Weekly Report – September 12, 2010

Our blazing hot summer weather has moderated nicely over the past couple weeks and water temperatures have begun responding in kind.

On the east facing beaches north of Cape Hatteras, the water temps are often dictated more by the prevailing winds than the air temperatures per se.  Those warm westerlies (SW) that dominate in the summer actually lower the water temperatures by blowing warm surface waters off the beach and upwelling colder water from lower in the water column.   Easterlies have the reverse effect.  For similar reasons, east winds tend to blow in clear, oceanic water, while westerlies kick up the nearshore surf and tend to muddy up the water.  So, what we really like to see this time of year is a moderate NE wind on a hard cold front (the colder the better).  The choppy, clear surf really fires up the fish and the cold air helps lower the water temps a bit which also inspires the fish to get moving and eating.  The past few weeks have featured some nice seasonable weather with several days of light-to-moderate NE winds – a recipe for solid, but not torrid, fishing.

Water temperatures on the beaches north of Cape Hatteras have dropped to the mid-70s, while those south of Cape Hatteras and along the southeastern coast of North Carolina are still holding in the low 80s.  With the water temperatures dropping more quickly north of Cape Hatteras, this has been where the better fishing has been.  There were some good reports from the Bodie Island piers yesterday of a nice bite of a variety of late summer fish including lots of bluefish, two-at-a-time pompano and fall spot, and Spanish mackerel.  Puppy drum have been scattered in pretty good numbers along the north beaches as well.  The Outer Banks have had lots of nice-sized blues over the past couple weeks; plenty in the 2-5 pound range and some up to 8 pounds.  Although we haven’t been getting late fall monster bluefish blitzes in recent years, it is good to see a range of nice sized blues hitting throughout the spring, summer, and early fall.  False albacore have started showing up from Cape Hatteras down to Cape Lookout.  The first albies of the season tend to be on the small side, but they have been pretty abundant.

Fishing along the beaches south of Cape Lookout has been slowly improving; however, the fall run of baitfish (most notably, mullet) hasn’t yet started in earnest and the fishing remains in a late summer holding pattern.  Still there has been a pretty good showing of flounder, some puppy drum, assorted bottomfish (including some nice pompano and sea mullet), and the ever-present bluefish.  Trout, both gray and speckled, have been making a modest showing in inside waters all along the coast, better further south.

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~ by surffisher on September 12, 2010.

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