Fall is arguably the best time of year to be fishing the backwaters and the nearshore ocean waters of the Lower Cape Fear area. With water temps beginning to drop, there will be bait moving in huge numbers. We have already began to see schools of mullets ranging from just 50 to 100 inshore to a couple thousand along the immediate coast which should mean the fishing should be firing off soon. This fall fishing only lasts a few months so dont’ let the opportunity slip and miss out on some great fishing opportunities.
Big Bull Redfish will be starting to chew along our beaches and slot sized reds along with fish up to the low 30″ range will be schooled up on the flats and also will be found in creeks with oyster structure. These big drum can measure up to almost 50 inches but the bulk will be in the low 40″ range. These are considered trophy fish which can provide an excellent fight and a photo of a lifetime. Chunk mullet, menhaden, and spots are working well on the big reds. For the inshore reds, baits such soft plastics, Gulp Baits, dead shrimp and live mullet minnows will the ticket for enticing these fish.
Nice sized Flounder will also start to push into the backwaters of our region and should be found will be found through November. There could be some larger fish into the 6-7lb range caught during the fall, which is when we usually catch our biggest fish. Scented soft plastics and live finger mullet will be the ticket for landing the flatfish. Typically we catch the majority of our flounder while throwing artificials in the creeks and backwaters for redfish and speckled trout.
Speaking of Speckled Trout, fall is a great time of year to find these fish and especally in numbers. We catch them on live mullet or menhaden but mostly catch them on soft plastics such as D.O.A. and Z-man. The later we get into the fall the better the trout fishing will get. With the water temps dropping, they will start holding in the creek mouths and on oyster points when the tide is rising or falling.
The Black Drum have started to show up in good numbers when we are fishing with dead shrimp but as of now the fish are not quite legal size. We have had a few fish in the 14″-15″ range but with the fall season getting ready to kick off, we should start seeing some fish grow and become keeper fish. We usually don’t start fishing for these tasty fish until October but the smaller ones can provide a great time especially for kids. Once the bigger ones show up, they will provide anglers with a great fight on light tackle and will be mixed in with the Redfish as well. Make sure you don’t forget that the limit for these is 10 per person, unlike the Reds.
Sheepshead are still biting good in the fall and when we target them we can have some really good days. In the past, we have had days of 20 fish and some weighing up to 10lbs. Fishing for Sheepshead is offered upon request most of the time because it is a slightly different kind of fishing.
Ladyfish, Jack Crevelle, and Bluefish will be filling the inshore waters and can be seen crushing mullets on any given day. They are a blast to catch when we get to sightfish them with artificials.
Spanish Mackeral will still be in chewing mode and can be found in the mouth of the river as well as along the beaches. The real drag screamers will be right around the corner and will be scattered nearshore too. These False Albacore will show up within the next few weeks and are one of the hardest fighting fish in the ocean. They are an absolute blast to catch when seen. We have seen schools the size of a football field when they are really thick. These fish are caught on metal jigs and are caught on very light tackle.
So, needless to say, there are many awesome fishing experiences ahead in the upcoming months. We cannot wait to see what the fishing has in store for us this year and are ready to show you what it is all about! Thanks for taking the time to view the fall fishing report and we look forward to hearing from you soon.