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JCrzy4Bass

Question about Saltwater in NC

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Hey guys third time going saltwater this weekend on Saturday evening (night fishing with my fiancee ALL NIGHT). Buying a new saltwater pole friday night before we leave. My question is: what can I catch right now? What rigs should I use? And what size lb test should I buy, and size leaders?

I don't know what is in season right now too well except for the fact that croaker, spot, and flounder have been caught off piers near we are going recently. I will be in Kittyhawk North Carolina and I want to actually catch some nice fish. My guess is fish off the deepest part of the pier and get out as deep as I can? How much weight should I use? I'm guessing bottom rigs? How do you guys have success in situations like these?

Any types of bait your favorite this time of year for this situation? I catch croaker all the time in the Rappahanock River (off Urbanna Creek) near Tappahanock on nightcrawlers. My biggest is about 3lbs.

Hope to get some advice. Later guys.

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My previous two trips were pretty lame as far as fish caught (we had bad parts on the pier too though).  I caught a 9" Striper on a nightcrawler bottom rigged with a 1 oz weight at Solomon's island.  Second time was at Matapeake Pier by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and caught a 12" Bluefish on a Rapala Deep Diver Pearl Minnow while I was just goofing around with my bass pole.

Normally my bites are few and far between.  Any casting tips or ways you could answer previous questions from my first post.

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If you're pier fishing I'd get a 7-8 foot rod that could handle some lead and pulling up smaller fish. A surf rod will do in a pinch. Line size is up to you. I mean for spot 10lb is probably fine but you never know what you'll catch so heavier is a better idea. Don't just go to the deepest part and fish there. For bottom fish just drop striaght down near the pilings, they'll hold fish most of the time. If you don't get any action try casting further or moving around. don't just sit in one spot.  Also, if you catch a big fish on a pier down there you need a drop net or a bridge gaff. Trying to swing a good size fish up a 60 foot pier isn't advisable.

Fishing isn't stellar this time of year especially at night. Smaller Croaker will be around as well as various bottom fish. I'd go with a bottom rig and bloodworm or squid. Use whatever weight you need to hold bottom (2-3oz should do it).

Do you have to fish at night? Alot of the fish available right now don't bite as well at night like bluefish spanish and flounder.  During the day you could probably catch spot on bloodworm and bottom rigs and bluefish and spanish on gotcha plugs or small pieces of metal. You might get a flounder to hit a bottom rig but you're not going to do to well on keeper flounder right now probably so fishing for them specifically isn't your best option especially at night.  In the surf i bet you could catch fish on your bass gear. Use a 1/2-1oz bank sinker and cast it about 10 yards just off the beach. Don't overcast. bait it with small pieces of bloodworm or sand fleas on small hooks. Let it roll around where the waves break  for a few minutes.  You don't even need to be good at reading the surf for this as these fish can be caught on all but the shallowest bars. Being in deeper water having better current/structure does help though. this method will yield spot pompano and kingfish (actual kingfish not king mackerel) all are good to eat.

If you have to fish at night go with bloodworm and squid on bottom rigs. you never know what you'll get into and you have a good shot at croaker.

Hope this helps.

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Well my fiancee enjoys nightfishing and the relaxation it provides on the pier.  Bring a couple of lawn chairs and sit out and shoot the bull and kinda just talk and stuff while we fish.  Its really gonna depend on how busy the pier is as far as us moving around a bunch.  It's hard to find structure in saltwater fishing, least as long as I've been doing it.  Not much of it around.  Any tips on that?

Ok well I'll probably pick up blood worms and squid then, squid is a usual for us.  I was figuring bottom rigs.  They say the seas down there have been a little crazy and stuff so I'll prob go with the 2-3oz sinkers you said to use.  I will prob get at least 30lb line just because of the possibility of hooking bigger fish, I doubt it will happen but we'll see.

What size hooks do you recommend us getting?  So as far as leaders don't worry about it?  just bottom rig?

If I were o go with a one hook setup on a leader line, are there any other fish I can get to hit out there that are bigger?  Sharks? Bluefish?  etc?

We may start earlier in the evening to get a couple decent hours of bluefish action if possible.  Do minnows work for any of the fish out there?  I only ask since I caught a blue on my rapala out there last time.  I'm assuming the surf will just beat them up?

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The pier is your cover. It provides current breaks and a place for baitfish. Its hard to identify bottom contour and structure without the use of a depthfinder or prior knowledge. In the surf you can read how the waves break but thats probably outside the scope of this trip. The piers won't be too crowded this time of year at night. I'm not sure if you've seen them but they're huge.

30lb line is ok but if you hook a big fish you probably won't get him up the pier without a bridge gaff  or drop net. You also aren't going to hook a cobia or anything on bloodworms and squid at night so its not really necessary but it can't hurt.

For spot and croaker i'd use #4 hooks for the size you're probably going to get right now.  These fish are only a pound or so so you don't need really need leader unless your main line is very light. If there are big jumbo spot or larger croaker you can step up hook size a bit but don't go too big as you'll decrease hookups. You still won't really need leader with a 30lb main line.

If you wanted to fish for bluefish i'd use cut bunker or mullet on a fireball rig or a mullet rig. If you see alot of bait or breaking fish throw a gotcha plug or piece of metal like a hopkins or kastmaster. If spanish are around try a gotcha plug or deadly dick. Bluefish this time of year are gonna run 1-3lbs probably. Minnows work (surf won't beat them up) but you have to be able to cast them far enough which you probably won't be able too (too light).

There are sharks around but if you want to try and catch a shark you actually have to be prepared for what happens if you hook one. There might be dogfish and small blacktips around that you can catch on cut fish. Luckily the water is probably too warm for skates right now.

When you get down there head to TW's tackle in Kitty Hawk or the stop and shop at mile post 7and ask them. They'll help you out with what you need. The stop and shop looks like a gas station but they have a good tackle shop and helpful people.

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Thanks alot man, I appreciate all the info.  I'm just gonna cover the basics on this trip and get size 4 hooks, bottom rigs, bloodworms and squid and toss it right by the pilings and see what I get.  I don't care what I catch I just wanna start getting some fish when I go out saltwater fishing.  Thanks for ll the info, we will be near mile marker 1.5 so we will hit that tackle shop and ask whats going on there lately when we pull in and then probably fish the closest pier to them.  Crossing my fingers for some luck.  I'll post pics in this thread when I get back if we catch anything.

We are gonna surf fish from the beach front in the mornings and nights since we have the beachfront property, so that should be fun too.

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There really might be some kingfish and pompano in the surf now. Use the method in my first post. a 12inch or more kingfish fights super hard on light tackle

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I was down there in july and was using the usual bottom rig with squid. Caught a few croaker off the peir and sandbar sharks off the shore. bottom rigs and squid can catch all types of fish. Never really tried anything else. Have fun.

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Instead of using blood worms may I suggest using fresh shrimp. If you wanted to go the artificial route pick up some Bekley Gulp or Gulp Alive shrimp in new penny or white colors, also maybe get some Gulp peeler crabs or real sandfleas. There are usually some Sheepshead or Blackdrum hangiing around the pilings of piers as well.

Good Luck

Big T

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Cool, thanks for all the tips guys.  Looks like bottom rigs near the pilings and shoreline areas.  Will try squid and bloodworms and see how it goes.  We may get some shrimp too depending on how much bait costs down there.  Hey MD thanks for the ideas for food and restaurants.  I appreciate it.  I'll post pics when I get back on Monday.  Later guys.  Take care.

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