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.

For this year’s spring break, my son’s and I decided that we would head down to Carolina Beach and take a day charter with Captain Robert and Carolina Explorers. Having fished several times with both Captain Robert and his father Captain Charlie, we have found them to be a great asset to the Carolina Fishing community. ¬†On top pf that, they are 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, it is early April. The weather is not too bad – it is cool and drizzling rain. Myself, my two younger sons, my girlfriend and her daughter all head out to go fishing. We get an early start and hope that the burrito dinner at Wilmington’s well-known “Flaming Amy’s” does not “hit bottom” before we get back! ūüôā

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 being an early spring trip, Captain Robert heads us out to fish at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. When we reach our initial fishing spot, we start dropping our lines in the water. The current was outbound and hard. My girlfriend drops her line and almost immediately she caught about a 3 foot shark on the line. It is 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 like that from that point on. As each of us dropped a line, we would have a fish on not long after. 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 Captain 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 Captain Charlie, I remember we had a dismal morning of flounder fishing and we were scratching our heads. I had seen a few flourishes of what looked like Spanish mackerel here and there.  So, I suggested we do a little Spanish trolling. He was skeptical, but flexible. With the remaining time that we had 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, Captain Robert was telling me about an initiative led by the federal government.  It was to further start controlling the allotments of fish that small commercial fisherman and recreational fishermen will be allowed to keep. I will not (improperly) try to explain it.  Later, we will link this to some articles that a regional association is fighting about this issue. BEWARE!  Once again, the government is getting ready to steal another natural resource and give it over to big businesses.

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 for a fish fry later.

Not bad for a very early spring, cool, rainy fishing day. Kudos to Captain 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. This place has 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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