing Gear we use:
Reels Penn Conquer and Sargus spinning in sizes 2000 and 4000. Spiderwire
Ultra-cast braid in 10 and 15#. Rods: Ugly stick lites 6’6” and 7’ Med & Med-Heavy and the All Star ASR spinning rod ASR844S and ASR845S. Fresh water gear: Pflueger Spinning reel Supreme XT 9035XT.
In Other Fishing News:
Don’t forget; there are some great boat and fishing expos coming to North Carolina. If you like fishing and boats you don’t want to miss these shows and fishing seminars! Here are the one’s that myself as well as other Ranger boats pro staff members will be at this spring.
April 23-25, 2010 Tex’s Tackle Spring Tackle Sale and Show. I’ll be there with PENN Reels and Pure fishing. We will have some of the new Tackle from Penn and Pure Fishing, if you have any questions about any products from Penn or Pure fishing we’ll be happy to answer them for you.
June 5-6, 2010 “In the Water Fishing School” Myself, Capt. Rick Bennett
and four other of the best local guides are putting on this school on. This school will be real-time hands on fishing experience! There will be one day of hands on classroom instruction and the next day on the water, real-time fishing experience. The school is limited to the first 24 participants! If you want to learn from the best local guides and see how we do it, take the time to check it out; http://www.rodmancharters.com/inthewater-fishing-school.htm I’m really looking forward to being part of this school!
Thanks for reading this report, if you would like to go fishing drop me a line. Book now for this coming summer fishing season and don’t forget to take a kid fishing!
Captain Jot Owens
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
PENN Reels Elite Staff
Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2009 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide