Wow – what a nasty month. The fish were there, when the weather would actually cooperate long enough to let us get out. A typical pattern this year was blow 30 knots for 2 days, 1 decent day of fishing, 1 good day of fishing…and then it was blowing 30 again. I even had to cancel one groups entire trip of three days! Talk about bad luck!
But, we it stopped blowing, we had some very memorable days and big bait balls with false albacore tearing them to pieces. We also saw amazing wildlife – multiple humback whales, 2 right whales!! (most endangered marine mammal in the world), a bunch of bluefin tuna skying on pods of menhaden – you name it.
11/2 – Dewey and Dewey came down to find some Albacore on the fly, and boy did we find them. Dewey Jr. is an excellent fly caster and tier – he is patient, listens and is on his way to becoming a very skilled fly fisherman and outdoorsman. Dewey Snr taught him very, very well.
We did a little searching and found a pretty epic bite that lasted from mid-morning throughout the afternoon. Fish were of all sizes, and it was incredible fun and great memories.
Nov 3-5 – Blowing a GALE. All cancellations – sucked.
Ol’ McMinn and Burt came for their 3 day trip this year…and the weather stank. Gee, that’s not surprise. Well, actually, we did fare that bad. While we only had 1 good day of weather for albies and the ocean – we did manage a couple of good days in the marsh.
Day 1 we picked away at the trouts in a couple of my favorite, very fly-rod friendly creeks. Burt had the catch of the day with a really nice 4-5lb fish (I cant remember how big it was – but it was a great catch on the fly and we released it!). McMinn did pretty well and managed to back up Burt with a nice fish that was in the 3lb+ range.
Day 2 was a bit more interesting if not all that productive – with the albies absolutely vacant from the beaches we hit the wrecks. They were loaded with bait…a few albies, kings and amberjack. We managed to keep the Jacks around the boat for a while and McMinn was able to get several hookups and stuck a nice 30lb fish that we almost got to the boat before it managed to make a final dive and hit the wreck.
While spinning gear was a big more productive for some reason, we really managed to do really well hooking kings when we weren’t using wire….and then, we’d switch to light wire and the albies would appear. They didnt like the wire much…and when we started after them, the mackerel would bite us off. So it goes!
Burt did manage to pull in two really albies – and i only heard of 1 caught by the fleet all day. I am very proud of this seasoned fishermen, he always brings the mojo with him.
Duane and his friend came from Ohio to look for albacore…but the weather wasn’t all that cooperative. Hard South winds and a big swell – we did find a few trout first thing in the morning before heading out in the big seas. We ended up at a wreck and caught some of the nicest 2-4lb seabass i have caught all season (in 60ft of water no less!) before heading back to the inlet.
We ended up the day on a great trout and drum bite – catching several trout in the 2-4lb range and several 16-20″ red drum!
Jason and his mom came to fish and do a little bite of everything…and while the weather was good, the fishing wasnt all that special. We found a whole lot of nothing – sporadic albies on the beach, a few trout in the usual haunts and a few seabass and other stuff on the wrecks. It was a pretty day, and while Jason did manage his first albacore on the fly – I was pretty disappointed. Sometimes that’s just fishing though!
Jeff and co, these guys are albacore catching machines. All from the Vineyard and all very experienced and they managed to catch the peak of the albacore season. We caught them on fly, on spin – bait balls all day long. In the evening we even had an epic bite, all to our lonesome.
Hope to have y’all back again!
After about the 20th or so, things really started to slow down really fast – we had some amazingly cold weather for a North Carolina November. Lows in the 20s, snow flurries, almost negative windchill – it dipped the water temps and the week before thanksgiving (usually the best of the year) was disappointing.
However, the fish did give us a few flare ups and offered what looked to be some serious promise on the east side…but it never seemed to take off to where we thought it should.
Dan and crew did managed to find a couple deep on the spinning gear and we messed around on the wrecks catching big seabass, some triggers, small american reds, etc. Not bad fishing – just not what we wanted.
Scott and I made it out after thanksgiving on a surprise pretty day and had an amazing day. We found big albies hammering bait on the eastside beaches first thing and i managed to put a moose on the deck…before we decided to head out to the wrecks.
It was a good choice, and we found an epic bottom bite. The triggerfish were so thick we caught them on metal jigs – every drop. After catching over 50 (we kept a dozen larger ones), we decided to look for grouper. And boy, we found them. The gags were numerous and very aggressive and we put over 15 in the boat, keeping our limit of 4 big gags. The biggest surprise were the 6 american reds we landed! All were right under the limit, but it’s nice to see a few of those guys around!
Matt came down to fish for a few days, and while the weather was awful for the most part – we did manage to find one slick-calm day. We found a few albies first thing on the beach…we had several bites but could keep any of the things buttoned…before moving off to chase sippers on a big temp break. The odd thing was the albies were scattered and extremely, extremely spooky. We quickly figured out why – there was a school of bluefin tuna in the area and we saw 7 sky over the course of the day….some of them less than 100yds from the boat.
The highlight of the day was not the bluefin or the sporadic albie bite – it was the amazing privilege of seeing two Atlantic Right Whales in slick calm seas. Matt is extremely lucky – I’ve only ever seen 5 during my entire career as a guide…and he saw two of them this past spring while fishing with me. That’s pretty lucky!