George Beckwith had barely closed the bail on his spinning reel when his rod tip bounced, not the solid thump of a redfish or flounder, but the peck of one of many bait thieves in the lower Neuse River. In just a few seconds, the peck came back again in the rat-a-tat-tat style of a pinfish.
Beckwith didnt relax, knowing that if the chunk of cut mullet lasted long enough, a puppy drum or flounder would come investigate what the smaller fish was biting and shaking.
Dont try to set the hook on the little taps, Beckwith said. When its a drum, it will be a solid thump, and a flounder will be a much lighter bite that just seems to get heavier. On the lighter bite, give it a few seconds to get the bait in its mouth before setting the hook.