Weekly report – 1/5/10

Fishing is at a standstill during one of the coldest winters in recent memory.  Despite the frigid temperatures, the Rutger’s site still shows some relatively warm water along the southeast facing beaches of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.  If and when the weather moderates, these will be the beaches to fish.  It looks like we might start seeing some more reasonable and seasonable temperatures next week.  Surf temperatures are in the low-mid 40s north to about 50 south, with those aforementioned beaches pushing toward the upper 50s.

With subfreezing temperatures settling in on the entire state, the inside waters are dangerously cold and there have been unfortunate reports of widespread trout kills.  Most of the reports I’ve seen have come from the lower Neuse area, but I’ve seen some photos of frozen banks along the sounds of the Outer Banks, so I’d guess the fish are taking a hit in the creeks in the Albemarle/Pamlico area too.  We’ve been riding a long wave of relatively warm winters without any major trout kills.  Accordingly, many, including myself, expected this to be a banner year for specks, but rather it has been a disappointment.  Our expectations will certainly now be much lower next fall.  With very strict gray trout limits looming due to their recent population collapse and the ongoing speckled trout kill, us trout-hunters might be in for a tough year or two.  Rest assured, it will turn around and surprises always abound in the ocean!

Once the weather does finally moderate, I expect fair puppy drum fishing along the south beach of Hatteras and on Ocracoke Island.  A few trout might also be around (the few that appear to be in the surf zone should weather the cold front just fine) and who knows, the slow onset of cold water inside may have even pushed a few more into the surf or down from the Chesapeake.  Just after Christmas prior to the arctic blast, there were reports of big trout around Masonboro Inlet between Wrightsville Beach and Masonboro Island, but the water temps have dropped a few more degrees since.  Big stripers are plentiful in the Chesapeake area, just outside of Rudee Inlet and off of Cape Henry, and the Oregon Inlet charters are still finding them some days.  The wind and weather have been the biggest challenge.

~ by surffisher on January 5, 2010.

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