Black drum and sheepshead run together in Cape Lookout area
February’s hot fishing in the Cape Lookout area is made up in large part by black drum and sheepshead, and anglers can expect to catch both species in similar areas.
For Capt. Noah Lynk of Noah’s Ark Charters (252-342-6911), this month brings big changes.
“We have a big changeup in February. The gray trout will move out in big numbers, and lots of black drum and sheepshead will be available and biting,” said Lynk.
Both species are structure-oriented fish.
“Anywhere you find structure, you’ll find sheepshead and black drum,” he said. “In the Cape Lookout area, we have lots of docks and some rock jetties. Those are prime areas for both fish,” he said.
Anglers can fish for both using the same gear and a simple technique of casting fresh shrimp tight to that structure.
“You want a small but stout hook. They both have fairly small mouth openings, but tough mouths. Pieces of shrimp, and the fresher the better, are good baits. You can use them on a Carolina rig or on a jighead. I use a No. 2 BKK hook. That is a really strong, tough hook,” he said.
Lynk said some redfish will also be in play, and he catches them in the surf zone.
“We’ll put on waders, take the boat out to the islands, then wade out and cast into the surf with metal lures,” he said.
For anglers that haven’t fished this area in a few years, Lynk said the dynamics have changed considerably in February.
“We used to have a big speckled trout bite this time of year, because this was a place those fish would stop during the winter and stay until spring. But now, by mid- to late-November, the speckled trout are usually gone. Now, they head up north into the Chesapeake Bay area because the water is so warm up there,” he said.
That’s one reason Lynk spends a great deal this month targeting drum and sheepshead.
“There’s plenty of these fish here for the taking, they will bite throughout the month, and they are good to eat. You can’t ask for much more than that,” he said.