Finally, some fall like weather has arrived in our local area, and for however short it’s visit may be, it has been very welcome to the area anglers. The cold front that brought the cooler temperatures also brought with it some fantastic fishing prior to its arrival, as you’ll see in this week’s fishing report. Water temperatures have also dipped just a tad, reading back in to mid to lower seventies and of course, as is normally the impact with a fall weather system coming into town this time of year, brisk and stiff winds from the north and rough sea conditions. These rough conditions, however, look to be improving, but not nearly perfect, into the upcoming weekend for those looking to wet a line outside of the inlets.
For those who like live bait fishing or just in general trolling for king mackerel, the past week of fishing has been nothing short of phenomenal. From the piers to the boats to even those willing to launch a kayak through the surf zone, the fishing has been on fire for just about whatever choice anglers have been willing to try. While most of the fish being caught from piers have been off of Topsail Beach and Surf City, those fishing from boats with both live baits and dead ones have been having luck fro there all the way south through the Brunswick County beaches. Areas within three miles have been producing best and some of these fish, while not the favorite for dinner, have been pushing upwards of forty pounds. Several piers along the Pender County beaches have reported numerous fish, up to a dozen or more, being caught every day since the weekend and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.
For those looking for something else, the spots, Virginia mullet, pompano and black drum have also taken a liking to the cooler weather and have been biting fresh shrimp fished from the piers and the surf. Cut bait is producing bluefish and red drum in the deeper sloughs and holes along the surf zone.
Inside, the red drum and trout fishing has been very good in the lower Cape Fear River but is slowly progressing towards the Wrightsville Beach waters, as far as the trout fishing goes. The red drum have been here awhile and anglers have been having some decent lick in the creeks and around the area docks but as the waters cool, this fishing will only continue to get better. Some speckled trout started showing locally, but with the onslaught of warm weather over the weekend, the shut down for a time but should be rebounding this week.
The weekend was absolutely fantastic for those wanting to go offshore and those that did were rewarded with some fantastic fishing. Gulf steam action consisted of lots of wahoo and some large dolphin along with a few blackfin and occasional yellowfin tuna. Closer in angler’s bottom fishing found the vermillion snapper, trigger fish and grouper in water depths around one hundred feet with some anglers fishing shallower waters finding some nice scamp grouper and black sea bass. The sharks are still a problem in shallow depths but have not been as bad recently. Unfortunately, while conditions look to improve into the weekend, they may not be conducive for making a major push offshore just yet. Anglers will have to watch the weather closely.