Spring Fishing 2015

Early April may not seem like the best time to go inshore fishing, but as you will learn, it can be a fun time.

My sons and I decided that for this year’s spring break we would head down to Carolina Beach and take a day charter with Captain Robert and Carolina Explorers. Having fished several times with both Capt Robert and his father Capt Charlie, we have found them to be a great asset to the Carolina Fishing community, as well as just good people to spend time with. Other than one trip, we have had solid to awesome success in fishing anytime we went out with them. That one trip, in their defense, was probably a non-fishing day given the weather and conditions.

thegagg.com highly recommends these guides and their charter service to anyone who wants a great time inshore and near shore fishing, in and around the Carolina Beach area.

So its early April. The weather is not too bad, its cool, and drizzling rain. Myself, my two younger sons, my girlfriend and her daughter all head out fishing. We get an early start and hope that the burrito dinner at Wilmington’s well-known “Flaming Amy’s” doesn’tĀ hit bottom before we get back! šŸ™‚

Heading out towards the mouth of the river early in the morning.

Heading out towards the mouth of the river early in the morning.

With it beingĀ an early spring trip, Capt RobertĀ heads us out to fish the mouth of the Cape Fear River. When we reach our initial fishing spot we start dropping lines in. The current was outbound and hard. My girlfriend drops her line and almost immediately she has about a 3 foot shark on the line. Its her first time fishing like this, and she is ecstatic. So much so I had to keep her from eating it raw.

We caught several small sharks, lots of junk fish and about 2 dozen nice whiting.

We caught several small sharks, lots of junk fish and about 2 dozen nice whiting.

The day was pretty much that from that point on. As each of us dropped a line, not long after we would have a fish on. Some were junk fish, some were small (non editable) sharks, some were whiting that we kept. For early spring it was a good day of fishing.

The key I have found with Capt Robert (and his father) is knowing the tides and matching the tides to the fish and fishing spots. Inshore/near shore fishing is very “knowledge” based. It involves the topologies, fish, tides, and bait fish runs.

It also requires flexibility. One day with Capt Charlie, I remember we had had a dismal morning of flounder fishing and we were kind of scratching our heads. I had seen a few flourishes of what looked like spanish mackerel here and there, and I suggested we do a little spanish trolling. He was skeptical, but flexible. With the remaining time that day we put about 20 spanish, half a dozen blues, and even a few flounder in the boat. Normally most captains would have felt it was way too late in the day to troll for them, but his flexibility allowed us to have a great day of fishing.

During this trip, Capt Robert was telling me about an initiative by the federal government to further start controlling the allotments of fish that small commercial fisherman and recreational fishermen will get. I won’t improperly try to explain it, we will link later to some articles a regional association fighting this has in a later article. However, BEWARE, once again the government is getting ready to steal another natural resource and give it over to big business.

By the end of the day I think we had caught:

  • half a dozen (or maybe a few more) 2-3 foot sharks
  • 20+ whiting
  • 50+ small non-keepers and junk fish
  • a non-keeper sea trout.

    Some of the catch... Nice whiting. Fish fry later

    Some of the catch… Nice whiting. Fish fry later

Not bad for a very early spring, cool, rainy fishing day. Kudos to Capt Robert for making it a great trip.

As has been tradition when we do these trips we all stopped by the Sawmill restaurant on the way out of Wilmington. Another great place to visit. Country food done right.

All in all, the day was a good fishing day. But then even bad fishing days are always good fishing days for me.


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