Fishing for blues while on the beach
By Mike Sweeney
Saturday, April 27, 2019
When I was a younger man I was lucky enough to go fishing with my grandfather who taught me to fish.
We had the chance to go to the beach and fish for blues when they used to run up and down the beach in huge schools making oil slicks on the water and giving anglers all the practice they wanted. These blues were not your run of the mill schoolies but the really big ones over ten pounds. You could walk the beach looking for them or wait at the local pier for the schools to appear. Once you did have them within casting range it was game on with Hopkins lures or Gotcha Plugs bringing all the action you could stand till they moved out of casting range.
It seems like those old days of blue fishing are long gone but the last couple of years the big blues are making a comeback with schools showing up early and late in the season. Right now at the beach they have begun to show up again with some fish coming in on cut bait and bottom rigs while others are being caught on metal lures. We can only hope that the big fish are here to stay but while they are here we have to take advantage of them and get out there and fish.
Blues love to hit anything that flashes so some of the old go to baits for them are Gotcha Plugs and Hopkins Lures but you can also catch them on bottom rigs. I like to put out a double bottom rig with shrimp or cut bait on the bottom and then I tie on a Bait Bug to the swivel with another piece of cut bait on that. The Bait Bug will float above the bottom baits and give the fish another target to search for not to mention it spreads the baits in the water column. This allows me to spike up one rod while throwing metal baits on the other rod. This combination works well when the fish are scattered and not schooled up tightly but when a school does go through then its game on and you can let the chaos begin.
What biting, where...
The fishing reports for the offshore guys have been awesome with a great yellowfin bite on almost every boat that goes out. There are some blackfin around also and the occasional gaffer dolphin to round out the dinner table. If you ever wanted to catch a tuna now is your time.
On the beaches and piers the fishing could not get much better. The mullet and puffer fish have moved up to all the northern beaches while the big blues are jumping everywhere. One day they are at the point then the next they are above Oregon Inlet. Metal lures and fresh cut bait are the go to bait’s while fresh shrimp are working for the bottom fish. The piers are really starting to pick up also with mullet, speckled trout and puffers on every pier on any given day. It is a great time to fish the beach so get out there and send me some pictures.
Locally we have had some great bass fishing and the tournament season is well on the way. Fish over five pounds are not uncommon and the top water bite is getting better every day. Floating frogs, Pop-Rs and other slow moving top water baits are best right now till the water warms up a little more but flipping soft plastics are still a good bet also. You want to fish the creeks and the tributaries first then move out to the main river. I like to throw a Fluke up under the overhanging bushes and limbs and work it back to the outside edges before killing the bait and letting it sink. The fish are shallow but the first drop off cannot be ignored since the spawn has them positioned there to feed. If anyone gets out this week and I know you will, send me a pic and a report to email@example.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.