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Reel Skillz Gear offers coastal inshore fishing and flounder gigging apparel.  Fishing is easy... catching takes skillz.

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The Reel Skillz Gear fishing blog is a compilation of fishing tips, information about our products and Company news. 

 

Rigging Up For Spanish Mackerel

Mike Caulder

Hey Skillz Fans.  Want to learn a great tip on how to catch Spanish Mackerel?  Then check out our video above.  Capt. Jamie Rushing explains how to rig a basic Spanish Mackerel setup for trolling offshore/nearshore using a Clark Spoon and a planer.  If you are in the Wilmington NC area and want a great charter, contact Jamie at Seagate Charters.

Topwater Speckled Trout In July

Mike Caulder

I had the opportunity to do some fishing early Wednesday morning with Capt. Jamie of Seagate Charters. Our objective was twofold. First we were after some speckled trout on topwater lures and secondly, we needed footage for a new Youtube video. So at 5:45 A.M. I met Jamie at the ramp and off we went. By the time we arrived at our secret location the sun was coming up and everything was in place. Within a few short minutes of casting topwater lures we were beginning to get some strikes. Both of us were using Rapala Skitter Walks and walking the dog with these baits. Shortly I was hooked into our first fish and into the cooler he went. Within 12 hours he would be resting in a fish taco. A few more casts and blowups later we decided the bite was picking up and I had better start filming. So onto the shoreline I went and Jamie started casting. Strike after strike yielded no fish. Finally we got a hard hit and a good hook set. With the camera rolling, Jamie landed another plump speckled trout. We continued filming and casting but as luck would have it, my camera battery coughed and gurgled and finally died. Ahh technology. So I made my way back into the boat and we both made a few more casts. It wasn’t long before the other charter boats were nearing our area and it was time to go. A secret spot is a secret for a reason. With preservation of the honey hole in mind, we headed back to the ramp. I was heading home while Jamie had a 9 A.M. charter customer to pick up. What a day though. Topwater specks in July.

Rock on and Stay Cool!

Mike Caulder

Mike the owner of Reel Skillz Gear

Mike the owner of Reel Skillz Gear

Hey Skillz fans!  Mike here with a great tip for those hot summer days.  Now I'm sure most of you have seen these great new indestructible fishing coolers on the market. They keep your ice super cool for long periods of time.  Honestly I'm sure they are everything they claim to be and boy do I want one.  They just look cool, you know.  Unfortunately they are a bit out of my price range.  I just keep on rocking with my Coleman cooler...literally.  Here is what I do on my fishing trips to get the most from my cooler.  I use ROCK SALT!  You know, the stuff for making ice cream.  Before I hit the water for a day of fishing for redfish or flounder, I throw in a handful of rock salt on my ice.  Usually I sprinkle it in and mix it into the ice.  This will get your drinks cold FAST and will stay cold for days.  Now if you plan on using the ice in a cup, then this isnt the best option.  Just be careful not to add too much rock salt or else you will freeze your drinks. Trust me on this.  So next time you are venturing out for a fishing trip or even to the beach, give this a try! 

Rigging a Popping Cork for Redfish and Trout

Mike Caulder

Hey Skillz Fans!  I just wanted to share our latest video tip.  This one involves rigging a popping cork for inshore saltwater fishing.  Capt. Jamie Rushing, of Seagate Charters here in Wilmington NC, explains how he ties this rig.  His basic setup uses a rattling popping cork, leader and a D.O.A. Shrimp.  This rig is perfect for shallow water fishing in creeks, marsh areas and grass beds.  Jamie uses the popping cork rig to target redfish, speckled trout and even flounder.  Your coastal inshore tackle box should not be without one or two popping corks.  Check out the video above and be sure to give this rig a try for an inshore slam!

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Fishing a Carolina Rig for Flounder and Redfish- There's a difference.

Mike Caulder

The Carolina Rig is one of the most versatile and widely used bait rigs around. Whether using this for live bait or artificial lures, it consistently catches fish. While it isn’t flashy, it works. This setup is used quite extensively throughout coastal North Carolina by inshore anglers targeting Flounder and Redfish. While the rig can be used to catch both species, there are some differences in the way they are fished.   I won’t go into detail about how to tie this rig and the modifications that can be made to it. You can find that information HERE. What I want to explain are a few simple tricks that can increase your chances of catching Flounder and Redfish with the Carolina Rig.

Capt. Jamie Rushing of Seagate Charters

Capt. Jamie Rushing of Seagate Charters

First, when you look at how flounder and redfish feed, you will find that redfish are cruisers while flounder are a bit more lethargic. Flounder use cover and wait for food to come to them. So when I am using a Carolina rig to target flounder, I keep it on the move. I find cover such as a dock, creek mouth of hump on the bottom to cast to and slowly work my bait back to the boat. This is done much like a bass angler uses the Carolina rig with a plastic worm. First I cast out the rig and allow it to fall all the way to the bottom. Then, I slowly lift my rod tip, dragging the Carolina rig across the bottom. Lower the rod tip and reel up the slack. Then repeat. This slowly drags the rig along the bottom back to the boat. This is how I fish the Carolina rig while casting. In addition, this rig can be fished while drifting. Used by many southern North Carolina flounder anglers, this technique is basically throwing out your Carolina rig behind the boat, putting it in a rod holder and letting the current or outboard, move the boat. This is usually fished parallel to the bank along ledges, inlets or creek mouths. It is a very successful way to catch flounder. I have done this many times with my father along the Intracoastal waterway and have caught many flounder this way. As for baiting this rig, many options are suitable. I prefer live minnows such as mullet or menhaden, but an artificial or a strip of white cut bait can prove just as effective. There are times when you just may not be able to find bait. Often times I have used plastic minnows, worms or even crawfish. All of these baits will catch fish.

When using the Carolina rig to target Redfish and speckled trout, I fish this rig stationary. Redfish and trout cruise around looking for food so why not serve up lunch and let them come to the table? When using this rig I cast several around areas of structure such as a dock or oyster bed. If there are fish in the area they will usually find your bait. Several stressed and excited live baits in the water can really attract some attention. This is a great method to use when trying to locate fish. Usually I will fish this around cover for 10-15 minutes and then move on to another spot. It is fast paced but you cover more ground and increase your chances of locating fish. I do prefer live bait for this rig such as mullet or pogies. Now, that being said, this doesn’t mean that you can’t catch reds or trout on a moving rig. People do it all the time. I often set these stationary Carolina rigs up and then fish an additional one for flounder. So I have some sitting and one moving. I might even fish an artificial lure while letting my Carolina rigs sit around a dock. Ultimately, I have found that setting up 2-3 stationary rigs around a piece of cover is very effective at catching reds or trout, if they are in fact around the cover you are fishing. By using the 10-15 minute rule, you won’t be wasting much time on one particular spot. So there you have it. Give these two methods a try and see if the Carolina rig will produce more fish for you. Also be sure to check our previous post HERE about making your own Carolina rigs.

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