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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Partner and I caught these last Saturday in the Neuse. They were not on the beds yet, probably a majority will go in a couple of weeks. Ended up with 46 fish and probably 30 of those were the big shellcrackers.

Caught them in 3-7' of water, and the temps ranged from upper 50s to lower 60s.

Be careful saw a couple of snakes too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There's some huge ones up there too. I saw them weighed in at the Vanceboro tournament one year. Two seperate fishermen had Shellcrackers that weight 2.75lbs each. One dude won, and the other guy didn't even place ? I'm like how in the **** do you catch a fish like that, and not catch at least a few more decent ones to go with it ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Trips my uncles took me on when I was young. I had no clue it wouldn't always be like that. It probably still is in some of the backwaters they took me to. It was down a sandy 2 track road near some palm trees; that's all I got...
Do you want a couple of us to go with you to a hypnosis or one of those palm readers, and see if they can jog your memory ?
 

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Sounds like, yes, Bonifay, Florida.
That's not far away from where I think it was/is. Closer to Ebro; I definitely remember fishing the river there sometimes. There was also a cabin at "Crystal Lake" but it is not the town by that name in central FL, it is up in the panhandle somewhere. There was a watermelon field at the turn off (big help, I know :) ).
 

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Only way I've ever got into big shellcrackers on purpose was worms on a mini three way rig on the bottom about 8 feet deep and I thought they were spawning as all of them were in a very small spot in a pretty big pond. I also thought they spawned later in June.
 
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A particular pond I fish from time to time but not often enough produces nice crackers.....and nice redbreasts believe it or not. I've had the best luck with a large wad of nightcrawler on the bottom situated in a kind of Carolina rig with split shot for weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When it gets hot outside, that's one of the more effective methods, along with fishing pads or bonnet beds in at least 3' of water or more.

Those folks at Lake Waccamaw catch some huge Shellcrackers too, but most of them doing it wading the lake around dawn. I just can't see myself doing it, but they're very successful at it.
 

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!

You guys that fish some of the deep creeks off the Neuse and Pamlico/Tar with Kayaks need to try tightlining for them sometime. Its a blast and very effective in these creeks that average 8 to 20 feet deep. Swift, Brices, Blounts, Tranters, Bachelors, and I suppose the upper Trent to name a few. It may not be the most effective technique in the middle of the spawn but winter and summer its deadly. Its basically ultralight Sheepshead fishing. Find the structure, Suspend the bait right on top the structure, Bump, Fish On!
 
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