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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, new here but not too new to fishing.

A little about me: I'm a Marine stationed on Camp Lejeune and have recently gotten back into fishing. I've really only dabbled with some surf fishing up in Delaware and some inlets. Lots of freshwater experience however. I just bought a new rod mostly for inshore stuff. I got a Quantum Smoke Inshore 40 on a St. Croix avid inshore series 8' MH Fast Action rod.

Looking to get into some stuff around here on base and in the Jacksonville/Swansboro area and maybe up in Emerald Isle or Topsail. I've read theres mostly Red Drum, Fluke, Speckled Trout and some Tarpon. I'm really hoping to be able to get into some tarpon.

My current plan of attack for fishing is to use a kingfish rig with some Fishbites artificial bloodworm, or a cast net to be able to get some baitfish. Then I'll probably cut them up into some strips and throw them out on a fluke rig. Not really sure if that will work but it doesn't sound like too bad of a plan to me.

I was hoping to get some advice from the experts, what should I be using to hookup with some fish inshore and in the bay areas. Also, I've never caught a Tarpon and it's definitely something I want to do soon.

Thanks in advance for any help, I'm happy to be a part of these forums.

Tight Lines,

-Tommy
 

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Tarpon arent really here in many numbers. Most of the ones I see that are caught come from the king fishermen on the piers.

As far as tackle goes, get yourself an assortment of terminal tackle to make carolina and bottom rigs for the surf and ICW. Also pick up a few topwater baits. I like the zara spooks but definately replace the hooks with something stronger. A few popping cork rigs from DOA, a bottle of procure and some 3 or 4" white or pearl shrimp and you'll have a good start. Also some jigheads from 1/8 to 1/2 ounce. Make sure they have good hooks. Blue Water Candy is my preference.
 

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Welcome to the site, and thanks for your service to America. Check out the posts that are from people fishing in your area on this site. The search box top right can be a great tool.
Like AMG08 said, I've only known of the king fishermen in your area to catch tarpon off the piers. Lots of other great fish other than tarpon to target though.
Can't beat all the other advice that AMG08 gave either.
 

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Contrary to what has been said, Tarpon are here in numbers in the Pamlico sound and have been known to come up as far as New Bern. I don't think they are around in great numbers in your area though, but New Bern and Oriental aren't too far of a drive. A tournament is held for them every year out of Oriental and I've known several people who go out sight fishing for them. That doesn't mean that they are easy to catch though and from my personal experiences, they are hard to find unless you know where to look and it has to be during the right time of the year, usually late summer. On the surf you can find pompano, reds, trout, black drum (sometimes), flounder, and sometimes some off shore reef fish (if you have a deep drop off like Ft. Macon does). You can get into blues out there too and if you are fishing off a pier at the right time, you can get some spanish. In the creeks on the sound side, you'll find most of the same, except for the spanish and pompano. You can throw in some freshwater species if you are far enough back into the brackish areas.

For bait fishing, my personal preference is a carolina rig, fishfinder rig, or a popping cork rig. It all depends where you are fishing. Good quality, small, but strong swivels are good to have, a spool of flouro or higher strength mono for leader material, hooks in 1/0 - 3/0, and good quality jig heads like mentioned above. Take advantage of the area around you and you'll have a blast. Unfortunately, school, work, and a baby have kept me off the water for the most part the last 2 years and I am really missing it.

Oh, and I'm jealous of the rig you bought. I just picked up a Quantum Smoke Inshore in that same size and plan to put it on a Shimano Clarus. You'll have to let us know what you think of it since it won't be here in time for my trip this weekend.
 

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A few spots on base are decent for reds. I fish live/cut bait on a Carolina rig or under a cork. Both of the pistol ranges on river road have spots that lead to the water where you can catch plenty of reds and get into a 30+ incher about once a week if you fish consistently. Also the 6th reg dock will produce good fish occasionally, I watched a guy lose a 6+ pound speck there about a month ago. Hospital point is decent flounder fishing as well. Out towards the back gate you have LZ bluebird that produces good fish and pretty much any tank trail that leads to the water is secluded and rarely fished.


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Lots a good advice. Be sure to read through all of speckhunters's link. That thread helped me tremendously when I first got here. The only other bit of advice I have is to find a way to get off the bank if you can. A kayak or small skiff. That will open up so much more opportunities for you. It took me awhile to get a boat but now I cant imagine bank fishing down here again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tried the 6th reg dock a few times this week. Been using shrimp and then some cut spot that I caught on the shrimp, also tried live lining mullet...seemed like either crabs would steal my bait or it was fish that were too small were just picking my bait off the hook... had hits all the time but only caught 1 spot in a couple hours. Keep in mind it was from about 3-5. Not necessarily the best time.

Any advice? I want to throw some plugs out there for some red drum but have no idea where to start
 

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Pin fish make good live bait for drum and specks, and flounder, if you run out of mullet. A popping cork may also be good if you're bank fishing, or from a pier. A popping cork is good on boats also.
 

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A few spots on base are decent for reds. I fish live/cut bait on a Carolina rig or under a cork. Both of the pistol ranges on river road have spots that lead to the water where you can catch plenty of reds and get into a 30+ incher about once a week if you fish consistently. Also the 6th reg dock will produce good fish occasionally, I watched a guy lose a 6+ pound speck there about a month ago. Hospital point is decent flounder fishing as well. Out towards the back gate you have LZ bluebird that produces good fish and pretty much any tank trail that leads to the water is secluded and rarely fished.


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can an we take POV's on the tank trails?
 

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Gates will be closed and gate guards in place. If you're going to an LZ look for a red flag on the sign other than that the worst that will happen is someone will ask you to leave. Make sure you have your on base license and you're good. Also the dock right next to the back gate is a good spot


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You should only need that for the ponds. Here on Cherry Point you only need the base license for the ponds. You can fish Slocum and Hancock creeks with the regular fishing license because they are not private base waters. They can't exactly say stop all the boats in the creeks that come from every where else to fish. It's a public waterway.
 
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