After having great fishing weather since Monday, we will be bombarded by a fair mullet blow on Friday, that begins easing off on Saturday and we'll see how quickly it goes away from there. There are several different versions of how soon the cold and winds will moderate, but I'm hoping for early on Sunday.
Friday and Saturday our high air temps are only forecast to be in the 50's and then easing back into the 60's on Sunday. This gives me hope the winds will be laying out by then also. The water temperature at Bogue Inlet Pier earlier this week had fallen to 65 degrees. I saw ranges from 68 to 74 degrees in several creeks. Don't worry about the cold--It's time to bundle up and go fishing.
Capt. Noah Lynk told me his charters had been doing very well with speckled trout around Harkers Island, with some really nice trout coming from the Cape Lookout Jetty. He said they were also catching a bunch of red drum along the beaches and at the jetty.
I had a couple of decent outings this week myself, but they were mixed up. One trip was to be for trout and ended up with red drum and the other was to be for drum and ended up with (some nice) speckled trout. While they weren't as intended, I was pleased with both outings.
Several schools of red drum have been moving through the surf from the east beach at Cape Lookout to the east beach at Bald Head Island. Several schools were along Shackleford Banks, Bear Island and Masonboro Island. Someone pointed out that these areas don't have any houses and the drum prefer the dark beaches at night to areas with a lot of houses and the lights that go with them.
Several inside flounder fishermen have said their fishing has slowed over the past few weeks, while several surf fishermen have said their flounder catches were improving. Perhaps the cooling water has the flounder moving towards the inlets and staging around them, before moving offshore for the winter? I'm still hearing good reports of flounder catches from the nearshore artificial reefs.
Speckled trout fishing continues to be good and may be improving. There have been good reports of speck catches through all the coastal marshes and at the jetties inside Shackleford Banks, at Cape Lookout, at Fort Macon and the inlet jetties at Masonboro Inlet and Little River.
Several of the Neuse River guides are also reporting good speck and puppy drum catches along the river and in most of the connecting creeks.
The gray trout bite continues to be good also. They have been in the surf and inlets along the Outer Banks, in the Turning Basin, through Beaufort Inlet and up to the Dead Tree Hole off Morehead City and at the Masonboro Inlet Jetty, Johns Creek Rock and the Fort Fisher Rocks off the Wilmington area. Some sea mullet, whiting, Va. mullet, or whatever you call them, have been mixed in with them and scattered along the surf.
The spot run is still good at times and not so good at others. There have been good bites several piers this week and at numerous locations around the inlets and along the Intracoastal Waterway. If you aren't familiar with an area, just inquire at a local tackle shop. General directions will get you close enough to see the spot yacht fleet.
There was more bad (?) news from the piers this week. There had been a purchase approved for Emerald Isle to buy Bogue Inlet Pier and protect it from development, but that fell through this week and the pier and its adjoining property is back on the open market.
We should enjoy the piers while we have them as they may all fall victim to development. This week's pier catches included spots, bluefish, flounder, sea mullet, red drum, black drum, croakers, gray trout and speckled trout.
I missed this last week, but a citation cobia was caught in the Emerald Isle Surf. Congratulations to Rick Kidwell who landed the 52.15 pound cobia that was obviously lost.
The schools of false albacore along Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout last week disappeared with the windy weather. They should return at any time but weren't around for the Cape Lookout Albacore Festival last weekend. Only four albacore were caught and all were by juniors and kids. Congratulations to Hudson Farren, of Cary, who topped the Junior Angler Division and Kristen Wagner, of Morehead City, who won the Kids Division.
The fall king mackerel run has started and slowed over the past several weeks. With the cooling water, they are gradually moving offshore. Look for them at just about any favorite location in 60 feet of water or deeper--and they are hungry!
When the wind allows them to go, the offshore boats are finding good catches. The catches off Cape Fear and Cape Lookout have wahoo as the featured species. While tuna are the hot species off Hatteras and Oregon Inlet.
The fall offshore bottom bite is as close to a sure thing as you can expect to get. Just anchor up over a section of good bottom and drop them some baits. The reports include good numbers of gag, scamp and red grouper, plus beeliners, black sea bass, triggerfish and grunts.
The top N.C. anglers at last weekend's Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series Championship in Orange Beach, Alabama, were Team Berkley/Tideline, with Capt. Dieter Cardwell and crew in seventh place.
The Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament (252-354-6350, www.emeraldisle-nc.org/eiprd) continues through December 2 in Emerald Isle. The Fall Brawl King Classic (910-575-3474,http://www.oifishingcenter.com) in Ocean Isle was postponed to this weekend. The Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Invitational Surf Fish Tournaments (252-995-4253, www.capehatterasanglersclub.org) began Wednesday in Buxton and the Ed Sewell Speckled Trout Tourney (252-393-2204), will be held Sunday in Swansboro.