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Discussion Starter #1
I just thought it might interest some. I paddled my usual Virginia Creek on Sunday. It was the last hour before high tide so I knew I didn't need to navigate around the oyster bars to get out to the ICW. I had just gotten out to where the the creek opens up a little and I spotted two dorsal fins in maybe 2' of water across the creek on the campground side. I paddled over and I got within 6' of one or another of the three I saw. This is way back in the creek so I was amazed to see these huge animals in such shallow water knowing there was nothing deeper than 4' for them to swim in and out of. After paddling around for a couple of hours the tide was falling and they swam right past me as they were heading out.

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That had to be awesome to see. I have been fairly close in my kayak to bottle nose dolphin, but not as close as you got.
 

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It's always awesome to be out on the kayak and see dolphins... Especially when they are teaching thir young to hunt.
 

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We have seen them in 2 feet of water right around our pier on the Pungo before. But it is not way up in a creek and there are no lunar tides to worry about. They have come right up to the boat to investigate when we are out fishing for big drum on the river. They are always way bigger than you think they are when you get close to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm glad others have seen them as well. I also thought they would be concerned about getting trapped but they knew what they were doing. I was a little bummed at first because I know that red drum are a favorite food for them but I didn't see them chasing any large fish. They were likely filling up on the striped mullet along with the ospreys. I don't know their habits but there was one that was maybe 15% larger then the other two. It had a jagged cut on the dorsal fun right at the top. It was healed over so it must have happened a while ago. That's the one I tried to sneak up on as if there was any chance of that. It was bigger than I thought it was when I first saw it. Too bad the water isn't gin clear anymore. It has gotten brown with the rains and maybe the warming up. Talk about a bow wave though. It was not possible to miss where each one was at any given moment. Same on the way out. I was about 2/3 the way toward the icw and saw the big one's fin and the other two as well swimming right toward me about 50 yards away so I just waited. When they got closer I paddled at them and one reversed direction for a few yards, did another U turn and caught up to the other two. I could see it doing this just by the disturbance it was making to the surface.
I should have politely asked if they had caught anything and if they would share this information with a desperate fisherman. Nothing to loose right? Slipped my mind.

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I have heard, but never seen, from someone else that has seen this happen. They will corner a school of drum up in very shallow water, and swim at them hard and bust them out of the water. Throwing some on the bank flapping. Yes, they do love drum, and if they are around, you just as well leave, unless you can find where the drum are hiding from them at. lol
 

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Recently, there has been a massive die-off of bottlenose dolphin along the NC coast. Wildlife officials estimate that as much as 50% of the population of the group around Beaufort Inlet have died. They believe a virus is impacting the population. While I regularly see them in the creeks along the Intercoastal, freshwater sightings may indicate sick animals.
 

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I have heard, but never seen, from someone else that has seen this happen. They will corner a school of drum up in very shallow water, and swim at them hard and bust them out of the water. Throwing some on the bank flapping. Yes, they do love drum, and if they are around, you just as well leave, unless you can find where the drum are hiding from them at. lol
No matter what im fishing for on the river i leave the spot when i see dolphin. Have never caught anything when they are around.
 

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I've seen them chase red drum onto Oyster beds right across the ICW from Virginia creek. They swim up the channel and onto the flats at high tide. Had a group swim right under the yak in less than 3 feet of water. I could feel them through the hull as they passed. I caught it on video if I can find it.
 

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A couple of summers ago I saw a pair working the bottom pretty hard just up from the bridge in Queens Creek. I paddled up pretty close to them and when one finally saw me he was within 10' of my kayak. He took off like a torpedo for about 50 yards and then stopped and started working the bottom again. The water was so shallow that their backs and tails were almost out of the water when their heads were down. It was one of the coolest things I have seen while in the creeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've seen them chase red drum onto Oyster beds right across the ICW from Virginia creek. They swim up the channel and onto the flats at high tide. Had a group swim right under the yak in less than 3 feet of water. I could feel them through the hull as they passed. I caught it on video if I can find it.
What channel are you referring to? Drop me a PM if you want to paddle around this area one day. I've only paddled across the ICW about 4-5 times and would love to know if there are any short cuts over to Topsail.
Thanks

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If they are up shallow like that they are most likely after their favorite food......Red Drum
bingo. there ya go challenger. reds are there
 

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I witnessed something this year I haven't before in the past. Dolphin scooting across a shallow flat, maybe 2' deep and several of them at that! Craziest thing I have seen.

I don't know if they were in pursuit or just trying to cross. But where I live, there are some sand islands straight across the ditch aka ICW. I was fishing a pt that the above poster put me on and all of a sudden!!!! Dolphin screaming across the flats! The guy I was with said in all his 47 years, he had never seen that before.

Pretty cool to see...
 

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In the same way that a Red will run down a mullet with the upper half of its body above the water line, so too will a dolphin chasing a Red!
 

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Not sure of the name of the channel, but it is directly across from Virginia creek and runs north through the oyster beds up against the line of islands on the ICW for a few hundred yards then cuts up to the Island Oaks neighborhood on Topsail. I'll pm next time I'm heading out that way.
 
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