Guide Ken Dempsey of Hatteras is expecting a great fall for speckled trout, in part because of good fishing last fall, a good summer and the promise that September holds.

“We see the first good fall action in September; hopefully, by mid-September, we’ll see a big influx of fish. That’s when they usually show up,” said Dempsey (252-986-2102). “We have had an above-average to good summer on specks, and last fall was really good; the quality was a little off, but those fish have grown up now.”

Dempsey said as the water cools in the Pamlico Sound behind Hatteras Inlet, specks, reds and flounder will make their way toward the ocean, staging for several weeks along the way.

“They come in great gangs,” he said. “That’s why if you can catch one or two and get the anchor out, you can catch (plenty). They gang up when they start heading to the inlet. Any slough, cut or break within a hall-mile of the inlet has the potential to hold specks, and it’s fairly easy for someone who isn’t native to here to catch ‘em. You can go straight out of our dock (Oden’s Dock) and drift Rollinson’s Channel and catch specks.”

Dempsey rarely uses anything on his parties except 4-inch curlytail grubs on jigheads, drifting with the current and making multiple casts, vertically jigging them with a sharp snap of the rod tip.

“White, brown and green are about all you need down here, but I probably have about 10 different kinds of green,” Dempsey said. “My favorite is watermelon, but we haven’t caught many on it this year. But lime and chartreuse have been good.”

Dempsey said gold spoons and fresh cut bait fished on the bottom will fool plenty of red drum this month, “from 4 pounds to 40.”