Oriental redfish at dawn

Redfish bite just fine in July along NC’s coast, but they are most active in the early morning hours.

Hit the water especially early in July

Capt. Bobby Brewer of Baldheaded Bobby Guide Service in Oriental, NC said the redfish will bite good in July, but usually only for a short period of time, and usually best in the very early morning hours.

“In July, we often start the day with water temperatures around 85 degrees, and it can be 90 degrees or hotter by the end of the trip. That can make it tough. By July, most of my redfish locations that were good to me in May and June are dried up,” he said.

But Brewer said that doesn’t mean anglers should sit at home and wait on cool weather.

“My recommendation is to beat the roosters up and hit the water at dawn, or maybe predawn,” he said.

That might seem too early for some folks, but Brewer said it’s essential this time of year.

“It’s a little early, but it promotes a good nap after lunch. This time of day, the redfish can be really active. But don’t expect it to last long,” he said.

Even though it’s a short window of opportunity, it is usually well worth it.

“Don’t be surprised if your bite only lasts for 30 minutes to an hour. The key is to be there when the bite occurs, and not snoring under your ceiling fan,” he said.

During those early morning hours, Brewer said anglers can coax redfish into hitting topwater lures.

“Don’t forget about topwater. Now is the time. With the water temperatures in the low 80s, redfish will hang out on the banks and points,” he said

This is exciting fishing, but it can try an angler’s patience.

“If you’re throwing topwater, remember that redfish mouths are on the bottom of their face, and pointed slightly down. When they strike a topwater lure, sometimes they wake it and push it away. Be patient,” he said.

When not using topwater lures, Brewer (919-349-6112) uses shrimp and cut mullet. Soft plastic lures also have a place in his arsenal.

“I’ve been using a lot more shrimp and cut mullet on smaller Carolina rigs than previous years, but they are very active on plastic also,” he said.

Old Drum arriving

It’s a little bit early, but Brewer said in July, anglers should begin to see a lot of bait balls in the middle of the river. And with that, the old drum will follow.

“A few old drum will be caught in July,” he said.

Anglers encountering these trophy-sized redfish will increase their chances of catching them if they’ve got the right tools and bait.

“We catch them with popping corks, cut mullet, and on the fly,” he said.

About Brian Cope 2787 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@carolinasportsman.com.

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