Although a constant string of cold fronts and cut - off lows have locked us out of our traditional Spring pattern of sight fishing our shallow open water flats for big schools of complacent fish, with blustery Northeast winds and plenty of grey days, the forecast hasn't spelled doom and gloom. Deep within the protected shallow recesses of the marsh, Redfish have been carrying on with their daily routine. And just what is on the to do list for a Redfish that has spent most of the winter huddled over a warm flat attempting to retain enough metabolic energy to remain off the menu for the pods of bullying Dolphins , and even bigger bullies inundating the sanctuary of our shallow water nursery sreas with destructive Gill Nets? The list is actually rather short... EAT!
Sight fishing has been tremendous the last month, as unusually numerous broken pods of over wintering fish have set up on almost every mid creek delta and are still feeding heavily on grass shrimp. Lots of 3 - 4 year class Redfish are mixing in with the smaller fish, offering some of the best chances at 30" plus fish in the 10-15lb. range that we've seen in quite a while on both fly and spin gear. Sighting these brutes isn't rocket science in the tight confines of the marsh, as the mayhem that insues as they crash scurrying pods of tiny shrimp, is kind of hard to miss. Simple grass shrimp patterns tied with mylar tubing, a maribou tail, and a hackle collar are get tons of attention and offer a subtle touch down for fish that are sometimes within 20 feet of the boat. On the spin side, small unweighted jerk baits and crab immitations work nicely, especially as the flood starts to give fish access to the Spartina.
Your next Cape Fear adventure awaits!
Cool weather, cool anglers, and the Cape Fear make for some hot fishing
"The Cape Fear is Calling!"
Fall has found the Cape Fear at last! Cooler temps along with waning daylight and the first "Mullett Blow" of the season, have put the bait migration into overdrive. Mullett, Menhaden, Silversides, and White Shrimp are funneling through the Cape Fear Marshes, putting all of our inshore species on the move and feeding aggressively before Winter arrives and the buffett closes. Redfish are cruising in smaller "wolf pack" pods on the flood tides as they slurp Shrimp on the surface and run huge Mullett schools. The Reds are easily spotted even from a distance as they break on top (something we normally don't see during the warm weather months) Our Fly anglers have been having a blast with surface feeding Reds on Gurglers and Poppers. With most of these 3-4 year class fish refusing to be subdued on 7 and 8 wgt. outfits due to cooler water temps and the accompanying higher oxygen saturation, fights have been much more challenging. Low water periods have offered excellent sight fishing for both fly and spin on large concentrated schools of 25 - 200+ fish. The water clarity has been a little more turbid than usual making sighting slightly more difficult, but has also allowed us a little more "wiggle room" when approaching and setting up on these big schools. Topwaters and Copper spoons have definitely been the preffered baits on spin. Tailing Redfish activity has been outstanding with the higher moon tides this Fall, and just about anything appearing to contain digestible protein, when properly presented to a head standing fish will seal the deal back in the dense Spartina Grass. Basically... the Redfishing has been as good as it gets the last 3 weeks, and typical to this time of year we should start to see some of the adult itinerant fish move in in waves as they pop inside on their migration down the beach. Flounder have lost their usual inhibitions and are also popping up on the flats to feed in the upper water column, making them sight fishable. Most of our fly anglers have been successful in sighting and landing a couple fish on each trip, while stripping Clouser deeps or Spoon flies past a recent flatfish boil. Speckled Trout are stacking in eddies and deeper sloughs with flowing current, but our Redfish missions have taken priority over the yellow mouths so far. That will change as November typically offers the best Trout action of the season. It looks as though we might be in for a Northeast blow with the passage of tropical storm Sandy Early next week, hopefully pushing a lot of Shrimp and fin bait downriver, setting us up for some outstanding sight fishing for Reds as well as moving some Trout out of deeper holes to the surface to sip on Shrimp! Cape Fear in the Fall, if you haven’t experienced it, you need to!
Recent blog posts
- Cape Fear serving up big aggressive Redfish right now!
- Sight Fishing Late Fall Cape Fear Redfish with Jared Chiefi
- Give the gift of Redfish this year!
- Cape Fear Speckled Trout On Fire!
- Full On Fall Fishing on the Cape Fear Coast
- It's Hot, But It's Not!
- Brian Gainey Tangles with Topwater Reds
- Cape Fear Spring Redfish Peak
- Winter Redfishing
- Zero to Hero...Cape Fear Redfishing And What a Difference a Day Makes!