The fishing for the first few days of December had been pretty outstanding, with good catches of speckled trout and red drum from the inshore anglers to some hefty Virginia mullet from those fishing from the surf. Well, this week, that’s all come to an abrupt halt, as a significant cold front has brought winds and rain and by later this week, some very cold temperatures. With the fishing that’s been experienced up to this point, I expect the fishing to rebound at least a little in the near future, but everyone, fish and anglers alike, are going to have to adapt to the current conditions before things get back to being a little normal. Water temperatures up to this point had been maintaining in the lower sixty degree range, but after this onslaught of cold weather, expect our first readings in the fifties to transpire rather quickly. With the winds being forecast to be gusty and rough sea conditions to continue well into the weekend, even an offshore outing to find some warmer water will no doubt be out of the question.
So what’s one to do if there’s no fishing to be done? Considering Christmas is quickly approaching, how about shopping for that angler on your list. And heck, even if you’re shopping for yourself, there’s no better time to do it than now. No, I’m not talking about buying fishing rods and reels or gift cards to tackle shops, although those are always a welcome gift. I’m talking about sending yourself or your loved one to a local fishing school. These schools are popular and often sell out quickly so now’s the time to get your ticket to the show. And even if you or your angling acquaintance think they know everything there is to know about fishing, there’s always something to be learned if not from the presenter’s than from the attending anglers themselves. Here’s a quick list of what’s being offered in 2018. As more schools become known, we’ll tag them in these reports throughout the year.
The first fishing school of the year is being held at the Oak Island Recreation Center with 2 dates of February 3rd and 10th, 2018, from 9:00am to 4:30pm, lunch included. Captains Jerry Dilsaver and Butch Foster will be giving lessons on everything from inshore fishing for speckled trout, red drum, flounder, black drum to off the beach for spanish and king mackerel, bottom fishing, cast net instruction and more. For additional information or to buy tickets, which are $65 in advance or $75 at the door, (if there are any left), contact the Oak Island Recreation Department at (910) 278-5518.
The Fisherman’s Post is holding their annual “Hands On” Fishing School in Wilmington at the Coastline Convention Center on Saturday, February 10th from 7:30am to 5:00pm. This is the “Full” day school with a half day school being held on Sunday, February 11th, from 7:30am to 1:30pm. Cost for the full day school is $100 by February 3rd and $110 after and the half day school being $70 and $75 after. Both schools offer lots of interaction and as described, “hands on” opportunities. Lots of goodies will be given away at both and breakfast and a BBQ lunch will be provided for the Saturday school.