The Bebop Public Multi-purpose pier is sometimes referred to as the “not so secret anymore ” fishing spot. The two hundred foot pier is located at the west span of the William Umstead bridge and sits between the Albermarle Sound to the north and Croatan Sound to the south. The water in this area is on the saltier side of brackish so it can hold many species of both saltwater and freshwater fish. Although this area is not affected by tidal action, vast water surfaces surrounding this pier allow for wind and fast currents to pass around this structure.
This pier was originally the site of an old dock and worn shoreline. It is surrounded by many submerged pilings and cypress knees. Caution should be taken when fishing and casting in these areas to avoid getting snagged. Although many hazards exist, anglers can find productive and snag free spots.
The pier area has ample parking leading to a low-sloped ramp easily accessible for those with limited mobility. Benches, a covered pavilion and many modified railings are designed for easy casting for young and older anglers.
In the warmer months, anglers can find puppy drum, sheepshead and many types of other saltwater bottom fish around the pilings and close to the sandy shoreline. Striped Bass typically show up in the early fall and can be caught by using noisy lures and long casts toward the bridge.
Light to medium should be the gear of choice and should handle most species found at this pier. Either braided or monofiliment lines work fine but either must be tipped with a fluorocarbon leader. Successful anglers should leave their heavy gear in their vehicles.
The best rigging option is a standard double drop rig with either “J” or circle hooks. Another type is a standard Carolina rig with a sliding sinker. Popping corks have been used here but typically not as successful as rigs that place baits near the bottom. To ensure more stealth, metal or shiny rigging components should be kept at a minimum.
Finally, another productive method is using topwater lures or lead head jig with a scented plastic bait. Casting and retrieving should be varied to mimic an injured fish. Strikes occur on the fall or stall phase.
Like the other rigging components, hook size is determined by the type of bait you plan to use. Large hooks and small baits don’t always catch fish – they sometimes spook them from taking the bait. Select your hook size consistent with baits.
Fresh shrimp or cut bait work best at this pier. Never use yesterday’s bait today. Bring plenty because you will share most of it between the crabs and small bait fish.
At first look, anglers may think this little pier has nothing to offer. But the proximity to both the shore line and the Umstead bridge gives the angler several different opportunities.
Purple martins call this area home for several months a year, mosquitoes can ruin anyone’s day quickly and crabs can empty your bait supply quickly. So before you go, prepare accordingly.
This pier may appear small but it can make big memories.
Until next time – Tightlines Capt. Tony