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Like the weather, fishing is heating up

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Mike Sweeney sports fishing

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, July 7, 2018

To say the past few weeks has been hot is an understatement but when the temperatures rise so does the fishing if you work with the weather instead of against it.

The local largemouth bite has been good all year and even now when the water temps are in the high 80s or even low 90s you can still catch fish.

The best time to catch fish in the summer is early in the morning and late in the day.

I have been saying this for years but the dog days of summer are really challenging for some anglers.

The morning bite is usually good with a top water bait such as frogs, poppers and buzz baits then when the sun begins to rise switch to spinner baits and worms. You can Texas rig them or drop shot them which ever you like to do but you have to slow down when it gets bright out.

You also have to move out to deeper water but not necessarily a different place.

What that means is say you are moving down the bank and you spot some bait working along the shoreline.

Naturally you slow down and fish this area and you catch a fish or two on top water or a fluke then the bite stops.

The next move is to get out into deeper water and fish your other baits like the worms or a jig.

The fish are still there they just moved off the flat and onto deeper structure.

If you find more than one of these areas then you can set up a milk run where you fish one place till they stop then move to the other area then the next.

Once you fish all your spots start over and work the same places again only deeper.

This is a pattern that has worked for years for the local pro anglers and it will work for you also.

The fish will reload these places over and over again because for whatever reason they like that area they will keep close to that spot no matter how many times they get spooked.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore bite this week has been spectacular to say the least.

The winds allowed the fleet to get out every day and they took advantage of that weather and filled the boxes with limits of mahi every day.

Down in Hatteras the fish are within sight of land only 5 or 6 miles offshore so you don’t have to a big boat to reach them. Once they got their limit of dolphin the fleet went for tuna and the fish are still here with yellowfin, blackfin and even some big eye hanging around.

On top of all this great fishing the billfish bite has turned on also with sails, white and blue marlin flags flying back to the docks.

Now is the time to get offshore so book your trip or get your boat ready while the fishing is hot and the winds are low.

On the beaches and piers the fishing has been steady but there is a lot of grass around Oregon Inlet which is normal for this time of year.

It doesn’t make it fun to fish in from the beach when it gets on your line so I try to go farther north or south to avoid it. Bottom rigs tipped with shrimp or fish bites have been catching some mullet and spot on the northern beaches while Spanish and blues are coming off the ends of the piers on Gotcha plugs.

The pompano bite has been awesome at or around ramp 43 all week with some citations coming into the local tackle shops.

Some scattered drum have been reported up and down the beaches but it looks like they are roaming schools so it will be hit or miss to find them.

Locally we have a good largemouth bite still with some fish tipping the five pound mark but the big story this year is the amount of white perch that have been in our rivers and sound.

I have seen them in large numbers before but this year they seem to be everywhere.

I have caught them in the creeks in Carova as well as every main river and creek in know.

They are not all big but the numbers are unbelievable.

There is no size limit or quantity so fill your coolers and take them all home and if they are too small feed them to your cat.

If anyone gets out this week send me a report and some pictures to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook

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