After dealing with numerous 90 degree days throughout September, it looks like fall is finally going to arrive this weekend. A cold front is approaching that will send the overnight low on Saturday morning into the mid-50's and bring a weekend long blow out of the northeast.
The winds will be gusty Thursday night and Friday morning before falling back to 10-15 knots for Saturday and Sunday, but with an east swell building. As long as you stay in protected waters or hug the south facing beaches, the conditions should remain fishable over the weekend.
Our fall fishing was trying to get started even with the warm air and warmer than usual water temperatures. This front should cool both the water and the air and jack the fishing up a notch or two.
The spots began biting on the piers last weekend. This isn't the main part of the spot run, but there are certainly enough to make it worthwhile cleaning them and getting some grease hot. Other fish being caught from the piers includes puppy drum, speckled trout, gray trout, pompano, bluefish, flounder, Spanish mackerel and some nice sea mullet.
All the piers along the Crystal Coast are open and catching fish. Wally, from the Shearaton Pier, called to make sure I knew they were open. He said they weren't as long as they had been before losing some of the pier's end, but there were plenty of fish around the rest of the pier. He said the sea mullet bite wasn't yet as hot as it should get, but the ones they were catching were very nice size fish.
There is currently a good supply of bloodworms and all the fish like them, especially the spots. However, many fishermen and pier owners are singing the praises of the Fishbites synthetic bloodworm alternative, Bag-O-Worms, from Carr Specialty Baits.
Farther south on the NC coast there has been a fantastic run of king mackerel from the piers. Many of those good king reports have come from the Topsail piers. However, at the far southern coast, there has been a fantastic king bite at Oak Island. The three piers there have been recording multiple king landings each day, with Ocean Crest Pier leading the charge with over 50 kings in the last week. This has to be some kind of record and hopefully this bite is spreading along the entire N.C. coast.
Bait has been reported to be very thick along the ocean beaches for much of the coast. This and the beginning of the fall migrations, should bring many larger predators right up to the beaches.
Inshore, there haven't been a lot of people taking advantage of the nice weather, but there have been some pretty good reports of flounder, red drum and speckled trout. Several guides and fishermen have reported inshore slams (at least one red drum, flounder and speckled trout on the same trip).
Offshore there are some scattered dolphin, a mixture of yellowfin and blackfin tuna and a few billfish. However, the wahoo fishing has been great. Many boats have reported double digit numbers of wahoo in their daily catches.
Congratulations to Al Morris and crew on the Sea Drag'N for winning the Onslow Bay Open King Mackerel Tournament and to Jeff York and crew on the Trick Z for winning the South Brunswick Islands King Classic. Their winning kings weighed 32 and 40 pounds respectively.
This weekend the Toys for Tots King Mackerel Tournament (252-728-6817) is in Atlantic Beach, with a SKA Pro Event running concurrently and the US Open (800-457-6964) is in Southport.