The water is still dirty and the fish are still biting - maybe even biting better than last week. What to do? Well the first thing is not to complain or question it and the second is to make some time to go catching. All things considered, fishing is surprisingly good.
The early weather forecast has the days mostly sunny and moderate for the next week and that's what fall weather is about. Even better, the early wind forecast is pretty good. This shows the wind puffing up overnight on Saturday, then again on Monday, but being around 10 knots or less most of the time through the end of next week. That's an invitation to go fishing you shouldn't refuse.
I'm going to lead with pier fishing as it has been pretty good with a lot of variety along the entire NC Coast. The king mackerel showed up again like we hoped they would and a few have been caught on the Outer Banks piers, while there has been good action from Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle to Ocean Crest Pier in Oak Island. The kings range from the teens to a couple of 40 pounders.
Pier fishermen are also catching large red drum. They have been hitting the king baits at the end and even a few live baits fished closer to shore. Bogue Inlet Pier fishermen caught more false albacore this week. They usually are in deeper water, farther offshore than piers would be. However, off Emerald Isle they're coming in close enough pier fishermen are catching them.
The preferred lures are Got-Chas and shiny metal jigs. Working them quickly is the key. If a fat Albert decides it wants a lure, you can't reel fast enough to pull it away.
Pier fishermen have also been catching good numbers of nice speckled trout and black drum. Other pier catches include pompano, bluefish, flounder and a scattering of other fish.
Surf fishermen are catching a few fish, but there haven't been strong reports.
The biggest news for surf fishermen in the large red drum at Oak Island. They
don't come close enough every day, but they have been moving within range of
surf casters occasionally and it's a big deal when one of them takes off with
your bait. Surf fishermen are catching a mixture that includes big red drum,
puppy drum, flounder, speckled trout, black drum, and more.
Inside fishing is good - as it should be in late October. The highlight is all the nice trout. It appears most of those spikes from last fall made it through the winter and after feeding for another summer, they're more than just keepers. Most are running 1 1/2 to 3 pounds. There are also some older big trout being caught. It seems that every tackle shop is weighing several citation trout each week.
Many trout are being caught on live shrimp and minnows, but they are hitting
artificials too. Soft plastics, especially shrimp shapes have been producing
well and suspending hard baits are getting wacked too.
There are still some nice flounder being caught. The numbers might not be as good as before the water started cooling, but there are more doormats being caught now. Flounder like live baits, but will also hit a variety of lures worked slowly along or just off the bottom.
Moving back to the ocean, the hot nearshore action off Cape Lookout and Wrightsville Beach is with false albacore. They don't seem to be too spooky right now and let you get within casting range pretty easily. That is helped by them being busy gorging themselves on glass minnows. Just about any lure that even vaguely resembles a glass minnow and can be retrieved quickly will draw strikes.
Fat Alberts are favorites of fly fishermen and the fishing has been about as good as it gets several days this week..
King mackerel had moved offshore a bit during the storm and the initial deluge of dirty water, but are working their way back closer to the beach. the pier catches really put an exclamation point on this. There have been some kings caught close to the beach this week, including one 29 pounder by a kayak fisherman off Oak Island.
Offshore fishing is good! The trolling bite at the Gulf Stream is primarily wahoo and there are lots of them. Offshore trollers are also catching blackfin tuna, a few scattered yellowfin tuna, some occasional late dolphin, and even a lost sailfish or two. The bite may slow a little, but this action should last until around Thanksgiving unless there is a major change in the weather.
Offshore bottom fishing is good too. Several fishermen reported some action on every rock and wreck they tried. The offshore bottom catch regularly includes grouper, beeliners. black sea bass, triggerfish, and grunts. Last week there were a few hog snapper and spiny lobster caught too.
Flounder Season Has Not Closed
Feds Propose New Cobia Regulations in Hope of Avoiding Closure During 2017
The new federal regulations allow 1 fish per person up to a maximum of 6 per boat, with a 36 inch fork length (tip of lower jaw to middle of fork in tail) minimum size.
North Carolina currently has more restrictive regulations and the Marine Fisheries Commission will have to decide to stay with the current N.C. regulations or change the lesser limits and larger minimum size to meet the federal regulations. If N.C. stays with the current regulations, they will in effect become the regulations for federal waters off N.C. also as fish must be landed at ramps and marinas in N.C. waters. Information on N.C. regulations can be found at www.ncdmf.net and information on federal regulations can be found at www.safmc.net.
The SAFMC held a webinar on the new cobia regulations on October 25. Those who missed the webinar may submit written comments by using the online public comment form, mail, or fax. The amendment materials are posted to the website and comments must be received by 5:00 P.M. on November 15, 2016.
There is an online public comment form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf2M4xv4fu3OZdOGLon1xbZZ8Zw8rL8v-CSENu-EKgWsxeSOw/viewform?c=0&w=1. Comments with letterhead, graphics, images and the like must be mailed or faxed to Gregg Waugh, Executive Director, SAFMC, at 843-769-4520 or mail to Gregg Waugh, Executive Director, SAFMC, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405.
NC Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. Aquariums Host Ongoing Fishing
The North Carolina Aquariums offer fishing and other outdoor programs through their aquariums and Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head. The Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium is local and others are at Fort Fisher and Manteo. For more information on the Aquariums and their programs, visit www.ncaquariums.com and select your preferred location.
NC WRC And DU Offer Free Duck Hunting Seminars
Dates and locations are:
*Nov. 15, Onslow County Extension Center,4024 Richlands Hwy., Jacksonville, N.C.
“Similar to the turkey hunting, deer hunting and deer processing seminars we’re offering this year, these waterfowl seminars are designed to serve the growing interest in the great waterfowl hunting opportunities our state offers,” said Walter “Deet” James, the Commission’s hunting heritage biologist.
Justin Aycock, the N.C. youth and education coordinator for the North Carolina Chapter of Ducks Unlimited said, "The seminars also provide a forum for Ducks Unlimited to promote its Sportsmen for Tomorrow program which promotes youth involvement in the outdoors and conservation. These seminars will engage a new generation of sportsmen, so that we can pass on the waterfowl hunting and conservation tradition.”
For more information on the seminars, contact James at 919-707-0059 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Ducks Unlimited and their mission to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl, visit www.ducks.org.
Wildlife Resources Commission Will Host Public Forum on Alligators
locations for the forums, which will run from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. are:
Gordon Myers, WRC executive director, appointed the 15-member North Carolina
Alligator Task Force and charged it with writing an alligator management plan
for the state. Task force members include landowners, homeowners, scientists
and WRC staff. The alligator management plan will include:
Those who cannot attend a forum but would like to offer input can submit their comments to Allen Boynton, Wildlife Diversity Program coordinator, at email@example.com. For more information on alligators in North Carolina, visit www.ncwildlife.org/conserving.
Catch the Right Fish and Win a Truck
November 2: Shellfish Lease Public Meeting, 6:00 P.M., Fessenden Center, Buxton, Contact Valerie Wunderly at 252-808-8061 or Valerie.Wunderly@ncdenr.gov.
November 2-3: Information & Education Advisory Panel Meeting, Crowne Plaza, N. Charleston, S.C., Webinar available, www.safmc.net.
November 15-16; Habitat & Environmental Protection Advisory Panel Meeting, FWRI, St. Petersburg, FL, www.safmc.net.
November 16-18: N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting, Hilton Garden Inn, Kitty Hawk, Contact Nancy Fish at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.
December 5-9: South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, DoubleTree by Hilton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront, www.safmc.net.
Tournaments, Seminars, Boat/Fishing/Outdoor Shows, and Other Events
September 10 to December 3: Tex's Tackle Trout and Flounder Tournament, Tex's Tackle, Wilmington, www.texstackle.com.
October 8-30: Hook a Hoo Rodeo, Multiple weigh stations from Atlantic Beach to Murrells Inlet, S.C., www.hookahoo.com.
October 16-January 31: Intracoastal Angler Speckled Trout Tournament, Intracoastal Angler, Wilmington, www.intracoastalangler.com.
October 17-November 28: Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament, Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation, Weigh at Reel Outdoors, www.emeraldisle-nc.org/eiprd.
October 29: Cape Lookout Shootout 3, The Boathouse, Beaufort, www.capeshootout.weebly.com. Postponed from October 8.
October 29: Tammy Baxley Memorial Redfish Tournament: Surf City Welcome Center, Surf City, www.facebook.com/fishfortammy/?fref=ts.
October 29-30: Crystal Coast Surf Fishing Challenge, Atlantic Beach, www.fishermanspost.com. Postponed from October 8-9.
October 29-30: Fall Brawl King Classic, Ocean Isle Fishing Center, Ocean Isle Beach, www.oifc.com. Postponed from October 8-9.
November 2-4: Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Team & Open Invitational Surf Tournaments, Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, Buxton, www.capehatterasanglersclub.org.
November 5: CCA-NC Inshore Open Fishing Tournament, The Boathouse, Beaufort, www.ccanc.org.
November 5-6: Topsail Island Fall Surf and Pier Fishing Challenge, Topsail Island, www.fishermanspost.com.
November 11-12: Southern Kingfish Association National Championship, City Marina, Fort Pierce, FL., www.fishska.com.
November 12: Friendly City Speckled Trout Tournament, Casper's Marina, Swansboro, 910-389-0607.