North Carolina fishing report

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Staff report

Raleigh, N.C. – Cooler weather brings terrific fishing conditions to North Carolina, and many fishing tournaments and festivals to go along with it. Every year, observers look at a variety of indicators to predict what kind of season to expect, and this year in particular looks very positive.


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Outer Banks Fishing

Recent pier reports ranged from fair to excellent, with the expected long list of sizes and types of fish being reported.

From the eight piers, came accounts of spot, puppy drum, black drum, bluefish, flounder, bottom fish, pompano, toadfish, speckled trout, mullet, and Spanish mackerel.

Surf fishing reports detailed similar results.

In Croatan Sound near the Manns Harbor bridges, hook and release striper fishing was recently good, and boaters fishing near the Oregon Inlet bridge decked large spot and keeper stripers.

Hatteras Inlet boat fishermen caught good numbers of gray trout, bluefish, and some speckled trout.

In recent blue-water reports, came details of limits of both yellowfin tuna and dolphin, as well as some nice wahoo being decked in the Gulf Stream off Oregon Inlet.

Various charters also released some sailfish, and limits of king mackerel were noted.

Offshore fishermen off Hatt-eras landed good numbers of king mackerel, as well as dolphin, yellowfin tuna and wahoo.

Crystal Coast

The headlines in Crystal Coast fishing news read &uot;Albacore, Blues and Spots!&uot; They are here in large, overcrowded and hungry numbers. The Albacore bite has been present, but a bit elusive, for two or three weeks. Last weekend, as though they heard about the first annual Albacore Festival, the albacore were ready to play. The Albacore Festival was perfectly timed for the bite. Anglers had a great time in perfect fishing conditions, and the Albacore Festival benefited the Duke University Children’s Cancer treatment program with all the tournament proceeds. It was a very successful weekend and tournament.

The secret to success in the pursuit of Albacore is watching the birds dive on the ever-present bait balls that roll down the beach close to shore. This has been a perfect method for fly fishermen between Beaufort Inlet and Bardens Inlet at Cape Lookout. Cast into what interests the birds, and there are hungry albacore waiting to take the fly.

At the Gallants Channel Bridge in Beaufort, the spots are hungry. They have been moving down the beach from Emerald Isle where they appeared in large numbers about a week ago. Along the beach toward Atlantic Beach, the catches picked up on the piers all week. By Friday, and through the weekend, anglers were walking away with full coolers day and night. Along with blue fish and Spanish mackerel, spots have filled Beaufort Inlet. Spots are also filling the turning basin of the North Carolina State Port at Morehead City, and they are present in large numbers at the Morehead City-Beaufort Cause-way bridge and at the Gallants Channel Bridge in Beaufort.

Offshore and inshore, the weather has been intermittently prohibitive for a lot of activity. Reports indicate that the king mackerel bite is fizzling right on time. Everyone’s waiting for the next cold front to pass to run offshore with the northeast wind to pick up wahoo. And, in the meantime, there is great sport-fishing inshore along the Crystal Coast and inside. Everybody in the Crystal Coast area is eating fresh fish this week!

Cape Fear Coast

The weather is mild, the water is cooling down and conditions are favorable for what experts predict will be an excellent fishing season. Experts at Seagull Bait & Tackle, Intracoastal Angler, Tex’s Tackle and area fishing piers are in agreement that fishing in Cape Fear Coast waters and the Gulf Stream will be very good this fall.

October is the best fishing month of the year and anglers are catching a little bit of everything on the Cape Fear Coast!

Summer fish are still here and the fall fish are biting like mad, especially the big fall yellow bellied spots. We anticipate ideal fishing conditions throughout October and


This Week At Carolina/Kure/Wrightsville Beaches:

*Gulf Stream catches include lots of big wahoo, a few dolphin and tuna, and a lot of sailfish (for this time of year).

*Pier Fishing: Area piers report lots of big fall yellow-bellied spots, spots and more spots! Other catches include a lot of pompano, as well as some flounder, blues, puppy drum, black drum, Spanish and king mackerel, and a few trout, Virginia mullet and croaker.


Delayed Harvest Trout Streams – Great time to fish, the fall scenery is spectacular and the fishing is great. We have been catching good numbers of fish on egg patterns, flash back pheasant tails, and soft hackles (size 12 and 14).

Folks that volunteer to stock Delayed Harvest streams, stock the streams at easy access points.

Be sure to try those places first!

Nymph fishing is the way to go during the winter months.

Be sure to experiment with drifting nymphs at different water depths.

Davidson River – Water levels are normal due to the recent rains. We have been catching fish on black and red midge patterns. Although, red, black midge pupae (20 -26), and caddis larva are very abundant, too. Black is the go-to fly. The Davidson River, from the confluence of Avery Creek to it’s headwaters, is a &uot;Catch and Release.&uot;

Smallmouth Bass (spin and fly-fishing) – Smallmouth fishing is not good at this time due to the recent cold snap.

A weekend forecast calling for temperatures in the 20’s just might put an end to smallmouth fishing for 2002.

Smallies feed on minnows prior to winter and can be caught on about any type of minnow imitation. The times to fish are very inconsistent, whether it is morning or afternoon.


Nov. 6-9

Bob Bernard Individual Tournament. Cape Hatteras. Fishing 8 a.m.-noon. Contact: 252-995-4253.

Nov. 23

Manteo Rotary Rockfish Rodeo. Manteo, Roanoke Island Festival Park. Tournament proceeds will be used to fund college scholarships. Contact: 252-441-7887.

Nov. 24

Poorboy King Mackerel Tournament. Jacksonville. Participants compete and fish for king mackerel with prizes. (910) 450-7386.