Mike Sweeney: Hot time of year for Oregon Inlet

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This is the time of year when you have to ask yourself if is it really too hot to fish.

The answer, obviously, is no, because now is the time of year to pack up the boat and head to Oregon Inlet for some fishing action that is always hot.

If you get up early enough to beat traffic, the boat launch at Oregon Inlet is right behind the fishing center and is only a short ride to the fishing holes.

When I fish the inlet, I usually start with a drift or two either from the bridge to the channel west, or the opposite direction depending on the tide. I use bottom rigs tipped with shrimp or squid, and on another rod I use a spec jig tipped with strips of squid in case the flounder are around.

Then I find a spot around the bridge pilings where I can drop a sand flea on a tiny hook and catch whatever is hanging around the pilings like a blue or a black drum. I then head out of the inlet if the weather is good and fish the channel markers for cobia.

If I have time, I will head up or down the beach and drag a small spoon for mackerel. It is a great way to spend the day, and the boat never has to go that far to enjoy it. Just remember it is busy this time of year with locals and visitors, so watch the boat position in relation to the bridge and other boats and make sure you use the channel markers because it doesn’t take long to run out of water with all the sand bars.

What’s Biting, Where...

The offshore reports are looking good, with plenty of dolphin and some good tuna to fill up the coolers. We even are starting to have a good showing of bill fish, with some white and even some blue marling showing up.

On the beach, it is still bottom fish on shrimp and bloodworms and the red drum are still showing up on the long rods. Fresh cut mullet are the best bet right now for the drum.

In the sound, we are starting to see some speckled trout, but there is a lot of grass in the water this year and they are using it to their advantage. The red drum are still on, and the rumor is that there is a big school around the inlet, so I am going this weekend to try my luck.

Locally, we have reports of some nice bass early in the morning and late in the day on top water baits, then it’s worms and crank baits for the middle of the day. The creeks are still a good bet for the bass, but don’t leave out the main river wood for some nice fish, too.

When you catch one, stay in that area and slow down because they are there for a reason, so watch for bait fish and try to match the hatch.

We are also having a good white perch bite and it is getting better with stump fields and brush piles holding nice schools. My buddy Patrick Baum from Camden caught them on a blue and white Meads custom spinner bait. If you can catch a perch on a spinner bait then you can catch them on an Uncle Jessie so get out there and fill those coolers. If anyone else gets a chance to get out, send me a picture and a report to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike and we will use them in next week’s article.