Now that youíve completed or are in the process of completing the mundane chore of your spring tackle organization, itís time to start planning for the inevitable start of the fishing season. Air temperatures dipping below the freezing mark should be a thing of the past, although with the weather in this area, they are still a possibility. But even the cooler drops into the 30s should not hamper the warming water temperatures.
Current water temperatures are reading anywhere from the lower to mid 50s, and if all remains stable, we should see 60 degrees or more by the monthís end. What this means to local anglers can vary by their specific target species. However, itís looking like it may very well be an early season for all to enjoy.
As expected, the inshore fishing has been slow but not devoid of reports. Those who never stopped fishing, or those venturing out on only the warmest of days have had some luck with puppy drum and speckled trout and even a few flounder. The lower Cape Fear River has produced better fishing than around the Wrightsville Beach and Surf City areas, but there are a few fish here locally. The warm days will always improve but not guarantee your chances of getting something to bite. Creeks with muddy bottoms or edges and locations around the docks are good places to start your day. If you donít find the fish after a few minutes, move to the next location.
If you donít mind traveling a little ways to get into some better fishing, the upper Neuse River is producing better quantity and quality speckled trout with some stripers and red drum mixed in. Finding someone with local knowledge or even hiring a guide for a full or half day will improve your chances and help you become better accustomed to that fishery. The way things are done in that neck of the woods is a tad different than done locally in our waters.
Speaking of the Neuse River area, there is yet another fishing school being held on March 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Bern Shrine Club. While not specific to the Neuse River fishing, local guides and captains Gary Dubiel and Dave Stewart will be instructing the Coastal Catch Seminarís ďSuccessful Soft Plastic Fishing.Ē
DOA Lures is sponsoring the event and the designer and owner of DOA Lures Captain Mark Nichols will be a guest speaker. Fees to attend are $50 before March 16 and $60 after. The cost of the instruction includes breakfast and a barbeque lunch as well as a chance at two half-day charters to be given away.
For tickets, mail a check to Captain Dave Stewart, 36 Country Club Drive, Minnesott Beach, N.C. 28510. For additional information or a registration form, call 252-249-1786 or email firstname.lastname@example.org