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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
've been putting off on posting this for months but it's getting to that point I have to try something. I've been fishing hard nearly everyday off of my new 18ft Jon boat fishing changing tides but not early mornings as much as I know I should be everywhere in between french creek browns inlet and Sneads ferry launching at the boat ramps on camp lejeune. Throwing everything from gulp on 1/8 jig heads to top water spoons popping corks the works and still just can't catch fish. Have had some trouble finding bait lately but when we do often fishing Carolina rigs with 4 inch mullet on docks for flounder. I'm honestly just trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I have a tendency to always just fish the banks being mostly a bass fishermen and rarely cast in open water even in smaller creeks but never in the main channel of the ICW or new River. Does any of this scream wrong other than not being able to fish early mornings or should I be catching fish using these methods? Is anyone catching fish in new River or would I have better luck broadening my horizons and trying Swansboro or topsail areas? Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Just keep reading and posting here. I'll bet you are doing things well enough to catch drum IF they are biting.
Lots of folks feel that if drum are around they will pounce on bait. In my case that is incorrect. I've been fishless in the last week and it's been four trips. I think the water is too hot in the creek I fish out of because I've seen drum swim right by me.
Maybe try deep holes etc and keep moving every 15 minutes or so. You will score and things will fall into place I promise.
It is frustrating but just keep at it.
Good luck
 

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Topwater baits such as Zara Spook Jr, Mirro Lure She Pup or Top Pup or She Dog have been producing trout and reds in your area. Keep on fishing, its a matter of location and lure intersecting fish.

Starting to seem some finger mullet moving about lately. More this week than last week. So hopefully the fishing will pick up. Get a map of New River, study it and then check out the shoals that abound in the river. Baitfish pass by/over an other fish forage on them.

Out by the points trout may stack up also waiting for the bait. We catch a lot of trout in deeper water, open water. Occasionally toss a bait out to the other side of the boat when fishing. MR17 in 808 is a good overall bait, cast let sink slightly an twitch..twitch...sink and repeat.

Watch for bait flippin or being chased, move and start casting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Definitely appreciate all the feedback guys and it's definitely good to hear that I'm not the only one struggling. My last question is how a few days of heavy rain affects the creeks off new River such as french creek is it awful for fishing or doesn't matter or even good I don't know?
 

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Lots of folks feel that if drum are around they will pounce on bait. In my case that is incorrect. I've been fishless in the last week and it's been four trips. I think the water is too hot in the creek I fish out of because I've seen drum swim right by me
I think in your case they are over pressured and as a result spooked. If the water was too hot they wouldn't be there. Give them a rest for a week or two and fish somewhere else. You can't fish the same spots over and over and expect them to continue producing.
 

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Im in the military myself and a lot of people struggle on new river during the summer. The water in the creeks is so hot and the water dont flow through them very fast so they usually aint up there during the summer. focus on the creek mouths and points out in the main river. especially if they have crab pots on them. I always have my best days after good rains or if theres a stong tide cuz the water has to be flowing to get em to eat in the summer. Also if you can get out really early or on cloudy days you can find them on shallow banks of the main river. But like i said water flow is key. You may be struggling now but come Oct-Jan if you aint catching fish on new river you need a different hobby.
 

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I think in your case they are over pressured and as a result spooked. If the water was too hot they wouldn't be there. Give them a rest for a week or two and fish somewhere else. You can't fish the same spots over and over and expect them to continue producing.
This and keeping one to eat each trip out of the same school
adds up and diminishes chances of catching.
 

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All I fish is the river (creeks). It's TOUGH out there right now. Just too darn hot! I managed a couple small flat fish last night (just before the storm kicked me off the water), but that was it. I'm the same as you, I'm a bass fisherman at heart so I stick to shoreline/structure. Very rarely do I venture out to open water, but that's just because I don't know how/where to go. Just keep reading on here and you'll start catching on and finding fish. They are there, they just aren't hungry right now, so you have to work for the few bites you will get. I saw bait fish EVERYWHERE last night........but NOTHING was busting on them. So that tells me either the bigger fish are not there, or they have so much food available they are not hungry! But I'm a newb at this brackish water fishing myself so take all this with a grain of salt........lol. Good luck out there.
 

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May be that certain areas have specific reasons fish are not hitting?
I spoke with a guy this AM that surf fishes every day at surf city. Hasn't caught anything to speak of in days. He says there is no bait in the surf and I told him VA Creek is more loaded with bait than I've ever seen it and I'm striking out daily.
As I paddled back last pm I was thinking maybe the extremely low high tides could be part of the problem. Last pm high tide was at least a foot lower than a decent high tide and this month there is just so much less water going in and out of the creek. Also a real hard South/sw wind seems non stop.
So maybe new River has a set of issues as other areas have different sets of issues.
Either way I'm not hearing a lot of great reports.

Galaxy S4. Slimkat 4.4.2 official.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the great help guys this is more than I could have asked for sounds like an excuse to buy more tackle! Does anyone have a simple to follow theory on lure color such as matching the water or is it just about finding what they like that day and hoping you have that color in the box?
 

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I just got stationed here a couple months ago and I have been fishing HARD in my bay boat and my kayak. I fish three or four days per week and I mainly fish the same waters as you, except I try to get to swansboro as much as possible. In these two months I have caught only 4 flounder (2 legals), 1 redfish (18.5"), two small trout, one spanish mack, maybe two dozen sheepshead, a couple of really small bluefish, and a pile of croakers. The fishing here is a lot harder than I anticipated. I work very hard for every fish I catch and I spend hours watching carolina fishing TV. I even hire Dr Bogus to teach me some things and I still end up getting skunked most of the time.

But I can offer this advice...

1. I always do better around inlets. Almost all my legal fish have been around swansboro or browns inlet. Which leads me to believe the cooler, clearer ocean water is where the fish are right now. I have spent hours and hours in southwest creek and French creek with only a couple topwater strikes to my credit.

2. I mark a lot of fish and can usually manage a bluefish off of the New River reef. I think if one would spend some time over that thing it would produce some worthy fish. I just haven't taken the time to learn it yet.

Maybe we should link up and fish some day. Assuming you are a Marine we would have similar work schedules and we could share what little knowledge we have.
 
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Have you looked here about plug color?
Color means nothing for drum imo. I don't know about trout.
I'm convinced the main problem is the small tide differential at least in the small creeks. We are looking at 2.1'-2.2' today. IMO that low exchange impacts a lot of things. Temps, o2, and, I imagine, countless other considerations. The water has not covered the islands by me in many weeks. Last summer I could paddle across some islands that I would now slam into.
The creek feels dead and I'm looking forward to the better tide cycles coming.

Galaxy S4. Slimkat 4.4.2 official.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I want to agree with the creek theorys in thinking that the fish are closer to the inlets due to water temp and tide which is what I have been targeting the most lately. but what stumps me is I caught more bigger better fish just throwing cut bait out from shore last year in the dead heat of summer. I understand that reds don't really hold on structure. They want bait and current which isn't that hard to find. So when I do could retrieval speed/lure selection be my problem? If youre on let's say not agressive fish but feeding fish, does anyone honestly believe the difference between catching and not catching can be a different colored soft plastic?
 

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15 days of 95+ degree weather with little rain to show for it has a lot to do with it IMO. It's not even July and we have had as many 90 degree plus days than I have seen during a whole summer here in the past. Add not much rain and I think it just has the fish doing different things very early in the summer.
 

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I want to agree with the creek theorys in thinking that the fish are closer to the inlets due to water temp and tide which is what I have been targeting the most lately. but what stumps me is I caught more bigger better fish just throwing cut bait out from shore last year in the dead heat of summer. I understand that reds don't really hold on structure. They want bait and current which isn't that hard to find. So when I do could retrieval speed/lure selection be my problem? If youre on let's say not agressive fish but feeding fish, does anyone honestly believe the difference between catching and not catching can be a different colored soft plastic?
I think they are all about structure. At least inside anyway. I have almost always found them on oysters and right next to the banks of islands where they such fiddlers out of holes. I also don't think they seek moving current like trout do. Not in my limited experience anyway. I thinks they are more inclined to forage the calmer areas for crustaceans like a cow eating grass.
IMO I would forget about color period. The best color, if you need to find one, is the one you tie on and have the best gut feeling about. Throw it and fish it with confidence.

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I also don't think they seek moving current like trout do. Not in my limited experience anyway. I thinks they are more inclined to forage the calmer areas for crustaceans like a cow eating grass.
They aren't called a channel bass for no reason, you might reconsider that moving water. They'll absolutely crawl up on a mud flat way in the back of a creek in inches of water out of the current, but they love moving water and will stage on it and use it exactly like a trout does. Where a trout is different is he won't usually go into the grass. A trout will stage right on the edge of it. The grass doesn't feel good against his soft body.
 

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This was not in your area, but a nice trout, about 4-5 pounds, was caught on a hot pink topwater yesterday pulling off a point with oysters that were out of and submerged down the point into deeper, not deep, but deeper water maybe 2-4 feet on the outgoing tide. Water was flowing past this point. This situation has produced every trout I have ever caught. Water temps in the area were 84.3 and the water was murky at best. I'm no authority, this has just been my very limited experience with some recent results. We also had two huge blow ups that did not get hooked up, but the situation was the same. Best of luck.
 
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