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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after my first (unsuccessful) foray out into the Tar/Pamlico, I decided to stop beating my head against the proverbial wall and hire a guide to show me the ropes. I got lucky and found Mitch Blake from FishIBX charters available for a Sunday afternoon trip, and he quickly agreed to make the trip an education.

Folks, I think I just got a doctorate in 6 hours. If you are frustrated, confused, intimidated by all that water, and ready to give up, give him a call. I have fished with guides before who will be glad to put you on fish, but are tight lipped on why, how, and where to look for them on your own. Mitch literally spent 6 hours taking me from spot to spot, explaining why it was productive, when to fish there, when not to, what to use, how to retrieve it, and all the "whys" behind it. We never stayed at a spot for more than 30 minutes. Once we caught a few fish and he explained the pattern, off we went to the next spot/next pattern.

We caught fish at just about every spot we stopped at!

We started off in a local creek and he talked me through when and where to look, punctuating his comments with regular strikes and hook ups. Nothing drives a point home like having your rod nearly ripped out of your hand when you cast where the guy tells you.

After the creek, we headed out to bigger water and fished structure, points, docks, and other patterns. Our best fish of the day was 24.5, but there is no doubt that we could have easily found bigger if I'd asked him. We left spots with the fish still biting and he was as eager to show me something new as I was to learn it.

If you are still debating on shelling out the cost of a half day trip, consider this - At the back half of the day, we fished some of the same exact spots I had fished last weekend. What had been a frustrating day without a single bite last weekend suddenly morphed into constant action under his guidance and coaching.

This guy makes a living on his advice and his service, so I won't share everything he taught me, but here were a few "key" learnings I'd pass along:

- Target deep holes in creeks, often found on the outside bend. Find adjacent or included structure in the hole and things can get exciting . . . quickly
- SLOW DOWN your retrieve . . . but don't be afraid to vary it periodically.
- Steady retrieves are a better imitation of a shad moving up for its spawning run
- THE FISH ARE THERE - and there are more than you think. Don't give up just because the first 10-15 casts don't produce.
- Last - I have to recommend the lures he helped design. Rigged in a particularly clever way he showed me, they flat out produce!

Here's a video for those who are interested:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZSrjBn5okM



BTW, at my request, Mitch agreed to let me use my boat for the trip and to mark some of the spots on my GPS. If you are in the same "boat" I was in, I'd strongly recommend this!
 

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I attended a seminar led by Mitchell Blake at the Fisherman's Post School in MHC. I was very impressed with his generous sharing of knowledge,and would not hesitate to hire him for a trip!
 

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No doubt, there is no substitute for an experience like you had. Another good resource is Fishing the Western Pamlico, written to help beginning fisherman or fisherman new to the area. It won't make an expert out of anyone, but does give a thorough description of the basics and is heavy on "why". Available through amazon and barnes & noble. All author proceeds benefit the Pamlico-Tar river Foundation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I attended a seminar led by Mitchell Blake at the Fisherman's Post School in MHC. I was very impressed with his generous sharing of knowledge,and would not hesitate to hire him for a trip!
Yeah, I was actually surprised how willing he was to share his knowledge. Really made the trip feel more like an investment than a cost. I am planning on doing a few more trips this year with him as the seasons change. Next stop - Flounder and Pups!

I saw on facebook last night he spoke of taking a new client that moved here for the fishing. I had a feeling it was you.
Yep, that's me. I need all the help I can get!

Just curious... how did you hear about him? Since you were new to the area did someone recommend him to you?
Jeff - I had attended a seminar by Tar-Pam Guide Service (Rich Andrews) and he was also awesome, but was booked until May and June. I couldn't wait that long, so I started googling various guides. I shot Mitch an email asking if he'd be willing to run a trip like this and he was more than willing.

No doubt, there is no substitute for an experience like you had. Another good resource is Fishing the Western Pamlico, written to help beginning fisherman or fisherman new to the area. It won't make an expert out of anyone, but does give a thorough description of the basics and is heavy on "why". Available through amazon and barnes & noble. All author proceeds benefit the Pamlico-Tar river Foundation.
I'll add it to my my kindle collection! Thanks for the tip!
 

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The video says a 24.5 inch striper came home for dinner? I've always gone by the 2 fish 18-22 inches for a limit or 1 of the 2 fish 27+ inches while fishing the tar/pamlico and for Roanoke. Has something changed? Looked like a fun trip though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Austin - Just checked the regs . . . you are right. #$%^&. I can't believe I did that.

Did I say "he" came home for dinner? I must have been referring to Mitch . . . Darned dangling modifiers . . .

All teasing aside - I should have checked. Not sure how we got the regs wrong on that. #$%^&.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, so hypothetically speaking, if that fish was caught from a dock in Choco Bay, east of the trestle and never went west of the trestle, then was it in coastal or not? Legal or not?

Could they make this more confusing???
(A) Albemarle Sound Management Area: contact DMF for seasons, areas or other limits; Atlantic Ocean year-round: 1 per person per day at 28” TL minimum; Other CoastalFishing Waters; 2 per person per day at 18” TL minimum except unlawful to possess between 22” – 27” TL in Joint Fishing Waters. This Includes hybrid bass.Season: October through April, statewide by Proclamation. Moratorium in Cape Fear River system


Man, what a fun ride this has been!
 

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http://216.27.39.103/Portals/0/Fishing/documents/NC_Coastal_Joint_Inland_Fishing_Waters.pdf

Page 4 of this document has Choco Bay listed as inland but it may be an older document not sure.

Okay, so hypothetically speaking, if that fish was caught from a dock in Choco Bay, east of the trestle and never went west of the trestle, then was it in coastal or not? Legal or not?

Could they make this more confusing???
(A) Albemarle Sound Management Area: contact DMF for seasons, areas or other limits; Atlantic Ocean year-round: 1 per person per day at 28” TL minimum; Other CoastalFishing Waters; 2 per person per day at 18” TL minimum except unlawful to possess between 22” – 27” TL in Joint Fishing Waters. This Includes hybrid bass.Season: October through April, statewide by Proclamation. Moratorium in Cape Fear River system


Man, what a fun ride this has been!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yep I just checked the GPS - I marked the spot. We were out of Choco bay, actually, well downstream. Whew! Scared the heck out of me. Good lesson though, know the regs, don't depend on anyone else. Mitch knew them, but I should have too!
 

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I'm sure he would not let you have kept an illegal fish. I always go by the 18-22 just because if I put in on a creek run out to coastal I still have to come back through inland joint waters. Plus I will more than likely always end up in a creek. So I just play it safe no need to pay for tickets I support the state enough with the taxes they take out of my income!
 
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