How To - Inshore

INSHORE FISHING for Flounder, Trout, Redfish and such.....

At the Ocean Isle Fishing Center it is our goal to help you catch more fish.  We pride ourselves on working with the area's best captains and having the most knowledgeable staff.  However, it is one thing to know, it is another thing to tell, and that is where the OIFC comes in.  See the below articles, videos and links that will hopefully help you have more success fishing the inshore waters.

 
Videos:
 
 
Links:
 

Catching Live Bait

 
Articles On This Page:
 
Catching Live Bait

Clear Cold Water Redfish

Spring Flounder Fishing

Targeting Speckled Trout using artificials

 

Catching Live Bait


by Capt. Jacob Frick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUHIhfrbbLY&feature=g-upl&context=G2ec218eAUAAAAAAAAAA

Catching live mullet minnows in early spring can produce some nice flounder and reds. The video gives you a great visual on how I am catching live bait. Dead low tide is the best time early in the year to go hunting for bait.

Some more tips: I am throwing a 6 foot 3/8" mesh tyzac cast net....a 5 foot 3/8" mesh will be much easier for beginners...as you can see in the video I keep my bait in 5 gallon buckets that I have drilled holes in for overnight storage(must have access to waterfront)...often I will get my bait the day before or night before a trip, especially in the spring...once summer arrives bait will be readily available during all tide levels. A trolling motor is a great tool to have to sneak up on the bait. You can park your boat and walk down the bank as well. Stay low and put on a stalk! Good luck! See ya on the water!

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Clear Cold Water Redfish


by Capt. Jacob Frick 

Come join me on the Tiberias for your next fishing adventure!  

I don't know if you can classify myself as having a lot of success? I fish a lot and enjoy some success when the fish allow it. The redfish this time of year (Dec. thru Feb.) are very spooky! Usually by the time you see them, they already know you are there. One of my usual tricks is locating them one day and going back later keeping my distance. I make long cast up current from the area I have spotted fish recently, letting the current tumble the bait to them. Even the splashing of a light jighead will spook them at times. It all depends on the mood of the fish on a particular day. A few tips that may help out in the future. 

Watch the weather patterns...these seem to have an even greater affect on the fishing this time of year. Approaching fronts that are bashing Texas, which are generally two days out is a good day for the fish to be in the mood. It also depends on where the Low pressure actually develops. A front may not really affect the fish if the low pressure forms well North of us around the Great Lakes region. Add the right moon phase and low tide in the evening for a recipe for serious success if you have located the fish! Really? No day is a bad day to be on the water and fish can be caught anytime. However, I have taken note that lining up a few things like moon phase, tide, and approaching weather does help at times to catch more fish and sometimes quality fish during the right moon phase. Lots of variables to get caught up in though...best advice is go fishing often, because you can't catch'em if you are not on the water! When you do have some success, take note of why you think you were successful.

What colors? Pretty general here...Bright bluebird days usually call for something bright in color, especially in clear water conditions. Chartreuse patterns and white patterns will work on bright days...Dark cloudy days in clear water calls for darker natural colors...Something red or gold on cloudy days is my favorite. Keep in mind the pressure fish are getting in a particular area and try to throw something different.

Always remember to be quiet and stay as far as possible from the fish. Don't be afraid to experiment with colors. I probably have over 2 dozen different color variations in my tackle box. I will usually fan cast an area with a few colors before moving onto another area. If I get bit, I will continue to try and hone in on a certain color. Sometimes after catching a few fish and simply switching to another color will turn them back on.

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Spring Flounder Fishing


Spring Flounder Fishing

by Capt. Stan Gurganus

 

The front had passed and the winds had diminished as I watched the weather channel before my departure. I saw the big H symbolizing a high pressure system had settled over Southeastern North Carolina overnight---perfect conditions for an early spring flounder fishing trip.

           As we idled out of the slip at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center, we anticipated a good flounder bite in the creek system surrounding Tubbs Inlet. We arrived at one of the many good fishing spots and retrieved a lively mud minnow from the live well, pinned it on the hook and made our first cast. With about three cranks of the reel, the first shout of "got him" was heard, followed by another, then another. With three casts, we had boated three flounders. This kind of action continued until the tide changed and the live well was almost empty. At last count, we had caught thirty-five flounders but only kept seven for the dinner table.

            This kind of flounder action is typical while fishing the waters surrounding the Brunswick Islands and can be learned with a little understanding of their habitat and why and where Flounder live.

             When the water temperature gets up to around 65 to 68 degrees, or, as the old timers say, when the dogwood trees begin their annual bloom, it is time to dust off the old fishing rods. This usually happens around the second week of April.

             In the pursuit of these tasty little flatfish, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. Mainly, where am I going fishing and what am I going to use for bait?  As far as where to fish, this changes throughout the year as the water temperature rises and falls. During the spring bite, we like to fish in the back of creeks in deep holes. Sometimes, a hole can be very dramatic with depths falling from two to four feet and even fifteen to eighteen feet.  Other holes are small one to two foot depressions on the bottom.  Both can be very big producers. These holes are easily marked with any fish finder.

             Now that we have found our hole, what do we use for bait? Springtime baits are usually mud minnows or tiger minnows. Mud minnows are available at most marinas, but, tiger minnows you have to catch yourself with a three or four foot cast net. The easiest time to catch minnows is at low tide while walking around the edge of sand bars. As you are walking, keep a watchful eye on the water in front of you and when you see a small school of five to ten minnows, throw your net on top of them. These are most likely tiger minnows. You will know by their tiger-like stripes running down their bodies.

              Now that we have our location and our bait, it is time to start fishing. The most efficient way I have found to fish these holes is to anchor the boat down current of the hole and throw my bait back into the hole. Once the bait is in the water, let it sink for a few seconds until it reaches the bottom. Then, begin slowly retrieving the bait across the bottom. Once you feel the flounder bite, do not immediately set the hook. The way a flounder's mouth is situated sideways on his head causes him to take a few seconds to get the bait and hook inside. A good rule of thumb is, once you feel the bite, give him a ten second count before the hook set.

              Another productive springtime technique is to drift or troll your bait. This method requires you to set out two or three lines behind your boat at varying distances and simply drift along with the tide. As you are drifting, your bait will bounce along the bottom. As this occurs, you rod tips will be bending and snapping back up regularly. For the novice, this looks to be a fish bite. But, when a flounder actually bites, while drifting, the rod will bend deeply and come back up very slowly. It almost appears that you have snagged a piece of grass or some weeds. When you feel like you have a flounder on your hook while drifting or trolling, it is best you put your reel into a free spool, as not to allow the fish to feel any pressure. Leave the reel in free spool for about five counts, then, return the reel to gear. As the line comes tight again, set your hook and reel him in. Once you get the fish boat side, place the landing net in a stationary position and steer the fish into it.

              Springtime Flounder fishing is often fast and furious.  As the Flounder move into the inlets from offshore, they are hungry and more than willing to take a bait presented in the right location.  And as has been mentioned by Capt. Brant in the past, its all about location, location, location.  One other note about Sprint Flounder fishing is that the majority of the Flounder you will encounter through April and early May will be less than the minimum legal size of 14 inches.  Be sure to have a ruler on the boat to measure your catch.  And finally, as I’ve mentioned, Spring Flounder fishing can be very productive. However, please only keep what you can eat in a reasonable amount of time and save the others for future fishermen. 

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Targeting Speckled Trout using artificials


Capt. Jacob Frick- Tiberas charters- OIFC

Targeting speckled trout? You said you have had lots of success using the gulp shrimp on a jighead, but catching other species as well. That is why I enjoy using artificials. It is not uncommon to pick up flounder and red drum trying to target trout. Trout, from my experience seem to be the most tempermental of all the inshore species. One day they are there, next gone. One day extremely aggressive, next barely pick up the bait. Couple of things that may help. Remember, red drum and flounder are primarily bottom feeders. Red drum are use to grubbing or rooting up the bottom looking for crabs, shrimp, or scaring minnows out of the oyster shells. Flounder usually lay completely still and ambush minnows that get too close. If you drag the bait or short hop it is when red drum and flounder will get the bait. Getting a bait to fall slowly and suspend just a few feet off the bottom will usually pick up mostly trout as they tend to feed upwards. Look closely at your fish when you catch them next time. Red drum have eyes in the middle of the head and mouths are pointed downward. Flounder of course are flat and lay on the bottom. Trout have eyes positioned close to the top of the head pointed upwards and their mouths look like a largemouth bass or tarpon's. When trout get aggressive they will often fall for a topwater bait. They are designed for it.  

My technique to keep it in the trout's strike zone. Trolling motor is my ticket to success on trout. I guess you could call it a reverse trolling technique. I point my boat into the current and adjust my speed so the boat is drifting back slowly. I toss my lure roughly 45 degrees down current and let the current suspend the bait while working the bait in a one two jig and pause motion. Letting the bait drift back to the fish then jerking it up quickly and then falling back to the fish. Trout will hit it on the fall 9 out of 10 times. I use 1/8th ounce jighead for this technique with my choice of soft plastic. Some of my favorite soft plastics are Bass Assassins Sea Shads in 4" paddletail. This soft plastic has great action and comes in several different colors. Deep Creek Lures has developed a 4 inch mullet shaped more like a pogy with great action and smell. I have had great success with this bait on several outings this year.  My favorite colors....because I think the trout like them too...chartreuse diamond, rainbow trout, space guppy, and shrimp. Colors vary depending on water clarity and conditions. Rootbeer and new penny get the nod after a little rainstorm usually. Chartreuse has been hard to beat so far this year. I look for the natural colored baits to start producing as more bait shows up. Looking back at last years reports...the last part of April into May is the best time to catch a nice trout and lots of them. They have already started to show up in numbers, but are small. I expect to see some two and three pound fish show up consistently around the third week in April. Water temperature will have a lot to say about that. It is looking good and right on track for now. I hope this didn't blow your mind and helps you out on your next trip. Stop by and see me in the shop sometime. See ya on the water!

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