I found myself looking at the red splotches on my Top Spot Inshore Pamlico Sound to Morehead City and Bogue Inlet map last evening. Those areas are suggested fishing areas that include not only latitude and longitude, but also species of fish and the months for catching said fish.
I know, I know. I can't seem to get over this endless search for good fishing. But how can I when right there on the map it shows Clubhouse Slew (no. 64 on the fishing index) on Core Sound with both speckled trout AND redfish marked as prime season in June? This map has got to be accurate. I mean how detailed can you get? Right next to Clubhouse Slew are the Grass Flats, no. 65 on your fishing index, with clear indications that speckled trout will not deign to move to the flats until July, arriving then in small numbers, and only showing up in strength in August. I won't even bother flipping a cast in that direction. But Clubhouse Slew? I'll be working that place.
There are dozens of these red splotches on the path of the June trip - Channel Points, Back Sound Flats, Spit Bay, Yellow Shoal, and Bottle Run Flats just to name a few. Specks and the reds better watch out. With 411 this accurate I expect I'll be cleaning fish every afternoon during the June trip. (Or maybe not.)
I was looking at the chart because it is time past due for planning the early summer sail. My basic idea is to sail from Pate Boat Yard in Hobucken south to Beaufort and Cape Lookout, then head north on Core Sound to Pamlico Sound, the Pamlico River, maybe Belhaven, and then back down to Hobucken. There are a few alternative routes in there, such as a side trip to Ocracoke or maybe East Bluff Bay (where I caught a decent speckled trout but lost a very nice redfish - better known locally as "puppy drum"). I'll have to think through my options and, of course, go with the flow on the sail. I've got eight or maybe nine days for sailing (that shows how lax I've been in planning, I don't even know how many days I have off) and we'll just see what happens.
I'm behind on planning, behind on shopping for this trip. Work has kept me too busy. But I'll make time to get it figured out. I've got about three weeks - is that all, three weeks?? - until I head down to Hobucken. My advantage is that I have sailed a lot of these areas before and I've got a pretty good supply list.
I was out shopping this evening when I picked up a six pack of Green Can Golden Ale. It was only when I saw the bottles in the store that I realized that the Green Can referred to a navigation buoy. I've had Green Can a few times over the years and have enjoyed it very much. But it was always on draft and I had assumed the "Green Can" meant it came in a green can. It is an excellent beer, locally brewed by O'Connor Brewing Company. I'll enjoy it even more knowing it is named after markers like the ones that help me find my way home.
That six pack, plus a few more that I'll pick up tomorrow, will be just right when we have some friends over this weekend for the annual crawfish boil. Laissez les bon temps roulez!