Spanish mackerel blowout on Ocean Isle Pier w/ Pics
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Thread: Spanish mackerel blowout on Ocean Isle Pier w/ Pics

  1. #1
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    Default Spanish mackerel blowout on Ocean Isle Pier w/ Pics

    I just got back from a week-long trip to the coast where I absolutely slayed the Spanish Mackerel from the Ocean Isle Pier, as well as catching many whiting (sea mullet). I also had some good flounder fishing with a friend inshore at the Sunset Beach Bridge.

    By far the highlight of the trip was the Spanish mackerel fishing. Spanish mackerel and bluefish were hitting for several days off and on at the Ocean Isle Pier. I saw many Spanish caught on Gotcha plugs, but I really did the job on them using my own customized Spanish gold hook rig.



    I’m not too shy to say I was the envy of the pluggers around me as I wore out the Spanish mackerel and also caught plenty of blues at the Ocean Isle Pier. There were two days I caught my limit of Spanish on the pier.

    There was a third day there however (Tuesday) where the wind blew so much it was almost impossible to throw my gold hook rig, and the Spanish were not biting anyway. On that day I settled for bottom fishing.

    I did pretty well catching some nice-size whiting (sea mullet) but the some local pier vets around me did even better, filling their cooler with nice sea mullet during the “Mullet Blow” day. The guys who really cleaned up were throwing fresh cut shrimp off of the end of the pier.



    Most of the time I was pier fishing I was with my friend Randy Patterson (known locally as the Ice Man) who was using Gotcha plugs and catching his share of Spanish, including one that was bigger than any of mine for the week.

    Randy lives at Ocean Isle Beach but had never been down to the Sunset Beach Bridge fishing. When I told him about the great flounder action there he wanted to go, so one day we forsook the Spanish mackerel bite and hit the Sunset Bridge.

    At first we were fishing Gulp shrimp on jig heads. I caught plenty of small flounder but no keepers. Eventually Randy took his cast net (he’s a better thrower than me) up into the Sunset Beach creeks and we caught some big corncob size finger mullet.

    We fished the finger mullet for about a half hour getting nothing before deciding to back to the pier and the Spanish. I had already packed up to leave and Randy was reeling in his flounder rig when I heard him say “Um...wait a minute Jeff.”

    He then paused and looked very focused while something munched on his big mullet. After about thirty seconds he set the hook on a gorgeous 21-inch flounder that I netted up the rocks for him. We took a pic, threw it in the cooler, and went back to catching Spanish mackerel on the pier.


    Overall it was a great week and great fun fishing. I was on assignment interviewing some important local folks and writing a two-part story for the Brunswick Beacon about the potentially troubled future of Carolina recreational fishing that will be out in print starting next Thursday.

    But around the work there were many days of terrific fishing. If you are in lower NC or upper SC I suggest you find out if the Spanish mackerel are at your local pier and then make yourself a gold hook rig. If they are there I guarantee you’ll beat out the guys throwing Gotcha plugs.

    Jeffrey Weeks
    Eric6708, h2ohhh, Pesky, sekod, and wildcatt like this.


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  3. #2
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    May 2010
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    Please help me out. How do you make a gold hook rig? Is it just a weight and gold hook, or is there more to it? Thanks.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Jeff,

    Nice to see the fishing picking up. Can't wait to relocate to the area. Was hoping to relocae by the end of summer, but looks like early fall is more relistic. The OIB pier,Sunset Beach pier and bridge will definitely be my home way from home. Will be 2.5 miles from OIB pier and 5.0 miles from Sunset Beach. You gave me some great information last month and hopefully as you said we can do some fishing togaether. I am really itching to move to ocean Isle Beach. Thanks for the report.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brannok812 View Post
    Please help me out. How do you make a gold hook rig? Is it just a weight and gold hook, or is there more to it? Thanks.
    ok! i have actually written a whole article on it that hasn't been published yet, but i'll give you a free preview.

    all you need to do is have a long (18 inch) length of mono leader (40 lb is about right). tie a loop or swivel at one end to attach to the line from your rod. along the leader tie a bunch of (like 5 or 6) plain gold number 4 hooks.

    at the bottom of the leader you have a choice of what to use. a lot of people in SC (where I got the idea) use a l ounce silver diamond jig. you can use a gold or silver stingsilver. i like the bass pro shops strata spoon (you can get them through the link in my article on this in associated content).

    so in the end your rig looks like this, from rod end to terminal end: loop or swivel, row of 5 gold number 4 hooks, bass pro strata spoon or diamond jig (all 40 lb mono 18 inches).

    you jig this up off the bottom or walk it on the top, depending on where the spanish are holding.

    hope this helps! jeffrey

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGN02011957 View Post
    Jeff,

    Nice to see the fishing picking up. Can't wait to relocate to the area. Was hoping to relocae by the end of summer, but looks like early fall is more relistic. The OIB pier,Sunset Beach pier and bridge will definitely be my home way from home. Will be 2.5 miles from OIB pier and 5.0 miles from Sunset Beach. You gave me some great information last month and hopefully as you said we can do some fishing togaether. I am really itching to move to ocean Isle Beach. Thanks for the report.
    i will be hitting the pier more often after the little bridge closes down, so i should see you there!!

  8. #6
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    Mar 2010
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    Do you think people will be able to fish the bridge also. I noticed in some photos from OIB Facebook page some guys were wading close to the new bridge. Photos were actually of construction of the new bridge, but couldn't help but notice guys wading in the foreground.
    Did some similar fishing in the back bays of Long Beach Island at night in NJ. Good way to catch both weakfish and striped bass up there. Also, are there going to be lights on the bridge, the lights as you well know bring in the bait fish which bring in the larger fish. Hope to be fishing the area soon.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGN02011957 View Post
    Do you think people will be able to fish the bridge also. I noticed in some photos from OIB Facebook page some guys were wading close to the new bridge. Photos were actually of construction of the new bridge, but couldn't help but notice guys wading in the foreground.
    Did some similar fishing in the back bays of Long Beach Island at night in NJ. Good way to catch both weakfish and striped bass up there. Also, are there going to be lights on the bridge, the lights as you well know bring in the bait fish which bring in the larger fish. Hope to be fishing the area soon.
    have talked this over recently with the locals in the know. it really looks like fishing will be ended there when the new bridge is up, except by boat.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltyweeks View Post
    ok! i have actually written a whole article on it that hasn't been published yet, but i'll give you a free preview.

    all you need to do is have a long (18 inch) length of mono leader (40 lb is about right). tie a loop or swivel at one end to attach to the line from your rod. along the leader tie a bunch of (like 5 or 6) plain gold number 4 hooks.

    at the bottom of the leader you have a choice of what to use. a lot of people in SC (where I got the idea) use a l ounce silver diamond jig. you can use a gold or silver stingsilver. i like the bass pro shops strata spoon (you can get them through the link in my article on this in associated content).

    so in the end your rig looks like this, from rod end to terminal end: loop or swivel, row of 5 gold number 4 hooks, bass pro strata spoon or diamond jig (all 40 lb mono 18 inches).

    you jig this up off the bottom or walk it on the top, depending on where the spanish are holding.

    hope this helps! jeffrey
    Very helpful! I remember seeing something like what you described in Panama City Beach, FL. The captains used a similar rig to jig up cigar minnows for bottom fishing. If I understand correctly, the gold hooks are tied directly to the leader without any dropper of their own (i.e. not like a sabiki rig which has all of the hooks on droppers attached to the main line) and then a jigging spoon is the weight and predator-chasing-prey at the bottom. Thanks again for the info.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brannok812 View Post
    Very helpful! I remember seeing something like what you described in Panama City Beach, FL. The captains used a similar rig to jig up cigar minnows for bottom fishing. If I understand correctly, the gold hooks are tied directly to the leader without any dropper of their own (i.e. not like a sabiki rig which has all of the hooks on droppers attached to the main line) and then a jigging spoon is the weight and predator-chasing-prey at the bottom. Thanks again for the info.
    right, although i attach them with little dropper loops. but some folks just tie them directly to the line and i do that when working fast. you can catch doubles on it. and most Spanish will hit the gold hooks-- but the BIG Spanish and blues will hit the big spoon at the end.

    it is a FUN way to fish.
    jkeith likes this.


  12. #10
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    I do better myself with about 3 feet of fluro, and 6 hooks with a Charlie B on the end, when you can find one.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bread Man 1 View Post
    I do better myself with about 3 feet of fluro, and 6 hooks with a Charlie B on the end, when you can find one.
    ok, you got me listening. what is a Charlie B???


  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltyweeks View Post
    ok, you got me listening. what is a Charlie B???

    You can't really find them anymore. Mr. Charlie made them locally along with other types of tackle. Sold them up and down the coast. He died a couple of years ago in his 90's. His tackle died with him. The Charlie B was similar to a small diamond jig, but it had a better flutter action, and a better holographic shine. It mimicked a glass minnow a lot more. I have one put away for more or less sentimental reasons. Some of the tackle shops in the area may still have one or two, but I doubt it. ( I called a couple in my area just to see) Bigger spanish seemed to love that little jig for some reason.

  15. #13
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    I read your article in the paper. I have you bookmarked now! If it is not too much trouble, please post a pic of your gold hook rig. I think I have a good handle on it from your description, but a pic would remove all doubts. Thanks again for sharing your fish stories and knowledge.

  16. #14
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    You can buy this rig (gold hooks with a diamond jig at the end) at any of the Topsail piers, they make their own. Also Blue Water Candy makes them and a lot of the tackle shops sell them. They basically are a Sabiki Rig with a diamond jig on the end instead of a sinker, we have been using them around here (Topsail) for at least 30 years. They are great.




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