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The sun has set on another month in coastal Carolina and what a strange month it turned out to be....I traditionally count down to Good Friday, as this is historically indicative of early Bluegill fishing....That was March 29th this year but despite the groundhog's prediction we were still fighting winter when the calendar changed to April.......I set out on the 3rd of April under brisk conditions, water temperatures struggled to reach 57 degrees and the largemouth numbers almost matched the bluegill count on this day.....The shallow Crappie bite dominated this trip with 29 tidal slabs getting me through a chilly day....

I set out again on the 4th of April but this trip was halted early as ice pellets and heavy rains sent us to the launch prematurely with only 6 gills in the bag.....

I decided to splash again on the 7th and this time 49 degree water greeted me at first entry on the Little River....The water climbed through the morning and the Bluegill bite picked up later in the morning after a 20 Crappie limit was already landed....The Bass got active as well and we wound up with 21 gills too......

On the 8th I decided to head up to the head waters of the Pasquotank River searching for shallow coves warming from high skies......I located 65 degree water but the bite was still dominated by tidal Crappie shallow to the tune of 27 and I managed just 9 gills.......

Tipped jigs has been the story throughout the month of April...

Equipped with the knowledge of 65 degree water, I was given a confidence boost when the weatherman said record highs could be set around the Albemarle of North Carolina and as it turned out, Elizabeth City set a record on the 10th of 89 degrees pushing water temperatures to 76 degrees and creating the best gill bite since September, but we still had more Crappie at 47 with 36 gills and 3 over 10"....

The temperatures moderated from the mini heat wave and we hit the Yeopim River on the 13th with water temps at 69 degrees....Again the tidal Crappie bite was dynamite on this river as well...landing 42 Crappie and just 16 gills but 3 of those were over 10".....Is Spring finally here?

The water remained in the low 70s for the 14th and I had a 63 fish day including 37 Bluegill with two of those over 10" to go with 25 Crappie.......

Chilly nights returned and the water temperatures were knocked back into the lower 60s for my next trip on the 17th.....an 81 fish day was awesome with 36 gills including 2 redbreasts along with 42 Tidal Crappie in their Tuxedos.......

Back to the Pasquotank River on the 18th and I wind up with a nice mixed bag of 30 Crappie and 20 Gills.....

The mild nights continue and the water temperatures continue to hold in the low 60s as I head out on the Little River on the 21st.....20 more Crappie right away and I worked for 21 gills....water was way down and the gusty winds to 30 finally sent me home...

Headed to a Virginia honey hole after work on the 24th but the water was down two feet from wind tides and in the high 50s.....Fought the wind for 16 gills and 3 Crappie on a slow day....

It warmed up a bit and I decided to get my grandsons out for a little boat action on the 26th.....We had a blast and landed 71 total fish including 27 Gills and 33 Crappie....The boys had fun but not as much as I did taking them out...

Cody with a nice Seed above and Owen with his personal best Largemouth below....

Finally my friends from Virginia came down the last Sunday of the Month and we hit the Pasquotank on a heavy overcast afternoon with 66 degree water and what a bite we had.......46 Gills for the best trip of 2013, 22 more Crappie up to 13.75 inches and 7 sunfish total over 10" including 2 nice Redears...

Big Coppers are starting to shine...

The Tidal Crappie bite has been amazing this Spring...

And Nice female Redears too......Three Cheers!

Despite all the challenges Mother Nature has thrown our way this month it has been truly awesome.....The gills still aren't on the beds here yet but I caught 302 in April....The quirky weather has held the water temperatures in the 60s thus the Crappie spawn has went on for nearly seven weeks now and is still in progress today......340 Tidal Crappie this month has been amazing........And April is only the fifth best month to fish this region....incredible....and the calendar will say MAY tomorrow which is even better!

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And we sit on the verge of some of the year's best fishing in May but I have to say April was awesome in Coastal North Carolina.....

Great report & panfish!

Thanks Townie!

Nice job....

Thanks Jason....really looking forward to May and a warm up.....by the full moon this month it should be wide open across our region....

Seems like yesterday.....Time Flies.....

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