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Working the weather to your advantage

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Camden's Jake Worthington made this catch recently.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, May 19, 2018

With all this rain coming to our area a lot of anglers are heading home early but if you are careful and you know what to look for the weather can play a critical role in catching some nice fish.

What happens when the rain clouds move in is the barometer begins to fall and this makes the fish turn on the feed bag.

The less pressure on the fish the more comfortable they are and the more active they become which will work in your favor.

First of all before you go running out into a thunder storm remember to use common sense by being safe first then fish second.

Some of my best days on the water have been overcast with wind and rain and it didn’t matter if I was fishing for largemouth, crappie or perch they all react the same when the weather changes. The fish tend to move shallow and will hang around wood or vegetation and wait for the bait fish to arrive.

This is especially true with the wind blown banks where the bait is right on the shoreline feeding on plankton that has been pushed to shore. I like to throw flukes, spinner baits and square bills to these shallow targets. If that doesn’t work I switch to soft plastics and flip to the wood and pads till I find the fish. The weather can be your friend of you just give it a chance to prove it.

What’s biting, where...

The fishing reports for the offshore guys has been outstanding this past week with the docks filling up with bailer and gaffer mahi.

Limits of yellowfin, some blackfin and even a few big eye tuna showing up.

The Hatteras Village Offshore Open is the first billfish tournament of the year and the boat Sea Toy took an early lead with two blue marlin on the first day with one of them coming in at 690 pounds.

The action is hot on the blue water so if you get a chance to get offshore you need to go.

Near the beach everyone is talking about the amount of cobia that have showed up in our waters.

The rules on the cobia have been in great debate so make sure you know what you can and cannot keep before you leave.

When you get out there you want to look for the warmest water you can find so watch your electronics and the water because there have been fish over 40pounds stuck this past week.

On the beach it is turning on quickly with fish coming to the sand on almost every beach now.

Close to shore you want to use fresh shrimp or Fish Bites on small gold hooks.

This will bring mullet and blow toads in while a little farther out you want cut bait on larger hooks.

This is working on black drum, red drum and blues.

We have a lot of large blues hitting metal baits out near the sand bars so make sure you bring them with you.

The point has also been on fire this week with large bull drum showing up right at dark almost every afternoon this week.

Fresh cut mullet is the bait of choice on drum rigs with as little weight as needed to stay put.

Jake Worthington from Camden played all week with nice cobia catches just offshore and a couple of nice bull drum at the point.

Here locally we have been working on the largemouth as usual with some nice fish coming to the boat on soft plastics in shallow cover but don’t forget the top water baits to help locate the fish. I like to throw a buzz bait or Whopper Plopper to find the fish then flip to structure to get my limit.

The white perch have shown back up in big numbers also with fish hanging on the first drop off and up in the stump flats.

Perch tend to move around a lot during the day so keep your baits moving with them from shallow to deep.

White Beetle Spins and Uncle Jessie lures tipped with shrimp are the baits of choice for the perch but don’t be surprised what else you can get on these baits.

I have caught bass, stripers and even puppy drum on those lures. If anyone gets out this week it will be a good bet you will catch something so send me a picture and a report to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike and I will do my best to put the word out.

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