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Fall Coastal Report

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Fall Coastal Report

Post  Backlash on Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:22 pm

The Fall Coastal Report

Shortly after the founding of the Fayetteville Anglers Network, the club began making an annual fall trek to the coast where we have enjoyed some great fellowship and fishing. The timing of the trip coincides with the migratory patterns of many of our saltwater species such as; Kingfish, Grey Trout, Spanish Mackerel. September and October being the time when these fish begin to move past North Carolina on their quest for warmer water, which places them as close to our shores as they are for the entire year. In addition fish have had the entire summer to feed and grow giving the fall angler their best opportunity for a full box or a trophy catch. Cooler weather also makes this an excellent time for the comfort of the angler.

Since being bit by the saltwater fishing bug a several years ago, I have been on the search for a place stay that is affordable, comfortable, access and accommodates the boating angler and on past trips we have camped at the Carolina Beach State Park and even spent the week in a rented house at Fort Fisher. After following a recommendation for Capt. Jerry Dilsaver, I think that I may have found that place. So , we made our accommodations with Southport Anglers Outfitters which rents a number of small condos as their lodging. Located adjacent to the Southport Marina this location seemed have everything that we needed without even getting back in the truck. The front porch of our unit overlooked the marina and Intercoastal Waterway, a tackle store was next door and restaurants within walking distance. Which made the coming and going to the fishing grounds the most convenient endeavor that I have experienced so far.

My companions for this trip, Art Ingalls and Chris Hall met me at around 8am on the first day and we headed out for Southport with anticipation of some great fishing. After checking to our room and getting the boat of the trailer and into our slip, a incoming front with high wind produced a sense of urgency in us to head to Yaupon Reef on the first afternoon. Although the wind was getting stronger we had hoped that it would continue to be mostly from the North and provide us with smaller seas that would allow us to fish the reefs, since we had reports of big drum. However, once at the reef the wind continued to build and forced us to search for calmer water, that never came.

On day two, we decided to stay inshore and fish the dredge islands in the Cape Fear River in the hopes of finding some flounder, speckled trout, and redfish and to hide from the wind. On the way upriver, we noticed birds feeding on anchovies which on arrival to this spot produced a several small bluefish that lifted our spirits and got the skunk out of the boat. After awhile, we continued upriver to the dredge island where we discovered a faulty trolling motor plug that had left us at the mercy of the wind. Forced to dead drift, Art managed to land a short speck that bolstered our commitment to the fishing, but after awhile we gave in to the strength of the wind and headed back down river. On the way back, we decided to duck out of the river and try Walden's Creek. By this time, the tide was falling out quickly, so we began to drift with the current and caught a couple of short flounder and specks. By lunch time, the tide had fallen out completely, so we returned to the marine where we spent the rest of the day repairing the trolling motor and resting.

Day three; we started back into the river, but after a short run the river proved to be rougher than we were willing to endure, so we turned back. Then, we headed into Dutchman Creek and with a now working trolling motor, we were able to compensate for the wind and manage several short fish, once again.

After fishing the morning, it was time to rest, so we headed into Southport for bit of lunch. For lunch, we stopped by a neat little Hot Dog stand on the main drag called Spike's Hot Dogs. It was extremely relaxing to enjoy our lunch in the cool fall air of the coast. After lunch, we took in the sights by driving past the home of Robert Rurak's grandparents, where he would spend his summers. Ruark is best known for his Old Man and the Boy articles which ran in Field and Stream magazine and were later compiled in a book by the same title. Then, we visited the Mariners museum where we veiwed exhibits depicting North Carolina's nautical history that consist of fishermen and pirates.

After a quick nap, Chris and I headed back into Dutchman's Creek to fish the rising tide. Chris, by the way, has proven that he has developed a very special talent for attracting and catching lizard-fish. However, as the tide was full and we crossed a point, I heard a the violent movement of water and scream of reel drag and exclamations of an angler that attracted my attention to the rear of the boat where Chris was clinging to doubled rod for dear life. These are the tell tale signs and excitement that are produced by our state fish, the redfish. However, with some patience and determination the drum came to boat to be weighed, measured, photographed, and released. This was Chris' first redfish and at 29 inches, it has surely set expectations of future trips at high level. Chris also completed an Inshore Slam by catching specks, flounder, and redfish on this outing. His excitement was felt through the evening and well into the next day.

We had a special treat that evening, as we had the opportunity to have dinner with Captain Jerry Dilsaver. Jerry had been participating in North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association Tournament that day, but took some time to share his knowledge and experience of the area with us. Thanks Jerry.

On the final day, we woke to some very ominous looking clouds and very brisk wind , so we headed straight to Dutchman Creek. This day proved to be Art's day as he boated a couple of short flounder, then just before we were ready to call it quits, he drags a respectable 19 inch trout beside the boat. To this point, all of the fish that we had caught were either too small or too big. However, Art was eager to convert his catch to filets and a meal.

Tired, weathered, and worn , we loaded up and headed back to Fayetteville to clean up the boat and gear. Despite the weather, this was one of the most enjoyable trips that I have ever taken with great accommodations and good company. I'm sure to recall this one many times.

Join date : 2010-08-23
Location : Fayetteville, NC


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