This year has flown by. I can't believe it's already November.
October usually means we are in full swing with the Fall bite. This year though, October was the victim of a major identity crisis. Some days October knew who it was, and other days October was convinced it was August.
With that, we had some great fall days of fishing. And some days where the fish weren't quite sure what was going on.
We had some great early October Albie fishing along Emerald Isle and Bear Island. Plenty of Spanish Mackerel were also in the mix.
The Speckled Trout also started moving into their fall/winter hangouts in early October.
Depending on where the fish were and the wind direction, we also spent quite a few days running the beaches from Atlantic Beach to Cape Lookout, with a trip or two across to the East Side.
Although the nearshore Albie bite gets a lot of attention in October, we still spent some time working the spartina, oysters and mudflats chasing these guys.
I've gotten to meet some pretty cool people over the last month.
And hopefully sent some anglers home with some pretty good memories.
One of my anglers, Bud Onstad, put together this awesome YouTube video of a recent trip on the Crystal Coast.
Starts off with Bluefish and the Albie action kicks off around the 5 minute mark.
If you've never hooked into an albacore on fly (or spin), you can get a feel for how intense the hookup and run is at 6:40, along with the ensuing chaos that follows.
Thanks so much for putting this together Bud, I love it!
Normal summer time stuff. Early mornings and late afternoons to beat the heat. We are on some good groups of redfish right now with flounder mixed in.
Top water bite has been good, especially early morning. Skitterwalks and spinnerbaits have gotten most of the action. Fly has been pretty decent on low tide.
Give us a shout if you want to go after them...
Below are a few shots from a recent trip. We'll let the images do the talking.
Although Winter Redfishing has been fantastic and we still have fish in big schools and clear water, my attention is starting to turn towards the upcoming Tailing Season.
I've compiled a list of fishable tailing tides for this year, along with the estimated time slot we would fish, and a raiting of 1 to 3 stars. The rating is based on a combination of things, including tide height, time of day of tide, and month of the year. The star ratings are not a guarantee on numbers of fish we'll see or how much success we'll have, but they are my best guest based on all the factors. I would recommend looking at the 3 star tides first, but wouldn't hesitate to book a 2 star tide if that works better for your schedule. If you have a few dates in mind, I'm happy to discuss them with you and give you my honest opinion.
Hope to chase some tailers with you this summer!
Winter-time redfishing has been top notch lately. The water has been really clear and the fish have been schooled up in huge numbers in certain spots.
We've had a really mild winter, allowing the water temps to stay up and keep the redfish in
The bite has been really good on both flies and weedless soft plastics.
I would consider this to be North Carolina sight-fishing at it's best. Clear water, and hungry fish schooled up in only a few inches of water.
The big schools of winter-time redfish should last from now through March before the schools break up.
There has been a good size range of fish from 16" to close to 30" on the bigger fish.
Great time of year to get your kids on their first redfish too.
Nothing better than seeing your son cast to and hook up on a big redfish in shallow water.
The Redfish have been tailing pretty good for a few weeks now here in Coastal North Carolina. I couldn't be more happy to see those golden tails waiving in the spartina grass after not seeing them all winter. Tailing Reds are one of my favorite targets. For one, it's such a visual way of fishing, where a lot of stalking is involved, it's as close as you can get to hunting with a fishing rod. Secondly, these fish are there to eat. Some low tide fish can be completely spooked out or lock jawed, and it doesn't matter what you do, you won't get an eat. A fish tailing in the Spartina Grass is there to eat, so it completely comes down to whether you can pull off the shot or not. If you do, you will be rewarded with an epic eat and a battle in the grass. If you don't, then you get the pleasure of watching your target speed off the flat, leaving a long trail of "you blew it" behind him.
Below are the tailing tides for this season. I've broken it down into the times of day, and I've rated the quality of the tides on a scale of 1 to 3. The ratings are based on several things such as time of season, time of day and height of the tide. I'll be happy to discuss any of these dates with you as far as why I've rated it as I did. An average tailing tide can be fished fully in a 4 hour half day trip, but we can combine other types of fishing with it if you would like a longer trip.
Date Time Rating
May 3 late evening *
May 4 late evening ***
May 5 late evening **
May 6 late evening *
May 21 late evening *
June 1 late evening **
June 2 late evening ***
June 3 late evening **
June 4 late evening *
June 19 late evening *
June 30 afternoon **
July 1 late evening ***
July 2 late evening ***
July3 late evening **
July 4 late evening *
July 18 late evening *
July 19 late evening *
July 28 afternoon *
July 29 afternoon **
July 30 late evening ***
July 31 late evening ***
August 1 late evening **
August 2 late evening *
August 15 late evening *
August 16 late evening *
August 17 late evening *
August 20 morning *
August 21 morning **
August 22 morning **
August 23 afternoon **
August 24 afternoon **
August 25 afternoon **
August 26 afternoon **
August 27 afternoon **
August 28 late evening ***
August 29 late evening ***
August 30 late evening **
September 13 late evening **
September 14 late evening **
September 15 late evening *
September 16 morning **
September 17 morning ***
September 18 morning ***
September 19 morning ***
September 20 morning ***
September 21 morning ***
September 22 afternoon ***
September 23 afternoon **
September 24 afternoon **
September 25 afternoon **
September 26 late evening **
September 27 late evening **
September 28 late evening *
September 30 morning *
October 1 morning *
October 2 morning *
October 3 morning *
October 4 morning *
October 12 late evening *
October 13 late evening *
October 15 morning *
October 16 morning *
October 17 morning *
October 18 morning *
October 19 morning *
October 20 morning *
October 21 afternoon *
I'd love to get you out on the water to experience the excitement of Tailing Redfish, so don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you'd like to go!
The water temperatures are steadily rising and the bite seems to be picking up. We're seeing growing numbers of reds back in the marsh lately as more fish are starting to show up. The water is still pretty clear in some places, providing for some great low tide sight casting to schools of fish. We've also picked up quite a few fish blind casting in deeper holes in my favorite creeks.
Here's a few pics from a recent trip with Will and Natalie. I had a great time on the water with both of them.
Give me a call or email if you want to go after a few while they are still schooled up and the water is clear. We are also right at the beginning of the tailing redfish season.
Shad fishing has been really good lately on the upper Roanoke. It should continue for the next 2 weeks. If you are interested in getting in on the action on fly or spin, let me know and we'll get you on them! I'll just let pics speak instead of words.
Although Redfish, Speckled Trout, Stripers and Albies seem to get most of the attention here in Eastern North Carolina, there is a fish that is near and dear to my heart during the month of March. Many of us associate the arrival of shad in our coastal rivers with the official kick off of spring and the fishing season. These fish arrive and pack themselves so tight in some spots that it's not unusual to catch 10 fish out of 10 casts. They have a penchant for bright gaudy flies and lures and put every bit of their energy into escaping once hooked. Known for their acrobatic jumps, they've rightly earned the name, "the poor man's tarpon".
The 2016 Shad Season in Eastern North Carolina is off to a great start. Lots of fish showing up in the usual places in the Neuse River and it won't be long before the Roanoke is busting at the seems with Shad. Both Hickory and White Shad are being caught and it should just get better over the next few weeks.
If you haven't had an opportunity to experience this fishery, then you are missing out. These shad are fantastically fun on a fly rod or a light spinning rod. They're also a great "first fish" on a fly rod, if you are just starting out. We have all the know how, equipment, and flies/lures needed to go get bent on a bunch, so give me a shout if you want to go. I'll be running some trips on the Neuse over the next few weeks, but don't forget the really big action on the Roanoke around Weldon NC. I'm offering trips out of Weldon on the last week of March, and I can let you know what days are still open if you want to go.
These fish are too much fun to miss out on, so I'll be more than happy to fill anyone in on equipment, locations, or the "how to" if you contact me. Have fun and I hope to see you on the water soon!
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Eat, Sleep, Breathe Redfish