How to catch Bluefish
Hi guys, a few years ago down on Oak Island, I was fishing off of Long Beach pier and some old man showed me to throw a gotcha plug for bluefish. I caught maybe 3 bluefish that day and haven't caught another one yet! This was 6 years ago! (Now I haven't exactly been fishing for them either since then) Now I have plenty of access to the beach, and I want to catch a big blue. The tackle shop guy said I shouldn't use "Gotcha's" in the surf, as they were too heavy and only worked great from boats/piers. What other methods can I use to catch a big bluefish? I also hear they are good eating!! Thanks everyone.
PS - Any of you guys going to be fishing tomorrow afternoon around ramp54-point?
Stingsilvers, Glass Minnows, Hopkins, Diamond Jigs, Kastmasters, Krocodiles - use around the 2 oz. size and let 'em rip...
Or 2 to 3 oz. bucktails...
Or bunker chunks on fireball rigs...
I love fishing for Blues. Once they get hungry, they hit anything!
You can just bang metal into the surf all day long and that is the ticekt for blues? Do they come in the sloughs between the sandbars? Or do I have to wade/cast over the 2nd bar? Oh what is a fireball rig?
this is a fire ball rig and some others made for bluefish
The reason Gotchas dont work well in the surf is because you cant get the same action out of them in the surf as you can off a pier.....Hopkins ,, Stingsilvers , work well if they are schooling , Look for birds working the water , diving down getting the bait that the blues bite in half...If they arent schooling,, the fireball rig will bunker or another fresh cut meat from a smaller fish will work, you are probably a couple months from the blues showing up in force... But there could be some around if it warms up a tad..
and as far as good eating , the smaller blues are much better than the bigger ones..1-3 pounds being the best in my opinion... the bigger blues can be eaten, but you have to bleed them as soon as possible or the meat gets really oily, plus you have to cut out the dark meat..some people dont like blues at all , but I think thats because they have tryed the bigger ones that havent been blead properly
I thought 1-3 pounds was a big blue... I have heard rumors of "choppers" here on the island, but I thought that was just an old wives tale. How big can these suckers get?! Man, I'm getting very excited now, I gotta hit the surf tom afternoon!
well I think the state record in NC is 31 pounds , but that was caught long ago,,,, back in the early 80's I have caught them up to 20 lbs , but the size has come down since then, usually during the spring and summer they are kinda skinny in recent years, but 10-12 pounders are common ... In the fall when they migrate back south , they are fatter and can weigh more, as I stated before the bigger ones will blitz and actually run bait fish up on the shore
here is an example of a blitz near the point ...
JeepMike, I gotta meet you when I come down in April with Steve. Man are you are a riot. There will be all kinds of fish for you to catch over the next couple of months. You'll have good fishing soon and it will last until the end of the year. Steve (Squalus) is a bluefish nut too.
Glad you didn't drive into the ocean the other night, your story made me laugh. Keep posting and keep dry. Philly Jack
HOLY MOLY pompino, I wanna see a blitz!! That would be insane! Philly Jack come on down, I'll get us a few beers; I'd love to have some company out there!! I just know I'll see one of those blitzes at the most inopportune time. I ride horses on the south beach for my job, and I know I'll see something great like that when I'm miles away from the closest fishing pole. Heck, even today I saw dolphins, which was sorta cool! I was thinking about going sharking, and hooking the line up straight to my saddle horn, and when chomper bites, tug him out via horse! That would be a sight!
Sorry, a little of subject. Do those blitzes occur randomly? Or can you see one coming a day or two in advance? (i.e. weather, tides, moon, temps?) Thanks guys!!
well you only see a blitz when there are plenty of bait fish around, the baitfish move north during the spring and then head south during the fall/Winter.. Its all about bait in the water... seeing dolphins in the water is a good sign cause it means they are chasing something.. so you get paid for riding horses on the beach , how does that work?
Mike, I hope you are around and available when Jack and I come down.
I'm looking forward to catching my first drum from the point and maybe some blues and/or albies from south beach.
Bluefishing is awesome! They are my favorite saltwater fish. Largest I ever got was over 19 LBS in New Jersey back in the late 70's. They hit just about anything, even bare hooks! You don't want to get your fingers near their jaws because of the sharp teeth they got.
I've heard they show up around Hatteras in late March through April but they are not as big as the fish that come through in the fall.
1-3 pounders are called "snapper" blues up here in Delaware and NJ. The choppers you mention are the 12-15+ bad boys.
Once you fish a bluefish blitz, you will remember it the rest of your life. The first one I ever saw was at Indian River Inlet in Delaware.
I noticed the gulls circling and diving at the water a little way off on the bay side headed toward the ocean. I told my buddy there were feeding fish under those birds.
We cut off our bait rigs and put on wire leaders and 3 oz. red & white bucktails tipped with purple plastic worms and started casting toward the birds. Once the Blues came within casting range it was non-stop for almost an hour.
We caught 72 blues between us in the 2-4 LB size. After about 8 or 10 casts, there was nothing left on the bucktails but the lead head and hook, and they still kept nailing them.
Keep in mind that was also back when there were no size or catch limits in Delaware for saltwater...
Not saying we'll see something like this in April down on HI, but who knows??? If everything is right, like water temps, winds, and available bait... you just might see it happen!
Should have included this in my post but check it out - good info about the Bluefish...
Here's a couple links to info on False Albacore
ABOUT FAT ALBERTS
I can hardly wait for our April trip down there.
Last edited by squalus; 02-16-2008 at 10:35 PM.
Bubba when you hit a school of choppers, 10# or better, you'll know you have arrived... when they're running bait right up on the beach and almost putting their selves on dry land slashing at anything that moves, scaring you outta the water... you've experienced your first blitz... hitting anything you put in front of'em... yeah Buddy... that's the real deal...
Being there when the big choppers bite is totally awesome. They used to be around a great deal in the late 80's, early 90's. They just destroy anything that gets in their way. It's fun to watch them shred bait.
BTW, in order to catch bluefish when they are schooling/blitzing you have to be able to do two, very important things:
1) Throw out a bait
2) Hit water
Actually there are three important things to do and the third one is"
Originally Posted by CGSurfCaster
"Keep your hands out of the water" lol
Jeep Mike, keep a rod with you when you're horse riding. Praps you could get a collapsable or something
Haha I have thought about that. I just got off the beach about an hour ago. I was out on horseback so I didn't get to fish, but I did get about 30 minutes to cruise up and down and give a report. Nobody was catching anything on the south beach where I was, but I did see birds and porpise's eating something up behind the 2nd bar. Maybe it'll be the blues! I think I have another ride today at 2, and we have some weather moving in, but hopefully they won't show, or if they do I'll get some time on the beach this evening to fish!
Does anything bite really well before a storm system moves in!?!?
Yes. Seem like the clear skies after storms sometimes aren't to good. If you're going to be riding the beach every day, thanks in advance for the reports. Get a collapsable!!!
well thats cool jeepmike we have something in common .. horses ... Im a track photographer for race horses ... you should defintely get with Philly Jack and Squals when they come down , I dont know them personaly but from the posts they are itchin to catch some fish
i have found the best way to catch blues is to not fish for them every time i fish for something else all i catch are blues good for nuttin but bait and c&r
Ditto on that Red
Originally Posted by red_fish
Throw out any rig, single, double, fish finder, etc baited with cut or finger mullet,,,your gonna catch some blues.
Just one of the pleasures or to some the pains of fishing in the surf.
To me, I love catching those toothy suckers
Last edited by Fireline20; 02-17-2008 at 05:48 PM.
Heck yeah thats cool Pompino. I felt like I was on a racehorse yesterday; we have a big ole TB and we were just burning it up on the beach. It was great in the surf, just point his head towards the point and let him haul @$$ into the horizon! Thanks for all of the advice guys! I saw the surf around 5 p.m. on the south shore and it was nasty, all foam and spraying everywhere... We are getting some weather tonight/tomorrow. I'm sad too, tomorrow is my day off and I don't think I can fish when it is windy out there, or can I? Will fish bite in the middle of a storm? (I'll leave during the lightning and such) The wind is already starting to pick up, and we have a surf advisory. Should I get out there tomorrow before first light or sleep in? Philly/Squalus, let me know when you guys are coming, I'd love to catch some blues and anything else!!
For surf or pier I always use the Deluxe Finger Mullet rig for Blues. The ones with the double hook that detaches. You can easily shorten the wire that is pushed into the mullet and just use a half or third of one. With this rig the bait stays on and the Blues attack this thing.