Pier and Surf Forum banner

81 - 100 of 801 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Thats interesting Solid7, what could be the difference between Fla and NC - All interesting stuff guys, pleasure discussin this topic with ya'll - River
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
I don't know. My choice of bait is a bit different, but I can't think of anything else. Beach structure and surf conditions might come into play.

You are always welcome to come down and hit the beach with me. Put it to the test....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Totally understand what you're sayin Druminthesuds, I work around and know a bunch of great fisherman - offshore, inshore and surf - I myself have fished all my life and I've caught an have seen Sea Mullet caught in my younger years and I hear all the storys too but I just know what I see and they see the same thing. We all have theorys - I have never used ANDE, I have used Sufix, Hi Seas and Seaguar and they've all worked good, all the pure Fluoro ones are probably OK - I like the 110 yd roll of Sufix InvisiLine, its a bargain in reality, lasts a long time - River
I think if you circled all the best mulletheads to fish the OBX over the years you will find several things in common when it comes to techniques and rigs. Keep the bait on the bottom and fleas if you are serious about quality fish. How that can best be accomplished is like skinning a cat and it's pretty obvious your method of doing it works. I fished the deepest, prettiest holes I could find for 2 decades and never even thought about catching fish in the flats until I was shown the hows and whys. Now I fish stretches 99.9% of people wouldn't even dream of throwing a hook in. I'm sure I will try the RiverRig to see how it works in the skinny water :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
I think if you circled all the best mulletheads to fish the OBX over the years you will find several things in common when it comes to techniques and rigs. Keep the bait on the bottom and fleas if you are serious about quality fish. How that can best be accomplished is like skinning a cat and it's pretty obvious your method of doing it works. I fished the deepest, prettiest holes I could find for 2 decades and never even thought about catching fish in the flats until I was shown the hows and whys. Now I fish stretches 99.9% of people wouldn't even dream of throwing a hook in. I'm sure I will try the RiverRig to see how it works in the skinny water :)
One thing I know from doing a lot of diving, is that the fish wander those flats, searching the ripples. Where the bottom is flat, little ridges form, and my best guess is that it's good for opportunistic feeding. By "opportunistic", I mean that the flats are so featureless, that anything that appears is an easy grab, and it's close enough to shore to contain food, but far enough out to make scanning large swaths easy work. I've seen them behave this way, many times. (underwater, of course - I am no fish seer)

All sorts of stuff lives in those hard bottoms. Crabs, clams, sand dollars, etc, etc.. Also, on tide changes, a lot of stuff gets uncovered in those same areas. You will find, if you open stomachs, that a Kingfish's primary diet consists of clams. Sure, they eat fleas, but they when they aren't right up on the shore break, they aren't getting many fleas - and yet, they are still getting clams, because fleas and little clams literally occupy the same spaces. (many times, where you find coquina clams, you'll find fleas intermingled) And as somebody else hinted at, the bigger ones aren't usually right up on the shorebreak. They are usually wandering in small packs of a dozen or less, and covering a lot of ground. (although they don't seem to wander too far - which would indicate to me that when they find food in one area, the scour and cover the area multiple times - hence, multiple hook-ups)

In inshore waters, Kingfish can often be found scanning the edges of grass beds, where the grass meets sand or other clearing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
RocknReds, I with you 100%, I even tie my BlowToad Rig with Fluoro and I can wack and stack the Blow Toads - I trully believe everything loves a natural Look - River
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
One thing I know from doing a lot of diving, is that the fish wander those flats, searching the ripples. Where the bottom is flat, little ridges form, and my best guess is that it's good for opportunistic feeding. By "opportunistic", I mean that the flats are so featureless, that anything that appears is an easy grab, and it's close enough to shore to contain food, but far enough out to make scanning large swaths easy work. I've seen them behave this way, many times. (underwater, of course - I am no fish seer)

All sorts of stuff lives in those hard bottoms. Crabs, clams, sand dollars, etc, etc.. Also, on tide changes, a lot of stuff gets uncovered in those same areas. You will find, if you open stomachs, that a Kingfish's primary diet consists of clams. Sure, they eat fleas, but they when they aren't right up on the shore break, they aren't getting many fleas - and yet, they are still getting clams, because fleas and little clams literally occupy the same spaces. (many times, where you find coquina clams, you'll find fleas intermingled) And as somebody else hinted at, the bigger ones aren't usually right up on the shorebreak. They are usually wandering in small packs of a dozen or less, and covering a lot of ground. (although they don't seem to wander too far - which would indicate to me that when they find food in one area, the scour and cover the area multiple times - hence, multiple hook-ups)

In inshore waters, Kingfish can often be found scanning the edges of grass beds, where the grass meets sand or other clearing.
YEP.....That pretty much sums it up. I actually have to get my fleas at the other end of the island from where I fish because they are scarce. The coquinas beds are what I key on and they are plentiful in my prefered hotspots. The swash bars are like a chinese all you can eat full of clams, crabs and minnows. I look for those ripples (ridges) and potholes and anything else that might chop the water up a bit. There is deep water on the backside of these bars so when the waves break they constantly roll over the bar keeping things stirred up but not too rough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
This is great thread on mullet / pomp fishing. I have only been fishing fleas for several years but have become a huge believer and will not fish with anything else at this point if they are available. Not sure about fluoro vs. mono leaders but I only target pomps so everything is tied with fluoro, and I try to get away with as low a lb test as I can (usually 20 or 25lb ande fluoro for the drops/snoods, 25-40lb for the main (also fluoro) depending on how much weight I am throwing. I am also a big believer in tieing your own rigs and using absolutely NO hardware at all other than a swivel to connect the mainline to the leader. Sinker is looped through a a surgeon's knot. Will sometime add beads as well...I like the 8mm bright orange bead from basspro if I had to pick one. Circle hooks, braided line, and steelhead rods (or long rods with a soft tip) is I how I like to roll. I like the gami octopus circle in #2 or #1 or the 1x mustad demon circle in #1 to #2/0 depending on the size of the fleas I have. I like medium size sand fleas the size of a small grape. I will drive 30' to get fresh fleas and then sort through and if there are a bunch I will throw back all the ones that are not the exact right size I want.

Once I started fishing fleas started catching citation mullet easily and regularly. If I can catch them they are easy to catch. My ratio of citation mullet to citation pompano is about 10:1, I don't know if this is just because there are more mullet around, my bait is in the wrong place, etc., or I'm just a piss-poor pompano fisherman, It's just what I find. Citation size mullet are usually out deeper and always hit the bottom drop when I am fishing w/a 2-hook bottom rig, i.e. they hit the bait that is on the sea floor as you would expect given their mouths.

Off topic but I am also a huge believer in fluoro leaders for sheepshead fishing, as well as using a very short shank hook that is as well concealed as possible in a fiddler crab, those big ones are smart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
I don't even use sand fleas when targeting Kingfish. I use cut bait. (mullet strips are KING) Clams are also a top notch bait.

For me, flea fishing is too hit or miss. They either really want them, or they really don't. There is just something about baits that aren't hard, or don't have to be "peeled" to eat. I guess they are like us - convenience is king.

You fellas can rig with whatever you want, but if you want big Kingfish, try the cut bait sometime. It doesn't matter if it's fresh, salted, or frozen. Clams should be fresh or salted for max effect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
Yeah I have caught mullet on cut bait as well, let's face it, they will eat anything. My main problem with cut bait is that I think skates/stingrays are more likely to eat it than eat a sand flea (although have caught plenty of skates on fleas). If it is a big enough ray you can end up losing a lot of braided line...and there goes $$$ down the drain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
Yeah I have caught mullet on cut bait as well, let's face it, they will eat anything. My main problem with cut bait is that I think skates/stingrays are more likely to eat it than eat a sand flea (although have caught plenty of skates on fleas). If it is a big enough ray you can end up losing a lot of braided line...and there goes $$$ down the drain.
I guess that's a fair point. I just don't catch that many rays in the surf here. (they are a real issue inshore, however)

I guess I'd rather risk something like that than get peckered all day long with small ones, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Bait-wise, I catch my mullet and pomps (and the occasional black drum) on sections of peeled shrimp the size of mini marshmallows. I've tried fleas on and off over the past few years and have yet to catch the first fish on them. Makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong b/c I know sand fleas are prime bait for alot of people and a major part of the diet of lots of surf fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Bait-wise, I catch my mullet and pomps (and the occasional black drum) on sections of peeled shrimp the size of mini marshmallows. I've tried fleas on and off over the past few years and have yet to catch the first fish on them. Makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong b/c I know sand fleas are prime bait for alot of people and a major part of the diet of lots of surf fish.
Best advice I can give you is to lighten up......I switched to steelhead rods that have a softer tip and phenomenal bite detection. Tie your rigs out of 20-25lb leader and use smaller hooks that are sticky sharpe. I use 2/0 or 3/0 Eagle Claws and I like #2 Owner mute light circles. I use as light a weight as possible to hold bottom. You will also have better success keeping the fleas on the bottom where the fish are looking for them. Beefstick rods, 80lb leader and big hooks will find you coming back with no flea OR fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
self setting hooks (circle or Kahle) work on any size tackle. I catch most of mine on my 13' surf rod with 30# braid and 50# shock leader with 4 oz. of weight.

Bite detection is not a necessity with the right rig. If you are coming back with no bait, you probably got a crab or pinfish problem. (again, that's what diving will tell you)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
OK, here goes my opinion again - there are three types of Sea Mullet/Whiting/Kingfish - Northern, Southern and Gulf. We have all three here on Hatteras Island. The Southern's preference in bait, again in my opinion is Cutbait, squid, shrimp - about anything but they're not to fond of Sandfleas, they'll hit em occasionally. The Southern are here on occasion, this past year they showed up in abundance in Dec. and on into Jan. - there were a few caught in early spring. The Gulf and Northern luv Sandfleas, its their # 1 bait in my opinion, with Blood Worms second and FRESH Shrimp third but they'll hit cutbait and other baits ocasionally, I've caught em on Gulps while fishin for Flounder. The Northern and Gulf show up in the spring and stay through the summer on into Nov. - the Northern and Gulf hang out next to the suds, bottom of the hump on steep beaches running into the thin water to grab a flea - the Southern hang around the bar, no need for em to hang close cause they're not after Fleas. As far as school size, I've had the privilage of watching the Gulf/Northerns from Piers, several days on one occasion when the water was clear, smaller ones tend to run in large schools, 20 plus fish - as they get larger, the school size gets smaller down to 3 or 4 for the really big ones. The Southern, I'm not sure about school size - maybe Solid7 knows. It's sometimes hard for me to tell the difference between a Northern and a Gulf but the one with the tall fin on its back is a Northern and the one with the black tip on it's tail is a Gulf, the Southern's easy, it's got a brownish tint. I'd luv to hear your opinions on this, Druminthesuds, solid7 or anybody. The RiverRigs are going good with some great reviews, carried 4 more doz to a tackle shop on the island yesterday, he had sold out in about a week and fisherman were coming in with very positive remarks, wanting more - very good info on here, Thanks and again just my opinion - River
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,350 Posts
From what I have seen these are great rigs River. Social media is fast becoming one of the best sources of free advertising you can get. As with most things some will copy it but for the most part things that WORK will sell. We that build are just a small part of the equation. Also sometimes fisherman tend to over think things and going back to basics will get more fish in the box. My dad used to tell me..."boy you may not catch anything but you will be the best dressed fisherman on the pier". How true that is sometimes...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,522 Posts
Southern (whiting, kingfish, sea mullet-all local names most in n.c.,va.,s.c. are familiar with) has silvery background overlaid with dark bars running diagonally (head/////tail.
Northern -long ray on first dorsal fin. Stripes run different (head \ //////tail)
Gulf-silvery in color and lacks darker bars on body.usually have a dark blue black spot on upper part of their tail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
Discussion Starter #99
After my original question on River Rigs one thing is apparent. They catch fish, and this River is a class act... thanks for the imput.... salt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
River
I agree. I have always referred to the northern as a "sea mullet" and have always called the gulf a "whiting" for whatever reason. The Northern (sea mullet) and gulf (whiting) love sandfleas and fresh shrimp and the southern sea mullet love a piece of cut bait. Last summer I caught some of the biggest whiting I have ever seen on sandfleas in water 12" deep on the flats. In fact you can spot the dorsal fins of the northerns just as soon as water starts coming over the swash bar. They are like kamikaze dive bombers coming all the way up to the beach to grab fleas and clams before scooting back out. I drive along the flats slow looking for those dorsal fins and if I see a nice run of them I will toss my carolina rig out on a trout rod in the suds. If they are plentiful and feeding agressively I can pick up some nice fish this way.
 
81 - 100 of 801 Posts
Top