- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Fall is officially here, and I, for one, have been holding my breath to see whether the fish were actually going to show up and respond to their annual fall migration patterns. This past summer has been tough fishing for a variety of species, namely king mackerel and grouper.
However, it does appear there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The strong cold front last week left no doubt fall was soon to come, and the fish took notice. Almost immediately the first king in more than two months was caught off Oceancrest Pier. Then fishermen at Yaupon reef started seeing king action. Over the past week, these spots have been hit or miss, but a better bite has materialized at spots such as the 390s and 410/510 in the 50- foot depth range. This is most likely due to the schools of Spanish mackerel and false albacore that are also feeding in this depth range.
The water is finally starting to clear up after being turned upside down for more than a month after Hurricane Irene. This storm has been mainly responsible for the tough fishing this past few weeks, but I think we are nearly through with all those side effects.
This coming weekend is the U.S. Open King Mackerel tournament based from Southport. This is the area’s oldest and largest king mackerel tournament, and history says the winning fish will come from the Cape Fear River Channel area.
However, in recent days the rain has dirtied these waters, which may throw history into a tailspin. There has been a pretty good beach bite of kings off of Myrtle Beach, S.C., so that could factor into the mix as well.
There is a strong cold front that looks to be passing through our area on Friday, so this will have an effect on the fishing, for sure. It may lead to a strong beach bite on Saturday. It will for sure lead to calm fishing conditions on Saturday as the winds turn off the land from the north. Good luck to all competing.
Farther offshore, the grouper bite has picked up nicely in the 80-100 feet. Gag grouper typically move into this range in the fall and are suckers for live baits fished on grouper rigs.
The other bottom fishery booming right now is the vermillion snapper. They are big and they are thick on most structure from 80-150 feet offshore. Also on the offshore scene, the wahoo and sailfish are still around and biting. This next cold front will help to stimulate the wahoo bite as the cooler Gulf Stream temperatures will congregate the bait and the wahoo.
That is pretty much the story right now. Fishing is much improved but it has room to improve. I am looking forward to another shot of cool weather, which I think will help to further stimulate the fish.