Noah Lynk of Noah’s Ark Charters in Harkers Island said the recent weather has affected fishing around Cape Lookout, and not in a positive way. All he’s finding, Lynk said, are drum, and he’s not alone. The cold displaced plenty of fish, and drum are the only ones most fisherman are finding.

"The good news is there are drum reports from two places," Lynk said. "They are well back up near the headwaters of creeks off the Newport and North rivers and the smaller creeks that intersect with Core Creek and Adams Creek along the Intracoastal Waterway between Morehead City and where the waterway enters the Neuse River.

“There are also drum scattered through the surf. The cold ran a lot of drum out of Pamlico Sound through Ocracoke Inlet, and some also exited Core and Back sounds through Drum, Ophelia, Bardens and Beaufort inlets. These drum are holding in the surf, too."

Lynk (252-342-6911) said the drum are a mixture of reds and blacks. While the water has warmed a little this week, it still isn't warm and the drum aren't really active and out searching for food. Lynk said pieces of bait shrimp on Carolina Rigs have been the ticket in the creeks, and add a pyramid sinker to hold in the surf. He believes the scent of the shrimp is convincing the drum to eat as they mill about.

Lynk said that anyone who wants to fish artificials has a tough job ahead. Reds respond to artificials fairly well in warm water but black drum rarely hit artificials regardless. He said he would suggest small lures, fished very slowly and coated liberally with Pro-Cure scent. Lynk said scent is a primary ingredient for success when the water is this cold, and the drum might not chase a larger bait and get close enough to smell it. Next week's weather forecast is for warmer temperatures, and he hopes it will break the stranglehold of cold weather. He said a 10-degree change would make a huge difference in fishing.

"I don't have to remind everyone the weather has been awful," Lynk said. "There aren't many people fishing, and those who are have have been kept out of the ocean most days because of the strong winds. We're getting fair reports from several places inside and near the inlets, but I believe there are some red drum out on Cape Lookout Shoals, too. There have to be some there that fled the inside waters to avoid the cold. The windy weather has kept fishermen away for a while, but I expect there will be hungry drum on Cape Lookout Shoals once the wind and swell subsides a little."