I was supposed to have both Chris Hall and Brian Gainey today for the first of two trips that the Redfish addicted duo bid on and won at the recent Wilmington Chapter Banquet for CCANC. However, Chris awoke finding himself a bit under the weather, and being a proper best friend, insisted that Brian carry on in his absence. Having guided the friends before, I was well aware of their affinity for taking Reds on topwater plugs, and assured Brian that they would definitely be playing up on top on the negative low tide.
As we poled onto the shallow sand flat in the subdued flat light of early morning, we found the Reds holding in 18 inches of water on the down current side of an exposed shoal. Brian patiently resisted the urge to set the hook amid several strong blow ups on the noisy plug, instead waiting to come tight before burying the hook, as the first of 5 strong upper slot fish came to the boat before we made a decision to hit the next spot. The same action continued at each flat we fished that morning. We found laid up fish within several casts before getting the large schools to push water and reveal themselves, only to have them settle back to the bottom and remain stationary until the next hooked fish stirred them up. I was explaining to Brian how odd it was that with all of the Shrimp around, we were'nt finding them aggressively feeding on top like they most often due when dining on the small crustaceans. That all changed at our final stop of the morning, where right around the last of the rising tide, we found 2 large schools of Shrimp busting Reds noisily sucking down their prey along 2 prominent points bordering the marsh. After taking 4 or 5 more hard running Reds, and having atleast 15- 20 others crash unsuccessfully on the small topwater bait, Brian received a call from Chris, who was seeking a little intel on how things were going. After relating to his bed ridden buddy the events of the morning, Brian hung up and whether due to a little bit of guilt for having such a good time sans Chris or due to his sore arms, Brian exclaimed "I'm done" and we headed for the hill with the visions of so many aggressive topwater strikes to keep us company for the coming days.
Such wildly successful days aren't always the norm, but one thing is for sure... the rich backwaters of the unspoiled Lower Cape fear always make for memorable days on the water... with or without your best friend! ~
Recent blog posts
- Cape Fear serving up big aggressive Redfish right now!
- Sight Fishing Late Fall Cape Fear Redfish with Jared Chiefi
- Give the gift of Redfish this year!
- Cape Fear Speckled Trout On Fire!
- Full On Fall Fishing on the Cape Fear Coast
- It's Hot, But It's Not!
- Brian Gainey Tangles with Topwater Reds
- Cape Fear Spring Redfish Peak
- Winter Redfishing
- Zero to Hero...Cape Fear Redfishing And What a Difference a Day Makes!