Fishing the past week has been nothing short of phenomenal. We’ve experienced some amazing weather typical of October on the Inner Banks and also some of the best trout fishing I’ve ever seen. On several mornings, we’ve had several hours worth of quality topwater fishing, catching some really big fish (one of which went 26″). Once the morning topwater bite slows, we have been switching to soft plastics and subsurface hard baits and having great success.
I’m a bit reluctant to disclose the hot topwater baits, but I will say some experimentation with style, color, and size can definitely pay off. All of that matters because I’ve noticed time after time that just a one or two baits are getting all the bites and when I try to experiement and slip an unproven color out there in the middle of a hot bite, many times it never gets hit and literally the baits on either side of me are getting consistent blow ups. However, sometimes an experiment with a new bait works out and you find a new standout.
Some of our hot soft plastics have included the good old standby, the 3″ Z-Man Minnowz in natural colors like “The Deal”, “Smokey Shad”, “Bad Shad”, “Green Lantern”, and “Sexy Shad”. Another go-to trout soft plastic for me has always been the 4″ and 5″ scented Jerk Shadz in similar colors. A standout has been the 4″ space guppy. Surprisingly, that bait is working very well in the clear water we’ve been fishing. Chartreuse with gold flecks would at first seem to be a more productive bait in more turbid or stained water, but it has been outstanding in the clear water we’ve been mostly fishing.
We’ve also had a nice mix of redfish of mixed sizes from undersized rats (12-18″) and slot-sized fish (18-17″). Although less consistent than the trout, they have been a great addition to the awesome trout fishing we’ve been experiencing.
Due to the Covid situation and people being especially eager and restless to get outdoors and experience some good clean fun, we’ve been booking up our dates for the late fall a little earlier than normal. I still have a few dates left in December for the 2020 season. December can be some of the best light tackle fishing of the year for specs and reds, as they tend to school up in larger numbers in the creeks and if you find the X, then it’s game on. Stripers on the Pamlico or the lower Roanoke/Albemarle Sound are also an excellent option in December, so if you want that type of trip, just let me know and we’ll make it happen.
In addition to December fishing, it’s not too early to book your winter fishing dates for striper fishing on the Lower Roanoke and Albemarle Sound. Last winter, we had some awesome fishing in the sound around Christmas and then in early Jan, the fish moved into the lower Roanoke and we hammered then for about two solid months. In March as water temps started to rise and the fish started to really get mobile, the bite in the lower river started to fall off and we reverted back to the sound and our pre-spawn fishing was phenomenal. That’s the way last winter’s season played out and it probably won’t be the same this year but if it’s even close to as productive as last year, we’ll be in for a great season, so don’t wait to arrange your trip to experience arguably the best winter fishing North Carolina has to offer.
Remaining 2020 Open Dates: Dec. 1, 7, 10, 12, 15-19, 29-31
Here are a few pictures from recent trips: