Don't give up yet on natural baits

rodcrafter@islc.netNovember 4, 2012 

This is the time most anglers will turn to artificials, but don't overlook natural baits just yet.

If you are using live shrimp or finger mullet, most predator fish will take notice in preparation for cooler temperatures. This will apply if you are fishing close to active oyster beds, grass croppings, large drops or tapered ledges along points.

Always pay attention to tidal surges this time of the year. A fast-moving tide tends to push water over oyster beds quickly, with little being diverted to the side. When this occurs, fish the rising water back towards the marsh and into the grass. It's a safe bet a large trout or spottail has marked the spot to ambush unsuspecting baitfish. Tides have been very full over the past week, so be on the lookout for fish in the grass at high tide.

Presently, spottail are hitting mullet and crab, and a hungry trout will seldom pass on live shrimp. Waters are stained and a bit muddy at this time; fishing a fresh, lively bait will move them your way.

Other active species -- Spots are abundant in lagoons and slack water cuts. Sheepshead are holding tight around pier and bridge pilings, as well as old timber and rock formations. Croaker and whiting are hitting fresh cut baits and shrimp in shallow water.

Offshore -- As a result of Hurricane Sandy, high winds and poor water conditions blocked most efforts to find productive waters. Many boats remained at dock, and those making the trip wished they hadn't.

Tournament Results

This year's Owen Perry Inshore Fishing Tournament at Fripp Island Marina raised $2,175 for Camp Rainbow, a camp for children with terminal diseases. The next event will be the annual Kids Thanksgiving Tournament. Contact Lewis Turner via the Fripp Island Marina for details.

Tournament winners:

  • Spottail Bass: 1. Bruce Wharton (5.3 pounds), 2. Josh Yonce (5.05)

  • Trout: 1. Stuart Mitchell (1.45 pounds), 2. Josh Yonce (1.20)

  • Spottail with the most spots: 1. Stovall Walker (8 spots)

  • Other: Capt. George and BJ Parrish (20-pound shark).

  • Election Thoughts

    Most Americans give considerable thought as to how their vote will be cast. There are those who weigh the pros and cons of the candidates and are aware of how they stand before their final decision is made. Still others will vote a straight party ticket. The latter seems a bit futile, but for each, the decision is theirs.

    It just seems that something as important as a presidential election should involve more thought. It brings to mind these famous words: "A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." -- Theodore Roosevelt

    Tackle Tip: Hook Sizes

    Although the following clarification seems elementary to veterans, a novice angler can get confused. As I am often asked the question, perhaps this will help: Simply put, hook sizes with a number followed by a zero increase in size as the number goes up. Hook sizes not followed by a zero, decrease in size as the number increases. For example, a 4/0 hook is bigger than a 3/0 hook but smaller than a 5/0, and a size 5 hook is smaller than a size 4 hook, which is smaller than a size 3 hook.

    And a final word -- I have found this to be true no matter what hook you choose: Hooks should be matched to the bait you are using, but make sure any hook you choose is forged.

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