Cooler temperatures bring good fishing haul


Kent King headshot


Sunday, August 6, 2017

We finally got our wish for a break in this scorching hot weather. A cold front barreled through, knocking off 10 degrees from our daytime high temperature.

We took advantage of the cooler weather last week and headed for the northern shores of the Pamlico Sound.

Our morning started off with high wispy clouds that not only made it feel good to be outside, it shielded the bright sun from our eyes on the long trip down east.

As we made our way out of the narrow canal toward the wide open sound, we were greeted by a very welcome sight.

The water was calm and slick as glass. An abundance of minnows had gathered in the shallow water. They were breaking the surface as we sped past.

On the 5-mile journey to the place we wanted to fish first, the minnows just kept on jumping. This area of the Pamlico was holding plenty of bait fish, and that is a very good sign for the months to come.

There were many different kinds of minnows in the mix. We saw mud minnows along the shoreline, a favorite food for a hungry flounder.

In the edge of salt marsh, hard head minnows were cruising in and out of coves. The V-like patterns they make on the water surface attract all kinds of larger fish.

On the wide open water we saw tight schools of glass minnows. They had come to the surface to enjoy the cooler water temperatures.

All of a sudden the surface would explode when a large fish attacked these glass minnows. That kind of activity told us we were in the right place at the right time.

We started casting our baits to the shoreline in hopes of getting strikes from flounder, speckled trout or puppy drum. The action was a bit slow at first, but soon we found plenty of flounder that eagerly and aggressively took our baits.

A distinctive grass line had formed under water and came out about six feet from the weather beaten shoreline.

The water was fairly clear, and it was very easy to see the darker color of the grass in contrast to the light brown sandy bottom.

The flounder had set up shop right along this grass line, and were waiting to ambush their prey. Our baits quickly got their attention.

We moved about the sound many times that day, trying familiar places, while searching for even larger fish. Since it was a day in the middle of the week, we had the whole place just about to ourselves.

Everywhere we went the pattern was about the same. The minnows were present, the grass beds were still hugging the shoreline, and the fish were willing to bite.

As we went along, I pointed to places where we have caught fish in the past. My friend did a lot of pointing as well.

We discovered that we had both fished the Pamlico for a long time, and had identified productive points, coves, and shoreline in our many trips to this area.

With over 80 years of combined experiences trying our luck, many of our favorite places were exactly the same.

After lunch, the wind picked up as it frequently does from the southeast. There is nothing but flat water to slow its progress down, but the tiny barrier islands of the Outer Banks some eighteen miles away.

Our fishing points suddenly became limited to just a few protected coves. We knew we had to fish our way back to the landing.

It was a very productive day with 30 flounder, 2 puppy drum, and 6 speckled trout.

It was also good to see the sound very much alive again with the minnows, the green grass, and the fish that were there just like they used to be.

If it was not for the mosquitoes and green biting flies, I could very easily call this place home away from home.