02-14-2015, 09:23 PM
Re: North Carolina Saltwater HELP!?!?
Most of the salt fishing I've done has been up here in my area, but I've found similarities in other places. The primary difference has been time of year & the species encountered.
I've fly fished in the area of the Inland Waterway at Holden's Island in NC, and have fished in SC in the area of Pawley's Island. I've had my fly rod in SC, but so far it's use has been limited. But the same idea applies no matter what type gear you're using. Often in saltwater, the bottom contour is what you need to learn, as well as currents.
As shopworn has said, there can be variation in the areas as to the bottom. There can be more to the bottom too that will attract fish, other than simply mud or sand. These are important as far a whether you can wade, but may not mean there will be fish there. For example, if there's shell on the bottom, especially living oysters, that may be a place that will attract fish. At places where rip rap has been placed to stabilize the shore line, often there's more well below the surface, so again that may attract fish as there will be crabs, shrimp & smaller fish in such structure. I have witnessed at times where anglers casting well away from the shore caught nothing while I cast flies in close to the shore structure & caught fish. It's not always how far you can cast, but where that makes the difference in having success or not.
There are many places along the NC coast that you could certainly have success with flies & without a boat. What you need to do is find an accessible area & spend as much time as possible at the lowest tides. This means you may not be fishing much, but it will show you a lot more about the bottom & about depths, bars, or other structure, and in some places cuts in the bank. Sometimes a simple depression along a creek will be a place to find fish. Take photo's if possible & study them.
In some places the tide will work against you while in others it can be to your advantage. I know places here that out flowing tides are better than incoming & vice versa in other places. The tides can force prey into or out of areas. Although not so much saltwater, a friend & I used to fish the Blackwater River near & in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge here in MD for bass. One of the hot spots was the mouths of ditches. Much of this river runs through marshland and the ditches had been dug for mosquito control. When the tide was flowing out, baitfish & other prey such as small crabs that had been up in the grasses were forced out by the falling water. The bass & sometimes other fishes would await at the mouths of the ditches & could feed on whatever was washed out. Same thing can apply anywhere this occurs.
Sometimes the incoming tide was good, but as the water levels would rise, the fishing was not as predictable.
Just as freshwater fish will position themselves in places for ambushing prey, so will salt species. But, again as shopworn has said, they may not be there all the time. Tides can be important as to when they'll be in specific places, so you need to pay attention to tide charts for the area you're fishing. After awhile, it can be somewhat predictable.
Also, learn to pay attention to shore birds, such as gulls. Often their presence in an area means there's something going on below the surface.
As for flies, I like to have a variety to cover the water column, but often weights need to vary to deal with varying currents. In that case I like to have some unweighted flies, and some that are weighted more than others. I've been in places that the water depth was shallow, yet there would be fish there, so a heavily weighted fly ended up stuck in the bottom muck.
I certainly like Clouser Minnows as other have recommended, and I always have some Deceivers, Half & Halfs, and Seaducers in my saltwater fly boxes.
I also have many other patterns I'll carry to try out, but those styles will cover about 95% of the fishing I'll do. Add some topwater flies, such as Gurglers & you'll have a good assortment.
Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!