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Barrett Rich from Elizabeth City with a limit of stripers.

When we fish for stripers here in our area we use a lot of stretch style baits and drag them behind the boat.

A stretch bait comes from the manufacturer Mann’s who produces a long minnow bait with different size bills that make the bait run to a specific depth.

A stretch 10 for instance will run about 10 feet while a stretch 30 goes much deeper and has a much larger bill. When we troll around our bridges we use mostly stretch 15s or 20s especially around the sound bridge where the water is about 20 feet all the way across.

It doesn’t mean that a 10 can’t catch a fish because they will sometimes suspend in the water column so troll different depths till you get a bite.

Mann’s has been making these baits for years and if one manufacturer finds a bait that works then others will follow and one that has come on strong in the past decade is the Yozuri brand of stretch baits which come in different colors and designs that give you a different look that the other anglers.

The details in the baits make them shine in the water and when you bump one against the pilings the rockfish can’t stand it.

These baits come in a huge variety of colors so your favorite color is sure to be out there but if you don’t have a go to color there is always whites, blues and chartreuse to get you started.

When I am trolling I like to use smaller rods and no more than 12 pound test line on my reels.

This allows the baits to get down to the desired depth and the light rods make it a blast when you get a good fish on. Make sure you set your drag a little light and try to keep the troll around 2.5 to 3.5mph.

You want to bump the structure but be careful not to hit the line so boat control is critical. After every fish you want to retie your bait because some of these lures are as much as $20 bucks each so it can get expensive.

Watch your depth finder because you want to see where the fish are hanging and be just above them. If you see marks at 18 feet then make sure you have a bait that runs around 15feet deep.

You never want to fish under the fish because they hunt looking up towards the surface.

So next time you get a chance to fish a bridge for stripers make sure you have a few stretch baits along to make the day more productive.

What’s biting, where...

Most of the charter boats are either tied up to the docks or our commercial fishing but we did have a couple get out this week. Blackfin tuna and some yellowfin made it back to shore which is good to see but reports are slim.

A fishing buddy of mine went home to Morehead City this past week and caught a nice bluefin so maybe they will show up here in the next couple of days.

On the beaches we had some anglers catching black drum and puppies on the jetties but other than that it is dogfish and skate.

The sound is warming back up a little and that made the stripers move back to the bridges again. Mann’s Harbor Bridge is holding some rockfish and the Rattle Traps/stretch 15s are the go to bait’s.

The sound bridge is also hot with reports of limits coming quickly and some good size fish also. Local angler Alex Rich was out fishing the bridge this past week and scored a limit with Yozuri deep divers.

Alex and his fishing partner young Barrett Rich had some nice fish up to 27 inches while dragging their baits.

Great job Barrett and keep up the good work.

Locally we have some news that the crappie are biting better than ever with a depth of between 5 and 10 feet being a good bet.

The largemouth should be up shallow with these warmer days with soft plastics and square bills being a go to pattern.

It has been a little slow but we have a warm up coming this weekend and the fish will be feeding.

Lets get out there and find me some fish and when you do send them to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.