Today is December 22 and we are offically one day into "winter". I always thought winter should start on December 1... y'know...keep the seasons to exact months. Spring should start March 1, Summer should start June 1, and so on. Apparently my opinion is trumped by the Solstice, planetary allignment, and some other science stuff. Don't even get me started on daylight savings time...
Oh wait, sorry....fishing report! Got it! We've officially transitioned from fall into winter, and so has the fishing. We finished up our nearshore False Albacore season right around Thanksgiving, and transitioned right into winter Redfish. From what I've seen so far, it looks like we are going to have a great winter chasing Reds inshore this year.
I'm going to miss chasing Albies for the next few months. They fight like no other.
We'll welcome them back for a few weeks when they migrate past us next March and April on their trip north. They don't hang around for as long in the spring as the fall, but the fishing can be very good while they are here.
We had a fun few weeks chasing them last month in November. We saw some disgustingly cold and windy days when the fish were much more excited about the weather than us. And we saw some gorgeous days where we had to burn a lot of fuel to find happy fish.
This is the face of regret...when an Albie succumbs to it's gluttony.
I can hear the squawking gulls and screaming drags right now...
We celebrated a lot of "firsts" on the front of the Parker in November.
Both new anglers and regulars took their turns on the rampaging Albies.
One in the hand is worth two in the blitz.
Happy angler, dissapointed fish.
Totally worth the cold and wet... and frozen fingertips.
Quick break from Albies for some grocery shopping.
The early winter Redfish has been great this December. Clean water in most places, schooled fish, and lot's of sight fishing opportunities has made for a lot of fun in the marsh. It should just get better as the temps drop.
We've been able to locate fish on every part of the tide cycle and cast to everything from laid up singles to schools of a few hundred. All in 5" to 18" of water.
There has been an unbeleivable amount of baby Black Drum around lately. Maybe NCDMF's decision to finally put a slot limit on these fish a few years ago will result in a bunch of them in larger sizes on the flats in future years. I sure hope so!
Most of the Redfish we've caught on fly lately have been so close to the skiff that you can watch them inhale the fly in high def detail. It's been pretty fun for me to watch the show from up on the poling platform, I'm sure the anglers enjoy it too.
Bulldogs with scales and blue tails.
A proper winter time Redfish. Crawling shallow, eats a fly, and puts up a good fight before posing for a quick photo.
I can't believe how many Speckled Trout we've seen crawling around in a few inches of water like a Redfish. I've never been able to sightcast and hook one in water that shallow, but they will eat as soon as they slide into the safety of a little deeper water.
Low tide belly crawler.
I'm really excited about how good the fishing should be over the next few months. I know most folks hang it up during the winter months, but those people are missing out on some of the best fishing of the whole year. No rest for the Redfish fanatic.