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Striper fishing hot spots in the region

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Clint Midkiff and his wife Judy went out and caught stripers on a half day trip recently.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The striper fishing the past few years has been a little hit or miss depending on who you are and how you fish.

You hear where one guy is catching fish all season long while others are striking out no matter what they try.

I have been on both ends of this type of fishing and it’s not fun when you are on the losing end of the deal.

When the fish are lined up along the bridges and hitting any lure dragged by their faces we all catch fish but that has not been true the past few years.

Sometimes the fish are there while other times they are not then you throw in the fact that the weekend is the only time most of us can get out and the boats are lined up on the bridges so that in itself could shut the fish down.

What you need to do is find a series of spots that will hold fish on a more consistent basis so you can fish with better odds on your side.

Being the fact that a lot of my angling friends have their own spots to fish on their own rivers it is understandable that they don’t want me to give away any of their secret areas and I would never do that.

I have told every angler who ever gave me a report or showed me one of their secret spots that I would never put them in the paper but what I can do is tell you what to look for so you can find your own spots and then when you do fish your favorite river you can make a milk run from spot to spot so you can be more successful on your outings.

Stripers in general like to be next to deep water so what you want to do is look for a piece of structure that has deep water next to it.

You can catch some nice stripers in less than three feet of water if you have deep water next to it.

You want to look for a tree, channel marker or any type of structure next to a ledge where it drops into the main channel.

This could be a mouth of a creek, a high spot in the channel or a hole on a flat.

The transition from deep to shallow water gives the fish a place to ambush the baitfish.

Another thing that is a must to help hold a rockfish is the fact that it has current.

When the water is moving the fish are active and will position close to cover just like a largemouth and when you find the cover that is holding fish they are there to feed so that makes them easier to catch.

This simple fact is why the bridges are such good fishing spots in our area.

They have deep water on them and the water is always moving.

You can find these places by studying the maps and looking for the channel markers near deep water or a tree at the mouth of a creek that sticks out farther than the rest.

You can also discover them simply by looking for them while you are fishing.

You may have been going right by a hot spot for years but never tried to fish it.

Some spots will hold fish only when the water temps are a certain degree or when the wind is blowing a certain direction so if it looks good don’t give up on it just because you strike out on it.

Learn the spots and find out when is the best time to fish them.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore report is looking a little slim with the weather we have had lately but we had one boat go out of Oregon Inlet.

Skirt Chaser went out and caught the first Bluefin tuna of the season but it was a short one.

They also caught some nice yellowfin on their day so even though they had to let the Bluefin go they still brought back some fish to the docks.

We have quietly had a swordfish bite going on also with Fin Again getting consistent bites on their last few trips.

This is a technique that is rarely used around here but it is growing every year.

On the beaches there really isn’t much to talk about other than skates and dogfish.

We have had some puffers here and there and the point has had some action but with few anglers on the sand there is not much to report.

Locally we have had some decent stripers on the rivers.

A few weeks ago I got a report from Captain Jeff Onley that he had some fish on the Pasquotank and one of my readers Clint Midkiff and his wife Judy went out with him and caught 12 stripers on a half day trip.

The biggest fish was 24-inches long so it pays to go out with the pros.

The crappie have been pretty steady also with fish being caught shallow around brush and laydowns.

I was told by a great angler that when you see the forsythia bloom and I saw some this week so let’s go crappie fishing.

The largemouth bite has been picking up a little with the warmer days they have been hitting soft plastics on a pegged hook.

I always like to use a six inch lizard in pumpkin seed with a chartreuse tail. If anyone gets out this week make sure you send me a report even if you strike out to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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