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The tide was the lowest I’ve ever seen as I pulled away from the ramp in Beaufort Thursday morning. tc and I headed for the rock jetty out near the cape. We took the offshore route in hopes of finding a school of feeding alberts but (surprisingly) we found nothing (birds or fish) working in the early morning. Arriving at around 0730, with the tide ready to turn and the rather dark front nearing us from the southwest, I decided to anchor on the far side of the rocks – to place the stern of the boat toward the rocks, keeping the anchor rope out of the fishing zone and, as it turned out, keeping the drizzling rain out of our faces. We struck fish immediately and by 0900, had our limit of keeper Specks, some of them only topping the 12” minimum length by a fraction of an inch. We continued to fish for another hour or so and put only those that stretched over 13 in the livewell, culling the shorter ones. I estimate we landed 50+ Specks, along with 20-25 bluefish, some of those ranging upwards of 2 pounds. The specks were thick – usually got a hit soon as the jig neared or touched bottom and if one broke loose, often a second or third would grab the bait within a few short pumps on the line. Most boats in the area were catching fish, using everything from live shrimp to gulp baits, though we didn’t have much time or interest in looking around us as we seemed to stay hooked up steady. It was well over a half hour before I made a cast without bringing a fish to the boat and after the 3 hours of fishing I recalled only three casts where I was able to bring the bait all the way in without at least one hit – very long and boring 2 minute retrieves.

The drizzle of rain (that started when we arrived) soaked us in short order and there was a short period where it sprinkled steady for about 10 minutes. Fortunately my waterproof jacket kept my upper body dry and I hardly noticed the extra 10 pounds of weight the soaking added to my jeans and long johns. The wind started to steadily pick up and at about 1030, we left the fish biting and headed around the hook to the wind sheltered waters the inside of Cape Lookout Bight provided. Anchoring near shore, behind a tall sand bank, tc and I relaxed and had lunch, then headed back toward the ramp, using the back route past Harkers Island. We stopping only briefly, near the lighthouse, so tc could take a few pictures. The sun had just come out as the clouds moved off so we decided to stop behind shackleford banks to see if we could catch a few grays or perhaps some larger Specks. We drifted thru the area to try and locate some fish and before moving 30 feet, tc had brought in 2 nice grays so I motored upstream and let out 100 feet of anchor line in the 40 foot deep hole. In about an hour we caught 30 or 40 gray trout, 20 or so short black sea bass, (culling and keeping our limit of grays) and 3 large pig fish. Many of the fish (grays and bass) came in two at a time. Again, we left the fish biting and headed for the ramp, pulling the boat up at about 1300.

When we got back to my place and put the fish out for the picture, we found that we miscounted the gray trout and were actually 2 short of our limit of them – guess we should have taken them out of the livewell for the count. Even though I failed to locate a school of alberts for tc to try out his new Penn 450 spinning rig, and though the fish averaged on the small side, (largest Speck was just shy of 15”) it was, I think, another fine day at the coast.

Dave



 

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Red X Angler
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Ya'll are getting the hang of this stuff for sure!!!
 
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