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We had a lot of rain this week and the seas have been kicked up so I wasn't sure what to expect. There had been a few big kings caught from the Topsail piers earlier in the week and the forecast was for 2-3 foot seas with a north wind of 10-15 knots.

I headed out earlier and couldn't find good bait, neither could my buddies in a couple of other boats. I had been toying with the idea of using blue fish for bait when fishing near the beach so this seemed a good time to try that experiment.

I easily caught a half dozen or so blue fish in the 12-14 inch range with one around 16 inches...perfect. I had rigged up some special tackle already (been planning to do this for a few weeks when the time was right). These rigs are much like the live bait rigs I make for use with menhaden, cigar minnows and the like. However I used a #5 wire instead of #4 with a 3/0 live bait single hook (heavy) for the nose and then two #2 trebles for stingers.

I pulled these up and down Topsail Ledge (the nearshore one), Old Smokey ledge and a few other in the area, nothing. Then I moved over a bit and pulled across the inlet and the sea buoy. I had one knock down, took two thirds of the blue fish but missed the hooks! Must have been a big King by the looks of what was left. I tried backing off the throttle to let the remaining bait drift back but he was long gone.

Anyway, the baits stayed alive a long time and ran natural, so I think I got the rigging right. The water is still very dirty near shore so maybe this technique will work better in clearer water.

There were a lot of birds and Spanish working bait close in so I decided to do some sight casting and chased the schools. Caught a dozen or so decent Spanish and a bunch of small ones. I have a lot of fish this week already so I didn't keep any, I don't like frozen Spanish either.

Seas were flat to start but the wind picked up around 10 O'clock and put some chop on the water. Sunny too. Nice day on the water!
 

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Good report. I was itching to get down there but the weather there looked like it was going to keep the water dirty so I stayed home and bought a portable generator with the money I "saved". I'm hoping to get a 3 day weekend within a couple of weeks and this time it looks fairly promising. As soon as the water clears the spanish and kings will probably be on the beach. In the mean time I've got jigs to tie, some spoons to make and a few rigs to tie up. AL
 
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