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PSA for those fishing the sound

By: troutslayer
8/15/2022 5:07 PM

This PSA is intended NOT for the fishermen who actually know what they are doing (like most of the posters here), but for the newbies who don't know any better (often not their fault) AND for supposedly experienced but increasingly ridiculous googans who seem to be multiplying quickly...

As I mentioned in my previous report, I broke off a LOT of jigheads during our 2 week vacation. Partly because, well, that's fishing. Partly because I was often fishing from land, where it is harder to unsnag a lure. Partly because I was fishing some very heavily fished spots where lots of snags exist. Even so, the number of break offs was utterly insane. The number of snags in my usual spots is completely ridiculous, and much (not all) of it could be prevented by using some common sense, which is a rare commodity it seems. Which brings me to my rant...I feel there are some rules that should be posted at the most popular spots for the shore-bound in the sounds (e.g. Little Bridge, Baum Bridge, etc.)
1. Unless you are fishing the inlets with strong current, there is NOWHERE in the sounds that requires over 1 oz to hold bottom. so please, PLEASE do not lob out 4 oz pyramid sinkers on a hi lo rig just to catch 4 inch fish that weigh less than your rig. Those heavy weights get snagged more often, then the line gets broken, which creates a new snag that everyone else snags, and the whole thing becomes an underwater monstrosity, that I eventually hook. (side note...even on the windiest days, I can usually hold bottom with 1/2 or 3/4 oz...even though I rarely throw anything other than artificial...)
2. If fishing soft plastics, you don't need a jig head over 1/4 oz. Period. Heavier might get you casting distance, but if you're fishing the sound from the popular spots listed above, you're fishing less than 5 ft deep 99% of the time. A jig head over 1/4 oz is overkill at that depth, and actually will make your presentation less realistic. If you're wading, you're obviously fishing shallow. Even 1/4oz might be overkill then.
3. Throwing metal in the sound? Fine. But you don't need anything over about 1/2 oz. Anything heavier will go straight to the bottom, and you will break off. Same for Gotcha plugs. Last summer a teenager hotshot showed up at Little Bridge with the standard 1 oz Gotcha tied on. I told him bad idea, he'd break off within a few casts. He didn't listen. I was wrong. He hung up and broke off on his first vertical drop off the bridge.
4. Since you don't need those heavy weights to fish the sound, ditch the surf rods, leave them on the beach. My oh my, there should be a 7 or 8 foot rod length limit at the Baum bridge pier. And those morons with a surf rod at the Little Bridge? I'm surprised they don't hit cars on their backcast.
5. Use appropriate line. You do not need 50 lb mono or 100 lb braid for the sound. Because when you break off one of the aforementioned overkill rigs, your extra heavy line makes the new snag even worse for everyone.
6. If you have to break off a rig, do it the right way. Point your rod directly at the snag, cup the reel OR tighten the drag, and pull backwards until it breaks. This will usually ensure it breaks at your know (or leader knot, if you have one).
7. Please, only have out a reasonable number of lines if bottom fishing. Yeah, I know you got to the Baum or bebop pier first, but there's not need to have out 6 lines. Seriously, it's just a d- move. A couple is plenty.
8. The stupidity I'm describing is not limited just to tourons...it's locals, too.
9. If you know someone who works in one of the tackle shops, please ask them to help educate the newbies, and not just sell them stuff. If possible.
10. The above does not apply to all soundside scenarios, but most. The inlets/Bonner Bridge pier are obvious exceptions....probably a few others, too, that I can't think of.

So please, above all, use some common sense. Match your gear to the species you are targeting or likely to catch, and to the depth and lack of current that epitomizes most of the Roanoke and Croatan sounds.

OK, rant over. Sorry, had to get that out. I hate breaking off tackle because, well, the jig heads I use are a little pricey (and some are impossible to find in saltwater tackle shops), but also I care about the environment and don't like leaving lead in the water if I can avoid it. And a lot of it could be avoided if people would heed some basic wisdom.

And as said before, not aimed at anyone here...

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