The fishing is hot right now! The Bulls have already started transitioning into spawn mode with a lot of male, schoolie Bulls being caught as well as the occasional, enormous female. I catch most of mine within 200 yards of the Little Jetties Park in 35 feet of water but, you can find them along the dredge lines just about anywhere between the Inlet and Trout River.
I've picked up on a pattern over the past 4 years that has proved consistent. May through late June, the River Bulls favor Cut Fish. Cut Mullet, Blue Fish(legal size), Jacks and Lady Fish in particular prove to be absolutely deadly during those 2 months. Once July comes around, the cut baits lose their effectiveness. The Blue Crab become a complete waste of money as well. From July through the end of October, the Menhaden and Medium sized live Mullet become detrimental when targeting the monster Reds. Once the spawn starts going into full swing, the Blue Crab begin working again. June - July is a dead period for the Blue Crab every year. You do get the occasional fish but the bite is slow. Right now, Menhaden is king....
The lure fishing is solid right now as well. Things have slowed a bit with the hot weather making the fish lethargic to some degree but the early morning and late evening bite is off the chain. The Red Fish and Trout are biting best for me towards the ladder half of the Out going tide in most areas of the river. There are a couple spots where the bite is actually better on the beginning and last half of the incoming. It just depends on where you fish.
Make sure that when you explore new areas, take note of the tide. If you strike out, make a note of it in a journal. Don't rule the area out until you've gone back there and fished it on other tide phases. Even then, some spots are season specific and may be terrible most of the year and amazing during other times of year. Learn the species migrational patterns and spawning periods. Doing this will make you a wiser angler and over time, you'll be able to better predict where the fish will be at various times of the year.
Far as the lures being used, not a whole lot has changed, we're still doing well on the Rapala X Raps. I've already gone over what types of water to use them in so if you've missed this, refer back to my last couple of reports. Far as color selection, remember this, your lure should always match the color of the water you're fishing. Out going tides tend to look tanic or brown, I find the Orange and silver X Rap out performs the other color options during this period. On the ladder half of the incoming tides, the water has an emerald color to it and during this time, the Olive and silver is absolutely killer. The cleaner the water, go lighter, the darker the water, go darker. Simple. Fish are counter shaded in order to match their surroundings. It's natures cammo. It's not natural for a bait fish to stand out like a sore thumb. Predators expect bait to be hard to see. That's why we add sound and vibration to our lures. don't just match the hatch, match the water.
I had the opportunity to put a couple more members of the Dance family on the fish last week. Bills son and twin grand sons went out and caught come Bull Reds, as well as slot Reds on X Raps. We also hit a shrimp boat for some big Black Tips. They caught a lot of fish and had a great time. They were bustin Bills chops because they actually caught more fish than he did during filming in June
Catch em up guys...
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