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Fishing in the rain yields more bites

122218Fishing
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Kayla Parker and Brandon Vaughan from South Mills with a 45-pound catfish.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, December 22, 2018

This time of year the rain seems to never end but with the rain comes warmer weather usually so if you know where to look you can score big on the largemouth bite.

We have been in a weather pattern lately that basically has been rain every three or four days but the rain actually warms the back waters up and brings the baitfish up to feed on the runoff.

This will position the fish and make them easier to catch.

What you are looking for is a place where the small tributaries and creeks dump into larger bodies of water.

You can start at the main creek channels where they hit the main rivers then work back into the creeks from there.

You want to look for runoffs that are feeding the larger creeks then focus on the current breaks and structure around that area.

The fish will be using the structure as ambush points so spinner baits, crank baits and flukes work here the best.

The baitfish are moving up into the warmer water looking to feed so watch your temperature gauge while fishing and don’t be surprised if you find them stacked up in one spot. I have a pond that gets fed by a swamp and every time it rains you can go to a small brush pile in the mouth of the feeder creek and catch four or five fish off the same branch.

These places will reload after a while so once you catch a few in a spot leave it alone them come back and catch some more.

The rain can be a bummer this time of year but if you look at it like an angler then maybe it’s not so bad after all.

What’s biting, where...

Well the offshore guys finally got to get out of the creek this week after nine days of wind.

The bonita and blackfin where active and the fleet did a good job of putting some in the boxes. It is always nice to see the fleet get out this time of year and the tuna seem to always be around.

On the beaches and piers it’s been pretty quiet but some guys did get out. We had a shark bite at the point this week along with a pretty good mullet bite on all the beaches.

There was a puppy drum bite down at Buxton one day and some others around the inlet. Other than that everyone else is getting ready for Christmas I guess.

Here locally we have a good crappie bite going on in the creeks and the catfish bite has been active all winter. Captain Terry of the Chowan River Outfitters took Kayla Parker and Brandon Vaughan from South Mills out this week and they landed a 45-pound cat on cut bait.

They seem to be bigger this year than most we have had in the past.

Great job you guys and thanks for that report.

The largemouth bite is slowing some with most of the fish being caught in the creeks on the outside turns and in the main river stump fields.

Square bill cranks baits and soft plastics pitched to the stumps are paying off for most of these anglers.

We have an abundance of short stripers in the rivers right now but I know there are some bigger ones somewhere I just can’t get through the small ones to find them.

If anyone gets out this week make sure you send me a report and some pictures to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike. Have a great holiday and I hope we all get new rods and reels for Christmas.

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