Summer has really been showing its face around here lately and with the warm air comes more bait and more means more fish to catch! I’ve seen a big change in water temps in the last few days, the waters around Wrightsville Beach are hanging around 80` inshore; time to go for a swim! With this warm water the bait has just exploded in numbers in the area waters and it is very easy to find.
The Spanish mackerel and Bluefish are just about everywhere you go just off the beaches from twenty feet to forty feet of water; you should have no problem catching them. I’ve had the best luck with deeper spoons on number one planners, yes I’m seeing a few on the top line but the best has been deeper. Clark-spoons in sizes 00 and 0 are doing the trick in colors silver, gold and pink flash. The Spanish hitting the top baits are hitting Blue Water Candy’s Spanish Daisy chains in colors pink, blue and silver; the great thing about this rig is you can pull it off lighter tackle outfits. I’m using thirty and forty pound clear Berkley Big Game mono for all my Spanish leaders. Tip: keep your trolling and casting speed up; faster moving baits seem to get more bites, I troll around five knots or six mph.
If you know me at all you know I love to fish for Cobia and it is now Cobia season for our local waters; the Cobia have been showing up during the last few weeks. I look this time of year for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. With the water being so clear it has been easier to see those brown logs in the water. We are throwing big jigs, swim baits and live bait to the Cobia. Color really does not seem to matter; but “go bright”! When I’m not sight casting for them, we are fishing around inlets, shoals and near shore artificial reefs. I float fish, bottom fish and kite fish in these areas with live menhaden, blues and mullet as bait. If you hook one of these beast, take your time fighting them, they don’t tire out easily; a green Cobia can really tear up a boat or you!
The Redfish have slowed a little bit over the last week due to the waters warming up so fast, but we are still catching them; going earlier in the morning seems to help the bite some. Fishing top-water baits like MirrOlure’s Top Dog Jr or Top Pup also Sebile’s Ghost Walker are catching me some really nice Reds in shallow water. When I’m fishing in deeper water for Reds like around docks, creek mouths and deeper grass lines; I’m casting Berkley Gulp products like the Ripple Mullet or the three inch Gulp shrimp. The colors I prefer in the Ripple Mullet are rootbeer gold/chart tail, goby magic chart tail, new penny and pearl white for the Redfish. Rig these baits on a red, black, brown or gray jig head with a thirty to fifty pound mono or fluorocarbon leader. I have had some good luck lately with spinner baits for the Redfish and the trick that seems to work for me is a Ripple Mullet in the color rootbeer gold/chart tail as the grub on the spinner bait. Remember reel that spinner bait; just fast enough to keep it off the bottom.
Fishing Gear I use:
Reels Penn Fierce and Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes. Cobia Fishing reels: Penn Battle 5000, 6000 & 7000, Penn 320LD. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast and Berkley Fireline braid in 8, 10 and 15 pound. Cobia Line: 30 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Fenwick HMG GS 70M-MF, Ugly stick lites 6’6” and 7’ Med & Med-Heavy. Cobia Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series in 50-100 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Cobia; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.
Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know! Get out there and enjoy this summer weather, winter was cold and summer is going to be Hot!
Captain Jot Owens
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
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