Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fall Fishing

Fall Fishing along the inshore waters of the Crystal Coast has been great.  Albacore, Spanish Mackerel, Blues, Specks and Redfish have all been great the last month or so.  We've been on the water a lot and it's resulted in many good memories and some nice fish coming to hand.

The albacore season was one of the best I've seen in several years.  Everything from 6 and 7lbers showing up early in the season to some monster 20lb albies coming through during October.  Although I consider myself a skinny water fly fisherman first and foremost, there are few things that compare to rolling up on a school of albacore that are destroying a bait ball of anchovies.  It's so intense that even the most level headed of fly fishermen can lose their cool and end up with fly line knots, loops around their feet, and clousers stuck in their shirt while the albies continue to bust 10 yards off the side of the boat.  But as long as you keep your head on straight, and make that first cast count, you are usually rewarded with seeing your backing scream off your real at light speeds. 

Speckled trout are starting up nicely.  We've had a few cold fronts, but for the most part we are still seeing warmer temps and the fish haven't kicked into full gear yet.  Good numbers of trout are being caught if you know where to look, and it will just get better over the next 2 months.  The increased size limits and mild winters have given us a better average size trout than we were seeing a few years ago.  Fingers crossed for another mild winter this year.

Reds have continued to get better as the water has cooled and their hunger has grown.  We are catching good numbers of slot size fish, but the little yearling reds are also moving into the marsh, which is a good sign for next years fishery.  As I write this, the water is clearing up in the marsh and we are expecting some awesome sight fishing opportunities over the next few months.

Click on this link for video...  Cape Lookout Albacore Video









Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summer Breeze - September Redfish in the Skinny Water

Here's a film we shot one day last week.  3 cameras, 2 good friends, and 1 great day of chasing redfish. on the title below for the video.


Summer comes to an end...

This Summer has had some great days and some tough days.  We saw a lot of rain early on, turning the marsh into chocolate milk, and my backyard into a lake.  The fish were always around, but sometimes the muddy water made it tough for them to find our offering.  But on most days we could find the fish pushing around in their normal hideouts and a well presented lure or fly would become their next meal.

Like always, as summer comes to an end, the winds switch from Southerly to Northerly and the bait starts it's annual migration.  Little Yellow Sulphur butterflies fill the sky and migrate over the marsh and inlets.  Mullet, silversides and shrimp gather in endless schools and march through the marsh and pour out the inlets to swim through the gauntlet of predators.  Albacore, bluefish and mackerel line the inlets and beachfront awaiting the buffet.  Back in the marsh, redfish, trout and flounder feed the hardest they have all year, in preparation for the lean months through the winter. 

Because of this, the fishing goes from good to great, and we take full advantage of it.  The months of September through November offer a cornucopia of fishing opportunities. 

The fishing has really perked up in the last week.  I'm looking forward to some cool crisp nights and a bunch of willing fish.





Sunday, July 7, 2013

Playing catch up....

Hey Folks,

Sorry I haven't updated the blog lately.  This year has without a doubt been the busiest of my life...which is a good thing, I guess...but it doesn't leave a lot of time to sit down and upload pictures and reports.  I'll try to do better. 

We've had a lot of rain and wind lately and it's made it a bit tough to get out.  The weather seems to have regained it's sanity though and I've been back out on the water chasing tails.  The water was about as muddy as it gets this week, but luckily the redfish were eager to eat anything that got within their radar zone. 

Here's a few fish from the past few trips...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A couple videos

I've been playing with the GoPro a lot lately, and have been storing up a bunch of clips.  Hopefully later this year I'll be able to put together some longer videos, but for now, here's a few shorts for you.

We'd love to have you aboard,
Capt John Mauser

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Electric Seaducer Fly

I wanted to share a little fly that has worked very well for me over the last few months.  Normally we throw weighted flies at our redfish since they spend a lot of their time searching for food crawling along the bottom.  Although the sinking flies work well most of the time, one of the down sides to using one is that they make a pretty noticeable landing which can spook a weary redfish.  After dealing with some spooky reds this winter, I had a bit of luck tossing an old school seaducer fly at them.  The fly is easy to cast, lands very softly, and pushes a good bit of water as it moves.  After that trip, I spent a little time modifying the seaducer style fly to make it a little more noticeable for the redfish.  This is what I came up with...

Hook:  Gamakatsu SC15 1/0
Tail:  4 Chartreuse Grizzly Saddle Hackles
Body:  Rootbeer Palmer Chenille
Weedguard:  25lb Hard Mono
Eyes:  Clear Cure Eyes
Head:  Clear Cure Goo Thin
Optional:  Glass Rattle

Place your hook in the vise and wrap the shank with thread.

This is optional, but I like to tie in some material at the bend of the hook to help splay out the saddle hackles.  For this fly, I tied in a small piece of Rootbear Estaz for this purpose.

Tie in two saddle hackles on each side of the hook right above the Estaz.  Tie them tight up against the estaz to help splay them out to the sides a little.

Cut off about 6-8" of Palmer Chenille and tie it right in front of the saddle hackles.  Begin palmering the Chenille foward and push the fibers back as you palmer it.

When you get to the eye of the hook, tie the palmer chenille down and clip off any excess.  Push all of the chenille back as you continue to wrap and form a thread head for the fly.

Take a piece of 25lb Hard Mono and bend it in half and tie it in as a weed guard.  Clip the mono guard so that it extends just past the point of the hook.

Eyes are optional but I like to stick on a pair of Clear Cure Eyes.  I use Clear Cure Goo Thin and cover the threads and the eyes to form a head to the fly.

Here's a look at the completed fly.  As another option, you can also tie a glass rattle to the shank of the hook and seal it in with a little Clear Cure Goo.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I had the pleasure of having Sonya Carlson on the front of the skiff chasing some reds this weekend.  Sonya is lucky enough to literally have the salt marsh with tailing redfish in her backyard.  She's been itching to get out and learn a bit about how to catch these fish, and I was glad to show her. 

We had a beautiful day with light winds and temps into the 70's.  I met Sonya at the ramp and we ran to my first spot only to be greeted by three other skiffs.  Oh well.  We fired up the engine and made a run to another spot that has been consistently holding good numbers of fish.  I handed Sonya a light spinning rod with a DOA jerk bait and gave her a few instructions.  Within minutes she was casting to redfish as they zoomed around the skiff.

We worked our way up to a small creek where we blocked in several dozen fish.  As the fish settled down we started getting hits and hooking fish.  The bite has been a bit different over the last few weeks, but we've been able to adjust and catch plenty of fish.  Most redfish bites, even during the winter, are pretty solid and sometimes they hit so hard that there is no need for a hookset.  Lately they have been biting so light that you really have to pay attention to know when they are eating.  Lately they also seem to prefer the lures or flies to be completely still or barely moving for them to eat.  Normally a medium retrieve will get hits from reds, but over the last few weeks they won't eat it until it comes to a stop.  It just goes to show that when the bite seems to be off, it just may take a little experimenting to figure out what the reds are looking for, and then it's game on again.

We had a great day, with Sonya landing her first redfish...and several more coming to the boat afterwards on both fly and spinning gear.  Last year was a great year, but the numbers of fish we're seeing in the marsh this winter blows away what we saw the previous winter.  This should be a stellar year for redfish in the marshes on the Crystal Coast.

 We are still trying to figure out what happened to this guy!
Come get some!
Capt. John Mauser