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Headed out to Emerald Isle tomorrow for 3 days. Shore bound, and hoping to do well on the surf, pier, or soundside. Any tips for anything from cast net areas, techniques, baits, rough areas (no honey holes). Non specific target, I just want to fish and catch something. Its just 2 fishermen willing to use an alarm clock or stay up past bedtime. Any tips?... Any at all? I know dredging has messed up the north end. How is the south end doing? Or anything in between.
 

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It'll be tough without a boat. I'd head to Bogue Inlet Pier. Gotcha plugs for Spanish and blues and a 2-hook bottom rig with fresh shrimp for everything else. Use as light an outfit as you can, minimize your terminal tackle and use a pyramid sinker just heavy enough to grip and hold the bottom; 1 or 2 oz.
 

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Gonna be stormy in the afternoons this week, southwest winds so water might be dirty, so do your best fishing in the early AM. I'd hit the pier. If you don't have saltwater license the pier covers that too.
 

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If you want to throw metal, we are seeing some blues in the surf and the occasional spaniard in the mix. With water temps around 74, expecting to see more bait+spanish any day now, with hopefully good numbers at first light through early a.m., high tides and evenings with clear water. I prefer to throw 2 oz Glass Minnows (Shore Lures) in white or pink - most popular in OBX but Freeman's Discount Tackle in Atlantic Beach carries them - fully display on the right as soon as you walk in the front door. Otherwise, any 1.5-2oz spoon should work. I would also bring a drum rod and throw out a fish-finder rig w/ a 4-6oz pyramid sinker and #6 circle hook with a chunk of blue or menhaden on it for drum or the occasional (very) cobia.
 

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The family and I fished every day from May 16th through this weekend from the sand without a whole lot of success. There was one day where I caught blues on every cast with a hopkins for a few hours and another day we caught a bunch of pompano and whiting. The rest of the time it was either too windy to fish or the fish weren't biting. I would check the pier reports at night and it seemed like they were having pretty decent success even on the days I wasn't.

There were huge schools of menhaden about but never saw anything tearing them up. I could never get close enough to get a cast net on them, I needed about another 10 feet. However, I was able to snag quite a few by tying a bunch of dropper loops on a leader line ending in a 2 oz weight (i used a pyramid weight because that is what I had with me, but I think an egg qeight or trolling weight probably would have worked better) and then tipping the loops with treble hooks. Then just cast into the school and rip the line through as fast as you can reel while really jerking the rod. You'll snag quite a few, but frequently they get off in the waves.

We used the menhaden as cut bait one night and caught 5 or 6 10 - 15lbs sharks. Hopefully you have some better luck than I did.
 
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