Just as soon as our weather began turning to fall conditions, we had another blast of summer. That weather arrived last Saturday, and stayed until now, but it appears fall will be returning by mid-week and for the weekend. Hopefully it doesn't confuse the fish and they continue to feed.
It has been a bit of an unusually year so far with the extra warm water, then several hurricanes that collided with parts of the coast, plus several more that either passed offshore and sent swells or passed through the mountains and gave us a whiplash with their following fronts. Now we are in November and many places along the coast are still showing water temperatures in the low 70's.
We had an exceptionally nice weekend and beginning of the week, but that should be beginning to change about the time this hits the news stands. Some weather is moving in and the temperatures, especially the overnight lows, will drop.
The current forecast, which can change rapidly at this time of year, has the wind and seas blowing up some beginning Wednesday. As it has been the past several weeks, the forecast for the southern half of the coast is a little better with both the winds and seas being forecast as slightly less.
In the past few weeks there have been good gray trout reports all along the coast. The Outer Banks surf, Ocracoke and Hatteras Inlets, Cape Lookout, the Dead Tree Hole, Middle Marsh, the Morehead City Turning Basin, New River Inlet, Johns Creek, WOFES, and many nearshore artificial reefs have all been producing trout.
The speckled trout bite is slowly improving in most places also. The cooler water temperatures have gotten the trout feeding and some fishermen have seen exceptional catches. Around the edges of Pamlico Sound and many creek mouths have been holding specks. Trout fishermen can be rather secretive and protect their favorite spots, but don't forget to try the third oyster rock on the right, just inside Hushmouth Creek.
Some big flounder are biting on the edges of the inlet channels and the nearshore rocks and artificial reefs.
Kings have been scattered along the entire coast. The key seems to be going to water 50 feet or deeper and temperatures above 72 degrees. The Atlas Tanker and AR 275 were really hot over the weekend.
Some pompano are still being caught from the surf and piers plus a growing number of sea mullet. There is a mixed report on spots, with lots in some places and dropping numbers in others. The spots that were at the Outer Banks last week made it to the Crystal Coast over the weekend and should be spreading south. The bite has been somewhat sporadic, but hot when it hits.
The false albacore bite is on. The hot spot has been between Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout.
The offshore action has been good whenever the weather allowed the trip. Wahoo are the top offshore catches right now, but there are also dolphin, tuna, and an occasional billfish.
Congratulations to Capt. Jeff Crouch and the crew of the Strickly Business for winning the Wrightsville Beach King Mackerel Tournament. Their 60.05 pound king is a new record for that tournament. Congratulations also to Capt. Jimmy Dupree and crew of the OBX Girl, for winning the Toys for Tots King Mackerel Tournament.
The US Anglers Association King Mackerel Championship Tournament will begin Wednesday at Southport and Oak Island. The Rock the Inlet Tournament (252-473-3610) at Oregon Inlet began November 1 and runs through January 15.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver