Reds, flounder, specks provide good action

Craig Holt

March 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A happy angler displays a 30-plus-inch redfish caught while aboard Capt. Jeff Wolfe’s 22-foot bay boat at the lower Cape Fear bays.
Courtesy Jeff Wolfe
A happy angler displays a 30-plus-inch redfish caught while aboard Capt. Jeff Wolfe’s 22-foot bay boat at the lower Cape Fear bays.
Red drum, flounder and scattered spotted seatrout are providing typical early-spring action for southeastern N.C. anglers, particularly at the bays across the Cape Fear River from Southport.

Jeff Wolfe, a veteran guide from Wilmington, said if he had his druthers he’d rather chase redfish right now.

“It’s been reds pretty much all day,” he said March 15. “We sight-fished shallow water all day, and we caught every red after we’d seen it and cast to it.”

His two clients cast Gulp “Smoke” color twister-tail soft-plastic lures on 1/4-ounce leadhead jigs.

“It was very cool (catching sight-fish reds),” said Wolfe (Seahawk Inshore Charters 910-619-9580, http://www.seahawkinshorefishingcharters.com/). “The water wasn't real clear, but you could see ’em, especialy when they were schooled up in bunches of 200 fish. We saw that twice. We also spotted them moving wakes (ahead of them). The reds were mostly in open water (not cruising the marsh island shore lines).

“March is usually a tough month here, but we caught 15 today and released all but two. If it was April we would have caught 30 reds at least.”

What made conditions ripe were a light southwest wind and flat calm water to start the day at sunrise.

“We had super light wind until about 12:30 p.m.,” Wolfe said.

His clients also caught flounder, on the same lures the redfish hit — Gulp! twister-tail jigs in smoke color and Gulp! shrimp soft plastics.

“We’re picking up a few flounder too, but not big numbers,” he said. “We had seven (flounder) today and three keepers, but most of the fish we’re catching are smaller.

"Some days you might catch three and some days none; it just depends where you’re fishing (in the bays).”

Spotted seatrout are scattered.

“March fishing for trout is about normal for this time of year (March),” Wolfe said, “although four years ago we had a tremendous March bite (before the cold-stun events).

“I guess the mild winters we had before then built up (trout) numbers.”

Wolfe said this winter’s mild temperatures hadn’t really changed March fishing success.

“It seems to be a typical March,” he said. “It’s never really crazy good for me unless we can get light winds (like today) and low tide in the morning with slick-calm water conditions.”

Wolfe said March is too early for a topwater red drum bite, and “it’s hard enough to get them to bite a Gulp!,” he said. “The reds definitely aren’t aggressive.”


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