The operative word…

…is small. Still decent amounts of speckled trout around with just a few better fish showing in the mix.  Lots of puppy drum are also starting to be caught; but again most of the fish are below the slot. I just returned from a few days at the Outer Banks and also caught a lot of flounder but all below 15 inches.  Even the few bluefish around after the recent blows have shrunk to dink size.  At Cape Lookout, last week’s hard winds have scattered the false albacore to the point of non-existence; after a great start, the guided alby season is really going out with a whimper.

The operative word could also be rough, windy, or muddy. The surf stayed up through Tuesday but finally began to settle on Wednesday. Despite a heavy high tide surf Tuesday afternoon, some trout and pups were landed in KDH and Frisco had some in the morning. It’s a good sign that fish have held to the same holes for a few weeks despite very variable weather and surf conditions. Now we just need some better fish to move in. A mild forecast and waxing full moon this coming weekend offer potential to score with big trout particularly north of Oregon Inlet where the season is beginning to grow short.  Thanksgiving weekend is shaping up for epic bad weather conditions so my partner Sarah and I are scrambling to change our plans to go this weekend instead.

Look for light tackle lure fishing for specks and pups to pick up this weekend and hopefully for blues and big drum to return. After the Thanksgiving blow, some striped bass should return to the shoals off Oregon Inlet; however I am not expecting a good season for stripers.

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~ by surffisher on November 17, 2010.

5 Responses to “The operative word…”

  1. Sounds like you have much better spec fishing in your area than we have here in Cape May Couty NJ. The last few years our spec run has been reduced to just a few fish total. They have taken the same path as our weakfish. It is not looking good for striped bass as they are getting real hard to find on the beaches.Fisherman that would catch a 100 plus keeper stripers from our beaches in the 90s, have caught two or three keepers so far this season.However,some big stripers 25lbs-60lb plus class are being caught in the Delaware Bay on the chunk.
    In your area, how was the spec fishing been the last few years?

  2. Thanks for the update on Cape May Co., kensdock. I grew up outside of Philly and still fish south Jersey every now and then. We used to vacation in Ocean City, so that’s where I usually start…CISP, sod banks, etc.

    The lack of weaks really breaks my heart, but they will rebound one of these years, especially as the striper population dwindles. I only recently learned that speckled trout were caught in South Jersey…pretty wild. In normal years in NC, we have a nice, long surf season with lots of good fish. Despite a healthy population, last year was almost a total bust – started out OK, but then the water was all screwed up in November and December.

    Then last winter, we had a lot of fish killed in the sound because of the low temps. Lots of our fish overwinter in the brackish creeks. Your fish must overwinter off the beach to survive the cold up there. This year, the speck fishing has been excellent, but very few nice fish – over 99% shorts (<14").

    Stripers in the surf are history here in NC. We are lucky if we get a week or two of decent action. I think I am going to post something about that soon for Thanksgiving, which was traditionally the heart of the striper/bluefish run. No more.

  3. An update on the striper fishng from the beaches and inlets {Hereford} in Cape May County,NJ.The keepers have shown up just as most guys have packed it in for the season. Fred had 6 keepers to 35 pounds yesterday. Large schools of keeper stripers pushed into jenkens sound today during the high tide.

  4. Sounds great, Ken – thanks for the update. Are they still hitting this week? Hope you had a good holiday.

  5. Some of the best striper fishing of the fall is occurring this week in the rips of the Delaware Bay. With the sharps catching twenty plus keepers a tide. A few are taking keepers from the beach but only on bait. The upper bay is still holding giant stripers for the local crew. The back bay area has had a good striper bite this week, mostly shorts with a keeper mixed in.

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