May Fishing Thread

I finally got on the water this month. On May 9th, my niece and I managed six carp in two hours at South Holston Lake. Then this week started actually getting down to business.

I headed to the OBX this past Friday. I was met with some pretty bad electrical storms, so I just curled up at the hotel for the evening. Saturday, I drove down to Avon and fished Avon Pier. Fishing out past the breakers, I caught around 30 nice sea mullet mixed in with some small spot, on a mix of bloodworm and shrimp fishbites. I changed the shrimp to avoid the spot, as my hooks were too big for most of their mouths, so I spent a lot of time replacing fishbites. I then met my hosts (Hokies) and grabed a philly steak (no cheese) from Ninos for dinner. It was solid.

Sunday we fished the incoming tide at Ramp 48 in Frisco. I had trouble finding a good break in the outer bar, but we found a bit of an outflow and set up. The bluefish were thick in the slough, and we burned through cutbait quickly while getting a quick limit. I chunked sea mullet and spot heads into the outsuck, and finally got a good run about three hours in. Unfortunately, it was a larger (about 40 inches) atlantic sharpnose shark, not a drum. That night, friends fishing at Cape Point got on a real good drum run. The FOMO was real, but I didn't want to ditch my hosts.

Monday, we met another group of Hokies a little further south from Ramp 48. They set up first, so instead of scouting for a spot, we just fished with them. It was a struggle... two small sea mullet and that was it. We talked a little football, and I enjoyed a comfortable onshore breeze. There was another good big drum bite at the Point, but after we got back, a major electrical storm hit and one guy's rod got hit and fried at the Point while he sat it out in his Jeep. Scary stuff.

I headed back Tuesday morning, but my hosts used rental kayaks to go into the sound and caught their first speckled trout (including 3 20+ inch fish) on Glup+1/2 jigheads just behind the house in the sound Tuesday evening.

One thing is sure. I am not in surf fishing shape anymore. My calves and achilles are barking after two days walking around in that loose sand.

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Nice to see you get out on the water French. I'd kill for 30 sea mullet right about now. My Mom and step dad in Florida love them fried as fish tacos (as do I) and they've had a helluva string of bad luck fishing for the last two months. Hoping to catch a few when I go down in June but I've had little luck surf fishing down there in the summer. Hope you get back out and hook up with a drum soon.

wildturkey, where in FL?

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Palm Coast area. I usually fish from Flagler to Crescent, and usually at Varn Park because that's where the fam likes to go. I would like to venture further north and south but not sure when I'll get around to it.

When we go for Thanksgiving I usually catch more than I enjoy cleaning. We had a ton of fish this past fall. And I enjoy filling their freezer for them. But the heat of summer is a game I haven't figured out yet.

4 piece band is playing Borrillo's (in the Beer and Wine Garden) in St Aug on Sat, June 11; and the 6 piece 80's band is playing Music by the Sea at the St Aug Beach pier pavilion on Wed June 28

Damn. I'll miss both dates unfortunately. We'll be down 18-25. Thanks for letting me know though! I'm sure I'll be back in the fall at some. Hope so at least.

There are usually some reds in the surf at Anastasia by June.

That area will have reds in the surf. I lived in Brevard County for 22 years. Figured out the beach fishing there for reds and snook. Maybe the technique will work there as well.
Its dawn and dusk only. You won't run into any snook I would imagine, that's a bit far north for them.
Also, you need a deep trough right at the shoreline (so aligning high tide +/- an hour or so with dawn and dusk helps). If the area also has a runout through the sandbar nearby, even better. Live pinfish or finger mullet (3-5" long - you can buy them or catch them yourself - you'll need a 5G bucket and a bubbler to keep them alive - you can maybe do a dozen in that size - mullet are tougher to keep alive for a long time) hooked through the upper lip (so they can swim around). Use a 3/0 or 4/0 hook on a sliding sinker rig (1-2 oz depending on current). Always sharpen your hook. Use flourocarbon leader.
Literally cast the rig with the bait within 15 ft of shore in that trough, set rod in rod holder and wait. I used a bait runner doing this so a hit could just run line out while I raced back to it. I would walk back and forth on the beach casting a mirrodyne or other surface lure while I waited.
Tight Lines!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Thanks! How do you catch those bait fish you mention? We've never done anything but dunk bait such as dead shrimp and fish bites for smaller fish, so I'm a complete novice at anything higher up the food chain.

For pinfish, Castnet in the Intercoastal Waterway, which should be just inland a bit. You can walk around marina docks (as long as its permissible) and causeway accesses and throw it. Careful if you don't know the bottom, wrapping a castnet around a barnacle covered rock will ruin it and if you go in to get it, that could be bad for you.
You'll have to practice throwing it in your yard first.
Mullet can be caught right on the beach, but mid-summer is tough. Mullet are more plentiful in the ICW in the summer.
Lots of FL baitshops carry these live baits as well, just make some calls and do some internet research. Mullet are harder to find in summer.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Thank you. The last few months have been a trainwreck. Major restructuring at my organization (end result, much more work for me), and Dad's passing really have taken the wind out of my sails. I am trying to get back to living (the only thing that's left to do is live as Frank Turner would say), but it is a slow grind.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

take one bite at a time

French, sounds like you survived the Bobs! Restructuring is always tough, I feel for you brother

I'm sorry for your loss (your Dad) and the added turmoil at work. I'm not into fishing but I just signed in to say I / we have missed you. Welcome back.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

Same here French. So sorry for your loss. Cherish those memories. Prayers out to you my friend.

Thank you both. Dad passed two days before the Spring Game, so I am going to focus on tying in observations from that with some of the bowls where Pry's staff had influence. I am still getting things together on this end, but expect some new content from me this summer.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Headed to Presque Isle Bay off Lake Erie next week to try and get on the smallmouth bite. Last year was one of the best trips we've had in terms of average size, and I'm hoping this year doesn't disappoint. The weather is always the wild card up there, but for now the forecast looks semi favorable. I hope it holds and smallies are chomping. I'll try to post a report and some pics when we get back.

take me! Take Me!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

Windy weekend at Cape Lookout. There are a few Reds on flats but not the typical summer numbers yet. Guided the lady friend to her first ever on a spin rod. She was stoked. I sight cast a chunky 17" Speckled trout off of the back of a ray. Have never seen one act like that before. Pretty cool.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cd4eK0-DTVT/

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Cobia have been thick around Oregon Inlet for the last couple of days. Jennettes Pier got a couple today (I assume on bucktails, but wasn't there to know for sure.)

I have a window to fish Wednesday on Buckroe, but I have not heard anything about cobia in the Bay yet.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Weird, they hadn't really shown yet in good numbers further south to Cape Lookout

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

I've seen Chasin tail put up a couple handful of them caught. I've heard a population of them live offshore of Hatteras and Oregon Inlet and then migrate to nearshore/beaches and then up to the bay. There's another population that migrates up from florida. Seems like there hasn't been a good cobia run at cape lookout in a few years.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Interesting. Thanks for the intel

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Yep. Cobia fishing was great down there when I was going to Bogue Inlet Pier around 2006-2009. Then they did a heavy dose of beach renourishment and that pier bite vanished. The fish showed up north of the Cape Hatteras from the get go this year. The first day they showed up, it was at Oregon Inlet in 60 degree water.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

For what my 2cent is worth, once they started pumping sand and the shrimp trollers (don't know the reason for it politics, law and or season change whatever) the fishing on the island hasn't been the same. Fall fishing is usually great, but I get down there maybe every 2 years for that. The summer time bite be it pier or surf has drastically changed. We were down the week of May 14th and we've never been afraid to venture past the beach house looking for good fishing and after about 5 days we basically gave up. Best catch of the week was a 4 foot shark off the end of Bogue. I do have a pretty great story of my dad almost getting into a fight over the shrimp trollers if anyone is interested though.

My daughter had a softball tournament this past weekend in Manteo. We stayed at the Comfort Inn right near Jennetts Pier. We walked out on it on Saturday morning. All we saw coming up on the fishing lines were skates. One guy let my son reel one of them up. We also saw lots of dolphins (not the fish) swimming around.

It was our first time in the OBX and we had a good time down there. Best of luck with your fishing!!

Was out doing a little surfing in Topsail this past weekend and saw the Spanish being active all around me. Looks like they came in earlier this year than last. I'm excited about throwing some stuff at them this weekend!

Is coronavirus over yet?

In August I am planning on heading to Hilton Head. I was wondering if anybody had any advice towards or away from any Captains for some offshore fishing. Is it better to do inshore or deeper in that area, etc.

For shark fishing, I have heard good things about Chip Michalove (Outcast Sportsfishing.) But, I know very little about fishing in that area, so I will defer to others.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Its a hike out to the stream for true offshore from there but there is plenty of live bottom fishing and the best wreck on the carolina coast is off of hilton head.

As french mentioned Chip is the bomb for shark fishing, basically pioneered big shark fishing (great whites in particular) in South Carolina. He's an awesome guy too and knows more than just shark fishing but he'll straight up tell you that's his passion. I've learned a ton from his seminars.

For nearshore it's going to depend on the time of the year for the next month or two most are going to want to hit cobia in the broad river rather than hit the betsy ross or live bottom. I know most of the guides in that area and most are going to probably point you to Michael Perry with Papa Bear for anything offshore (I know he had a bad hunting accident a few years back but I think he's back fishing again this year).

Off the Hook will always get a shout of from me - Brian Vaughn is a great guy and good captain for inshore I've fished with every captain that works for him they're all good. If you're looking for fly fishing he's the guy - has the #s on cobia and tarpon on the fly in SC (though I'm not sure that he charters for tarpon on the fly mostly just personal)

For family fun Byron Sewell at Native Son Adventures. They do all sorts of fun stuff like shark tooth hunting, fishing, tubing, surfing, foil boarding.

If you're looking for something specific I should be able to point you in the right direction email me at heuple(dot)kevin at gmail dot com

(add if applicable) /s

Update from a weekend in the BWCA:
On the recommendations from the community here, I eschewed the telescoping rods and grabbed a 2-piece, 5-and-a-half foot Berkley Lightning Rod, and it worked pretty well. I'm pleased with it for a compact/travel rod.

We couldn't find the walleye (one guy in our group got one, but that was it), but we caught some whopper small-mouth, and I caught my first northern pike. It was a good trip. If the other guys every share pics of the fish, I'll post some.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Are fishing deep? That area of the country has walleye spawning shallow now. Find some weeds or cover in 1-8 feet of water. Throw spinners or minnow baits. Good luck!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

That checks out. Everyone was telling us they were hitting 8 - 15 ft, so that's mostly where we were fishing, but the only walleye we caught was caught from shore in pretty shallow water.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

While I didn't have any good intel, I was tired of waiting to hear cobia had entered the Bay. So, I backloaded my calls today and left here at 3:30AM to fish Buckroe.

Got there at 4:45AM, and the weather was ominous. 15-20 NE, heavy chop, and a misting rain. I was not dressed for it. I got in my rain gear and spent the morning out there shivering. 

No cobia. I used eels. Other folks were using threadfins, and bluefish were decimating them. Threadfins were not a sure thing every drop because there were waves and waves of 10 inch gray trout. If you didn't get one a drop, you got two. They were thick. Sibikied up bluefish and a few creek-sized croaker as well.

Ended up leaving at noon, even though things got prettier and a bit warmer. I had to take a call on the ride home.
Any day now.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Got on the board a little before 7AM this morning. This guy (estimating around 46 inches and 35 pounds, but the deck was so hot I didn't want to fool with measurements) ate a live threadfin around 6:40AM this morning.

It is very hot outside.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Damn glad to see you get one man congrats!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Anyone here use a yak attack black pak pro? Really interested in the grid system and curious if you can angle the rod holders sloping back or if they have to stay 90 degree vertical.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

FINALLY got cleared last week and was able to get out on my buddy's new-to-him skiff over the weekend. Son of a bitch it was hot but we absolutely destroyed mangrove snapper. Kept what we wanted for food and threw back a shit ton of keepers.

About halfway into it we got a surprise from a hammerhead shark around 6 feet long chasing something between us and the mangrove line. My buddy hooked a 24" redfish as I was saying "holy shit it's a hammer!". He kindly says to me "hey would you mind reaching down and grabbing this fish?" I laughed and said "you're fking joking right? Where's your net?" Apparently he hadn't noticed the shark or my expression until it took a swipe at his fish😂😂.

Got totally fried, but the shoulder feels great. So happy to be back on the water and get some fly casts in-even though they were ugly as sin and I lined or completely missed everything I casted at. Gonna take a couple more sessions to knock the rust off apparently!

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

I'm looking for some guidance as I'd like to get more into fishing. I'm in the Nashville, TN area. I have a basic spinning rod and I also have a beginners fly rod. I'm pretty familiar with what folks would call "normal" fishing, but would like to learn a lot more about and get better at fly fishing.

Does anyone know anybody in my area I should reach out to, or have other resources they'd suggest?

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

Fly South in Nashville is the best fly shop in the country in my opinion, in terms of gear and fly tying supplies. They have EVERYTHING. The owner is a super nice guy, as is the staff. Located right across the street from Hattie B's. You live in a very fishy area with trout, smallmouth and musky. I'd start with smallmouth.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Second this. One of the few things I miss about living in Nashville. That shop is amazing. Good people too. There was, and probably still is, a good online forum about middle Tennessee fishing, but I don't recall the name.

I appreciate all the advice! I went to Fly South this morning and you were spot on on all accounts. Met Blake, who is the head guy you were talking about and he was super helpful and nice. Their spot is really impressive.

They gave me a few maps and recommendations on where I might find some success. I think I'm going to reach back out to them again soon on getting some instruction so I can feel confident in what I'm doing.

They told me if I want to go after trout, the Elk River is the place to go and I should stick with the Warpath for smallmouth.

I'm excited to get started.

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

I'm excited to get started.

So begins the addiction!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

Easiest way to make learning fly fishing fun, get some neat floating ant flies and find a pond with bream or bluegill and just have fun they can be forgiving and fun to catch. What weight fly rob do you have?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

That's what they told me too. Easy to get started with blue gill. I have a 9 ft. 5 weight rod, which based on what I've been watching recently seems to be the go-to all around setup.

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

5 weight is a great starting point and will allow you to do some topwater for bass and bream. Ants, small frog flies, poppers are all great ways to get started and in the early days either use premade tippet or just use straight mono fishing line around the weight youre fishing. Mono leader will help float so using surface bugs youll want mono tippet.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

just use straight mono fishing line around the weight youre fishing

Use a pre-purchased tapered leader or build your own. You can fish the straight mono line but it is not going to unroll properly. That's going to affect your cast and when you're learning you need everything working in your favor.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

This is where it gets confusing for me. I know it seems a lot more confusing than it is at the beginning, but learning about what weight my leader should be and how long, and then how much tippit should be on the end of that, etc. can get overwhelming fast. However, I know I don't need to learn everything at once and it will all make sense eventually!

So what y'all are saying is that I should have a 5 weight leader based on my rod and what I'll be fishing for around here?

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

So what y'all are saying is that I should have a 5 weight leader based on my rod and what I'll be fishing for around here?

Nope. Your leader doesn't have a "weight." Your fly rod has a weight, and the line should match the weight of the rod. So you have a nine foot, five weight rod, you're going to use a 5 weight floating line with it. (Start with floating line, keep it simple.)

Leaders can be a whole different rabbit hole unto themselves but don't overthink it. A leader needs to be tapered, thick on one end to thin (the tippet) on the other end. The butt section should be about as flexible as the fly line. How can you tell if its packaged up? Unless you're down the rabbit hole, you can't, but don't worry about it. Most leaders will be close to the flexibility of the 5 weight fly line. You need it tapered because it properly transfers the energy of the cast to the fly. If it is just a 7 foot piece of 10 pound fishing line, it doesn't properly transfer the energy.

Leaders get really confusing when they are different lengths and end in a specific tippet size, marked as X. For example, 9 foot, 4x. Or 7 foot, 6x. Or 12 foot 1x. The lower the number X, the thicker or stronger the tippet. As a rule of thumb, leaders should be the length of the rod. Most rods are 9 feet. If you are starting out with sunfish and bass, you only need a leader that goes down to 3X. You can buy premade, knotless leaders online or at Fly South. You can also buy a spool of extra 3X tippet. The 9 foot leader has probably 2-3 feet of 3X tippet on the end of it. When you examine it, you'll notice the spot it goes from thick to thin. After fishing for awhile and cutting off and retying flies on, eventually you run out of the tippet section when it starts to get slightly thicker. This is when you can add on another 2-3 feet of 3x tippet. I highly recommend learning a blood knot, but a quicker or easier knot is the double or triple surgeons loop for adding on more tippet. Video below:

Surgeons Knot

The leader you need... Get 9 foot, 3X

https://www.tridentflyfishing.com/rio-powerflex-trout-leader-3-pack.html

Feel free to ask more questions. I'll help you figure it out so you can ruin your life.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

This. All 100% accurate, even that last sentence. Getting married and having kids is a good way to temporarily "unruin" your life, but I don't recommend it. I don't think the fly line that's on my 5 weight is even manufactured anymore, so that tells you how much I've been able to fish the last 10 to 15 years. But it's definitely an addiction, and one I'm looking forward to jumping back into head first one day.

I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this all! You definitely boiled it down for me and it makes sense now. My wife and I are expecting our first child in August (boy), so I have to learn this fishing stuff now. That way when he arrives, I can take him with me and tell my wife I'm giving her some time to rest!

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

You're welcome

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

I'll admit to being a total cheap ass I've upgraded to using just straight tippet material most of the time when I don't have a premade one. For beginners I'd definitely agree the premade ones are worth it

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You need to learn a blood knot. I can build a leader in 60 seconds.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

As someone who was once gifted a fly rod and knew next to nothing about what to do with it I can try to offer some advice.
First, just get out there and fish. Learn by doing. There's no substitute to being on the water. You'll make lots of mistakes and spook lots of fish. But you'll learn to read the water, where to place your fly, where fish are likely to be, how to avoid trees (after learning how to catch trees), etc.
If you can find someone to fish with, do it. This person doesn't need to be an expert. You'll still learn a lot. Or go with a guide and you'll learn way more.
Research local fly blogs/forums when looking where to fish. You'll be surprised what's out there. There was one in the Blacksburg and surrounding area that took some of the guess work out of it when I was learning to fly fish in school. He listed the basics of each stream: how to get there, types of fish, flies to use. It was super helpful. You'll at least be confident in what you have tied on if you know someone else has caught fish with it.
One tip that will save you lots of time - if you see your fly tangled at all, do NOT keep casting hoping it will magically become untangled. Stop and evaluate. I can't tell you how much time I used to waste because of this. It always just gets more tangled.
You don't need to know everything right now. I can't tell you how many conversations with fly anglers were and still are way over my head. Just keep it simple and get out there!

I think you're spot on, thanks! I can read as many books or watch as many videos as I want to, but when it gets down to it, the only way I'm really gonna learn is to actually be out there doing it. I've reached out to several guides around here and they've all been super nice and willing to help. Biggest area for me will be to learn my knots and what I'd use different flies for, so I'm looking forward to actually being able to put it in action.

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.