As a quick Recap before I post a slurry of photos, I want to preface this post by saying how excellent October was for us. The weather was fair, the water clear and the marsh was doing very well with the redfish. Unlike the past couple of falls when our redfishing was really hurt by an over-abundance of gill nets (what else is new). This year, due to the fact that North Carolina commercial fishermen kill more sea turtles than every other state combined the federal government mandated a change in how NC commercial fishermen fish- and it was much to the benefit of the seaturtles and the fish. While we did witness a bunch of illegal gill netting (what else is new) and extremely unethical gill netting (the norm) like blocking 95% of some creek mouths, these new regulations have really put the hurt on some of the netters – hence why we witnessed known netters running nets in other people’s names and other such easy ways to beat the system. Hopefully more sane and reasonable restrictions will be coming down the line soon and will make 2010 eveen better than 2009! They will be banned one day and it will be to the benefit of the entire estuarine environment!
While everyone knows I purchased a new boat in August, after two solid months of running her day and day out alll I can say is how extremely happy I am with the new Pathfinder Fusion. My clients agree and the reviews have excellent – with a cruising speed of over 45 mph and top-end of 60+ we can go just about anywhere in no time!
Inside – like I said before, the redfishing was excellent. Due to the lack of nets it was easy to pattern schools of fishing without having to worry about them being netted up every single night. During the late summer and fall I was fishing several very large schools of fish several times a week – and they were always there and willing to bite. A couple of the schools I patterend were all in the 28-34″ range and we put some beasts in the boat – biggest this fall was a 35″ by Dave Wylie. Ate a DOA under a cork!
The Speckled Trout fishing was mixed – I had some very good marsh fishing around the cold fronts and the full/new moon but the size was inconsistent. We caught a lot of nice-sized trout but much of the time we were overwhelmed with 10-14″ fish that we had to weed threw to find the big guys. However, the marsh fishing for trout was very good through thanksgiving due to the warm water temps but the surf fishing never materialized for them.
Ocean – while there was a lot going on, the only thing we were concerned with was FALSE ALBACORE! This year the albies were in the hook and on the beach from late august through all of November and the month of October was nothing short of FANTASTIC. It was easily the best albacore fishing I have ever experienced, day in and day out, since I have been fishing for them. Many weeks rivaled the “glory days” of the late 90s and many folks said it was even better than the early 90s! Wow! Fish were everywhere and we had an absurd daily average of fish. I had several days of 75 fish/person. That’s not even fair.
Regulars John and Ed had a couple of great days despite cold temps and HOWLING winds!
Dave and Travis with a couple albies – on another day we got into them in such numbers that Dave caught them on every cast until we quit!
Jason’s amazing day. Jason, despite the fact he’s a n NYC’r, and I always have a great time together and he fishes with me a couple times a year. This time it was his day and we killed it. We started off with several over-slot reds in the marsh on topwaters and corks, a big trout on the flats all while chasing a nice school. Then we switched to trout and we crushed ’em catching many nice 2-3lb fish for an hour or so before we decided to take advantage of the slick conditions and run 10 miles to another spot where I’d been on several large schools.
Well, we found several large schools – and they were busting on mullet. JAson caught several on the fly (I even got to catch one on the fly!) and we watched them explode on topwaters for over 2 hours. It was shallow water fishing that was as good as it gets. Period. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to his wife for getting him back a little late (we couldnt’ leave! It was too good!).
An entire Pumpkin Patch fighting over a topwater plug.
My annual Fall Tribute to Dave and Sue – a couple of my best clients. We have so much fun together and we had some very memorable days (and a couple really slow days as well) this fall. Both Dave and Sue know how to fish and we always seem to make something happen.
Sue and I with a big boy red caught on the east side:
Dave with a 35″r!
Dave with another big over-slotter!
A nesting pair of Bald Eagles that we saw while up in the marsh – they constructed their nest this year and I am excited about seeing some eagle chicks next year!
One of my favorite fish of the fall – This guy was tailing in 6″ of water and Gregg jumped out of the boat, slogged through the marsh and nailed him on the flat! Awesome!
Indiana crew with a few we pulled out from the docks:
More reds from the rest of the month…
Finally – I even got to sneak out a couple of mornings and catch a few!