Crazy weather, good fishing

I usually try to use the wind, tide, and surf forecasts to chart out an approach prior to a fishing trip – especially a short weekend trip where time is of the essence – but this past weekend was just perplexing with odd conditions for late fall. It started with a snotty, cold day Friday with highs in the 30s, moderate-to-strong northerly winds, and light rain. Saturday saw a wind shift to the southwest, fair skies, and much warmer temperatures in the 60s. And Sunday was warmer yet. My plan, such as it was, was to just try my favorite spots and adjust from there. Fortunately, my favorite spots held fish, more-or-less regardless of conditions.

Friday night (actually early Saturday morning), I braved wind, rain, and frozen fingers and had a good flurry of fish with three nice keeper trout on successive casts. Saturday was mostly for recovery (my target of low tide fell at the ungodly hour of about 3:30 am Saturday) and time with my wife, with another couple stints on the early rise around sunset when I had a couple nice trout in quick succession, and then the best stop of the trip early Sunday morning when I had steady action with small trout and blues mixed with a four fish limit of nice trout. The bigger fish really seemed to stalk and ambush my mirrolure – fun night!

Elsewhere in North Carolina, surf fishing reports have been pretty scarce with the fairly cold fall-winter weather pattern continuing and surf fishing effort lagging.  Water temps in southeastern NC are in the mid-to-upper 50s. Far north, at Duck, water temps are in the upper 40s. Cape Hatteras and south through Ocracoke are (probably) ranging from the mid-50s to low-60s. Clearly trout are a good bet from any good beach with water temperatures above about 55 F. It’s been a good year for trout (great in inside waters) and they should continue to hit with favorable conditions. We’ve probably seen the last of the big drum in the surf, but puppy drum, black drum, sea mullet, and blowtoads are all good bets for bottom fishing with bait. This is one of the better times of the year for bottom fishing the surf in southeastern NC, in particular.

Elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast, Jersey saw a great run of big blues and stripers for a few weeks, but it kind of peaked out around Thanksgiving and lately those surf casters are in a winter close-out pattern of only short stripers very close to the beach.

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~ by surffisher on December 21, 2016.

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