Influx of bait drives inshore fish to feed in June
A mix of inshore species are feeding heavily thanks to an influx of bait along North Carolina’s coast. In the creeks, rivers, sounds and marshes, numerous gamefish are feasting on the type and abundance of baitfish that hasn’t been present for months.
But on certain days, these fish are still a little more picky about their eating habits, especially the warmer it gets.
“The summer fishing patterns have begun by June,” said Capt. Bobby Brewer of Baldheaded Bobby Guide Service (919-349-6112). “And as the temperature continues to warm up, the fish look for deeper water areas to keep cool.”
He said you can still find the usual suspects – trout, redfish, flounder, sheepshead, etc. feeding along the edges early in the morning, then again in the late evening. But in between, when the sun gets up, they will seek those deeper holes.
That doesn’t mean you should leave the topwater lures at home though. As long as you hit the water at dawn, then again at dusk, the speckled trout bite can be awesome on topwater lures, said Brewer.
Redfish will often hit those same lures, and at the same times as trout. They will patrol those areas for a bit longer than they will later this summer.
Hooking redfish on those topwater lures can be a little more difficult than the trout.
“Remember that redfish are primarily bottom feeders. Their mouths are located facing downward, unlike a trout or striper. So when they attack a topwater lure, they have to turn their head sideways for a strike. Sometimes this action pushes the lure away, and you get a miss. If that happens, continue to work the lure, because they’ll usually strike it again,” he said.
During the heat of the day, they’ll slide into those deeper holes in nearby water. But they’ll still feed, said Brewer.
“Don’t forget finger mullet and shrimp for your bait options, because they’ll become plentiful and on the fish’s menu,” he said.
Aside from the topwater lures, other lures that can be effective for a mixed bag of inshore fish include Z-Man Ned Rig jigheads with Z-Man soft plastic bodies. Brewer said the construction of these lures allows them to stand off the bottom in a way that really attracts all the inshore species of fish.
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