Let’s start with one of my favorites; Cobia. I love to catch’em, cook’em and eat’em! We have seen quite a few Cobia lately; we caught a forty pounder on last Monday. We are seeing most of the Cobia just off the beach and out to five miles off the beach. Live bait has been the key to the bigger fish lately. Smaller Cobia have hit jigs around the inlets and ocean sand bars. Sight casting live bait to bigger Cobia just off the beach has produced some nice Cobia form Carolina Beach to Topsail. When we drift fish for Cobia, we are using carolina rigs with three to four once egg sinkers and 7/0 circle hooks with an eighty pound Berkley big game mono leader. The baits we are using are small Bluefish, Mullet, and Menhaden. Drifting these baits around inlets, sandbars and near shore live bottoms; has produced the best bites.
The inshore Redfish bite has been very good lately with artificial baits as well fresh cut and live baits. Working shallow waters early morning and late afternoon when the heat of the day is lower has produced well. Later in the day when the sun is high, we are working deeper waters for the Redfish. The shallow water lures have been MirrOlure’s Top Dog Jr and Top Pup, also a rattling cork with a Berkley Gulp Alive peeler crab under the cork has also produced very well in waters of one to three foot deep.
When we are fishing deeper grubs that have been doing well are Berkley Power bait shrimp and Gulp Alive 3” shrimp in colors new penny and molting. Saltwater Assassin’s Copperhead and 10W40 colors are catching some Reds as well. Rigging the grubs on a simple red jig head 1/8oz to 1/4oz, just make sure the jig head has a hook that will not straighten out when you hook that nice Redfish! Tip: one thing I’ve starting using this season is Berkley Gulp Alive Shrimp spray; I put a shot on all my non-scented grubs. It seems to work well for Redfish and Flounder fishing.
The Spanish mackerel bite has been good lately with the best of it being early in the morning and late afternoon. Trolling Clark spoons in sizes 00, 0 and 1 in colors sliver, gold and pinks flash are working well. When we are seeing the Spanish jumping and feeding on top; casting jigging spoons is producing some nice Spanish. There is still a lot of Blues mixed in with the Spanish up and down the beach too. We have found some bigger Spanish by going off the beach a few miles and getting away from the crowds in the clearer waters.
Flounder fishing is really picking up around the area. Most of the Flounder are eating little menhaden and Mud minnows on light Carolina rigs. The Flounder are mixed in size to just under keeper size to a few over five pounds. We have caught some Flounder on Artificial baits as well. We have had the best luck with Berkley Gulp 3” pogy in pearl white and smelt colors. Rig the grubs on a red or black jig head for best results. Flounder fishing should stay consistent right through the summer and fall.
The Shark fishing is picking up with the warmer water temps and should be good all summer long. Best baits for the near shore sharks are, fresh and live Menhaden. When we use bait to catch the sharks we use spinning reels, with 300+ yards of thirty and fifty pound Spider wire Ultracast braid. Rigging the baits; eight feet of 80 pound mono leader; some will wind on to the reel. Connected the 80 pound mono to a fifty pound swivel, then to Two to three foot of #9 SS wire and an 8/0 or 9/0 off set J hook. If you prefer Fly fishing, I like Striped bass flies in Menhaden patterns with 4/0 and 5/0 hook sizes. We use ten to twelve weight set ups; have lots of extra flies with you!
Keep your eyes peeled for some great new Berkley Gulp products that will be out soon, some of these baits are going to be great for Redfish and Flounder fishing; Trust me!!!
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 lite 6’6” and 7’ Med & Med-Heavy and the All Star ASR spinning rod ASR844S and ASR845S.
Cobia: Spinning setup Penn Conquer 7000 with an Ugly Stick Tiger lite Jigging rod 6’ 6” and Penn 320LD Reel and a Tiger lite jigging rod. Line for Cobia Berkley Big Game 30# mono and 50# Spiderwire Stealth High-Vis Yellow.
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
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2009 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide