Just when things on the fishing front were finally looking somewhat positive for a change, Mother Nature throws her most pungent punch yet, thereby probably shutting the fishing down until sometime in February.
Unfortunately, the type of storm the East Coast of North Carolina is enduring does not bode well for the fishes and can cause catastrophic consequences for fish numbers for the upcoming year. Of course, thereís no definite conclusion to what this storm has done as far as fish kills, by the time this report goes to press. Itíll actually be a week or longer to know what, if any effects the storm had on the fish populations and what it may do to future populations. Whatever the case, the fish will rebound and the fishing will continue, although it may make you put a little more effort into fishing until things settle down.
As far as the fishing that was showing signs of improvement, the red drum in the lower Cape Fear River decided the somewhat warmer weather indicated they could finally eat. Several anglers who found the fish, (which by the way, are schooled up fairly well,) were able to pull out one or two fish from the group, all of which were slightly over slot. While fishing for red, some anglers also happened upon an occasional speckled trout or two, although these fish were just the opposite, and slightly or grossly undersized.
If striper fishing has ever been a thought, then heading toward New Bern may be just the right answer. The fishing in both the Trent and Neuse rivers has been good, although the Neuse recently started to seem slightly better. If traveling to areas unknown doesnít sound like fun, then the upper Cape Fear River has also been producing some decent fishing, although not quite as good as the New Bern area.
Offshore, the winds finally laid down just enough for some anglers to head out in decent sea conditions, although they paid for it in terms of the air temperatures. Most found good fishing for black bass starting around 10 miles out, but had to work for the keepers. Areas around 15 miles out seemed to hold better fish along with some grunts and other assorted bottom dwellers.
And, of course, if nothing above looks interesting, you can always head out yourself over the weekend, which is looking almost like a Bermuda vacation compared to this week, and see what the water holds in store for you or your fishing buddies. If nothing else, being out on the water or at the beach or pier, wetting a line is sure to help out with the cabin fever the majority of anglers suffered through this week.