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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured I would contribute a report since I have been a taker for so long. Just got back last week from a vacation to North Topsail and Onslow Beach. Long story short, the Tropical Storm screwed things up a bit, but all in all, the fishing was pretty terrible. It blew at least 15-20 almost every day and night the entire time. The only exception was the first few days of the trip. But even that wind was fishable, just had to upsize the weights. The part of the trip that was unredeemable was the seaweed. I have never dealt with so much of the Sargassum for such a long duration. It was downright unfishable. No sooner would you cast your line out than there was 4-5 lbs of the weed wrapped on the line and washing the sinker ashore. Even a 6oz Sputnik wouldn't hold. I really was seeking pompano this trip and knew that the worthwhile keepers run the outer bars, so I was casting far initially, but the weeds made that idea laughable. I finally settled on fishing a few promising holes in the first gut. One afternoon it had stormed all day and been blowing, so my son and I weren't fishing the bulk of the afternoon. Around 1800 or so, the storm cell moved out and the radar told me that we had about 2 hours before another violent thunderstorm was on us, so I decided to get some fishing in. I didn't have mullet, couldn't find the fleas, and it was dead low tide, but we went anyway on principle. Figured we would use Fish bites to catch some cut bait. We set up on a deep slough that literally started 3 feet from the low tide line and we probably could have used a cane pole it was so close to the sand spikes. Anyway, it was oily flat calm after all that wind and rain and the no see ums were thick, but for some reason those conditions always foretell fish for me. We pitch/drop the first rig with shrimp FB on my new HMX Steelhead rod in that little gut while I rig the other rods for my son. In about 3 minutes the pole is doubled over and we reel in a healthy 22 in redfish. A few minutes after that, my son grabs another rod and brings in a healthy slot black. I landed an even bigger slot black a few minutes later as well. Finally, I am watching my son and he hooks into a 30+ redfish 4 feet from his feet. Because he could see the fish right in front of him as the fish rolled when the fish did it's initial roll, my son thought he could horse the fish in. I had him rigged using size 4 and 6 light wire circle hooks, so I told him that fish was green and he should let the fish tire, but patience is a virtue not normally present in a 9 year old boy. He managed to horse the fish into the suds almost immediately and started walking backwards up the beach. The fish was beached on it's side in the skim water when the hook decided that it wanted to unshackle itself from societal norms and identify itself as a sewing needle. Long story short, the next wave came behind the fish with my son screaming for me to grab it. I got there to realize it was probably closer to 34 inches than 28 as the beauty made it's retreat. Of course, my son, with no slot redfish on his books yet, was devastated and close to tears and needed some space. He scoots down the beach to look for sharks teeth, leaving his other rod-an Ugly stick downrigger noodle rod unattended. About 10 minutes later I go to reel in his lines to pack up for the camper when I got to reel in that light outfit that was cast 5 feet out in 18 inches of water when I felt a slight head shake and a little weight on the end. I figured it to be a bouquet of seaweed and a sea mullet when whatever that was just hanging out on the end of that line realized he was hooked to another living being and started peeling drag. The head shakes and a short breach of the suds confirmed it was another nice red, and I screamed for my son who was nowhere in earshot range. It turned out to be a nice 27 in red.

Long story short: we caught more in that 1.5 hours than we did the rest of the 2 weeks-and we fished HARD the entire stay. The tally that afternoon was 2 slot reds, 4 or 5 slot blacks that were released. And I'm hoping the boy remembers to respect a green fish's power.

Bummed that I spent probably another 100+ hours on the beach fishing with nothing to show, save some nominal sea mullet and a few mutant citation worthy pigfish, but that hour and a half was magic ....
 

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Great story and thanks for sharing. We all lose fish, but we don’t always land another after the first one comes unbuttoned. Your son will learn about fighting a green fish, I am sure. Maybe a couple of other lessons, too. Don’t walk up the beach with a fish on and never give up. It took me years to learn that. I miss those days with the youngins. Glad you had success after a blowout and storms. Those memories will last a lifetime. :)
 

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Sounds like a great 1.5 hours. When you have lemons….. yea you know the rest. Good story.
 

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Thanks for sharing that fantastic story! If all you did was catch fish it wouldn’t have been a good fishing story. It takes work and persistence to be successful and I hope that’s what your son got out of that 100+ hours of fishing.

Von
 

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I think that one day makes up for it. I wish I could go down for a trip and land some reds and blacks. I was hoping you were going to say north topsail cause I’ll be there again in 4 weeks. We were there also in June. It was a good fishing week I felt. My son landed his first 2 sea trout. I managed a pomp that was 1.8 when I had it weighed. I thought it was close to a citation so I took it down to east coast to weight. I never caught a larger pomp so I didn’t know. But I was excited cause it was the first. Lots of blues. 6 all 14 plus one afternoon. Rest was mullet and spot but my kid had a ball. All in all it was a steady week of fishing but nothing like your one day.

I had no issue finding sand fleas this trip. Past years it was difficult.

august trip I’m changing things up a bit and using these pomp rigs from salty I read about when searching for fish gum to try also vs fish bites. These rigs are so much longer than what I usually tie myself. So I’ll try mine vs these new ones and see.

What were you using for the drum if I can ask?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think that one day makes up for it. I wish I could go down for a trip and land some reds and blacks. I was hoping you were going to say north topsail cause I’ll be there again in 4 weeks. We were there also in June. It was a good fishing week I felt. My son landed his first 2 sea trout. I managed a pomp that was 1.8 when I had it weighed. I thought it was close to a citation so I took it down to east coast to weight. I never caught a larger pomp so I didn’t know. But I was excited cause it was the first. Lots of blues. 6 all 14 plus one afternoon. Rest was mullet and spot but my kid had a ball. All in all it was a steady week of fishing but nothing like your one day.

I had no issue finding sand fleas this trip. Past years it was difficult.

august trip I’m changing things up a bit and using these pomp rigs from salty I read about when searching for fish gum to try also vs fish bites. These rigs are so much longer than what I usually tie myself. So I’ll try mine vs these new ones and see.

What were you using for the drum if I can ask?
All the drum were caught on shrimp fishbites and possibly some bloodworm fishbites. I tried fresh shrimp-the pigfish wouldn't let it soak more than a few minutes. I also used actual sand fleas and I think I may have caught an eligible black drum, but I chose not to keep him. I just feel like black drum have 50% head and it takes a few pounds to make me feel it is worth filleting.

Honestly, North Topsail and Onslow are so close in proximity the fishing should be close to similar. I was at Onslow in early April and got a citation pompano, just over 2.5 lbs. I was hoping to follow that up with a few other decent sized fish this trip, but I guess I will shoot for my 2 weeks in late October and early November to try and catch some more.

Have you noticed that Fishbites price has risen markedly? They were 5.99 last year. This year I was finding them for no less than $7. I'm thinking of trying fish gum, it's just not easily found in stores.
 

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All the drum were caught on shrimp fishbites and possibly some bloodworm fishbites. I tried fresh shrimp-the pigfish wouldn't let it soak more than a few minutes. I also used actual sand fleas and I think I may have caught an eligible black drum, but I chose not to keep him. I just feel like black drum have 50% head and it takes a few pounds to make me feel it is worth filleting.

Honestly, North Topsail and Onslow are so close in proximity the fishing should be close to similar. I was at Onslow in early April and got a citation pompano, just over 2.5 lbs. I was hoping to follow that up with a few other decent sized fish this trip, but I guess I will shoot for my 2 weeks in late October and early November to try and catch some more.

Have you noticed that Fishbites price has risen markedly? They were 5.99 last year. This year I was finding them for no less than $7. I'm thinking of trying fish gum, it's just not easily found in stores.
Must you still be in the military or retired, or be with someone with these credentials to fish Onslow beach?. My oldest son was at LeJeune 93'-97', there was a pier near the old Recon area, they would not let me fish unless my son was with me, and he wasn't, so I never got to fish Onslow beach.
 

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All the drum were caught on shrimp fishbites and possibly some bloodworm fishbites. I tried fresh shrimp-the pigfish wouldn't let it soak more than a few minutes. I also used actual sand fleas and I think I may have caught an eligible black drum, but I chose not to keep him. I just feel like black drum have 50% head and it takes a few pounds to make me feel it is worth filleting.

Honestly, North Topsail and Onslow are so close in proximity the fishing should be close to similar. I was at Onslow in early April and got a citation pompano, just over 2.5 lbs. I was hoping to follow that up with a few other decent sized fish this trip, but I guess I will shoot for my 2 weeks in late October and early November to try and catch some more.

Have you noticed that Fishbites price has risen markedly? They were 5.99 last year. This year I was finding them for no less than $7. I'm thinking of trying fish gum, it's just not easily found in stores.
Thanks man. Yah fish bites are higher. I think I was paying almost 7-8 per from Amazon or in shops. I just want to try fish bites. I found a place online from North Carolina who had them. I think I got lucky so I bought 4 colors. What I like is all flavors in any pack. Only color is chosen so no more trying to figure should I use shrimp or should I use bloodworm. So we will see. A lot of you tube hype but we all know how that goes. But from what I have watched they seem to be a pretty good product. I guess I fell into that you tube theory I just said. Lol. They are thick. They have a ton of that quick release scent on them. They look like they give you also. I’ll post a thread when I go down. I plan on using them mainly along with fleas since they should be there again since we are 1 house down only. I have only caught 2 red drum before. Both same night. Never again. One of they guys at east coast told me suds suds suds with sand fleas. Carolina rig. Problem with that is it gets trashed around like crazy. Ends up on the beach. So I stick with bottom rigs.
 

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I fished the fishgum last year, didn't notice a huge difference compared to fishbites. I'll be hunting the pomps in 3 weeks with live fleas, we'll see if the wind and water conditions cooperate.
 

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I’m hoping the pomp’s are around in 3 weeks when we go back down. When high tide comes where we r staying it’s a pretty nice hole to fish. If it’s like it was in June. I’m really interested to see how these longer drop loop rigs fish compared to the shorter ones I usually use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I fished the fishgum last year, didn't notice a huge difference compared to fishbites. I'll be hunting the pomps in 3 weeks with live fleas, we'll see if the wind and water conditions cooperate.
Good luck and have a great vacation. Honestly, I would have settled for simply fishable conditions. When there is so much seaweed that you can't hold bottom even with a Sputnik, yet can look at the ocean and know you see very fishy waters/surf, it is very frustrating.

Post pics when you are home. I'll be back down for a few weeks in late October in mid November.
 

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Hello all out there in the fishing universe. This is my first time on this site and from the looks of it there are some serious fisherman like myself on this site. I am planning a surf fishing trip to Bald Head Island NC the week of 9/20 and have never been to the island. I have surf fished the outer banks before but not Bald Head island. I would appreciate some guidance on locations to fish as i am bringing along my son and grandson with me on this trip. It seems as the point where Frying Pan shoals begins is a good first start but wondering where some other spots may be around the island. Anyone wishing to share some advice would be greatly appreciated. Also at that time of year can bait be caught from shore along the island?

Thank You; BigBaitDave
 
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