By Capt. Butch Foster
Can you believe we are already into May? Like the old saying that is so true, time waits for no one! And since it’s May, let’s talk some about one of the best fishing opportunities we have in May, and that’s the Gulfstream.
Out of Southport, NC a lot of times we will start at the 100/400 area and work towards the Black Jack hole and then possibly towards the Steeples from there.
In May, you can expect to have a good Wahoo bite as well as Mahi-Mahi, Blackfin Tuna, and sometimes even Yellowfin Tuna. However, the Yellowfin fishing has slowed for the past five years or so when the Gulfstream pattern pushed farther offshore, moving the Yellowfin migration farther out as well.
All that means Cedar plugs! A basic stand-by for eons! You can pull these and cover lots of water fast to help you find fish and lots of times they get bit so good you just keep pulling them.
Ballyhoo rigged in skipping, swimming, and skirted pulled around 5 to 7 knots is a great traditional way to get hooked up. I like to keep an eye out for the forage at the time I am there. If I see lots of Flying fish, I will opt to pull blue and white color combos. Black and purple color combos are great, and seem to be the preference of Wahoo!
Also, don’t forget about lures. The Yo-Zuri style Bonito lures are a hot commodity in the stream.
I have discovered a way to pull a big planer to get my baits down deep and at a high speed. The problem I was having was having the “Hollow Core” Braid cut my 130 mono when I did a loop-to-loop connection and tried to pull a large planer on a “planer bridle.”
Since I tie my own bridles, I did some experimenting and figured a way to rig my bridles with an Albright knot instead of a loop-to-loop. Next up was the Albright slipping from all the pressure, but an extra wrap going in and coming out eliminated this problem and I can now pull a #14 planer at 8 knots and get my baits down extra deep in the water.
As for tackle, if you have heavy gear, use it. I use the Bluefin Tuna tackle for the fast troll with the big planer: an 80W on a 130 big roller guide rod.
When you rig you ballyhoos, be sure to hold them at boat side at trolling speed and make sure they are not spinning. Nothing else I know of can ruin a “spread” any quicker than a spinning bait!
A great way to rig your hoo’s is on the “Deep Six” Pirate Plug made by Capt. Bob Earl at South Chatham Tackle. The Deep Six will eliminate spinning and up you catch!
The sky’s the limit in the stream. And if the trolling bite isn’t happening then this is an excellent place to do your deep jigging and top-water popping, but that’s another type of fishing and a whole other story for next time!
Capt. Butch Foster