Tomorrow is the first day of November, something thatís actually hard to imagine since it seems like just yesterday was summer.
Weather conditions appear to be favorable for the foreseeable future, something that will no doubt allow anglers ample opportunities to continue their exploration of their favorite fishing grounds in search of the big one. Water temperatures are still holding right around 70 degrees and the extended forecast does not show any bone-chilling air masses arriving anytime soon, so itís plausible that water temperatures will remain or even slightly rise from where they are now.
Local conditions should actually settle down into more of a normal pattern by the end of the weekend, with some cool but not cold temperatures. But anytime a weather change arrives, itís sure to fire off the fishing even more so than it has been, so be prepared.
Inshore is where the action has been for small boat anglers, with lots of trout and red drum being caught anywhere between the lower Cape Fear River all the way to the New River area and beyond. With water temperatures still somewhat warm for our area, obviously the better fishing is being had to our north and south, as they always seem to have better trout fishing throughout the summer months, but the speckled trout fishing around Wrightsville Beach area picked up relatively well the past couple of weeks, although itís technically still not that great, but worth a trip out nevertheless.
Soft baits such as DOAs and Gulps will attract some interest if the fish are around. Live baits such as a finger mullet will also elicit a strike from both species, but right now it doesnít seem to be worth the effort looking for live ones when the artificial ones are doing just fine. Both the drum and trout are holding in the deeper channels and creeks where, especially for trout, there is ample current flow. Some decent-sized flounder are also being found in the river and around the beach docks and creeks and if targeting them strictly, then lice bait is the way to go although they will also hit an artificial if itís presented in their vicinity.
Off the beach, some Spanish mackerel are still being found around the mouth of the Masonboro Inlet as well as along Masonboro Island. Last week there was a good number of fish caught just outside of the inlet in about 30 feet of water. A little further offshore, there are some good numbers of keeper-sized black sea bass being found starting around 10 miles out. Grouper fishing has been decent starting around 25 miles out.
During the weekend, those fishing the Gulf Stream waters saw real good numbers of wahoo in the 40 pound range being caught in the area of the Same Ole Hole. Some dolphin and tuna were also caught in the same general area. If venturing out in search of those blue water species, itís a good idea to get recent information from one of the satellite services that offer up-to-date information on the water conditions which can point you in the right direction to go. Speaking to other local fishermen and tackle shops can also provide a wealth of information before taking on such a task.