The first week of September had offered both inshore and offshore anglers ample opportunities to try their luck. With the holiday weekend, many more got to enjoy the sunny skies, after Saturday’s rainy morning, and slight seas to fish for pretty much anything that they wanted. This week however is a whole different animal. A cold front is forecast to arrive and bring with it strong north east winds in the area of twenty five knots which will create dangerous sea conditions throughout the weekend. Then, early next week, our area might have to deal with Hurricane Irma, either directly or indirectly and whatever the case it probably won’t be pleasant, but we’ll just have to wait and see on what scenario we encounter. One item that will be good news is that the front will also bring with it cooler temperatures and much lower humidity, which will help bring down the water temperatures also, which are still reading in the mid to lower eighties.
The fishing offshore was pretty decent for those heading to the blue water early in the week. Wahoo were reported in fairly good numbers around the Steeples and Same Ole Hole as well as some areas where anglers were able to locate temperature breaks. Some decent action from dolphin were also reported along with a few blackfin tuna.
Bottom fishing in the thirty mile range is good with catches of red grouper, snapper and triggerfish. Some large black bass have also been reported recently with smaller fish being reported closer to the beach.
The king mackerel fishing has not been exactly what anglers are looking for with the catches being scattered, but there are some fish being caught. Both live bait and dead cigars are working and those having success have been fishing ledges and live bottoms that have been holding good amounts of bait. Barracuda have also been a regular catch, especially around the areas of artificial reefs. Spanish mackerel fishing has remained good along the beach with Clark Spoons trolled on planers. With the heat and humidity, most of the fish have been staying deeper.
Inshore fishing has been really good for red drum and flounder. A lot of anglers are reporting that cut bait has been out fishing live bait for the red drum, mainly due to the amount of baitfish in the water. Some anglers are also having better luck on flounder by using artificial baits instead of live minnows, again because there’s so much baitfish for the flounder to choose from. Some speckled trout have also been reported coming from the lower Cape Fear River.
Surf fishermen have been having luck with virginia mullet and small pompano using fresh shrimp. Now that the majority of seasonal visitors have left the area, the fishing along the surf zone should improve a little, mainly because anglers will have much more water to choose a location to fish from. Anglers have also reported some bluefish making an appearance along the beaches which is a sure sign that fall is in the not too distant future, but we’ve still got a few weeks to go.
Hopefully next week brings us nothing more than rain and a little wind and fortunately the storm forecast has it moving fast so whatever impact will hopefully be short-lived. Whatever the case, if you haven’t already made your plans, which you should have at the beginning of the season, now is the time to prepare, as you don’t want to be riding around over the weekend trying to find supplies.