Shallow water stripers are active
By Mike Sweeney
Friday, October 20, 2017
This time of year the stripers are going to start feeding heavy with the first cool front arriving and the water temps beginning to fall.
A lot of anglers will head to deep water and troll stretch baits and some fish will be there but there are fish up in the flats and the stump fields that will take a bait also if you know how to do it.
I have a friend of mine who works for the state and his job is to set nets for stripers and help the biologist tag and study stripers.
He was telling me that most of the fish are in less than five feet of water including the really big girls who come in from the sea to spawn every year.
This makes sense with all the bait and white perch up in the flats they have plenty to feed on and lots to choose from.
One of my favorite baits to fish up shallow is the Smithwick Rogue in what ever color works for the day but I always start with the chrome and blue in the beginning of the day.
You can troll these baits but I find it much better to cast to the shore and work my way through the stumps and other structure.
They tend not to hang as often as a Rattle Trap and they mimic the forage that often runs through this structure so it is a good technique for this type of fishing.
Once you hit a stump pause it to let it rise and move over the object and keep the retrieve coming by using the rod tip to jerk the bait forward and pause it between.
This will cause the bait to have an erratic motion and a striper can’t resist it when it passes by.
Give this technique a try next time you get out and the fish are not cooperating in the deep water.
You might just be fishing in the right area but the wrong spot.
What’s biting, where...
We had some offshore guys get out this week with mixed results.
The fleet out of Hatteras seems to be doing better with the yellowfin while the blackfin are coming to the docks at Pirates cove.
They all had a sailfish release or two along with one big eye tuna, a wahoo or two and some scattered mahi hanging around.
The wind has kept a lot of boats tied up to the docks so when they do get out it is a hunting trip for the skippers and they can’t get enough days in a row together to put any real pattern together.
Closer to the beach it is still all about the big red drum with bull reds coming on almost every pier and they are beginning to show on the beaches with catches up and down the beach.
Fresh cut mullet seems to be the bait of choice but if you catch a spot don’t be afraid to try that also.
The sound in Hatteras is on fire with the big reds with numerous guides catching dozens of them every trip.
There has been a big school of them lately and they have then dialed in so if you ever wanted to catch a giant now is your time to help the local pros out and mark that fish off your bucket list.
The spot have also been running on the piers and the flounder are making a pretty good showing also so it looks like October is right where it should be for us beach anglers.
Here at home we have a lot of guys looking for stripers with little luck but this weeks cold front should start making them feed a little better.
The sound seems to have some fish in it and I even have reports of birds working the surface already so it should be only a matter of time before the bite.
The largemouth bite has kept local anglers busy this week with the creeks paying off on top water and soft plastics.
The cooler weather has a few crappie anglers heading out but I don’t have a report as of yet on them.
If anyone gets out this week make sure you send a report and some bragging pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike and I will be happy to spread the word.