Buzzard Bay / Carolina Beach Inshore
<p>The morning began with Brian and Chris from Clinton wanting to experience some topwater Redfish action on the Lower Cape Fear River. With perfect plugging weather(overcast and just barely a breeze) we tied on the Skitterwalks and Top Pups and headed out with visions of fish bringing the calm surface to a frothy boil as they attempted suicide on twin trebled baits. We weren't dissapointed when we eased up to the first stop of the morning. Brian cast a Red/White Top Pup to a shallow indention in the grass bank at the rear of a tiny cove, only to have a fish immediately roll and miss the plug. A second cast to the same area was too much for the hugry Red, and the fight was on. Not to be left out of the action, Chris fired a cast to the back of the cove and had fish pouncing on the bait the second he started to rhytmically walk the bait back to the boat. After about four or five weak blow ups, and the Reds acting more than a little nervous, it was evident that a busy fishing weekend had concluded just the evening before, and these fish were still reeling from all the pressure. With so many fish hitting and missing it would have been easy to get frustrated, but these guys kept at it and began hooking up regularly with lower slot fish just adjacent to the Spartina. After about 6 Reds were brought to the boat and many more came unbuttoned, a gentle rain began to fall in time with slack tide. I commented that it was beginning to feel "Trouty" and asked if they wanted to keep on the Reds or see if we could head to another spot and entice some Speckled Trout. The lure of Trout sandwiches were tooo much and they repiled, "let's go". After a 6 or 7 mile run upriver, we eased the trolling motor in and began to prospect for ole' yellowmouth. It didn't take long before the trout were exploding on the plugs in 6 to 7 feet of water. After many nice Trout came boatside and found their way into Brian's cooler, he commented, "I never would have thought that you could catch fish in deep water on a topwater bait, and especially here, what makes this such a good place?" he asked. Instead of going into a typical Guide's explaination of preferred habitats based on forage biomass and vertical relief features or what effect mid column turbidity or hyper salinity caused by weeks of no rain and a big New Moon flood tide was having, I responded "the fish are here!" In addition to some great topwater Redfish and Trout, we also got on a world class Ribbonfish bite at the conclusion of the day, with Chris taking multiple trophy class Ribbons on topwater! Whether it's 60 pound Cobias in a foot of water, rolling Tarpon, packs of voracious Bonnet Heads, or King Mack candy on topwaters, the diversity of the Cape Fear will always leave you guessing when your bait hits that nutrient rich soup that passes for river water.
About The Author: Captain Todd Streeter
Company: Chasin' Tail Charters
Area Reporting: South Coast
Bio: Capt. Todd Streeter is a Coast Guard licensed full time guide residing in Southport, NC. He trailers his skiffs anywhere from the lower reaches of the Cape Fear River to North Topsail Beach to seek the finest inshore Light Tackle and Fly Fishing the Southern coastal waters have to offer. NOT ANOTHER BOAT RIDE, with him you will experience a passionate approach to our fishery in a unique seldom duplicated manner fine tuned over 20 years of "sneaking" around the shallow estuaries and backwaters that make up the Cape Fear region. His life has been consumed with all things outdoors since the age of 6 when he received his first Boron fly rod and casting lessons from his Grandfather, who was a commercial fly tier and custom tackle builder. Whether your desire lies in stalking North Carolina's state fish, the Red Drum, on back country tidal flats, getting that once in a lifetime shot at a tailing Red in the flooded Spartina grass miles from the nearest boat as a rising full moon lights it's tail like a blue beacon, a trip targeting Speckled Trout, Ladyfish, False Albacore, Jack Crevalle, or a Cape Fear Slam(Red Drum, Trout, and Flounder). He considers it a necessity to tailor the adventure to the individual. Whether you're a Master Level casting instructor or eager first timer, you will find a patient and attentive Captain who will make every effort to insure an educational and memorable trip