Carolina Slam in December

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By Capt. Jacob Frick

The events of my day ate away more daylight than I anticipated. Taking a quick peek out the window to check the tide and quickly gathering my fishing gear, I hit the water. The goal was to continue testing out a rod made by Cousins Tackle. Having only about an hour to get it done, I stayed close to home. Because I was in test mode, I decided to use some different soft plastics, as well.
My first area was hopeless as the tide was already rising. I have never done very well on the rising tide in that area, for some reason. I moved into a nearby creek where I have enjoyed plenty success. I was surprised to find I was not the only one on the water so late. A couple of guys already were working the first few cuts feeding into the main creek area. I slid just down the creek from them and went to work.
The first couple of strikes were short subtle bumps, but I know those were trout. I made a few color changes and the strikes got more
aggressive. The first fish to the boat was a good keeper trout, shaking his head all the way to the boat. I missed the next one, but the bite did not feel like a trout. It is December, right? My next two casts happened to find flounder. They were both short of the mark, as expected for this time of year. I continued to pick away at the area, landing a few rat reds to complete my slam. Several more trout cooperated before my hour of daylight faded, but only three keepers out of the bunch.
I started using a 5-inch chartreuse dog made by Bass Assassin. I received several short strikes on this bait, which ultimately helped me locate the fish. My hook size may have been too small for this longer bait. I decided to go back down to the 4-inch sea shads, switching the color to green moon. Again, I was getting short strikes and just couldn’t get one to commit. I switched to another favorite of mine this time of year, the albino ghost, but  didn’t get a sniff. I then decided to go with limetreuse ghost, and that was the ticket. All three species busted it down to the jig head.
It was great to enjoy a little success this afternoon and even better as my two boys greeted me at the dock. It was wonderful to show them the three trout in the live well, letting them participate in the picture and release process. Jake has been on several fishing trips with me but school takes up most of his time right now. Jasper is 2 and I can’t wait to get him fishing on a good day.
The fishing is still pretty good, considering the roller-coaster ride. Temperatures have been bouncing back and forth from the low 30s to the upper 70s. It has been hard for us all to stay adjusted and prepared with changing weather. The forecast Christmas day may actually feel more like the season, as cold air rushes in behind this next warm up. I will be spending more time off the water the next few days, catching up with family and friends as we celebrate Christmas. Merry Christmas! See ya on the water.

Capt. Jacob Frick, who has 10 years of knowledge and experience in guiding family, friends, and clients in the backwater surrounding Ocean Isle Beach, is a fishing columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at (803) 315-3310 or jacob@oifc.com for additional information or questions about his columns.