Surf fishing hotspots are in a constant state of change. The bottom is mostly made up of sand and every change in the weather and tide has some effect on the topography of the bottom. storms can fill in deep holes over the course of a few hours. They can also make deep holes in the same length of time. One of the basic skills of surf fishing is learning to look at the beach and the waves to find places that will cause fish to congregate in an area or will steer migrating fish through a given area that is small enough that a fish going through that area will encounter your bait. Surf fishermen have to hunt these places if they can't find other evidence of fish congregations in order to consistently do well. Beach replenishment projects normall are very detrimental to the sand flea and coquina populations and also flattens out the bottom structure.
I agree with sinker man and there has been a lot of beach replenishment going on at Emerald Isle. As for the constants you can always go down to the inlet (Bogue) at the end of the island. Fish the inside or outside of the inlet and try to locate the fish. There were quite a few Drum caught there over the past few weeks but they will probably be moved into the flats and marshes by then. The bigger Drum will have moved to deeper water. You will still be able to pick up a few Blues. Another good constant spot is where the old Emerald Isle pier used to be. It was knocked down and most of it was left in the water. It is just approximately 3-4 miles up the Island from Bogue Inlet pier. There is a public beach access there with close proximity to the beach. You will see and very large warning sign for underwater hazards, old Emerald Isle pier. You can't miss it. You can drive all the way to the other end on Hwy 58 and fish Ft. Macon. Either side of the inlet. I caught some Hatteras Blues there yesterday on the ocean side of the jetties. Try fishing the Indian Beach area, in June you might get into a run of Pompano. Again, as sinker man said you will just have to look at the contour of the beach and determine where the cuts are and fish the holes and sand bars accordingly.
Usually around old ocean pier pilings like the Emerald Island pier you can expect black drum ,flounder, puppy drum and at times pompano and trout. Best fishing is from first light til the sun starts coming on enough for you to feel it. Clear surf is normally best. Fresh shrimp, and live minnows work best around old piers.
Reading the water on the beach is a little tough to explain without pictures but I'll try to give it a shot in case you or someone else don't know how. Most everone who will read this has probably been on a beach at low tide and seen little pools of water that run paralell to the waves with a strip of sand in between the pool and the waves breaking on the beach. Perfect place for the little ones to play away from the waves. Well if you see this it is low tide and at high tide there will be fish feeding there. If you look it over, it is normally open to the ocean on one end and that is the door or break. That temporary pool is called a trough and on the ocean side of the trough it is shallower or dry and that is called a bar. If you wade out into the water, you will notice that just as it starts getting deep it sort of flattens out then it starts getting shallow. That is a sand bar. On the other side of the sand bar it gets even deeper. That is the trough or gut. Again it will have a cut or a door leding to it and that is a place the fish gather.
If you look at the surf from the beach you can see how the waves form crest over a sand bar and then over deeper water looses height. This is what you use to spot the breaks in the bar. As a wave approaches the bar look for places it doesn't crest. These places are deeper places in the bar. Some may be old breaks that are filling in. you want to make sure you pick deep active breaks that have water forming a ripcurrent and washing food back into the deeper water.
Thanks for the info, I am not new to surf fishing, I just have never fished Emerald Isle (however a refresher of the basics is always appreciated, as you tend to overlook the simpler things at times). One of my buddies that is going is a complete novice to surf fishing, and I want to make sure I have everything in our advantage to see he catches fish and hope he catches the surf fishing bug.
Good information, Sinker Man. I have fished for many years and still enjoy reading what people tend to do in reading the beach. It is experience like yours that makes this site such a valuable one. Let me ask you this, Have you ever been out to Portsmouth Island for surf fishing there? I have read and understand from a friend that they catch some huge fish out there in the surf.
anyone have the GPS coordinates for the *old* emerald isle pier? (ie mentioned earlier in this thread). just want to make sure i know exactly where it is. sounds like a great place to surf fish -- will have to try it next time i'm down there.
NO, I've fished from Duck to Ocracoke and from Ft Macon to Ocean Isle. I never really had a good chance to get over there. I have an Idea though of how to stay there full time. A lot of it depends on what the heart docs find this week and whether this C-pap machine works for me. If not I at least got to fish Padre Island Tx Regularly for a couple or 3 yrs. though. I've fished in Southern CA and several good spots in Florida. So I can't complain about the opportunities I've had.
Sinker that C pap takes some getting used to so dont be discouraged. There are several types of masks and such you can try to find what is comfortable for you.
Also may need re-evaluation to get the pressure at the right level, so be patient.
I work (or at least did until my back injury, so know who knows) for Apria Healthcare and C-pap, Bi-Pap and Oxygen is our specialty. I too use a C Pap and had a tough time getting used to it but the difference in how you feel when you wake up and through the day is awesome if you give it time. Most important thing is to ask questions and be nice to your Respiratory Therapist !
I don't have GPS coordinates for the old Emerald Isle Pier but you can't miss it. There is a public beach access there and it is very visible from the main road (58). You will see the big warning sign designating the under water hazard of the old pier. Old Emerald Isle Pier's name is on the sign. I fished it several times last year with pretty good success. The first week in June last year I hooked a Spinner Shark there that had to be at least 125 lbs. plus. I couldn't land it and eventually it broke a steel leader. I was using a 4/0 steel live bait rig with a live Sea Mullet. Needless to say it drew a croud for a little bit before it broke off.
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