I haven't seen big colonies at Bald Head either. They did the beach renourishment on part of the island in March but I knew better than to try and find them there. I use a rake and can only manage to find a few every now and again. But then I haven't needed many cause I can't find the pompano either. TA said Sept. was the best time for the pompano and I've been impatiently waiting. The fiddler crabs are plentiful here and may be an option you could try. I've caught black drum, sheepshead, and even sea mullet using them.