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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! This looks like just the right place for the help I need. By the way, "piscator" is not a nasty word - it means "fisherman" in Latin - aren't I clever! :D Here's my situation:

I have three very young children who are interested in fishing (they have been freshwater fishing before and liked it). I don't own a boat and have been looking for an approachable spot on freshwater banks for a while - most of them aren't cleared, have too much structure, or are in a park where there seem to be almost no fish. So I thought I might try saltwater - the more I read, the more interesting this seems. Actually, it sounds downright exciting - but I don't know very much at all about saltwater (have spent most of my life fishing rocky rivers high in the mountains of West Virginia for smallmouth bass - and have a small encyclopedia of knowledge on that - none here). I am looking for a spot or spots that are approachable for kids, don't cost anything to approach, have good scenery and some other distractions (so a kid can take a break and fidget with something else - but they don't need more than some sand to dig and driftwood) and a decent supply of fish - within a reasonable driving distance for a day out. I live in Ayden (south of Greenville) and have considered the Pamlico River?? Also, what type of species should I expect - what baits??? what species are good for kids in saltwater??? I know its a lot guys, but I would appreciate any help.

Thanks much,

Phil
 

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Hi Phil and welcome to NCangler.com! Thanks for letting me know the Latin word for fisherman. :cool: I do a lot of Bible study and wish I knew Latin and Greek! :) I'm sure many of the guys on the site will have some ideas for you for your area. Merry Christmas!
 

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Phil
Sounds like "the beach" is the place for you! Grab a couple of surf rods, some two-hook bottom rigs, and some shrimp... bring the kites, shovels, and buckets... All set!

It doesn't have to get much more elaborate than that -- My first solo outing was just that -- minus the kids, kites and shovels. Just hiked across the sand from where I was staying on Emerald Isle. I wasn't picky about "target species", just wanted something to bite... shrimp's a good general-purpose bait..

This time of year ya don't have a bunch of swimmers to worry about...

There are still a few public piers out there -- lower cost than buying a boat, but higher than fishing the surf.

Of course you can let it get pretty badly out of hand if you want it to. The Tackle Monkey has been known to strike most of the NC beaches too. (There are other polls on this site about the best facilities for extracting the Tackle Monkey from one's back.)

Oh yeah, starting Jan 1, the government would appreciate your buying a Coastal Recreational Fishing License before you hit the beach. You might appreciate it too, in case an enforcement officer decides to fish the same beach as you.

Welcome to the site!
Lefty
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick response, NCangler. If you do a lot of Bible study, Latin would be helpful, but Greek would be better! It will amaze you how much more insight the Greek language gives to the text than plain English - our English words have become so loaded with different meanings with time. A great place to start would be the JACT Reading Greek series and Independent Study Guide. It will teach you Classical Greek (Koine is the New Testament) - but the instructional quality of the course is higher than many seminary courses and if you can read classical Greek, New Testament Greek is a cinch.
I have been on the lookout for ponds over here in Eastern NC. Unfortunately, I think with the water table being so high, the only ponds I have seen are marshes or in my neighbors yard after a good rain! Can't believe how high the water gets here and how fast!
But I am keeping my eyes peeled. Thanks again.
 

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Welcome Piscator. You can be at Atalntic Beach in an Hour and a half or so from Ayden. There's plenty for everyone in that area. You can stop by one the local bait shops for advice for places on the beach or visit Sportsman's Pier. Like lefty siad all you need is a rod and a couple of bottom rigs to get started. Pick up up some shrimp or squid from the bait shop and you'll be in business.
 

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Phil
I just remembered finding a book at the library about surf-fishing the NC coast. After discussing the basics (how to read the water, for example) the author went into a north-to-south discussion of particular locations... Even to the point of pointing out the location of a hole near Rodanthe (north of Hatteras) in which a reel-stripping monster lives... I wish I'd have written a review -- I might have to go back to the library and look for it.....

Good luck
Lefty
 

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Unfortunately they are both Greek to me! :p Seriously though thanks for the tip on a Greek study guide. I'm going to look that up! :) Again welcome!
Thanks for the quick response, NCangler. If you do a lot of Bible study, Latin would be helpful, but Greek would be better! It will amaze you how much more insight the Greek language gives to the text than plain English - our English words have become so loaded with different meanings with time. A great place to start would be the JACT Reading Greek series and Independent Study Guide. It will teach you Classical Greek (Koine is the New Testament) - but the instructional quality of the course is higher than many seminary courses and if you can read classical Greek, New Testament Greek is a cinch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lefty,

Thanks for the tips. I had considered the beach but didn't know whether there were certain places that were off-limits?? Just seemed too easy walking out there, but hey, easier is fine with me!!! Where do I get the shrimp?? Can I use frozen shrimp??
For the license, do I need any special stamps?? Some states require conservation stamps, National Park stamps, etc. Is there a special "beach" or you know, some other "catch" stamp??
What is the Tackle Monkey?? Hope I don't become one. Is that anything like the Gentleman Fisher?? We have those in West Virginia - they come down from Baltimore with $1000 worth of fly-fishing gear and look like an advertisement for Orvis. You know, the guy with the pristine neoprene waders who actually paid for a wicker creel. (Now, I am also aware that as anglers we all have a tendency to get too much stuff - I mean, after all, what if I lose that catch of a lifetime because I was using green instead of yellow?? Or what if a 4.5:1 retrieve is too slow for this fish? I should have an extra eight-footer on hand to make that longer cast if I need it.:rolleyes:) To each his own.
I think I know what book you are talking about. I saw it at the library too. Something like "Fishing Carolina Coastal Waters?" Better get there and get it before you do.:p
One last question - and forgive the ignorance - is brackish water good fishing?? What type of fish are in it??

Thanks guys.
Phil
 

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First things first -- the Tackle Monkey is a species greatly feared here on NCAngler.com. The ones that frequent saltwater make their home in places like Neuse Sports Shop (Kinston) and Tex's Tackle (Wilmington), but roam far and wide in search of prey. They attack by mounting the backs of unsuspecting anglers, and they consume their prey's waking and sleeping hours with unrelenting visions of MORE STUFF!

It sounds like your Gentlemen Fishers have been attacked by upscale varieties of the beast. Probably much more expensive to get one of them off your back, but don't let your guard down against our local varieties. (Boy that euphemism is working out great -- "your guard" sounds a lot like Phi 4:11...)

As for specific locations, I'd ask a local tackle shop. You'll stop by to grab your bait anyway. They'll know what's allowed and what's not, plus also what's been biting recently and where.

NC does not require a license or stamp until Jan 1, 2007. Starting that day, the CRFL will cover coastal and brackish waters. There's currently a freshwater license requirement -- and there are maps indicating how far upstream an estuary you can go on which license. TopsailAngler posted a good blog describing the new license recently -- see his Nov 20 "Weekly Column" under the "Fishing Blogs" category.

As for brackish water, sure! There's fish there, sometimes the same species, sometimes different species. Sometimes they act differently, sometimes they act the same. Don't hesitate for a minute to throw your line out! I'm much farther inland than you -- on the west side of Raleigh -- so I don't have much first-hand knowledge of the brackish zones, but I've read enough to know to throw my line out if I've got the chance! :)
 

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Hi Phil- welcome to NC Angler.

Sure you can use frozen shrimp - best to buy some before you get to the beach - it's usually cheaper. If you buy fresh, freeze what's left for next time - just put in a container, cover the shrimp in water and freeze. It thaws quick under cold running water or just set it in a bucket with some saltwater.

Be sure to keep us posted on your expeditions and any questions you have. Welcome to NC too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess I am going to be getting into a new "type" of fishing (my wife sometimes doesn't understand why they aren't all the same). That means the Tackle Monkey will definitely be whispering in my ear, but I think I can resist him.
Here's something that could save me a few dollars - do I really need a 10' rod to cast into the surf?? I have a seven-foot medium action spinner that could be sacrificed to saltwater corrosion. Will this be ok, or will I get torn apart when something large and unknown grabs on? Come to think of it, though, that could make a great story.
Neuse Sports Shop?? Kinston?? I'm only a few miles from there!! I need to get down there right away!! I feel the Monkey now!!
 

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Piscator --- Welcome to the site! In reference to the Tackle Monkey, some of us suffer from what we refer to the Tackle Monkey Syndrome (a desire to purchase and to spend much money on fishing tackle). Kinda like an alcoholic except we are tackleoholics. Our cars swerve uncontrollably into parking lots of tackle shops, it's like some unknown force takes control of the steering wheel.:confused: As for the Neuse Sport Shop, I have always been plagued with voices whispering in my ear while there. Now they have video screens advertising tackle goods from the floor to ceiling and everywhere in between, except over the urinal in the rest room.:eek: The last time I stopped there I got so confused from all the commotion , I left there and shopped at Lew's in Havelock just to get my composure back.:D
 

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As for requiring specialized surf gear -- a lot depends on how vigorous the surf is at the time. The one I used on Emerald Isle is an 8' Daiwa combo with 12lb line. For Hatteras, though, the 10' rods are much more helpful. When I've got my kayak in the inshore areas near Ft. Fisher, I use the same 6' spinning medium spinning rods that I use for freshwater work, with 6 and 8 pound line.

I tried throwing some saltwater lures with the lighter rods last time I was at Hatteras; the lures were too heavy for the line, and away they went! Whee! From what I understand, on the ocean side, 12lb line seems to be pretty much the starting point.

If you can find sound-side or estuarial streams, you can probably step it down a notch, but not much... If a keeper Red Drum hits (18-27" slot), you'll want a bit of oomph to get him in...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like I'm going to need a new rod. So here's what everyone's given me today - good stuff:

1) Get new rod.
2) Get fishing license for coastal waters on Jan.1, but may want freshwater too for far inland stuff.
3) Learn to make double-hook rig.
4) Get frozen shrimp before going to the beach.
5) Head to Atlantic Beach, stop at Sportsman's Pier.
6) Avoid Tackle Monkey - maybe this one should be first, instead of "get new rod."

A 27" fish definitely sounds like it could tear apart my cheapo seven-footer, or does the Tackle Monkey just want me to think that? I am still a little unclear on what a double-hook rig is, though I have found some pictures online - they just seem to be different varying with the author. Is there a "general purpose" rig, with a particular weight, that will keep me covered for most situations?

Phil
 

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The "double hook bottom" rig is the most common bottom rig for nearshore fishing.

You can make one if you know how to tie drop loops but the easy way is to buy some (they are inexpensive). They will have a swivel on top, a snap on the bottom to attach a weight, and two short lines between the snap and the swivel where you attach hooks. There are variations but that is the most common around here. I like to use a pyramid sinker for pier and light surf - buy some 2 & 3 ounce ones - you can combine them if you need 4 or 5 ounces. However in heavier surf I use a sputnik sinker - it holds the bottom better.

Your 7' will work fine from the pier. You might be a little disappointed with it in the surf. Not because it will fall apart but in the surf sometimes you need to cast further so the extra length is handy. I use a 7'6" fast action, med light power rod for casting mirrolures (light hard baits) for trout and drum. I use a 8' medium power for general purpose bottom fishing in the surf - pompano through blues. I have an 11 footer I use for the big stuff at Ocakroke & Hatteras (striper, monster drum).

The tackle monkey is my friend - I tell my wife it is HIS fault not mine that I had to buy that new whatchama call it jig to go with all the others....lol.
 

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Piscator, Welcome. the tackle monkey is a dangerous critter. Sometimes I wake up in a tackle shop and don't remember how I got there. Local tackle shop owners here on Topsail Island all have my wife's cell phone number, and will occasionally call her and say, "Come and get Johnny, he's here wondering around in his pajamas again!" But not to worry, he's easy to keep away. You just have to feed him occasionally, and he will keep his distance. He only comes around when he is hungry!;)
Welcome to the wonderful world of saltwater fishing. I love surf fishing. It's relatively cheap, and you never know what you will catch. Could be anything from a couple of inches to several pounds. As for your 7 footer, it will work fine if you use it correctly and don't hook up with a real monster. I caught a 44 inch red drum on a 7 foot med action, 10 lb test line, using a bottom rig. But it took me about 30 minutes to get the fish to the sand. Keep your drag set a little loose, so your line won't break off if the big one bites. Don't worry about the long cast. Most of the fish I catch, spots, whiting, drum, trout, flounder, will be within 30 yards of the beach anyway. So long casting isn't really necessary for bottom fishing unless you are targeting specific species. Good Luck! You are going to enjoy surf fishing with your kids.
Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny
"Fishin'Topsail":D
 

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Jonny is absolutley right about a 7' rod working fine. You can use the one you have especially if you have a good reel that will allow for some smooth casts. My earlier comments are more geared toward the tackle monkey - should you buy a new rod specifically for surf casting - I would definetly go with an 8 footer - it will give you more versatility and allow you to keep out of the water and dry in the late fall and winter when the water is colder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am getting really excited about all this. There's this frightful thing though, called the INTERNET, that lets the Tackle Monkey come right into my livingroom. He is more sophisticated than I first thought. No sooner had you all mentioned some rods and rigs than I found myself wandering around on BassPro getting an idea of what this stuff looks like..or was I shopping??
I am going to go out as soon as possible with the 7 footer. Here are some more questions, if you have a few moments:

1) How cold does the water get near the shore in winter??

2) How do some of these ocean fish fight?? For instance, I know a bass will run for cover, while a carp heads in a straight line. I used to catch 8 and 10 pound carp as a teenager using an ultralight rig with 4lb. test for the fun of it. Is ocean fishing somewhat similar?? Should I expect something to run out for a hundred yards or more?? Just trying to get an idea of what spool size I should have - hate to have one strip it to the bone - leaves a sick feeling in my stomach to think of the poor fish out there with all that line trailing him - don't have a lot of faith in line to spool connections.
3) Went to Wallyworld today to check out some of their prices on some of the things you all mentioned and that I found on the internet. They have 10' surf rod/reel combos by Shakespeare for 39.94. Would these work - they said saltwater but they reminded me of the type you see guys using to catfish? The guide construction seemed reasonable and they weren't too limber in the rear quarters - I am assuming they are all fiberglass. If one of these would serve me for some time as my "big" rod, that would be great for the money. I have had some Shakespeare outfits that have been fantastic and some that have been a mess, that's why I'm asking if anyone has picked one up.
4) When you cast into the "surf," are you shooting right into waves or trying to get past the breaking ones? Jonny said he catches fish around 30 yards - I can believe it because I remember a fish jumping straight out of a wave at me as a kid when I was only about that far out. Scared the you-know out of me because I had visions of a shark chasing it and the next thing seeing a large set of teeth pop out of the wave - hey, I was a kid from West Virginia, what did I know??

The kids are excited - they went to Wallyworld with me and were having fun finding different sinker sizes and looking at the different "fake rubber fish." I remember that stage - the infinite fun of a tacklebox of strange contraptions. I think a person is supposed to come out of that stage - don't know if I did.

Talk later, guys. Thanks again for the help.

Phil
 

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Hi Phil, think you are excited now? Wait until that red drum picks up your bait and makes that first blistering run when it realizes it has been hooked. All you can do is hold onto your doubled up fishing rod and watch as the line spools off the reel, hoping the fish will stop before it reaches the end of the line. NOW you are excited! I have only been "spooled" a couple of times while fishing from the surf, when all the line is stripped off the reel by a big fish. Both times I suspect the culprit was a big sting ray or a skate. What beach will you be fishing? On the outer banks, there are more species of larger fish that are capable of stripping your reel close in than where I fish here in Surf City, NC. Here about the only fish that we may hook into that will spool your line is drum, shark, or as I mentioned earlier, a ray. I like to have at least a couple hundred yards of line on my reels. Just in case.

As to where to cast, into the waves or beyond, here at Topsail Island there are usually sandbars just off the shore. So sometimes, there are actually two sets of breakers. The surf breaks as it reaches the sandbar, then breaks again as it reaches the shore. Usually, the fish are in the slough, ditch or wash between the sandbar and the shore. Just vary your cast until you find where they are feeding. On occasion, you will find fish feeding right on top of the sandbar, but usually they will be pretty close to shore feeding on sand fleas and other bait washed into the water by the waves as they stir up the bottom.

I am not sure about the water temp. Around Surf City, I think in the upper 40's. Maybe someone else can help with that.

I haven't had any experience with the Shakespeare rods and reels. I like rods that have backbone in the rear quarters, sounds like these have it, and I like a fast action tip, or limber, so a bite is easily detected. Keep in mind that you will be slinging three or four ounces of lead into the ocean when the surf is rough. I have a couple of 10 footers, and the real advantage to the long surf rod is that they hold your line up out of the waves. I don't catch enough really big fish to get much benefit from the massive surf gear. And when you spend the day slinging a heavy 10 foot rig then reeling it in, it can really wear you out.

Your childhood visions of shark teeth in the surf aren't that far out of reason. I have seen three to four foot sharks swimming in the slough between the sandbar and the shore. It is not an everyday occurance, and doesn't keep me out of the water, but the sharks are out there. Once I had a four footer swim right past me as I was standing in knee deep water holding my fishing rod. It was probably only about two feet long, but it looked four feet long at the time!

I am not sure if I answered all your questions. But the folks at NC Angler are good bunch, and all your questions will get answered. They have never failed to answer mine.

Till next time....
Tight Lines!
Johnny
"FishinTopsail"

Merry Christmas!
 

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As for how they fight -- the first thought that came to mind was the stingray a buddy of mine caught at Hatteras. It decided to run sideways, parallel to the beach - don't know if that's typical or not, but boy, did it get everyone excited. ("GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!")


Sixty-nine inches wingtip-to-wingtip. Talk about "a biggun"...
 
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