This time of year the local crappie anglers are slow trolling their live minnows and jig heads up and down the creeks and river banks.

It has paid off for generations now and some people stick to what they know. What a lot of anglers don’t realize is that a boat dock is sometimes loaded with more fish than what they catch all day trolling.

The boat docks are stationary structure that are in the same spot season after season. Try to imagine it as a tree that grows straight up from the bottom and with one dock you could have as many as 20 pilings from super shallow to deep water.

This allows the fish to sit in their desired depth and still have something to relate to. It is a perfect habitat for a school of crappie looking to spawn and if the owner of the dock has a brush pile under it there could be a goldmine of fish under there.

I like to fish a dock with a small rod and a jig heavy enough to pitch or even skip it back into the back of the docks and that allows me to fish the entire area and water column.

It is not uncommon to find the fish stacked on one piling so make sure you fish it completely and from all angles before moving onto the next dock. One trick I learned from my grandson a long time ago he was fishing one of those little $20 super short rods and he would pull back with the lure in his hand and shoot the lure across the water.

To him it was a game but to me I saw a way to get a lure back under the docks so I bring a small rod with me and do the same thing. The key is to hold the reel a split second longer than the lure and that thing will go to the bank with a little practice.

You want to look for docks that are in at least 5 to 10 feet of water simply because that is where the crappie are right now and if you find one that has fish mark it on your depth finder because it will have fish there every year.

If you like to throw live shiners then use a slip bobber and pitch it back as far as you can then fish the pilings on the way back out by pausing the bait right next to the structure for a minute or two before moving onto the next one.

Don’t be surprised to catch a largemouth or two or even some perch with this technique. The right dock will pay off and hold multiple species so come prepared.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore guys are still talking tuna with some nice fish being caught and filmed for the Wicked Tuna show we have right here in our backyard. We also have had a little bottom fishing out of Hatteras along with some yellowfin and the occasional blackfin.

On the beaches and piers we had our first couple of drum caught at the point this past week but with the south winds that is not surprising.

There are also along of sharks up and down the surf and we even had a couple of blowtoads caught behind the hotels in Buxton. The next few weeks will be the start of the season for those in the know.

In the sound we still have a pretty good striper bite at the sound bridge but the weekdays are better than the weekends according to locals. If you can only fish the weekends fish the early morning or late in the day just before dark. The fewer the boats the better.

Locally it has been a decent largemouth bite with rattling baits and jigs paying off especially in the creeks.

Our new tackle store in Elizabeth City, River City Tackle informs me that Halls Creek is a good place for a limit of crappie. They have all the live bait and artificial lures you need for that kind of fishing and they seem like good people who want you to catch fish so give them a shot.

If anyone gets out this week shoot me a message at or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.