NC Angler Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my quest for understanding the Intercoastal I have two questions. I am hoping that you can offer clarity.

Where I fish has two distinct shoreline structure, grass or shell/sand. I have yet to see anyone fish the shell/sand shorelines. Do the shell/sand shorelines hold fish?

Next question which is a lot more complicated. I attempted fishing docks during the middle of the day at low tide hoping to find fish, nothing doing. Most docks held no more than 2' of water at best. I motored around to see if I could find a drop off close to structure. Deeper water most often was found 75-100' from docks.

I then proceeded to travel up some of the creeks that connect to the Intercoastal (during low tide). Most creeks held 2-3' of water at their deepest point.

My 10 gazillion dollar question is, where does one go during low tide/middle of the day to find real fish?

Rick
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
16,054 Posts
think where is the bait right now? Low tide bait has lost its hiding areas along the shore so it is going to use structure, holes, channels, to hide so if you are a hungry fish where are you going to be? If it is a falling tide, be where the big fish will be, waiting for the bait to be forced out of its hiding and into the channels, structure etc. Midday can be tough because if it is midday, low tide, fish have for the most part fed, and depending on wind, temp, barometric pressure etc they may not be looking for food at all. That is when you have to locate the fish and aggravate them into making strikes. Not always easy to do.. That is best done by either using something irresistible to them (noisy, flashy), or live/cut baits which still may have to be put right on their nose to get a strike. I like popping corks midday, and live baits. Rising tides, mean the bait is being pushed into the areas where it likes to hide, but fish cant lay in wait as easily because those areas are still dry, so they will hide in structure to ambush bait as it passes by into the areas where it hopes to find cover. Never pass up 2' of water, and in those shallow areas watch for tailing reds and bounce jigs or popping bobbers and catch reds and flounder. Some of the biggest flounder are caught in 18 inches of water as they lay waiting for bait to wander by either being pulled out of the grass by dropping tide or pushing into the grass by rising tide/wind. Sand shell areas are also feeding grounds for flounder and redfish, reds love to catch crabs and dig for sand dollars which is a special treat for reds. If you see sandy "spots" among heavily shelled or grassy bottom watch for flounder there..
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
think where is the bait right now? Low tide bait has lost its hiding areas along the shore so it is going to use structure, holes, channels, to hide so if you are a hungry fish where are you going to be? If it is a falling tide, be where the big fish will be, waiting for the bait to be forced out of its hiding and into the channels, structure etc. Midday can be tough because if it is midday, low tide, fish have for the most part fed, and depending on wind, temp, barometric pressure etc they may not be looking for food at all. That is when you have to locate the fish and aggravate them into making strikes. Not always easy to do.. That is best done by either using something irresistible to them (noisy, flashy), or live/cut baits which still may have to be put right on their nose to get a strike. I like popping corks midday, and live baits. Rising tides, mean the bait is being pushed into the areas where it likes to hide, but fish cant lay in wait as easily because those areas are still dry, so they will hide in structure to ambush bait as it passes by into the areas where it hopes to find cover. Never pass up 2' of water, and in those shallow areas watch for tailing reds and bounce jigs or popping bobbers and catch reds and flounder. Some of the biggest flounder are caught in 18 inches of water as they lay waiting for bait to wander by either being pulled out of the grass by dropping tide or pushing into the grass by rising tide/wind. Sand shell areas are also feeding grounds for flounder and redfish, reds love to catch crabs and dig for sand dollars which is a special treat for reds. If you see sandy "spots" among heavily shelled or grassy bottom watch for flounder there..
I totally understand the concept as I relate inland bass fishing to Intercoastal fishing. But there is one twist, most inland waters are not effected by rising/lowering tides.
As I learn my way around Intercoastal fishing I am simply trying to understand which waters are capable of producing fish during the low tide/midday times (which I consider to be the tough times to fish)
That all said does the 2-4' waters during low tide still yield fish? I rarely saw bait fish scurrying around during low tide. Also, do the marsh areas that hold 2-3' of water at low tide produce fish midday day?
One thing I noticed this week was during low tide most fisherman cleared out. I did see one boat throwing top water baits at 1pm at dead low tide, not sure if it produced fish or not
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,127 Posts
At low tide I've had my best luck working main channel structure. Ledges, channel markers, downcurrent of crabpots, etc. Lowtide is also a good time to gather clams, shrimp, urchins, and other tasty morsels.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
This time of year I throw topwaters all day.
Spots can get over fished, causing Reds to leave the area.
Reds follow a pattern. Understanding that pattern helps. ........ ICM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,217 Posts
One thing to consider is that on a 2' flat 5' is deep water, you don't have to find that 10' channel. A small trough can hold a lot of fish.
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This time of year I throw topwaters all day.
Spots can get over fished, causing Reds to leave the area.
Reds follow a pattern. Understanding that pattern helps. ........ ICM
Not being local to the water it puts me at a disadvantage. I have yet to see a single person fish around the shell/sandy beach area of the Intercoastal in Sunset Beach. At low tide I motored up as close as I could get then backed it up so that I could establish depths. It took roughly 50 yards from the beach to find 4' of water at dead low tide
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
16,054 Posts
Papa hit that one on the head. Subtle changes count!! And get good at "shooting docks" or "skipping" as some call it. Fish will hold up under docks and will NOT come out to your baits at times but if you can skip it under to them they will nail it.. I like to take advantage of wind and flow to get popping bobbers under docks too but keep that line tight and be ready to heave them out from under before they cut you off.. I use tighter drags when working structure..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dillard

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Papa hit that one on the head. Subtle changes count!! And get good at "shooting docks" or "skipping" as some call it. Fish will hold up under docks and will NOT come out to your baits at times but if you can skip it under to them they will nail it.. I like to take advantage of wind and flow to get popping bobbers under docks too but keep that line tight and be ready to heave them out from under before they cut you off.. I use tighter drags when working structure..
I was actually giving some consideration to converting my bass fishing "flipping" rod to a saltwater rod and flip jigs up underneath some of these docks. Suppose it wouldn't hurt to try. Drawback is the length of the rod
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So back to my creek question. During dead low tide I cruised around the creeks trying to gauge depths. The mouth of the creeks 7-9 foot deep at high tide, low tide 3-5 deep. The creeks themselves 2-4 feet depths at low tide. I anchored just outside the mouth of one of the creeks, cast in to the mouth of creek with a popping cork several times, not much happening. Casted a top water lure and had a few short strikes, gave up. I was wondering if these creeks (inside) at low tide yield fish? Never see anyone fishing them.
By rule, at dead low tide I see most people fishing around the Sunset Beach bridge pilings. Rarely have I seen fish being caught except for my kids fishing with squid where they catch anything from croaker to rays to an occasional black drum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,366 Posts
A good shelly beach usually indicates some sort of back current and are great places to fish, especially for speckled trout. Don't worry so much about time of day, worry about the tide. Redfish and speckled trout will eat topwater lures all day long in the skinny water. When you are only in 18-24 inches of water to start with, the whole low light only rule for topwater gets thrown out the window. If you catch fish in a particular spot, notice what is happening around you. Notice the details about that spot, and notice what the tide is doing. You can most likely come back to that spot tomorrow on the same tide (not the same time) and catch in that spot. Once the bite there shuts down, you should move closer or further away from the inlet depending if the tide is rising or falling, find a spot just like the last one you caught fish on and you should continue your catching.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,366 Posts
So back to my creek question. During dead low tide I cruised around the creeks trying to gauge depths. The mouth of the creeks 7-9 foot deep at high tide, low tide 3-5 deep. The creeks themselves 2-4 feet depths at low tide. I anchored just outside the mouth of one of the creeks, cast in to the mouth of creek with a popping cork several times, not much happening. Casted a top water lure and had a few short strikes, gave up. I was wondering if these creeks (inside) at low tide yield fish? Never see anyone fishing them.
By rule, at dead low tide I see most people fishing around the Sunset Beach bridge pilings. Rarely have I seen fish being caught except for my kids fishing with squid where they catch anything from croaker to rays to an occasional black drum
Fish will definitely be in those creeks at low tide. I have some places that I have to get into on high water and just wait around for the tide to drop. Once the tide drops out the redfish show up and I am trapped inside of the creek/bay with them until the tide comes back in. They follow the shrimp, mullet, and crabs out of the marsh and hit the creeks/bays on low water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
Rule #1 Inshore fishing is nothing like bass fishing
Rule #2 Some days the bite does not fire up until noon
Rule #3 Hot Summer, topwater all day long
Rule #4 If you are going to fish docks, fish docks in deep water
Rule #5 Cruising schools of reds could care less about any structure or if bait is even present
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A good shelly beach usually indicates some sort of back current and are great places to fish, especially for speckled trout. Don't worry so much about time of day, worry about the tide. Redfish and speckled trout will eat topwater lures all day long in the skinny water. When you are only in 18-24 inches of water to start with, the whole low light only rule for topwater gets thrown out the window. If you catch fish in a particular spot, notice what is happening around you. Notice the details about that spot, and notice what the tide is doing. You can most likely come back to that spot tomorrow on the same tide (not the same time) and catch in that spot. Once the bite there shuts down, you should move closer or further away from the inlet depending if the tide is rising or falling, find a spot just like the last one you caught fish on and you should continue your catching.
During the period of catching trout the tide had almost peaked high then started on it's way out. During this time the fish were quite active. After an hour or so it just shut down. Realizing that the water now is probably close to 2' lower than max tide I stopped casting towards the shoreline and focused more away from the shoreline in search of fish, nothing. I thought that maybe fish were holding in the mouth of one of the creeks and did receive a few drive by strikes but nothing landed.
At dead low tide I went back to the mouth of one creek, water was roughly 4' in the channel of this creek, everything outside of the creek channel maybe 1' at best. I worked that creek channel for quite sometime nothing happening. Figured no fish present/not interested
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rule #1 Inshore fishing is nothing like bass fishing
Rule #2 Some days the bite does not fire up until noon
Rule #3 Hot Summer, topwater all day long
Rule #4 If you are going to fish docks, fish docks in deep water
Rule #5 Cruising schools of reds could care less about any structure or if bait is even present
Breadman, definitely finding out that bass fishing is nothing like inshore fishing. Can you clarify Rule # 4? Define deep water. At low tide I haven't been able to find a dock that holds more than 2' of water with 10-12' water being an additional 75 yards further away from the docks. Last question,"cruising schools of reds", are these identifiable by bait fish scurrying around for their lives? Are there signs that indicate schooling reds are in the area?
Thanks,

Rick
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
16,054 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
Here's my take on fishing docks.
Mostly a winter time or windy day fishery for me.
Not all docks hold Reds. But the same docks that hold bait, will hold fish year after year.
A fairy tale story ? Maybe! ....... ICM
View attachment 63385

Low tide fish the outside of a dock, deep water........
View attachment 63384

High tide those Reds & Trout with hold tight to the bank.........
View attachment 63381 View attachment 63382
High tide, fishing the bank side or inside the dock.
View attachment 63383
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I "think" that I have a high tide plan in place, or better yet, my last two outings during high tide proved very productive. No record breakers were caught, nothing of real size, but fish were caught and I considered that a temporary victory :)
My next task is finding where to fish during low tide. Trigger fishes the marsh areas so that's on the menu. I learned that throwing top water baits all day is doable. Others suggested popping corks in the 2'-4' waters during low tide.

All very good stuff :)
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top