While it didn't get seriously cold this week, the wind has blown pretty hard most of the days and prevented some of us from going fishing where we really wanted. Don't look for that to change much this weekend and there is a real cold snap forecast for the middle of next week.
I'm still hoping for some rain, but without a lot of promise to get it. This weekend's forecast shows a possibility of some showers Friday, Sunday and Monday, but it doesn't look a lot like a real rain event. The weather is supposed to cool drastically about mid-week so hopefully there will be some rain on the edge of that front.
We've gotten to that time of year when there just aren't that many fishing reports coming in and the information here will suffer some. If you head out to the Cape Lookout Jetty on a nice morning, you'll think the crowd is still here, but that group is trout fishermen and they are notoriously tight lipped. I don't often hear much except when they take fish to weigh for citations.
The Sheraton Pier is the only one remaining open, but I was told they suffered some damage during the high surf at the beginning of the week and not all the pier is open.
My best reports this week have been of false albacore. While mainly between Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout, The fat Alberts have even been reported inside Beaufort Inlet and inside the hook at Cape Lookout. Usually there is some protected water in these areas unless the winds will be very strong. Fat Alberts typically like small flashy lures that are retrieved very quickly.
In spite of numerous bouts of lockjaw, I heard several good reports on speckled trout. The main focus has been on the trout at the Cape Lookout Jetty, but the specks are also biting in the creeks and marshes. There are also some good reports from the Neuse River and along the edges of Pamlico Sound. It's pretty hard to deny the number of citation size trout that have been weighed in at Crystal Coast tackle shops. Several guides are also reporting some nice specks in the surf along Shackleford Banks.
There are also still lots of drum around. The pups (typically less than 27 inches) are still holding in the marshes and creeks and they and some yearlings (up to about 35 inches) are feeding in the surf at Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks. Rough Point and the slough just east of Beaufort Inlet have giving up some upper slot to over slot drum pretty regularly. There are also some large drum being caught in the surf along Shackleford and Core Banks and this could be another good weekend.
They have been around for a while and may leave at any time, but some sea mullet and gray trout are still being caught in the turning basin and through Beaufort Inlet and along Shackleford Banks to the east. Speck rigs, Stingsilvers and Jig Fish continue to be good choices for baits.
There are plenty of kings around, but they have followed the baitfish a little offshore. The ocean hasn't been real conducive to heading out, but those who have made the trip are finding kings in the areas around Big 10, the Triple Nickel and Jerry's Reef on the west side of Cape Lookout, while 1700 Rock, The Atlas Tanker and Chicken Rock have been popular with fishermen heading across the shoals to the east. The local tackle shops are issuing citations for kings over 30 pounds just about every day the weather allows getting there.
The unpredictable weather and short weather windows has prevented all but the larger boats from heading offshore regularly. The offshore bite has slowed some also. The main catch is still wahoo, kings and some blackfin tuna. More yellowfin tuna are in the catch north of Cape Hatteras.
Several waves of bluefin tunas have moved through and some have been caught. The bluefin bite isn't predictable yet, but area fishermen are hopeful. Several were caught over the weekend, but I haven't had a report on any during the week. Perhaps this weekend's weather will be the thing to turn the bluefin bite on.
It also relies on having suitable weather to get there, but the offshore bottom fishing is really good right now. I spoke with someone who fished with Capt. Mike Webb on the Pelagic Too on Thursday and he said they had quite a day. The reports include good numbers of gag, scamp and red grouper, plus beeliners, porgies, black sea bass, triggerfish and grunts.
The Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament (252-354-6350, www.emeraldisle-nc.org/eiprd) concludes this weekend in Emerald Isle.
For any of you out-of-town readers or locals who don't mind traveling, I will be the second speaker at the fishing seminar being presented by the Oak Island Recreation Department and North Carolina Sportsman Magazine on Tuesday, from 6:30 to 9:00, December 4, at the Oak Island Recreation Center. Capt. Steve Smith will be discussing trout and drum fishing and I will be discussing king mackerel fishing. The registration fee is $20 and includes the evening's instruction, a sample bag, door prizes, pizza and drinks during the break between speakers, a 3-month subscription or renewal to North Carolina Sportsman Magazine and more.
For more information or to register, you can visit www.northcarolinasportsman.com and click on the Fall Fishing Seminar link on the left side of the page. For registration only you can also call 1-800-538-4355.