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Using tidal river patterns to your advantage

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Mike Sweeney sports fishing

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The water ways in the Albemarle region are all connected to the ocean so we have some tide in our rivers.

The tides are not as prevalent as other rivers like the James or Potomac rivers but we do have tides.

The water in our rivers are influenced by the wind more than the tide simply because the banks of our rivers are relatively low so when the water comes in it goes outward more than upward.

When the wind blows out of the east it will push the water up into the sound and surrounding rivers.

The opposite happens when it blows from the west.

If anyone has ever fished the Oregon Inlet during a good wind you can see the water rushing through the opening.

Most of our rivers get their water from that inlet it is an amazing thing to witness.

The thing about moving water is it makes the largemouth predictable and if you know how to read the water you can take advantage of their predictability.

When the water is falling the fish will move to the edges of the flat and hold onto structure like laydowns and brush.

The mouths of the creeks are a good spot to start then work your way back into the creek till you begin to get some action.

It could be the first turn in the creek or a secondary point farther up the creek.

When the water is moving into the rivers then you want to fish the shallow cover next to the bank.

Flipping a soft plastic or throwing a square bill will bring a strike during these times.

You have to imagine that the fish move up and down just like the water levels. The key spots are the breaks in the current like a brush or log and the fish will position on the down current side. They use the breaks so that they can hang in the off current and wait for the bait to come to them.

This means you want to fish against the current and bring it back to you with the presentation. The current doesn’t have to be hard because our fish are used to smaller breaks but it still works the same no matter how much the water flows.

What's biting, where...

In the beginning of the week the fleet had to stay in the creeks but towards the end of the week the weather improved and they got paid off for their patience.

Limits of mahi with good numbers of blackfin and some sailfish releases.

To top it all of there was a blue marlin brought to the docks over 500 pounds which is always good to see.

Speaking of marlin the Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament happened over the end of last week and there was some impressive fish caught.

Congratulations to Captain Rob Barker and the team of the Desperado for leading the event from start to finish.

Their payday was over $198,000 so let’s hear it for the crew and all the other contenders who fished the tournament.

On the near shore boats there was some slow days this week with the winds cooling the water down but the ribbon fish are still in pretty good abundance as well as the Spanish and blues. There are some drum being caught here and there but only a few.

The piers have been a little slow but we still are steady on early morning and late day runs of blues and Spanish. Metal baits work best for those runs but you have to be patient and wait for the fish to come to you.

There are still some spot and croaker in the surf on bottom rigs and blood worms.

The sound is still on a great speckled trout bite with some fish over 5 pounds being caught in both Oregon Inlet and Hatteras. Jig heads with Gulp baits are the favorite bait of choice and the kayaks are really catching them so good for my fellow paddling buddies.

Here locally the largemouth are still on a good soft plastic bite with lizards and small worms being the favorite. The top water bite is not as prevalent as it was earlier but I am sure somebody has a frog tied on their rods and could prove me otherwise.

White perch are still in huge numbers with schools running in the hundreds cruising the drop offs and wood banks.

If anyone gets out this week send me a fishing report and some pictures to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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