Sunny skies, lack of precipitation and mild air temperature sending out the last week of November have helped keep the water temperatures up, and still reading in the low to mid sixties, meaning anglers are still finding plenty of fish for the taking in the inshore waters. Offshore, conditions have been hit or miss, however there are still ample opportunities for the boaters to find a good day to head off the beach and find some good fishing not too far off the hill. The weekend looks to remain fairly mild with some rain chances and some wind in the forecast which may make water temperatures fluctuate some, but for the most part, those still fishing and catching are expecting some decent catches well into the month of December.
Speckled trout, red drum and black drum round out the inshore species being encountered with regularity. Anglers are also reporting some flounder being caught, with those being landed being more apt to be over the minimum size limit. The trout have been biting well on soft artificial baits as well as Mirrolures around the inlets and also the deeper channels and creek mouths. Areas in the Cape Fear River have been producing the larger trout being found in our area while those heading north a ways and fishing the Neuse River have been having some success on large, citation sized fish. Red drum have been hanging around the same haunts and are being caught on the same baits with live minnows and fresh cut bait also producing some good catches. Fresh shrimp fished around the oyster beds and creeks are giving anglers plenty of action from black drum. Live minnows and soft baits are attracting the attention from those flounder being caught.
Along Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach and Topsail and Surf City, anglers fishing the surf are finding plenty of large Virginia mullet in the deeper holes and sloughs between the bar and the beach. Those fishing with sand fleas are managing to catch the larger fish while fresh cut shrimp is also producing some decent catches. Anglers have also reported some large pompano, up to five pounds, being encountered, and while most of the fish have been in the one pound range, there’s always the possibility of a much larger fish coming along. Fishermen throwing Mirrolures have also been reporting some decent sized speckled trout being caught in the deeper sloughs.
Off the beach, the king mackerel action has moved off the beach in the fifteen to twenty mile range with a few fish still being caught a bit closer to the beach, but not in numbers. Water temperatures have dipped enough to push them a few more miles off the beach than the past couple of weeks. Bottom fishing has been decent in the twenty mile range with better fishing for more species being found in the thirty miles range. Gulf Stream fishing for wahoo and blackfin tuna has been good when the boats can get out to them. There remains a possibility of some decent weather this weekend, however, that remains to be seen as the days grow closer.