Summertime is once again upon us here in the Cape Fear area! With that comes hot temperatures and a new pattern of fishing to explore as water temperatures creep into the 80’s. The dog days of summer can be challenging when it comes to battling the heat and fish that are trying to find shade just like us. However, there’s no reason not to get out on the water and enjoy some fantastic inshore fishing that persists into the summer months. Lately we’ve been having our most success inshore fishing targeting the sheepshead and red drum. These two species have been a lot of fun to catch and in a variety of different ways. For the Sheepshead we’ve been targeting bridge pilings and deeper docks with fast moving current. This allows for the sheepshead to position themselves behind a structure and feed on crustaceans that are washed by in the current without exerting a lot of energy. This faster moving current also allows for the sheepshead to stay in a somewhat cooler water environment with the constant reintroduction of water over their gills and body. Our best action tends to be at the top of a rising tide when the water clears up and these fish become a little more mobile around the pilings or bridge structures. Using a First Flight Lure ledge tender jig in a 1 or 1.5 ounce lead you can keep a compact profile while dropping one of our fiddler crabs down into the strike zone. The First Flight jig is a great way to present these fiddler crabs as the hook and weight are connected as one by a loop in the lead weight. This gives the fiddler crab enough room to move and give off a natural presentation while not having that extra leader that can get you tangled in the current around a piling. As far as rod and reel combination we’re mainly fishing a 25000-3000 size reel with a medium heavy action 6’6 or 7’ rod and 30-pound power pro with a 25–30-pound fluorocarbon leader depending on water clarity. Sheepshead are an awesome fish to do battle with around the structure and are sure to add a new element of fun to your summertime fishing expeditions!
Switching gears we cannot overlook the mascot of our inshore fishery here in Wrightsville beach, the red drum. This time of year, red drum are on the prowl in creeks and shallow water flats in the morning and afternoons, foraging on anything from small crustaceans to larger baitfish. We’ve had some fantastic fishing at both dawn and dusk throwing top waters along creek banks and even in between docks over oyster flats. As the sun sinks to the horizon water temperatures cool off enough to allow the drum to abandon their deep-water docks and creek mouths in search of prey cruising the banks. We’ve been having the best success throwing a Rapala Skitterwalk in a golden mullet color. This color is an all-around killer no matter the time of year, and a staple amongst all our boats here at the shop. A second choice is the Bone colored Skitterwalk, this color pattern is also a go to amongst the guys at the shop and in those low light scenarios throwing topwater allows for the angler to be able to see the bait better and therefore insure the proper presentation to the fish. As a bonus you never know when that elusive summertime Speckled Trout might decide to eat your topwater! Trout in the summertime can be tough to catch but using the same topwater tactics can produce that surprise bite that we all know and love. All in all, the summertime inshore fishery here around Wrightsville Beach can be a great time under the right circumstances. The guys at the shop are well versed in all the terminal tackle and lures that will provide the best chance for success chasing these summertime inshore species. Swing by anytime and we’d love to tell you about what’s been biting and how to get geared up to do it.
With the summer heat being as brutal as it can be don’t forget to swing by the shop and check out all our summertime apparel brands. We’ve got new arrivals from Free Fly, Simms, Anetik and many others! All these brands make top of the line sun protection clothing including sun shirts and pants. Like one of our customers always said, “These shirts will keep you warm when you’re cold and cool when you’re hot!” Truer words have never been spoken, so next time you’re sunburnt after a long day on the water swing by and check out some of our sun protection apparel for next time. Lastly, we’ve got new arrivals from Smith Optics and Bajio Sunglasses, not to mention our extensive selection of Costa Del Mar we’ve got you covered when it comes to eye protection on the water!
Tight lines and we’ll see you on the water!