Made it to the Coast a few weeks back, fishing, paddling, exploring and camping. This was a much needed trip to get out in Nature and loose all sense of responbilities for a couple days. The goal was to paddle out to Shackleford Banks, along the Coast of NC. Camping on the barrier island immersed us in great fishing locations and included having the chance to see some great wildlife.
We left out of the Triad area and headed to the Coast on Friday morning. We arrived ready to wet the layals around noon and started our journey to Shackleford Banks. We fishind a little on the way but were anxious to find a good spot on the island. Two of us had hammocks so an area with trees was a must. We found a great location directly in the direction we crossed the Core Sound (near Harkers Island). After making the landing and deciding on the camping spot, I announced to a friend ‘the only thing better could be a stampede of horses running through camp’…and no more than getting my words out he exclaimed…’look at that!’
After unloading the kayaks of a little camping gear we decided to head out for evening fishing. We caught some live Mullet to use and there was a significant drop-off just out from the beach on the Sound side of camp. We paddled out and we all proceeded to very quickly catch fish. Bluefish, Black Bass and some unwanted catches were in order. Night came quickly so we headed back to camp. We decided to wait for a fire the second night since salvageable firewood looked semi-scarce.
Saturday morning we headed out failry early for some kayak fishing. It was slower than we expected, but we spent a majority of time de-hooking lizardfish and needlefish. I saw a nice little blowup of Bluefish on Mullet and caught a few of the Blues. A member of the party caught a respectable 18″ flounder and we ended up with some spotted trout. Dinner was set for the evening.
We hoped the fishing would have been a little better, dont we always, but we had an incredible day learning new structure, fishing cuts, finding current breaks and other likely spots. I had reliable tips from friends in the Piedmont that helped me relate my river fishing to the cuts and currents at the Coast. I love fishing the Coast, it is ever-changing with so much going on. Even when not catching alot there is so much to learn about paddling and fishing at the Coast. We headed back to camp early afternoon after fishing most of the day. We explored the island a little, looking in the back water ponds and exploring down the beach.
Then we ate.
We decided to have an early Supper of Trout then a later Dinner of Flounder! We explored the island a little, looking in the back water ponds and looking down the beach. Then we ate. We ate Fish Tacos, consisting of the Trout, fresh cole slaw and a mixture we brought as a creamy sauce. The Tacos were great, company was awesome and stories were told!
Sunday morning was a beautiful sunrise! We got up fairly early to catch the incoming tide to ride back to the truck. We crossed Core Sound, against winds and waves, and proceeded to fish the backside of Carrot Island. More Wild Horses and Dolphins were sighted. Unfortunately what was not seen were any RedFish! Well not by me anyways. We did have a couple of small Rat Reds caught and a few Trout. I fished as hard as I could but did not find any Reds. I had one fish follow, possibly 25″+ but he did not bite.
We finished the trip by parting ways with others but look forward to the next Journey in the near future. Kayak fishing brings great people together in amazing places and we always enjoy seeing new things, catching new fish and enjoying the camaraderie!
We took a trip this past Sunday with our friend Acey (Shellrake Flies) and new friends Tim & son (Native Watercraft). Acey was looking for the Falltime smallie bite and Tim was looking to get a few photos and of course land a couple fish in the process. We decided to take advantage of the low and clear conditions at the Yadkin River. As usual for your Yadkin River trips, we met up with Paul from Yadkin River Adventures for the shuttle just before noon.
The Yadkin River offers the floating angler ample opportunities to work on both fishing and paddling skills. The River is wide and has both flat water and the occasional riffle to keep the heart pumping and allow you to work on your paddle strokes and boat placement. The fishing is fantastic with large fish and species including Smallmouth, Spotted and the occasional Largemouth Bass.
Tim was generous enough to supply us with all new kayaks for the day, including 2 Native Slayer sit on tops and the boat he and his son used, the Native Ultimate FX tandem. NC River Angler, LLC is an endorsed Guide through Native Watercraft, and we enjoy making use of these boats on the River targeting our favorite species-Smallmouth Bass. All 3 of these kayaks are suitable to stand up in, which is a great advantage at a River like the Yadkin, with all of the submerged ledges and structure.
The bite started out pretty slow. We ended up landing a majority of the fish at the end of the trip, towards late in the evening. We saw both Smallmouth and Spotted Bass, and a couple of nice ones around the 15-17” marks in both species. I missed about 4 strikes, but finally landed a few towards the end. One of the fish I had on was a bruiser and came unglued. That had me focus on the task at hand and get a few in the kayak!
We met a father/son duo who shared the shuttle with us, who were paddling from the put in and camping for two nights along the way, fishing and enjoying the early Fall scenery. That sounds like a great way to get in lots of fishing and maximize the sometimes finicky smallmouth bite. Nearly everyone landed a decent sized fish, and the conditions were well enough that I made a second appearance the next evening for a small amount of wade fishing.
The Yadkin River is a sizable River with lots of great structure and ample Smallmouth Bass fishing. Don’t let the usual I-40 crossing and muddy water scare you. If you watch the conditions and go when the visibility is spot on, there is wonderful fishing to be had on the Yadkin River. Give us an email for a trip or take advantage of Paul at Yadkin River Adventures for a shuttle.
We may be working on a few trips next year that include camping, so if interested give us a shout! Come join the fun!
We were in Louisiana for the day job and were fortunate enought to get hooked up with a great local guy. Jason offered to take us out fishing for Trout and then go in the late evening for bowfishing! I have never bowfished, but was excited to give it a try. Jason informed us there was an East wind, which is less common, and freshwater was being pushed into the marsh. This makes the marsh extra murky and lowers the salinity, both not so great conditions for fishing or bowfishing. Jason was still nice enough to take us out and experience the Bayou!
Knowing the fishing would not be great, Jason was still able to put us into a few fish. We managed a slam of Trout, Rat Reds and Flounder, and I saw my first ever saltwater Channel Catfish.
We also went out for night time bowfishing! This was truly an experience! I have never seen so many baitfish and activity in the water. It was truly impressive! I was able to stick a 19″ redfish and a smaller mullet. Later in the evening, Jason put us onto two 40″ Redfish! I missed one (buck fever) and we never got a shot at the other. I learned that the shooters really do not move much, so you ignore all of the rat reds that are darting everywhere.
Fishing in new areas is always a lot of fun, but its the hospitality and generous nature of others that really make time on the water that much more enjoyable! Jason is your typical Cajun who enjoys his resources and makes use of tools and knowhow to enjoy living off of the land (water). His Cajun attitude is contagious and being friendly is an understatement, as is the norm in the Bayou! I hope he and his son can come to NC sometime soon to experience what we have to offer and repay the favor!
Got on the water this weekend through Yadkin River Adventures after a brief visit to the cool town of Rockford, NC. We enjoyed a trip with a fella whose Wife and Daughters bought him a guided trip back from Fathers Day. We picked a beautiful day for a River trip. There were a few signs of Fall approaching with leaves in/on the water and the smallies are just starting to really feed up. This begins the end of Summer and the Fall time feed bag opening up! We have proof with a small largemouth that was caught with a crawfish already in the gullet! He still wanted to eat!
We targeted all the likely spots and caught a few fish right where we know them to be holding (honey holes). This fish was where he was supposed to be, and was likely going to be the first smallmouth bass of the day-but came unglued and spit the hook right at our guest, almost taking off the hat! Not very nice there smallie…
It was a warm day and the water clarity was just right, not too clear but good visibility for sight casting. We tried several different lures to develop a pattern. We caught fish on square billed crankbaits, large spinnerbaits from Dave’s Tournament Tackle and our resident high confidence crankbait. We also caught and saw fish targeting top water. The only propblem was we couldn’t get the fish to be overly aggressive with any one of these baits! We were still able to land an aple amount of fish and they seemed to be biting from the beginning to the end of the trip. The bite really turned on at the end towards the evening. Gotta love an evening River Smallie trip!
We ended the day with nearly a dozen smallies (largest probably 15″), 2 largemouth bass and 1 hooked spotted bass (but not landed) – almost the triple crown!
We targeted all the likely spots and looked in areas that we suspect others may not paddle or cast to. Our client was an excellent caster, getting in tight to the bank and not afraid to get hooked up and snagged on branches. We alwayss hope for more fish but were happy to catch the targeted species and see some nice fish. Staying positive and not getting frustrated goes a long ways to cathing fish.
We love the River and love spending time on the River with genuine people that have a love for the outdoors. Its amazing how many people I am able to meet and learn from that have a love for the outdoors and appreciate being in new environments and learning new things about River fishing. Glad we caught fish and learned some new tactics with this fella, but I bet he would have had a great time on the water if nothing was caught as well.
Come join the fun and be on the lookout for some different trips we will be taking this Fall, weather permitting!
We had a great time with a Father and Son on the Dan River. These guys enjoyed camping at Hanging Rock State Park and joined us on the Dan River to float for smallmouth bass. We met at the Dan River Company for shuttle to start the trip. Both were experienced fly fishermen, fishing rivers and paddling but never combining the two. The day started out slow with the bite. Redbreast Sunfish (native to the Dan River) were willing to play most of the day but the smallies didn’t come until later.
This allowed plenty of time to work on paddling techniques and the little tips and tricks that make it easier to ‘go with the flow’. Both guys took to kayak fishing like it was old news. The Native Slayers from Get Outdoors were comfy and handled the Dan easily for an extended day on the water. While trying to find the smallies, the 10 hour day flew by!
No large smallies came to play but we did see some smallies, a catfish on the fly and a couple of suckers. We also caught more sunfish than we could count.
Wooly buggers, articulated streamers, diving/wobbling topwater foam crawfish, and square billed crankbaits were the productive selections for the day. Classic river white and natural colors in the flies seemed to work well. Check out Shellrake Flies for our supply of Smallmouth Bass Flies that we use. Great fly patterns here that were developed just for Smallmouth Bass! You can also purchase them at NC River Nets.
It was a lot of fun to watch these guys fish together! There was real camaraderie with some fun bickering and comical family competition. In the end though, when I noted a great hole to try the Dad obviously passed it up for the Son. Its great to have folks enjoying time on the water together!
Come join us to see what the fun is all about. We target smallies and hope for the big ones. We cannot control mother nature but as a friend of our says, ‘we go prepared and adapt to the conditions, which sometimes makes us lucky!’
We enjoyed time on Father’s Day with family, friends and on the water. NCRA attended the informal Open House at Sheppard Mill and conducted some cursory fish-finding to see what is in the Millpond at Snow Creek. We have suspicions of what species are there but want hard proof. Also want to see if there are numbers enough to hold kids fishing clinics or other educational fishing programs. I suspect there is, but we better conduct more fish sampling outings-the 2 year old cut us short on the fishing! Sheppard Mill is a wonderful piece of local history with many great plans for the future!
We also spent time on the Dan River with the kids. Youngest caught a little smallie, they looked for bugs and critters and of course threw some rocks! The senses were alerted, nature crept into the bones and balance was created walking in the River (and in the soul)! It is always fun to see the reactions of kids when they first see something new in the environment. The River is a great place to spend time, with tons of wildlife, the water is cool on the toes and fishing is usually productive enough for kids to see and touch a few fish.
It was refreshing to hit a new stretch of water this past weekend. Not a new body of water, but a new stretch of River. A new section was in order to replenish the senses and find a little sense of adventure. One can become complacent in fishing the same bodies and stretches of water. Those known holes that hold fish become mundane and this can be a bad thing for the kayak river angler. You need to keep your senses and skillset sharp!
With the proper research and knowledge of a stretch of River, it can be fun in looking for new holes, ledges and pools that you know will hold fish if approached properly. That was the case this weekend.
We began by lining up a shuttle at the take out and asking the appropriate questions about river levels, rapid locations and any other hazards. Online research, publications and most importantly local river buff knowledge are all good places to look and ask for information about new waters.
Our evening started out slowly but we changed lures often and tried all of the likely spots for River Smallmouth Bass which included rocky outcrops, rock ledges, woody debris, shoots and pools. We quickly developed a pattern and found the fish to be in moving water between ledges in shallow water. They were also caught from some of the deeper pools along the banks. Once the pattern was developed it was on. And as quickly as we found the fish, the River changed and we lost structure. The second half of the trip was slow, fairly shallow with much less rocky structure. The bite was fun while it lasted!
We saw plenty of wildlife as usual on the River. A large snapping turtle, an osprey with a fish in talons, plenty of swarms of hatching bugs and lots of redbreast sunfish on the fly rod!
Contact us to book your Kayak River Fishing outing and look for the hard fighting Smallmouth Bass!
Check us out online and on Facebook for trips photos and reports and our nets page for handcrafted wooden fishing nets!