Once again, we got a little scare when some storms sprung up late last week, but fortunately neither headed our way. Tropical Storm Matthew blew up in the Gulf of Mexico and caused some flooding around the New Orleans area and Subtropical Storm Nicole formed off Bermuda, but quickly headed off towards the northeast.
Our weather is nice classic fall weather. However, the passage of a front line is expected to breeze up the winds for Friday. The question is, "Will it move on in time for a calm weekend?"
The temperature is nice too. It's cool, but not too cool. A jacket or overshirt in the morning and evening is good, but for reeling fish during the day, shirtsleeves are still in order. It feels nice to be cleaning fish and not have to constantly wipe sweat from my eye. Actually that's two things-it feels nice to be cleaning fish too.
The fall fishing we have been awaiting is going gangbusters. Whatever your pleasure, there is something biting from the sounds all the way to the Gulf Stream.
Drum, a few trout, some flounder, and lots of spots are biting in inside waters. This week, fishermen were lining the banks at Snows Cut at Carolina Beach, plus there were plenty of folks also fishing from boats. The rods were getting bent too! The main catch was spots, but some nice flounders were caught also. Similar action is taking place all along the N.C. coast.
When fishing from a boat, please remember that it is illegal to block the channel and impede the ICW traffic. You should anchor along the channel edge and cast over into it. While they would prefer not to have to, the Coast Guard is monitoring this situation and will write tickets if the situation warrants.
The spot fishing from the piers moved to a higher level this weekend. They are all nice spots, with the first of the big yellowbellies mixed in. Flounder also bit well. Other species also being caught from the piers include Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano, red and black drum, sea mullet, gray trout, speckled trout, and king mackerel.
The fall king bite fired up this week from Cape Hatteras to the south. Many piers reported multiple catches on different days. The hottest action was from Topsail to Oak island. The boat anglers also found them very thick right off the beaches.
The flounder bite continues to go pretty well in both inside and nearshore ocean waters. Around the inlets and the nearshore artificial reefs are good locations to find flatfish.
As the water cools, gray trout catches continue to grow. They are in the surf and sound at Hatteras and Ocracoke, around Cape Lookout and scattered from Harkers Island to the Morehead City bridges on the inside, plus showing strong at Johns Creek and High Rock off Carolina Beach. I haven't gotten a report yet from the WOFES, but if they aren't already there, they should be arriving very soon.
Speckled trout are also being caught in the deeper holes in the marshes and along the surf. I had an entertaining evening with Capt. Stuart Caulder (www.GoldLeaderFishing.com or 910-264-2674) one evening late last week as we were catching them on topwater plugs around Masonboro Inlet.
Even though the swell was large this weekend, those who went found the offshore action to be good. Wahoo are the top offshore catches right now, but there are also dolphin, tuna, and an occasional billfish. Some early bluefin tuna were caught off Hatteras last week.
Congratulations to the Capt. Al Morris and the Sea Drag'n crew for winning the Drum Inlet King Mackerel tournament. Their winning fish weighed 37 pounds. Scott Allsbrook topped the Bogue Inlet Pier King Tourney with a 16.6 pound king. Captains Jerry Gower and Ed Faison combined to lead the Strike 1 to the Big Rock Sailfish Classic win with three releases. North Carolina won the NC/SC Governor's Cup Shootout and Wrightsville Beach won the First Annual WB/CB Battle of the Beaches.
This weekend, the Fall Brawl King Classic (910-575-3474) will be held at Ocean Isle Beach.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver