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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Headed out at 5 a.m. with my son with trout, reds, and flounder on the brain. Weather was better (for once) than our illustrious weathermen predicted, so we were pretty optimistic.

We fished a creek we'd been before and immediately, my son started telling me he was "getting bites", which I chalked up to an active nine year old imagination and some well placed structure. I didn't challenge him, though, because it was certainly keeping his spirits high. Meanwhile, I wasn't getting so much as a bump, structure or otherwise. His confidence was high, mine was sinking, so we headed over to a spot that I'd been saving only to find it occupied. :(:(

We fished nearby, letting the other boat work the area we wanted to fish, and I continued to watch my son strike at "bites" that he absolutely swore were not just bottom. Just when I was really doubting him, I got to see a couple, and by the way his rod tip was getting jerked around, I was beginning to believe him. For me, though, still nothing. Weird morning.

Finally the other boat moved on and we moved over to a point we were hoping to fish. They hadn't had much luck, one missed bite from what we could tell, so I wasn't terribly optimistic. We worked the point for a few minutes, and then my son set up on "another bite". No doubt about it, this was a stump. He didn't seem to agree, however, and kept steady pressure on it while I cringed at the prospect of having to dig the hook out later. "Son, that's a stump." "No it isn't, it's a fish" Wild 9 year old imaginations. Why is he not getting this?

Then I watched the "stump" slowly, and steadily move off from the front of the boat to the back of the boat, headed for China like it wasn't in much of a hurry.

The fish was pulling very very steady drag like it didn't realize that it was hooked, and my son was perched somewhat precariously up on the poling platform over the engine. The fish was pulling so hard both he and I thought he was going into the drink. I loosened his drag a bit and coached him to keep the line tight, take his time, and . . . .

The line went limp. :(:confused:

I have no idea what that fish was, but it bulldozed like a redfish, and a big one at that.

The rest of the day was similar - we had plenty of bites, even I was getting in on the action. With our hook up ratio being exactly zero, I would have doubted even my own bites, but there were big swirls that accompanied all of them. Later in the day, my son hooked up again, and this time right by the boat. The water was clear enough to see the fish, but not clear enough to tell what it was. Again, mysteriously it came unbuttoned.

The fish won rather decisively.

Interesting day on the water - the gulls were everywhere in the main creek, diving for bait. My fishfinder clearely showed schools and some bigger fished mixed in. Was tempted to try trolling, but too impatient.

Anyway, we lost the battle, but will be back for more!
 

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Sounds like a ray from your description. Funny story tho the way you told it, kids are so funny :) I can tell you the small bluefish are biting good and more misses than catches, they like to bite tails off. If you have soft baits you never catch anything on nows the time to use them ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was upstream of pungo, do rays come that far inland? I have never had a ray take a soft plastic before??? Btw, I have no idea what was hitting our lures all day. Was thinking trout or puppy drum but never got a good look. Big swirls and tentative takes. Just a weird weird day!
 

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I've seen cow nosed rays in some pretty fresh water. Never seen one hooked in the mouth, alway in the wing or body. You may have been feeling them bump the line rather than actually taking the lure. On the other hand, if you were that far back, you could have been into a bunch of gar.
 

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You could catch Rays on a variety of things. Most of the big bruisers I've caught were on menhaden and croaker. Not something you want on the end of a lighter setup tho, break them off when the bury them self in the sand or kiss your line goodbye. Reds typically aren't the type to have a gentle bite but some bigger ones, who knows! Than being said I've had red take my baits right off a oyster bed I was snagged on before!
 

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Had a ray eat a pearl and chartreuse SWA two years ago on the Piankitank River in VA. Was fishing with one of my friends and he insisted on fighting it. It was hooked up on a brand new medium-light Teramar rod and I was ready to kill him if he snapped it trying to land that thing. Finally broke the leader, much to my relief...
 

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Gar will drive you nuts on the Pamlico river. They will grab a bait and run, then release..
 
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