If you have been experiencing the fishing being found in our local waters the past few weeks, you have no doubt been having a lot of fun catching fish. The “fall” fishing season has been anything but that as far as fishing conditions are involved. Very warm and even above normal temperatures, slight winds and seas and water temperatures still reading in the lower seventies have all had the fall fishing anglers thinking it’s still late summer but the fishing has been anything but, with very good catches all the way around. But unfortunately, all that’s about to change, at least for the foreseeable future and as far as conditions are concerned. A cold front, already reaching into the area as this report is being printed, is expected to finally bring some conditions that anglers expect this time of year, and quite frankly, about a month later than normal. What it does to the fishing remains to be seen. Maybe better, maybe worse, depending on the species, but for most, a welcomed event for those who like fishing in the fall, when it’s cool.
Inshore, the red drum fishing continues being decent around the docks and in the creeks and this cold front shouldn’t have too much of an impact on the fishing going into the weekend. Fresh cut bait and finger mullet fished on Carolina Rigs are a good option but the artificial baits have been catching their fair share of fish also. Live baits have also been doing well with the flounder in the same locations as well as the inlets and deeper channels around the inlets, with the better quality fish coming from the Carolina Beach waters and the waters of the Cape Fear River. Speckled trout are being found in the normal local locations, and while the fish are of good quality size, the amount of fish being found appear to be slightly less than in years past. As conditions cool into the coming weekend, that may be enough to trigger the bite that most fall anglers have come to expect.
Surf anglers are enjoying some typical fall fishing with Virginia mullet and some pompano being caught on fresh shrimp. Red drum and a few bluefish have been an occasional catch on fresh cut bait. Anglers have started reporting the past few days an influx of spots being caught and again, while a tad late, the run and encounters has been increasing as this cold front approaches out area.
Off the beach, the king mackerel action has been really good in the five mile range and anglers have been limiting out with quality fish in the ten to twenty pound range, with a few bigger fish mixed in, in just about no time depending on the amount of anglers aboard. With the warm waters around, there were even a few reports of some dolphin still being caught in the seven to ten mile range. Bottom fishing has been good around twenty miles out for black sea bass, grunts and a few grouper with better bottom fishing for grouper being found around the thirty mile mark. Gulf stream fishing has seen some good catches of wahoo and a few blackfin tuna. Unfortunately with the prognosis for winds starting mid week and continuing through the weekend and beyond, the offshore fishing will undoubtedly be taking a break for the near future.