Overall, the fishing and weather conditions for the winter season have been pretty tolerable for the local anglers. While not every day or weekend was perfect, there were enough of them throughout the months to keep those who wanted to wet a line, busy.
The weather has gotten even better this last week of March and the anglers have taken full advantage of it. Some are reporting very good action was had.
Water temperatures inshore are reading in the upper 50s and with warm temps in the extended forecast, they’ll be steady in the 60s in the coming days. What that means for area anglers, is it’s time to get ready, especially if you’ve been waiting for those perfect conditions.
Inshore, the past week has seen a smorgasbord of species being reported from anglers using a variety of methods. The Virginia mullet have been biting both in the lower Cape Fear River and also in the surf on fresh shrimp on two dropper rigs. If fishing from the surf, fish the deeper holes or between the beach and the bar in the sloughs during high water fallen, although other times of the tide can also produce.
River fishing has been best in water depths around 25 feet. Red drum are also being reported in good numbers coming from the docks and the creeks on artificial baits and both live and cut baits. Some over slot fish have also been reported coming from the areas of the inlets, namely the rocks at Masonboro Inlet. Some speckled trout have also been reported with some decent keeper fish being caught. The deeper channels and creeks are holding some fish, as are the inlets. Anglers are also report a few bluefish being caught and that should improve as we enter the month of April.
Offshore, anglers experienced some very good fishing in the Gulf Stream with reports of wahoo, blackfin tuna and even a few yellowfin tuna being caught. Some areas produced better than others, as is always the case, and areas holding baitfish were better than those that didn’t. The baitfish concentrations were dependant on water temperatures in the area, so getting the temperature chart and some local information before heading out will definitely help your cause before burning the fuel and the time on your excursion.
The wahoo were found in areas of the Same Ole, Steeples and Devils Hole and the Nipple. The tuna were also caught in the same areas and there was some sporadic action in other locations as well. Anglers fishing near the tower reported some king mackerel and some decent bottom fishing. Speaking of king mackerel, there have also been some reports of fish being found within fifteen miles of the beach with anglers using dead cigar minnows or spoons. As conditions continue to warm, expect those fish to begin moving towards the beach in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, the weather conditions are not looking all that favorable for the coming weekend, however that can change in an instant so keep your eyes on the weather and make sure to get that fishing gear in working order because the fishing is about to take off and you don’t want to be left at the dock when it happens.