• June 2015 - Volume 22, Number 6


    Check bottom structure for wahoo, surface structure for dolphin as fish move toward shoreline.

    The deep, muffled throbbing of the twin 600-horsepower CAT diesels and the gentle rocking inside the cabin of the Dancin’ Outlaw III as it sped across a calm sea finally put to sleep six anglers.

    They had arrived at 5:15 a.m. at the Morehead City Waterfront boat slip where Capt. Thomas Wood moored his 56-foot sportsfisherman.

    Fish shoals, pockets, eddies and banks with overhanging limbs and catch plenty of Catawba River bass this month.

    A perfect sidearm cast sent a Chatterbait toward the tree-lined bank, and just before the lure snagged in the low-hanging branches, it hit the surface, then skipped several times like a stone, before sinking close to the bank. As soon as he had engaged the reel, but before he actually started reeling, Drew Gregory set the hook. His rod bowed and he began reeling, fast. In a few seconds, a disturbance on the surface sent water splashing onto Gregory’s face as the largemouth bass made a run, letting him know this fight wasn’t over.

    Frog lures will pull bass up through the heaviest vegetation and cover that develops as the weather heats up. Here’s how to fish them.

    Bass fishing in June. Does it get any better? You hit your favorite fishing spot armed with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits; you’re ready to go on a spot you’ve been staying up nights dreaming about. You get there, and you’re surprised at how different it looks from a month ago. What the .... ? Lily pads! Weeds! Everywhere! Well, the crankbaits are useless here. Spinnerbaits, iffy. Topwater baits, out of the question. 

    Find current and ambush points and you’ll find Murrells Inlet’s famous flounder.

    As June arrives, the amount of daylight available for South Carolina fishermen

    As the first day of June arrives, the amount of daylight available for South Carolina anglers to chase fish keeps increasing until summer begins on June 21. It’s a time when flounder fishing reaches its pinnacle along South Carolina’s coast, and the waters flowing through Murrells Inlet offer a premium opportunity to land a stringer full of flatties. 

    Transition toward summer areas puts largemouth bass on Kerr Lake into a topwater mode.

    The year’s sixth month marks the beginning of a transitional period. Summer arrives on June 21, but there’s a lot of room for crossover, so anglers will do well to mind these margins and make the most of what a day offers.

    Artificial reefs out of Masonboro Inlet are prime spots to target amberjack and bonus spadefish.

    On a hot and sticky morning, Capt. Jamie Rushing of Seagate Charters launched his 21-toot center console at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s public boat ramp at Wrightsville Beach and headed south toward Masonboro Inlet, getting out early to beat the crowd.

    “You need to get there early or you may not have a parking space,” said Rushing.

    Redfish are reliable targets for Beaufort-area anglers as summer approaches

    Last year’s cobia season, which has been the main focus of fishing action during May and June on the Broad River near Beaufort, was a bust. Last year, the fish just weren’t there, so far fewer boats were anchored, dangling chum bags over baited rigs or slowly cruising the river looking for the brown beasts floating by on the surface. 

    Spanish mackerel, cobia are often found in the same waters as June arrives along the northern end of the Outer Banks.

    Most fishermen along the North Carolina coast are familiar with cobia and Spanish mackerel, but few think of them as a combined fishery. 

    Capt. Karl Helmkamp of Fistful Sportfishing in Manteo sees them that way, but not quite in the manner one might expect. He sees cobia as the primary target and Spanish mackerel as the secondary catch, rather than the other way around. 

    Drop a piece of fresh shrimp to the bottom of a deep hole or a piece of hard structure and hang on; dinner is on the way.

    Short of watching a bobber dance before it zooms beneath the water’s surface, the feel of a weight holding tight to the bottom and a solid series of thumps is probably one of the most cherished fishing moments many of us have. Like watching the bobber, bottom-fishing for saltwater panfish is a lot of fun, very productive, and easier to do right off the beach than most people realize.

    Learn how to flip soft-plastic baits and jigs around the thousands of docks that line High Rock Lake’s banks and you’re on your way to great summer bass fishing.

    High Rock Lake, once known for its offshore structure and the 20-pound stringers that came from its deep-water haunts, has changed dramatically as a largemouth bass fishery. Crankbait specialists no longer dominate tournaments. 

    Live bait is hard to beat when stripers have finished their spring run upstream on Lake Hickory.

    Being 100 miles inland at the foot of the Appalachian mountains, mere yards from the Hickory Regional Airport, Lake Hickory might seem is an unlikely spot for trophy striped bass, but many anglers are finding this sliver of a lake to be a good bet for landing quality fish.

    Drift, anchor or fish beds; just about everything will catch Santee River bream in June.

    Among the hottest, fastest-paced and most-diverse bream fishing any South Carolina angler could dream of can be found on the Santee River. Fishermen can use one of a handful of different strategies in June: drifting, casting to targets while floating  or fishing bream beds. It’s also a hotbed for plenty of different bream species: bluegill, shellcracker redbreast, warmouth and others.

    Moving water will concentrate flounder, red drum and speckled trout for Topsail anglers

    Topsail Island first achieved notoriety in the golden age of piracy, as a favored stomping ground for such nefarious scoundrels as Blackbeard and Stede Bonnett. In fact, treasure hunters have combed the island for years searching for the ill-gotten gains rumored to rest beneath a stone yet to be turned.   However, with little more to show than calluses, it’s sufficient to say that putting down shovels and picking up spinning rods to sample the Topsail triple would have time better spent.  

    Redfish are invading the coast, and waterways like the Santee River are packed with bream. Learn how to load the boat, no matter what species you settle on.