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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure if I took the time to search, I could find the answers to many of my questions, but this way I am practicing my typing skills. Plus I want to tap your expertise and knowledge.

My primary fishing is Inshore. Which in Florida was grass flats, mangrove shorelines, creeks, bays and rivers. Usually 12 to 36 inches of water. Near shore or jetty inlets were considered Offshore, at least to me. So I am wondering what would be comparable 'inshore' waters here in NC.

Seasons: In Florida, it is year around fishing. With late Spring, early fall being best. Although, dead of winter and heat of summer can also be good depending on species. My guess is spring and fall here are the best times as well. With a 4 hour drive to saltwater, rather than 15 minutes as I had in Florida....planning trips around good times of the year will be crucial.

Gear: I use 7 ft to 8ft light to medium, fast to moderate action rods. With 20 (2000) to 40 (4000) series spinning reels...depending on your manufacture of choice. I use all Quantum: Cabo Rods, Cabo and Catalyst Inshore Reels. Spooled with 15 to 25 lb braide from either Power Pro or Suffix. With an 18 inch flurocarbon leader (Yozurri, Seaguar or Suffix). Will that be appropriate here as well?

Lures: My go to confidence lure is the 1/4 oz Near Clear (#312) DOA Shrimp. I also like jerk baits and jigs. Usually Capt Mike Flats Candy or Exude Darts. Colors: gold, clear, white, chartruese or root beer depending on water color. Florida is mostly clear to tannin stained. Been using the new 17M MirrODine from MirrOLure a lot. Great lure. And I also like throwing Topwaters, primarily MirrOLure Top Dog or She Dog. Then lastly a Gold Spoon, I use Captain Mike as well. So what do you think of those choices and colors?

Cant wait to get down to the coast for some fishing. Thanks in advance for sharing any information on the above topics.
 

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I use about the same gear but with mono line for inshore and braid for fishing docks. I don't use fluorocarbon. I use the same DOAs but my go to lure is a spinnerbait. I use a lot of Redfish Magic but have lately been buying them by pieces and customizing them. I'm looking at getting all raw materials and a wire bending machine so I can make my own from scratch.

I use a lot of New Penny, rootbeer, chartruese, and white combinations. Usually 1/4 ounce.

I've got 4 rods from 7 to 7.5. I use Shimano Teramar rods with 2500 Stradics. I use 12lb blue mono Berkley Big Game that really stands out against the darker water we have here. My leader is clear High Impact Stren.

Most of the water I fish is less than 5 feet deep. I fish a lot of grassy areas, oyster beds, and rock structure. Again, 70 to 80% of what I fish are docks. I'll fish year round as well but like the spring and fall times. September should be cranking this year.

Let me know when you go hit the coast sometime. I'll just about meet you anywhere if I can. I'll be fishing Bath Creek this Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the information.

In Florida our inshore targets were snook, reds and trout.

Here I am guessing it will be reds, trout and flounder? What about juvenile tarpon and black drum? I read about stripers also.
 

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There is not much in the way of grassy flats in NC. When inshore fisherman up here talk about fishing in the grass they are usually talking about Spartina: the green sedge like stuff growing in all the lowlying areas of the marsh. No mangroves along the edge, just spartina. Very little natural shade but plenty of docks and bridges.
Pompano also are rare on the inside. The trout avg. smaller and less numerous. The flounder are probably a little more numerous and larger in NC. The fishing is 12 months but it slows down in the winter and starts ramping back up as the water starts warming up. In the winter it is cold water fishing. You might see water temps as low as the upper 40's in the winter. Normally they get down in the lower 50's. You have to hunt a lot harder in the winter to find the fish as a large portion of them will be offshore in warmer water. It is a little easier to find the fish once you figure out their winter patterns and hangouts. Nobody gives up their winter fishing spots as most are easily overfished and they are normally good year after year.
Those are most of the differences I can think of. I'll let someone else discuss the striper info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great information. Now my experience with spartina has been down in Jacksonville FL, most bottom in that area is mud and/or muck. Is wading from your kayak an option in NC, or is the bottom too soft? Jax at least has some oyster bars that you can get out, and a few inshore sandbars in areas.

Which brings me to another question. What will I be looking for when fishing? I mean docks are obvious. But in Florida I fished along the mangrove lined areas, oyster bars, sand bars, indentions along the bank, troughs, sand holes on grass flats, mullet schools....and that was only if I couldn't see the fish (i.e. tailing reds, wakes, shadows, slicks etc). So I knew how to use my senses there to find fish. Hear snook and trout popping as they feed, smell the oil from feeding on bait fish, seeing distant movement, or "different" water. Fishing deeper holes along shallows, even a 2 inch difference on a flat only covered by 12 inches of water would hold fish.

Guess I will answer a lot of my own questions when I finally get out there.

Any good maps or ariel photos to study?
 

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Is wading from your kayak an option in NC, or is the bottom too soft?
just test the bottom before you get out, some places the mud will swallow you up, and some places have hard sandy bottoms. i always probe the bottom with my paddle or stakeout pole before i hop out because being waist deep in mud is no fun at all. all of the things you listed to fish are good, well except the mangroves, non of them here haha. there is a really good arial map of rich inlet to carolina beach inlet. they are waterproof have some gps waypoints and cost about 25 bucks. the guy who makes them lives next door to my buddy, next time i talk to him i want to ask him about making a map from CB inlet down to baldhead.
 

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Google maps is what I reccomend. Wading depends on whether you are: on the mainland side (winter, soft black mud) or closer to the barrier islands (Summer, lots more sandy places). The middle marshes are generally best fished from your boat but you can find some productive spots in them where you can get out and fish either from the shoreline or on a submerged sandbar. Ther are some shallow flats behind the southern part of Emerald Island that have underwater grasses similar to those in Florida. The last time I fished them was back in 83. I was wade fishing using pinfish and pig fish and was catching a few 15"-17" trout out of the wheel channels. Where, when and how to fish... that would take 30 volumes or more to cover it all but the basics in areas with 3'-5' tides are best fished according to the tide. Outgoing tides will be bringing all the fish, minnows and a few other critters out of the flooded grass. During that time you can fish the places where the water drains out of the spartina the heaviest. Normally a small channel a few inches deeper than the surrounding area. Different marsh creeks have different "schedules" to learn but it is worthwhile to try and figure out the timing of a few of the better ones. Normally the mouths of the marsh creeks are silted in. Just inside or outside of the mouth may be a productive ambush spot towards the later stages ouf a falling tide.. Low and incoming tides I prefer to start with deep structure, whether it is an oyster bar, channel edge, range marker, or dock/bridge. If that isn't working I'll try the shoreline edges.
 
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