Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Harkers Island November 2012

This year I fulfilled a desire I had.  I wanted to camp out at the Barden's Inlet spit to test the theory that the false albacore were more active in the early morning and late evening before and after the guide boats and recreational anglers were around.  I thought, in the quiet, we'd up the odds of catching alberts from the beach.

 We caught the ferry over on Saturday morning. dumped our camping gear on some high ground and got to fishing right away.  The weather was nice, and the water was clear.  We did see a false albacore cruise by in the morning.

 But after that, we did not see another albert the rest of the day - not even in the distance.  We did catch a few blues, and a flounder, but it was ultra slim pickins!

Closer to dusk, we picked up a few speckled trout near the red buoy at the inlet mouth.

 As the sun sank and it got quiet, all of a sudden... there was nothing.  We never got an evening blitz.

We set up the tents and made and ate our dinner.  After dinner we walked from the spit point over to the rock jetty - quite a distance after a full day of constant casting.  We shadowed a mullet boat and its occupants that were quite successfully gigging flounder under spotlights in the shallows.  

We brought spinning rods and alternated between grubs and swimming plugs as we maneuvered between the 4-wheel camping crowd and their bonfires.  Without waders, it was hard to get in a good position to cast into the deeper water along the jetty, but we managed to catch one fish.  It was a long walk home and sleep came easily.

The next morning we awoke early, made breakfast, and were disturbed at the early morning boat traffic.  The commercial guys and the early bird sports were on the water early so that blew my notion of a quiet calm early morning bite.

Sunday turned out to be even worse than Saturday.  The weather was nice, but the water was cold, hovering around 50 degrees and there was little sign of bait.  Day 2 brought boredom and a lot of napping among the "Sand People".

We did manage to catch a few more bluefish, some needlefish, and David managed this blowfish (northern puffer).

OK, ok, so our theory was busted.  We did not experience a quiet early morning bite or a dusk blitz.  The water was too cold for alberts and there was relatively little bait to draw them anyway.  Mother nature had the deck stacked against us.  

Still, the camping was fun and the company was great.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Perhaps with more realistic expectations next time though.


P.S.  If you like video, check out the video by My Leaky Waders on Vimeo.

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