It’s no secret that largemouth bass love to hang around submerged brush piles, especially early in the year before they are ready to head for the shallow spawning grounds. While many anglers sit home during these months, others probe the shallows, hoping for some early spawners. But savvy anglers key on brush piles, understanding that locating them is a huge step in boating their limit of bass.
Rennie Clark of Carolina Beach zigged and zagged through the creeks behind Bald Head Island on his way to a pocket he was sure was holding redfish, and he didn’t slow until he was about 100 yards from the spot he intended to fish, switched off his outboard, lowered the trolling motor, plucked a spinning outfit from a rod holder and handed it to his wife, Shannon.
The fall fishing season across North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound offers ideal water conditions for speckled trout, which respond to falling water temperatures by becoming aggressive and feeding heavily. It’s the time of year that anglers often trade in live bait for artificials.
Speckled sea trout fed all summer on the plentiful prey, but they were hard to find because they don’t like hot weather and hide in deeper water during the day, foraging early and late. That changed in September, and by this month, some urgency has been added to their feeding patterns as winter approaches. They are schooled and feeding throughout the day. They move around as the tide changes, but if you find a school in November, you will likely have a banner day.
When you’re thinking about all the time you expect to spend indoors this winter, why not include some time to get out for a day or so of fishing? There may be no better place to go in North Carolina than Lake Gaston, where you have opportunities to catch all three major species of black bass — largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass — along with striped bass, walleye or crappie using the same techniques.
Deer hunting in November can be easy on the one hand and difficult on the other. Sitting in a tree stand overlooking an area where a rut-crazed buck is looking for lonely does often makes a novice wonder why folks consider deer hunting to be a challenge when a big racked deer throws caution to the wind and acts like a lovesick teenager.
The predawn was a lot colder than normal for the opening of waterfowl season. A thin layer of ice covered the small lake that a good flock of mallards had been using. As we eased into place, decoys were tossed into place to try and help lure the birds into shotgun range, hopefully to get them to lake where we wanted them to.
When it comes to diversity in mountain trout fishing, North Carolina has it in spades. Think of stalking a tiny tributary stream on the Blue Ridge Parkway for native brook trout versus firing long casts to cover the vast stretches of the Tuckasegee River.
Of the major catfish species in South Carolina the blue catfish seems to be the one that really chows down during the winter. Giant blues typically do that at Lake Monticello from November right on through the cold months.
For the past 10 years, Rockingham County has been producing trophy bucks like this one killed last fall by Zach Satterfield. Find out how this northern Piedmont county suddenly became the buckle on North Carolina's trophy belt.