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Cape Lookout report, 5/1 & 5/2

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Awarded by , 05-04-2011 at 07:33 AM (2206 Views)

Quote Originally Posted by GanzAndere View Post
My friend Barry & I launched from Harker's Island Fishing Center a couple of hours after dawn on Sunday, and headed to the CL jetty. Picked up some nice spanish and small blues early working gotcha plugs near the rocks. bite ended ca. 10am, so we pulled anchor and headed to the shoals. never located fish, but found huge schools of menhaden that looked like big oil slicks all over the shoals. After an unproductive pass by the jetty again, we started trolling yozuri DDs off shackleford, and began to pick up all the small blues we wanted. we hadn't caught fish in while, so we had a blast pulling 4 lines and catching lots of fish.

We got an early start from the great new radio island boat ramp on monday AM. after a quick ride out to beaufort inlet, we picked up a spanish and a few blues trolling. we headed off to try the jetty, where we had to work pretty hard to find fish willing to bite. knowing that i had spotted a few forked tails near the rocks on the previous day's visit, i tied on a big creek chub knuckle head and began working the rocks -- hoping the choppers were in the area. on my 2nd or 3rd cast, i hooked a good blue over the rocks. fish didn't seem to know he was hooked at first, so couldn't estimate his size until he jumped -- then it was clear i had a decent chopper. once it saw the boat, the fish put up a great fight against a pretty stiff drag. once we boated the fish, we measured it at 33" and it pulled 12lbs on my spring scales (which means the fish was prob a bit heavier). hooked another one about the same size once we relocated, but fish came unbuttoned for no obvious reason after a lengthy fight and and a great aerial display for the rest of the jetty crowd.

bite fell off completely by mid-morning, so we headed to the shoals to see what we could find. after a bit of hunting, we followed a few diving birds near choppy water. as we approached the birds, we realized a great number of very big fish were breaking water and swarming near the surface. from a distance the mass of fish appeared very brownish, so we initially guessed they were sharks (we saw sharks swarming near the shoals last fall). as we approached, the flashes of red and copper indicated these were red drum, but never have we seen such a big school of mature drum swarming at the surface like this. when we got within casting distance, we felt like we only had time to grab the nearest rod rigged with whatever happened to be tied on and cast. we both did, and immediately both hooked up. i chose badly, as i grabbed a light rig with a small diamond jig -- unfortunately tied on with a metal clip intended for spanish and blues. i fought my fish for several minutes, but was pretty sure the fish was gonna spool me unless i push some drag pressure on it. i slow turned on the heat and slowed the fish down. as i gained line, the fish turned again and started another run -- and then my line went limp. turned out the metal clip just couldn't take the pressure and was mangled badly (see photo!). clearly i brought a knife to a gunfight. obviously should have grabbed the heavy spinning combo rigged for cobia; hopefully that's a mistake i'll not make again soon.

barry hooked his fish on light rig, too, but had 20 or 30lb braid and a strong stingsilver hook tied directly to his leader. after 15 min or so, he finally tired the fish and we boated it just long enough to snap a photo. the fish measured 39" and prob weighed nearly 30lbs. he was a heavy fish with a protruding belly full of food. fish swam away in good health.

seeing that swarm of adult drum has to be one of the coolest things i've seen on the CL shoals. while we were fighting our fish, the school disappeared in the choppy waters of the shoals, and we were unable to locate them again.

we eventually headed back to shackleford, and found blues all over the west half of the island. we were trolling 4 lines and frequently had all rods bouncing at once time.

at one point when we were re-rigging, barry noticed a suspicious brown mass near the boat and decided to investigate. turned out to be a pod of ca. half a dozen cobia cruising the open water near the west end of shackleford. we got off a few casts, and i had one follow my lure right to the boat. ultimately we couldn't convince anyone to play, but were delighted to have seen them.

i've had a full night's rest, but am still tired of catching blues. beat up, exhausted and happy.

here's to strong hooks and good knots. some photos below.

// joel





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Inshore Fishing

Comments

  1. Kev2380's Avatar
    Wow, Super jealous.
  2. creekfishen's Avatar
    how bigs ur boat